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

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Here’s Why a Rally in Real Estate ETFs is Likely Ahead

The U.S. homebuilding sector is on fire. Thanks to extremely low mortgage rates, home sales are upbeat. But higher demand for home buying as well as lack of labor and land has boosted home prices. The median home sale price rose 15% year over year to $320,625 — the highest on record, according to a new report from the technology-powered real estate brokerage Redfin. The largest increase ever recorded in the Case-Shiller national home price index (which goes back through 1988) was 14.5% in September 2005.

Inside the Details of Rising Home Prices

In the week ending Oct 4, home prices shot up 16% from the same week a year earlier. Since the four-week period ending Jul 5, home prices have grown 6.8%. On the contrary, over that same period in 2018 and 2019, prices dropped an average of 4.4%. During the four-week period ending Oct 4, the median asking

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Wichita’s most expensive homes are selling fast. Here’s why.

The most expensive homes in the Wichita area are selling fast and the number of them available has fallen to levels not seen since before the Great Recession, according to a real estate analyst at Wichita State University.

Stan Longhofer, director of WSU’s Center for Real Estate, said the demand for homes that cost more than $500,000 and a limited supply of them were standouts of the 2021 Kansas Housing Markets Forecast, an annual report released this week. The change comes despite a pandemic and global recession that hasn’t yet negatively impacted home sales but could catch up in the next couple of years, Longhofer said.

For now, the housing market is booming, often causing “bidding wars.”

During the pandemic, labor and service sector jobs have seen bigger layoffs than office jobs that have more flexibility, he said. And people in those more flexible, usually higher-paid roles have been driving

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Here’s where first-time homebuyers should look for real estate: report

First-time homebuyers should probably consider looking for their new place in Michigan, according to a recent report.

On Tuesday, personal finance technology company SmartAsset ranked the best U.S. cities for people who are buying their first homes.

Grand Rapids, Michigan, made it to the top of the list.


For its ranking, SmartAsset analyzed 185 of the largest cities in the U.S. using data from the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The company compared the cities based on 12 measurements within four categories including home market favorability, affordability, livability and employment.


Grand Rapids ranked in first place because of how well

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Here’s what owning a second home means for your taxes

Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make smart decisions with your money. We may receive a small commission from our partners, like American Express, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

  • If you’re considering buying a second home, there are a few pros and cons to weigh when it comes to your taxes. 
  • Homeowners can deduct up to $10,000 total of property taxes per year on federal income taxes, including taxes on a second home.
  • If you don’t rent out your second home, it’s taxed much like a primary residence, with mortgage interest and property taxes deductible. 
  • If you’re planning to rent out your second home for part of the year for income, however, your taxes will be much different, with more deductions available, and income tax due on any rental income. 
  • Policygenius can help you compare homeowner’s insurance policies to
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Which nursing homes had the most coronavirus deaths? N.J. will no longer tell you. Here’s the list.

Nothing captured the despair of the coronavirus outbreak in New Jersey like the Easter Sunday discovery of a makeshift morgue crammed with 17 bodies at one of the state’s largest nursing homes.

The virus rampaged through Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center last spring, killing 82 residents and two employees, one of the highest nursing home death tolls in the state.

Yet, the state Health Department’s “data dashboard,” the webpage that chronicles the pandemic’s ongoing toll in the Garden State, on Thursday listed no deaths at the Sussex County facility and just three COVID-19 cases.

In mid-July, state health officials made a decision to take down the total number of deaths at each nursing home, and instead started reporting only deaths and cases as they occurred during an active outbreak.

The only nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other long-term care facilities now listed on the dashboard are the 155 that

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Creative placemaking could be the key to catalyzing real estate development on Chicago’s South Side. Here’s how one success story is garnering international acclaim.

It’s no secret that some of Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods have suffered from a certain level of financial disinvestment, often systemic and spread out over decades.

a person standing in front of a window: Dance instructors Daniel "Bravemonk" Haywood and Kelsa "K-Soul" Robinson on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020 at the Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative.

© Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Dance instructors Daniel “Bravemonk” Haywood and Kelsa “K-Soul” Robinson on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020 at the Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative.

But one Chicagoan’s efforts to inject new enthusiasm and a sense of community, anchored by artistic and cultural endeavors, are attracting global attention — and similar efforts might be the key to stimulating more equitable real estate development on Chicago’s South Side, a new report suggests.


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The report reflects three years of studying creative placemaking and the impact it has on communities. It comes from the Urban Land Institute, a global organization of real estate and urban development professionals dedicated to the responsible use of land in creating and sustaining thriving communities.

ULI reports that

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Here’s Why Meritage Homes (MTH) is a Great Momentum Stock to Buy

Momentum investing is all about the idea of following a stock’s recent trend, which can be in either direction. In the ‘long’ context, investors will essentially be “buying high, but hoping to sell even higher.” And for investors following this methodology, taking advantage of trends in a stock’s price is key; once a stock establishes a course, it is more than likely to continue moving in that direction. The goal is that once a stock heads down a fixed path, it will lead to timely and profitable trades.

While many investors like to look for momentum in stocks, this can be very tough to define. There is a lot of debate surrounding which metrics are the best to focus on and which are poor quality indicators of future performance. The Zacks Momentum Style Score, part of the Zacks Style Scores, helps address this issue for us.

Below, we take a

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Women in commercial real estate earn more than men in South Florida. Here’s why

In most professions, men still earn significantly more than women. But not so in the local commercial real estate scene.

In South Florida, white women are paid on average a salary of $148,582 per year, while women of color earn an average of $91,230 annually, according to a 2020 study by the Kansas-headquartered Commercial Real Estate Women Network. Men earn an average $53,562 per year, about 59% less than white women and 42% less than women of color.

The organization surveyed 51 brokers, developers, financiers, and lawyers involved in commercial real estate in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Naples, Marco Island, and Pompano Beach during the first quarter of 2020. The study, published in September, is part of a global survey of 2,930 people, and compares annual salaries versus commission-based positions. In South Florida, 79% of women and 50% of men earn a salary.

Globally, women in commercial real estate earn

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Here’s Why The California Real Estate Market Is Hot

In April when COVID hit California’s real estate market hard, I reached out to San Francisco-based Compass California President Mark McLaughlin and CoreLogic’s
Deputy Chief Economist Selma Hepp, Ph.D. for their expert insights. Once again, we discuss market fundaments, as we move into Fall and a Presidential election. California is experiencing a fast and furious housing market like no other in terms of sales and prices. McLaughlin and Hepp offer insider insights. In 2018, McLaughlin led the merger of San-Francisco-based Pacific Union International with Compass establishing Compass California, a leader in market share in California. Selma Hepp does deep-dive research and number crunching for CoreLogic.

Describe where the California market is right now?

Mark McLaughlin: The California market is experiencing a record “surge” in home buying. This is driven by three variables: the delay of the traditional Spring market,

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