Can you still buy a home in California during the coronavirus?
Last updated 5/14/2020 at 5:41pm
FALLBROOK – The coronavirus has interrupted home purchase plans for some, while there are those who are looking for a buying opportunity now that mortgage rates are low, despite the economic uncertainty.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has issued stay-at-home orders in California but considered real estate an essential service. It allowed sales activities to continue, as of this writing. So yes, residents can still buy a home during coronavirus, but there are guidelines and a few changes from the normal process.
Practice social distancing.
If seeing the houses in person is an absolute must, follow all of the COVID-19-related recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization such as keeping a 6-feet distance from other people; always washing your hands or using a hand sanitizer; covering your mouth with your elbow when you sneeze or cough and wiping down surfaces you have touched with antibacterial wipes. Additionally, as of May 1, face masks will be required when in public places and should be used when touring homes for sale.
As per the recommended best practices released by the California Association of Realtors, if you're on the lookout for a property to buy, expect transactions to be done remotely. Showings should be done virtually, if at all possible. There's no need to go to the office to negotiate contracts and such, as these can be done digitally. Hold video calls, instead of meetups. Before signing anything, or if at any point you are unsure, feel free to ask your agent who can do a screen share, speak on the phone or meet you in person.
Be ready for delays.
Once your offer gets accepted and you proceed with the next steps of the home purchase, there may be some delays. With transactions with all parties involved in the sale like banks, home inspectors, escrow agents and because the "shelter in place" order was not specific about which occupations are essential, these institutions may have limited manpower to process certain documents for your home purchase.
There are also new forms added related to COVID-19 to help protect buyers, sellers and real estate professionals.
The show (or sale) goes on, and there are many folks who are still buying right now. And if you're eyeing on properties and a reliable broker in San Diego County, we are here to help.
This article first appeared on Broadpoint Properties' website, https://servingsandiegocounty.com.