What Are Homebuyers Afraid of amid the COVID-19 Crisis?

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A home purchase is one of the largest investments one can ever make in a lifetime. Many people spend years, if not months trying to put up with enough cash to finally buy a house. Most people would take in debt and apply for mortgages to start their journey of becoming a homeowner. While many would be willing to gamble and start their househunting project, many more people are afraid to do so. Their fears aggravated after COVID-19 hit the globe.

Financial Fears

We all have different reasons why we sometimes fear making a home investment. Before the pandemic, many people were afraid to invest, thinking they couldn’t afford a home loan, more or less the costs of homeownership. Our current situation aggravated the financial fears of homebuyers who are currently experiencing a financial crisis.

Many people lost their sources of income after the crisis broke. Some lost their jobs; others lost their businesses. Some people are also struggling financially now and are left grieving after the virus affected them and their loved ones.

Consumers are not just afraid to use their hard-earned cash for home purchases. Many are so scared they won’t have enough to sustain their needs in case they make the investment now. So, they choose to postpone the purchase instead.

Mortgage Fears

Those who don’t have extra cash lying around for a home purchase fear they won’t be able to get a home loan approval. They don’t have the recommended 20% down payment saved up in their bank. Some buyers also know that their credit score needs to improve before applying for a home loan.

Some buyers are afraid that even if they are qualified for low down payment loans, they won’t cover the other costs. They did their research and learned about the extra costs associated with home buying like the appraisal fees, title services, survey costs, and closing costs, to name a few. Many are also afraid to invest after hearing stories of predator lenders preying on unsuspecting homebuyers.

Health and Safety Fears

The pandemic made everything complicated. Before, one can go on househunting without worrying about getting sick after meeting a few people and shaking their hands. There are minimal health and safety measures in place, if any.

Now, we fear being within a six feet radius with strangers, let alone our loved ones who do not live with us. We constantly clean our hands and protect ourselves with face masks to reduce the risk of contracting the virus. Some persistent homebuyers would make use of technology to make their homebuying a lot more manageable.

House listings are available online, prompting buyers to check houses using their gadgets. We use our smartphones to store information about the homes we like. We also use our phones to find real estate agents to assist us and lenders we can borrow funds from.

Instead of simply attending open houses to view properties for sale, we first go on virtual tours. Some would even allow their real estate agents to do the tour while asking questions using live streams or video calls. As much as possible, we prefer sending our details, signing important documents, and sending payment online.

Fear for Homeownership Costs

Some consumers prefer renting over homeownership. Imagine have a landlord taking care of your needs when something goes wrong in your home. You won’t have to shoulder all expenses unless you are the one at fault for the damages. But once you become a homeowner, you are not responsible for everything, from paying your property taxes to taking care of home maintenance and repairs.

Homeownership costs do not end after you pay for your monthly utility bills. You are now in charge of home maintenance and all the funding of the repairs. While you can save money from DIY home maintenance, certain home maintenance costs require the services of the pros.

With the pandemic in all, many can’t afford other expenses to add to their tab. They don’t think they can handle paying for a roof replacement, HVAC maintenance, and landscaping fees as of now. They are afraid of the fact that even minor issues, if not attended to fast enough, can make their finances bleed.

These are but four usual fears people have when making a home purchase during a crisis. They are afraid of getting sick while home buying during the pandemic and the costs of home buying and homeownership. Consumers are also scared that they won’t qualify for a home loan now that lenders are stricter regarding approving home loans. Unless we overcome such home buying fears, we really won’t be able to make our dream home purchase a reality.

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