Coronavirus... FAQ's on the Current Real Estate Market.
Quote: You can make things happen, watch things happen or wonder what happened. "credit to the unknown"
Thank you for reaching out with your questions. Please keep your questions coming and we will add them to our ever growing list of FAQ's below. Please feel welcome to call direct at 561.789.9171 to sell a property, to purchase, invest or to discuss anything real estate related.
Q: Are you still waiting on the government stimulus payout?
A: Track "Get My Payment" by visiting the IRS website. Get up to $1,200 per person and $500 per child.
Q: Where can I find details about the Disaster Loan Assistance for small business?
A: Visit the U.S. Small Business Administration website at SBA.gov for PPP Loan and COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) information.
Real Estate Related
Q: What is the current state of the local real estate market since the Covid-19 pandemic began?
A: Optimistic. Effective the first week of May 2020, we have began to see a huge uptick in activity after only essential moves for the month of April. Inventory is low and there is speculation that the pandemic will bring a surge of out-of-state home buying for Florida in the coming months/years especially from the Northeast regions of the USA. This means inventory will likely remain at historically low levels. Low inventory means... rising or stable prices.
Q: Are people still buying and selling?
A: Yes, sellers are able to capitalize on low inventory while the buyers are more serious. Buyers are anxious to move.
Example: (updated: 05/18/2020; I have a long time client that is currently home shopping in the community where he currently lives. There are 19 active listings with 12 of them under contract/sale pending.
Q: When will things get back to normal?
A: What is normal? Most of us do not even know what day of the week it is. I'm personally making every effort to reflect on life and to create a new normal for my family. Most men will agree that it has been nice having Corona-hair and Corona-beard while the other half can't wait for us to get a trim. Normal is what you make of a circumstance.
Q: How is the real estate market today?
A: It is very important to note that real estate is "local" and always will be. Every neighborhood & community and price range will react differently. Let's discuss your specific real estate questions. Call me direct at 561.789.9171.
Q: How do buyers view properties while social distancing?
A: There are a number of ways to view properties while being safe. 1) The REALTOR visits properties of interest and live streams/video conference calls with buyers. 2) Virtual Tours are sent by email/text. 3) In person property tours. With in person showings, it is required industry wide that "only" the decision makers go on showings with the agent until further notice. Mask, gloves and sanitizer are made available.
Q: Are buyers having trouble getting financing?
A: Financing is available to qualified buyers and we do not foresee that changing. We have a number of lenders that we trust and will gladly share if you would like details.
To Buy or Sell Now...
Q: Should sellers wait to sell?
A: I am a firm believer that there is no better time than now to sell. Life is too short to wait. Inventory is "low", prices are "up" and this combination creates opportunity for sellers. Buyers are purchasing properties, so why wait until inventory increases?
Q: Should buyers wait to purchase?
A: In the coming years, indicators show home prices will be up year over year. Even when prices fluctuate slightly with recent Coronavirus related economic impact, expect things to turn around quickly as the economy is itching to get back to work. Never wait if the perfect dream home comes on the market.
Q: I am nervous about not being able to pay my next mortgage payment, what should I do?
A: There are a number of things to consider. First, you should contact your lender to see what options are available and how it will "negatively" affect future home buying ability. Second, consider selling and cashing out if you need the money now and don't foresee being able to make mortgage payments in coming months. You can always rent until things calm down.
Q: What if I can't pay my mortgage?
A: Contact your lender ASAP to discuss payment and repayment options.
Q: Is now a good time to refinance?
A: Interest rates are at historic lows which does create opportunity if you have equity in your home. However, if you plan to move in the next 0-3 years, it may be better to sell now instead of refinancing due to the costs associated with refinancing.
What's my Home Worth?
Q: Do I have equity in my home?
Buyers and Sellers
Q: Are home prices rising or falling?
A: Neutral. Inventory remains low which is a key contributor to stable home prices. In many Florida markets, home prices are still rising slightly despite the Coronavirus and Stay-at-Home-Order.
Q: Why is housing inventory low?
A: There is a shortage of properties available for sale.
Coronavirus and Real Estate
Q: Will home prices fall in near future due to COVID-19?
A: Homeowners have historic amounts of equity in their homes/investments. At this time, COVID-19 has not and is Not expected to created a long-term housing crisis. While the economy has taken an enormous hit, government officials across Florida continue to create a strategy to open businesses to minimize the long-term effects. Additionally lenders and financial institutions have already begun the process of determining the best method to keep current loans from defaulting. While homeowners in default will be required to payback missed payments, the goal would be to prevent a future housing downturn. If you are having difficulty paying your mortgage, now may be the best time to cash out by selling or to refinance. Contact your lender before missing loan payments.
To Rent... For Rent... I Rent...
Q: If I have a vacant house, should I rent it out?
A: If you could use the extra income and want to be a landlord then yes, why not. Check updates to government regulations on shorter term rentals as COVID-19 affected short-term leases less than 30 days.
Q: What if I can't pay my rent?
A: Speak and/or communicate with your landlord ASAP and before payment is late. It is recommended to have a written agreement if terms of the rental contract change.
Q: Will I be evicted as a renter?
A: New legal guidelines are being rolled out to specify procedures to best handle missed rent payments and future eviction if necessary. Eviction has been on hold and new guidelines will affect both landlords and tenants at each end of the situation. It is safe to say that tenants "will" be responsible for penalty within full scope of the law for late/failure to payments due according to the lease contract.
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