So you were thinking of buying OR you currently own a home and now EVERYTHING seems to be in limbo. First, let us all remember that we are a resilient people. As everything we have faced in the past, this too shall pass. That being said what do we do in the meantime.
Financial Hardship: There is all kinds of MISINFORMATION being floated around. If you are having issues paying your mortgage as the result of a financial hardship associated with COVID-19 you MUST CONTACT YOUR LENDER directly. There is NO AUTOMATIC suspension of payments. Your payments are due as usual unless you and your lender agree to other arrangements. Your mortgage statement will have your mortgage lender’s contact information and they will advise as to what steps need to be taken.
Refinancing: If you were considering refinancing and you still are working and do not see being laid off or furloughed in the immediate future, the rates are still very low and you can still refinance.
Selling your Home: If you were considering selling and you are not sure how the market is affecting your ability to do so, here is a summary. Loans are still available but as people hear the news regarding rising unemployment rates, consumer confidence starts dropping. Also, due to shelter in place, there are limitations regarding how homes can be shown. That being said, we have not seen significant drops in prices.
Virtual tours are an awesome way to get your home in front of potential buyers. Currently, in California, we cannot conduct Open Houses. Be prepared to provide inspections in advance as they are difficult to schedule. But the most important thing is to be patient. This situation is new to everyone involved and it literally is changing daily. So if you are ready to sell, go for it, we are still doing loans and entering contracts daily, but we all must be understanding of all parties involved, as we navigate together through this new territory for the time being.
If you were considering buying the same rules apply as before. There are a few new layers though. Employment is a big concern for many at this time, so many lenders have added some additional layers regarding verification of employment. As you could imagine everything is so uncertain that they are being more cautious. The government guaranteed programs such as FHA (First Time Homebuyer Assistance) and VA (Veterans Affairs) are still moving with few modifications, as they are GUARANTEED by a government source. So as long as the guidelines are met, the loans can still be closed as they normally would.
Rates are still historically low. So if you were planning, do not give up. The dream is still very possible.
The key is to stay proactive and informed. This is a temporary situation and with some patience and understanding, we can still achieve.