Buying for the first time in the middle of a pandemic-genius or the worst idea ever?
Thoughts from a Potential First Time Buyer:
Nobody could’ve predicted the figurative storm that 2020 was going to hit us with. I know I certainly had no idea. After spending January in France to celebrate my birthday I came back home to Miami with a very clear resolution- to buy a home by the end of the year. Nothing big, a 1/1 condo that was centrally located enough that I didn’t have to drive 30 minutes to my favorite bars/restaurants was what I had in mind. I had been saving for a bit, had a stable job I loved and was finally at an age where I was ready for a little more commitment. By that I mean, at the ripe old age of 27 I wanted to invest in some real estate and maybe even buy a few house plants and hopefully keep them alive.
But of course, a month after my return to the states the world stopped. Early into March everything began shutting down. All nonessential businesses closed followed by tight stay at home orders. I was furloughed like many others in the country and faced a period of unemployment that really halted all my lofty plans. In all honesty it outfitted me with a lot of fears. As a single, young professional I also don’t have a partner to rely on when it comes to paying for a mortgage. The responsibility falls solely on me.
All the news articles and real estate reports say this is a great time to buy. There are many properties on the market and interest rates are at an all-time low. People who bought homes after the last financial crisis, looking at you 2008, claim that it was one of the best decisions they ever made. They were able purchase homes for much lower than they would’ve been otherwise. However, while the stats seem in favor of buying the stability of the country isn’t so reassuring. Coronavirus cases are on the rise and no one knows when the ups and downs brought about by the pandemic will end or what the long-term economic impact will be.
So, what is one to do when faced with so much uncertainty but also a great opportunity? I’d be lying if I said I had the answer. Sitting smack in the middle of a generational group that has gotten hit with a crisis at each major life milestone, entering the job market and now buying homes and starting families, isn’t reassuring either. However, as a cautious optimist I keep hope alive that we will finally get the pandemic under control and within the next six months I will be able to carry out my plans of becoming a home owner. First step for me as I continue to pave the way into the future is to work with a great agent like Michelle Gonzalez, who knows Miami well and I can trust to guide me during these weird times. Nonetheless, pandemic or not the world keeps moving forward.
As an fyi – mortgage lenders and real estate agents are extremely busy. Homes are still selling, businesses are still expanding via new retail, office, industrial locations, other are hiring new employees too. Yesterday I spoke to Adriana Fernandez, the owner of All In One Mortgage Lenders, a local lender which states they have been the busiest they have been in the last 4 years and this company has been open since 1997. At the end of the day, life continues, people still need a roof over their heads, interest rates are at an all-time low and I would say the best thing going right now is that some sellers are more negotiable than others.
Think about this, why would you rent when you can own a property and pay less than you do for rent simultaneously investing in future equity wealth for you and your family…..even if you purchase for investment, someone else is paying your mortgage.
Another perspective, if home prices were to decrease, financing may become tougher and rates likely rise thereby causing you to pay the same monthly payment in the future vs what you would be paying if you purchased today. Additionally, you would have lost all of this time just waiting for the perfect moment to purchase. In my experience, the perfect moment to purchase is now. If you have a vision of seeing yourself in your own home, don’t let anything stand in your way of your dream.