Homeownership is important to many Americans — both those buying for the first time and those wanting to buy their next home, but the recent pandemic may have many wondering how to continue the process.
The coronavirus pandemic stalled the start of the traditional spring buying season, and has many buyers and sellers wondering what to do next. If you’re in that group and wondering whether to move forward with your buying plans, here are a six things to consider:
- Take stock of your personal homebuying goals and finances.
Did the pandemic change what you’re looking for at all? Is a home office more important than a backyard patio? What about your finances? Do you feel secure in your job? Do you already have savings set aside for a down payment as well as for a rainy day fund?
- Know what you can afford.
The recent health crisis reinforces the reality of economic ups and downs and the fact that disasters can happen. It reinforces the importance of not overextending yourself in buying; you want to be able to weather any economic cycle. As you consider this, know that a bright spot is that mortgage rates are very low right now, which helps stretch your dollars when you decide to buy.
- Start your house hunt from home.
If you’re worried about venturing out, rest easy in knowing you can do a lot of the groundwork from home. As a result of coronavirus, virtual tours and agent-led video walk-throughs and video chat tours have all been added to the mix of showing homes. Lenders are available to serve you remotely, too, and are always available to have conversations about the lending process by phone.
- Understand your down payment options.
There are still financing options available that don’t require you to put 20 percent down. Low down-payment options include our own yourFirst Mortgage® program and government programs like VA and FHA. How much you put down is a financial decision to weigh as you look at your own finances and personal situation. It’s important to note that putting more down can reduce your monthly payments, which can free up dollars for other parts of your budget, including savings.
- Double down on your rainy day fund.
It’s always been a good idea to have a little to fall back on. Owning a home means you’ll have expenses for repairs and updates. The economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic also reinforces the importance of having money to fall back on if you have an unexpected expense or loss in income.
- Embrace digital tools.
Just like shopping for your perfect house, you can apply for a home loan from your kitchen; you never really need to step into a bank. Many tasks can be handled online, from starting the loan applications to signing disclosures and uploading needed documents during the loan process.
The current crisis has many Americans reflecting on their living spaces and thinking about their long-term financial goals. While no one knows exactly what will happen in the economy, if you are weighing whether buying is right for you, take a minute to focus in on your own unique goals, opportunities and circumstances and make the best decision for you.
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Wells Fargo Home Mortgage has a services agreement with Union Privilege in which Union Privilege receives a financial benefit for providing agreed-upon services. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage encourages you to shop around to ensure you receive the services and loan terms that fit your home financing needs.
Home equity financing does not qualify for the benefits of this program.
Information is accurate as of date of distribution. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. © 2020 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. NMLSR ID 399801 AP5143181 05/2020.