How the pandemic changed the search for housing
Location has always been a big factor in buying a home. Can children walk to school? How is school? Is there public transport nearby? How far is the grocery store? Can I go to work soon?
For the last question, it may not make sense to those who are hopeful and can continue to work from home as the pandemic abates. Their commute is only a few steps from the kitchen, or their table is in the kitchen, they can live anywhere in the country / region of their choice. This destroys the traditional concept of location.
In addition to location, size / style, house price, prepayment, interest rate, and monthly repayment, there are now other factors to consider. Remote working triggered by the pandemic is one, but the global health crisis has also turned the tide in small areas. Home office space has now become a wish list for many buyers. Zillow reported in December 2020 that more than 48% of its listings sold “home offices” or “Zoom rooms”.
Despite these factors, homeownership is still a stable investment as the money you spent on rent reduces mortgages and increases the beneficial ownership of the selected property. Right now, mortgage interest rates are very low, as are stocks, which means high prices in most areas.
You Have Four Financial Problems You Must Answer Before Buying a Home. However, there are other considerations. Please consider which of the following topics apply to you and how they affect your home buying decision.
Location, location, location
In most cases, buying a home requires paid work, and so do you (and maybe your spouse or partner). Before the pandemic, another major issue for home buyers to consider was the location of new homes in relation to their workplace or even to their neighbors.
However, during the pandemic, many people work from home (if they are lucky enough to stay at work). Twenty years ago, a good residence was nearby.
Ten years ago, remote working was seen as a positive benefit of digital communication (adventurous stories, especially stories of technical professionals, bringing their work to the tropics), but in 2020 remote working will become necessary.
The meaning of location, location, location has been changed.
In May 2021, some companies welcome their employees back to a safe office environment, while some companies offer them an opportunity. A mix of office and home situations. Others are realizing that they may exist and have full-time staff, close their physical offices, or dramatically reduce their office space.
Therefore, when it comes to your own work situation, you may not need to be near the desk anymore. If you only go to the office twice a week, how far away should you stay?
What is your current employment situation? If you decide to buy a house based on your position related to your employment situation, will you look forward to taking that position and working in the company for a long time? Will it affect your decision to buy a home?
How much space do you need?
Before the pandemic, your living space seemed sufficient. However, when it becomes necessary to create a viable workspace in your home, the house suddenly becomes smaller. If you live with other people who work from home, you will need two workspaces. Your home has become a place to eat, sleep, and party, as well as an office and, in some cases, a children’s classroom.
Over the years, it has developed into smaller, more efficient and more environmentally friendly homes. They may not all be small houses, but smaller. The National Association of Home Builders (National Association of Home Builders) has reported increased interest in large homes in 2021 – people want the space.
So, will your home become your office? Will there be multiple people who need to work from home at the same time, and one of them is ready to use the kitchen, basement, or garage as a temporary office?
If you need more space in your new home to resolve the remote employment situation, you need to strike a balance between space requirements and mortgage budgets. (Fortunately for buyers with low interest rates. It is unfortunate for buyers with low stocks but sellers who are intoxicated with higher prices.) This may require staying away from it. urban environment and find suburban homes. The size that fits your budget.
But, then, this consideration becomes another consideration …
What about climate change?
For decades it is advisable to be close to water, especially coastal areas, if this is not always possible. However, with climate change and rising water temperatures, the lives of some people in coastal areas are too risky due to severe storms and flooding in these areas. Also examined more carefully the areas prone to forest fires.
These are extreme cases, but a recent survey published on Stanford.edu said 68% of millennials are interested in buying and living in areas where natural disasters are rare, and the oldest of these has over 40 this year.
Transportation is another issue. The further you leave town, the more likely you are to use a car. Today, many young people adopt a climate-friendly urban lifestyle in which they use public transport to get around instead of owning a car.
But that might not be an option, if other considerations (space, budget) are forcing you to get “clumsy”.
If you want to work remotely without going to the office, depending on the space you need, you might still be in town.
Time is everything
With all of the ideas above, you have one more thing to consider, and that is the timing. When should you decide to buy a house?
Although current demand far exceeds supply, giving sellers a financial advantage over buyers, mortgage interest rates are still very low. If you need a mortgage to buy a house, you can buy a house now if you want to qualify. Buying Mortgage Interest Rates Online Can Be A Smart Choice.
The Fed’s board has said there will be no hike in federal rates until at least 2022, but in the post-pandemic climate, the US economy is expected to continue to grow. Such growth could lead to interest rate hikes next year to avoid inflation. One thing seems certain: if you have to buy a home and cost is an issue, now is the time to do it.
Don’t you hate when your parents’ advice is correct?
You need a list of pros and cons. In fact, you need several lists of pros and cons (location, space, cost, transportation). You need a priority list.
- Should I buy a house now?
- Do I have to live in a specific location?
- Do I want to work at home, in the office or in a mixed job?
- How much space do I / do we need?
- Which of the above factors takes precedence?
The decision to buy a home is one of the biggest decisions of your life. Due to the pandemic, climate issues and the possibility of remote working, this has become more complicated than ever.
Kent McDill is a senior journalist who has focused on personal finance topics since 2013. He is the author of “The Penny Hoarder” (The Penny Hoarder).