Five Housing Lessons from the Pandemic
With a vaccine now being distributed, a return to our pre-COVID routines is on the horizon. However, unexpected challenges will always lie ahead, so it can be helpful to learn from the experiences of the past year.
When it comes to housing in particular, several takeaways can provide more security and satisfaction for homeowners and those looking to join the ranks soon.
Change Can Happen Fast
One of the most remarkable aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic was how quickly it impacted so many of us. Homeowners should not expect the status quo to continue indefinitely. A natural disaster or system failure can suddenly require substantial home repairs. Having appropriate insurance coverage and an emergency fund for those types of situations can make them a little less disruptive and easier to overcome.
Balance Your Priorities
Community restrictions, closing schools, and remote working opportunities had many homeowners reconsidering their previous choices. Going forward, it makes sense to balance the priorities for your home to create additional flexibility when those priorities change. Features like the floorplan, outdoor spaces, and location will always benefit from a forward-looking approach that considers how your current preferences might change in the future.
It’s O.K. to Ask for Help
One of the most important lessons to learn from the pandemic is that everyone will need help at some point. Rather than letting difficult circumstances snowball into something worse, a proactive stance can avoid problems. Homeowners who had their income impacted were able to work with their mortgage company to defer payments or enter forbearance without taking a hit to their credit report. Other providers offered similar options as well, so don’t hesitate to explore your options early.
Don’t Ignore Your Credit Score
The economic uncertainty of recent months has led to some of the lowest interest rates in history. Those with stable incomes and excellent credit had an enticing opportunity to buy a home or refinance a mortgage. It’s hard to predict when you’ll want to take advantage of your borrowing power, but raising your credit score takes time. The best plan is to protect it at all times through monitoring and smart financial decisions so that it’s ready when you are.
- Patience Matters
Whether it was limited child care options, postponed family gatherings, or continuing to wait for your opportunity to get the vaccine, patience has been a requirement since last spring. And much like in other areas of life, it will eventually pay off. Prospective homeowners shouldn’t get too discouraged by a financial history that’s holding them back from buying a home or by the disappointments of a hot real estate market. Instead, focus on using the time to create a plan that will get you to your goal.
Start your journey to homeownership with the professionals at Open Mortgage. Browse our website for tools and resources to guide your mortgage search, or call today to speak with a representative.