COVID-19 has changed the real estate market. Understanding the recent changes can help buyers prepare for the transaction, and set reasonable home buying timelines. Here is an overview of changes in the buying process. We conclude with a 6-point checklist for the buyer coming into the market today.
It’s springtime — always a great season for people who show, sell, and buy homes. Enter 2020, and the harsh and often unpredictable impacts of COVID-19. In the year’s first quarter, business and government offices closed in droves, and millions of U.S. jobs were lost. Lenders have a heightened sense of caution now, as they anticipate changes in borrowers’ work situations, income, debt, and credit performance.
The depth of the trouble was undeniable by March 11, 2020. On that day the World Health Organization (WHO) categorized the virus outbreak as a pandemic. As the novel coronavirus is thought to spread mainly from one person to another, the world’s public health experts urged everyone to stay at least 6 feet apart and avoid gathering in groups. Needless to say, that put a damper on home tours and, in turn, listings. By March, the number of homes listed in the market had dropped substantially.
And this brings us to the people who need to buy or sell a
home in the not-too-distant future. What will this new situation mean for the home
shopping experience? Here, we dive into the present real estate trends and
challenges, and the issues most likely to impact transactions from 2020 on.
Continue reading “Buying a Home? How Covid-19 Has Changed the Game”
impetus to digitalize real estate might just turn out to be the tipping point.
Practically overnight, COVID-19 is a defining element of our time. This hideous
and deadly virus became a major challenge to the systems that carry us through
our everyday transactions.
Continue reading “Pandemics, Property Transfer Breakdowns… The Digital Real Estate Industry Is Coming”
buying your first home? First-time buying is exciting. It’s filled with
the dreamy pleasure of beholding perfect kitchens, bedrooms and baths, and
the cliff-hanger phone calls about your loan approval. (“We’re nearly
there! I just need one more document…”) You’ll peruse home
inspection results, negotiate the home price so you can re-do that floor, and,
ultimately, you’ll get to “yes” with the seller. By the time you
finally sit down at the closing table, you’ll feel intense relief,
and one of the biggest thrills of your life. Here are some tips to help
make that day a resounding success.
Continue reading “First-Time Home Buyer Pro Tips”
has its perks. Resolving to buy rather than to keep renting can be an
excellent financial decision. Here, we take a look at five top benefits of
going from renter to owner—and a few key things to consider before you
make the move.
Continue reading “Five Top Benefits of Owning a House or Condo”
generations different in their approach to buying real estate? The fundamentals
of buying real estate arguably haven’t changed, but financial and technological
trends have. And with more people seeking houses than houses to be found, home
prices have taken an upward path. Despite low mortgage rates, all first-time
home buyers face a challenging market.
Continue reading “Buying Real Estate: Are the Generations Really Different?”
This story, alas, is unfolding. Physical signs of a heating world and its shifting weather patterns appear in tropical storms and in sea level rise, in heat waves, droughts, and wildfires. The economic and physical impacts of climate change are making their mark on real estate.
Affected cities have already paid heavy costs in repairs and reconstruction, insurance premiums, and loss of trade and tourism. Real estate markets are seeing severe weather events steadily chip away at property values. Public initiatives to mitigate risks will increase taxes, code compliance burdens, and financing costs.
In other words, the risks go well beyond destructive incidents from specific disasters. They include higher capital and maintenance costs related to fire, water, and weather damage on properties over time. To anticipate the risk of climate-related damage, analysts are mapping properties—feeding site-specific data into geophysical, hydrological, and economic models.
Continue reading “New Risks for Property Owners: Economic and Physical Effects of Climate Change”
A new owner
of real estate receives a real estate deed. But what about a real estate
deed warranty? What are the common deeds, and what assurances do different
deeds make? Here’s what’s at stake for a new owner, depending on
the deed involved in the real estate sale.
Continue reading “You Have the Deed and Keys to Your New Home. What About a Guarantee?”
is closing on a condo. Corey has just one more question for the title
why, in the definitions in the mortgage agreement for the recorder’s office,
I’m called “Corey McCann, a single woman.” Only my name is relevant.
I could understand declaring the single
status—if there is a firm reason that the record must show, for example, that
there is no co-habitant or person who might try to claim an interest in a
divorce. But I don’t voluntarily identify myself in public documents or online
by gender. I’d rather not do so now.
company agent answers:
Continue reading “Preferred Pronouns in Real Estate Deeds”
If you are
married and live in a community property state, you and your spouse may not
think about whether certain assets are community or separate property. The
former is generally all property acquired during the marriage, and the latter
consists of property owned by each spouse before they wed. Separate property
also includes assets inherited by one spouse or gifted to the individual. Say
one spouse inherited a house from their parents, and rent out the dwelling. The
rent received by the inheriting spouse is considered separate property.
marital home is actually separate property, as one spouse owned it prior to the
marriage. Even though the spouses may share financial responsibility for the
house, such as paying the mortgage and taxes together, or other expenses such
as insurance and repairs, in reality the home belongs to just one of them. No
matter how much the non-owning spouse may contribute to the property’s upkeep,
it’s not a marital asset. For fairness’ sake, it may make sense to change the
property from separate to community, via a process known as transmutation.
Continue reading “The Transmutation of Real Estate Ownership Between Married Couples in Community Property States”
A power of
attorney enables an agent (also called the attorney-in-fact)
to conduct transactions on another person’s behalf.
document often appears in the world of real estate transactions. A person
(called the principal)
might require a stand-in to sign financial documents, on account of
absence or disability. A limited
power of attorney can enable the agent to carry out any and all
real estate transactions or even give an agent specific authority to sell one
home (“for the sale of 123 Smith Avenue only”), and for a specified
Continue reading “Conveying Real Estate Through a Power of Attorney”