Here’s What it’s Really Like to Buy a House During a Pandemic

Editor’s note: All of HomeLight’s coronavirus information for buyers, sellers, and agents is available on our COVID-19 hub.

If you’d been planning on buying a house before coronavirus, how has the pandemic changed the homebuying experience? Getting an inspection and an appraisal could be a challenge, and your closing might be delayed. But reading about what could happen is different than knowing what has happened to other buyers.

Here are four stories about buying a home during coronavirus. Each homebuyer faced unique challenges — everything from the risk of water getting turned off in their new home to picking out countertops remotely — and their stories can give you a good idea of what to expect when you’re expecting… to buy a house during a pandemic.

A house bought during coronavirus.
Source: (Jen Trail / Ruum Media)

Buying a house that needed city sign-off

Agent Bonnie Roseman, who works with 82% more single-family homes than

Read More Read more

Vacation home demand soars during coronavirus pandemic

Home sales are booming in popular vacation spots, as the pandemic leads more Americans to seek places to work or relax within driving distance of home.

In traditional vacation destinations such as Key West, Fla., Ocean City, N.J., and Traverse City, Mich., online house shopping and pending sales are up relative to the country overall, according to a new analysis by Zillow Group Inc.

CONDOS COULD MAKE COMEBACK IN HOUSING MARKET IF SINGLE-FAMILY HOME PRICES KEEP RISING 

Similar to the recent rise in interest for suburban and rural homes that are a car ride from major cities, the growth in demand for homes in vacation towns shows how Covid-19 is reshaping home shoppers’ priorities, said Jeff Tucker, senior economist at Zillow.

“Home shoppers are particularly motivated to shop for a

Read More Read more

Home sales rise despite low inventory and pandemic

New-home sales also rose sharply in August to their highest level since September 2006. Sales of newly built homes reached an annual rate of 1.01 million in August 2020, 43.2 percent higher than in August 2019, according to the Census Bureau. New-home sales were also up 4.8 percent compared to July 2020.

Low inventory and high prices

While demand for houses is strong despite the coronavirus pandemic, the shortage of homes for sale means that prices are rising rapidly in many markets. The number of existing homes for sale dropped by 18.6 percent in August 2020 compared to August 2019, according to NAR. Inventory of newly built but unsold homes also dropped dramatically by 40 percent compared to August 2019 to the lowest supply since the data has been tracked beginning in 1963.

For the Washington area, the median listing price was up 9.2 percent for the week ending Sept.

Read More Read more

Home prices in the pandemic: dig deeper into the data

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were faced with a world of unknowns. Lockdowns across the country created lack of access to homes for showings, inspections, and appraisals. Unemployment numbers spiked precipitously, reaching nearly 15% in April. Economists predicted that home prices would decline 3-10% over the coming year.

Sure enough, the United States saw a slump in the spring homebuying season from April through June. Yet, as much of the country continued fighting COVID-19 throughout the summer, the housing market began an aggressive recovery. In the six months since the start of the pandemic, home prices have risen at an annualized rate of 6.9%, according to September 2020 data from the Radian Home Price Index.

The Radian Home Price Index, provided by Radian’s subsidiary Red Bell Real Estate, LLC, is the most comprehensive and timely measure of U.S. housing market prices and conditions. The index is

Read More Read more

Summit County sees few foreclosures during pandemic economy

A for sale sign sits in front of a home in Frisco on Saturday, Oct. 10. Despite the economic recession, homeowners in Summit County have been able to avoid foreclosure because of a high demand for properties.
Photo by Libby Stanford / estanford@summitdaily.com

FRISCO — It’s no secret by now that Summit County’s real estate market has been largely unaffected, if not aided, by the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

Despite a total shutdown in March, residential properties in Summit County are selling faster than ever. A good seller’s market also means fewer foreclosures, which are indicated by public trustees — documents that indicate a property’s ownership has been transferred to the county.

There have been eight public trustee’s issued in Summit County this year, according to the August Land Title Guarantee Report

In 2019, 14 public trustees were issued. There were 18 issued in 2018. The last time the county

Read More Read more

The Pandemic Sparks a Real-Estate Gold Rush in Upstate New York

In her late-career novel “Hudson River Bracketed,” Edith Wharton memorialized the landscape just north of New York City—the “precipitate plunge of many-tinted forest, the great sweep of the Hudson, and the cliffs on its other shore.” In Wharton’s time, upstate was where Manhattan’s wealthy migrated seasonally, taking trains to enormous homes like Wyndcliffe, in Rhinebeck—the stolid mansion of Wharton’s aunt, Elizabeth Schermerhorn Jones, which is said to be the source of the phrase “keeping up with the Joneses”—or the Mills family’s sixty-five-room Staatsburgh mansion, designed by McKim, Mead, and White and thought to be the inspiration for Bellomont in “The House of Mirth.” If they didn’t decamp to Beaux-Arts piles, they sought “the elaborate rusticity of an Adirondack camp,” as Wharton put it in that novel. For the gentry, leaving the city was practically compulsory, she wrote in “The Custom of the Country”: “In the early summer New York was

Read More Read more

Death of the HQ? Pandemic hits commercial real estate, but long-term trends still open to debate

A rendering of one of Amazon’s new buildings in Bellevue, Wash. (Vulcan Image)

“HQ’s are finished.”

That was the hot take this week from Chris Herd, founder and CEO of remote work setup startup Firstbase. After speaking with about 1,000 companies over the past six months, he estimates that many will be cutting their office space by as much as 40% to 60%. About 90% of workforces indicated that they “never want to be in an office again full-time,” he wrote.

The latest example of the trend is the news this morning that working from home will be a permanent part of the mix at Microsoft. Boosting access to talent, reducing costs, and quality of life were among the benefits of remote work cited by companies in Herd’s informal survey.

“Good thread on the future of work. I agree with him,” former Zillow Group CEO Spencer Rascoff chimed in

Read More Read more

Coldwell Banker Vanguard expands real estate firm despite pandemic unease

Homes staff
 |  For the Times-Union

Local real estate company expanding with confidence, despite uncertain times

In the middle of a major pandemic that has some in the real estate industry biting their nails and laying back, one real estate agency is acting bullish. 

Orange Park-based Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty Inc. not only plans to open a Nocatee office, it recently bought out Mount Dora real estate brokerage Coldwell Banker Camelot, expanding to 10 offices in Northeast and Central Florida. Realtor Kim Sandberg will helm the Nocatee office, opening early next year, while CBVR Controller Jennifer Tossavainen has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer.

Coldwell Banker Vanguard CEO Pete Dalton is taking an aggressive approach to the market for several reasons, chief among them his brokerage’s ability to deliver a plethora of free services to its independent agents, while simultaneously beefing up those offerings based on ideas from the agents

Read More Read more

Vice-presidential debate: Kamala Harris, Mike Pence debate pandemic, Donald Trump’s taxes and the U.S. economy

Vice-President Mike Pence and his Democratic challenger, California Sen. Kamala Harris, will face off in a vice-presidential debate at 9 p.m. ET in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Susan Page, USA Today’s Washington bureau chief, will moderate.

Harris, Pence and Page will use Plexiglas shields as a COVID-19 precaution, according to the Commission on Presidential Debates. The shields were requested by the Biden-Harris campaign, while Pence’s team initially objected to them.

Pence has spent time in close proximity to President Donald Trump, who is recovering from coronavirus at the White House. Kamala Harris and Mike Pence both have tested negative for COVID-19, according to their teams.

Ultimately, the debate is a chance for voters to decide whether Pence and Harris are ready to step into the presidency at a moment’s notice.

Over the course of 90 minutes, Harris and Pence will debate in nine segments of approximately 10 minutes each.

Read More Read more

Pandemic boosts sales of luxury homes in resort communities

Wealthy Americans are snapping up multimillion-dollar homes in exclusive resort communities as the coronavirus pandemic continues to fuel a work-from-home lifestyle that no longer tethers workers to the office five days a week. 

Sales of expensive homes in places like Aspen, Colorado; the Hamptons; and Palm Beach, Florida have been booming since May, when it became clear the pandemic would upend Americans’ lifestyles indefinitely, according to real estate agents and appraisers across the country. 

“We are seeing greater sales gains in more expensive properties in areas people consider to be retirement destinations and resorts,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), a trade association representing real estate professionals. “I think this new economy and working from home can also mean working from a vacation home — that is, a larger size home with more elbow room that is in more of a vacation destination.”

For

Read More Read more