If your house-hunting plans got delayed due to the pandemic, we can’t say it’s safe to resume them now, given that cases are still rising. But with contactless home-buying procedures currently available, you may already secure a mortgage and browse beautiful houses for sale without leaving your home.
Online lending has boomed significantly over the last decade that it’s now common place to secure a loan without meeting your lenders face-to-face. But now everyone is urged to stay at home as much as possible; you’re more likely to close virtually as well.
But of course, you’ll eventually move in; hence, safety precautions are essential. Below are some health tips to make your homebuying journey risk-free:
Signing and Submitting Documents
If you’re taking out a mortgage, ask your lender to provide digital copies of all the documents you need to sign and submit. Your lender shall set up an online portal where you’ll upload all your requirements, such as pay stubs and tax records.
Using an online portal is relatively safer than exchanging emails since hackers easily access the latter.
Browse Properties Online
Browse real estate marketplaces from your computer, and narrow down your search by identifying the specifications of your ideal home. You should see complete information on the listings, including photos, detailed descriptions, and 3-D tours.
Hire a Real Estate Agent
The agent you’ll hire should be from the area you’re moving into. They should update you on the current situation of the outbreak in that place, and inform you about the restrictions that may affect your home-buying process.
An excellent realtor must make your journey hassle-free despite the pandemic. They must be willing to make online appointments with you and carry out house tours on your behalf. Also, they should follow health practices, such as wearing face masks and washing their hands frequently, so you can be sure that they won’t get sick in the middle of your buying process.
Tour Houses Virtually or Just Drive By Them
Ask your realtor to bring a camera and to take you with them as they tour houses. Ideally, they should be using a 360-degree camera so you can genuinely feel as if you’re visiting the home. And once you find an appealing property, drive by it or explore the neighborhood to see if you can imagine yourself living comfortably and happily in that place.
Go Back Home Virus-free
When we go out, it tends to be inevitable to stop by shops to run an essential errand, or just to buy refreshments. Hence, after exploring your potential new neighborhood, change your clothes in your mudroom or garage. Leave your shoes in there. Clean them with disinfectant wipes, and wash your clothes and hands immediately.
As an additional safety measure, take a shower before interacting with your family, or isolate yourself if you made close contact with anyone while you’re out. You can also practice physical distancing in the meantime if you don’t have a separate room to confine yourself in.
Move in with Caution
Finally, on a moving day, avoid using cardboard boxes because the virus can remain viable in the material for up to 24 hours, as per the CDC. It will be safer to use your own bags or to purchase new cardboard boxes instead of borrowing.
Stock up on disinfectant wipes and sprays to use them on the surfaces of your new home. Sanitize your cardboard boxes, doorknobs, cabinet handles, and everything you will touch the most.
If you’re hiring movers, require them to wear face masks and practice physical distancing. The whole process can be more stressful than how it’ll be under normal circumstances, but until a cure has been found, following health protocols will remain as our new normal.