Thinking of buying a house in Los Angeles during the Covid-19 pandemic? Yes, it can be done and no, you’re not crazy! The rules have changed a bit, but for the most part it’s still business as usual. With rates hovering near historic lows and inventory being tighter than ever, buyers and sellers are finding no reason to stay away from each other. That said, there are a few things you should know about buying a house now, in order of importance:
#1 Check in with your lender and make sure you get an updated loan pre-approval. Your lender has always been super important and now even more so. Guidelines are changing almost weekly as are processing times. Everything is taking longer than usual and that pre-approval you got in February might no longer be valid so be sure to check in.
#2 No more public open houses for the time being. Most properties are requiring you do several things like first driving by, watching a virtual tour and sending over your pre-approval before you can get a showing. Others might require all that and do a group chat with the sellers agent to further discuss. These rules weed out the lookie loos from the serious buyers and prevents unnecessary showings during social distancing.
#3 How to tour a house. Assuming you’ve done all that and still want to see it in person, prospective buyers must sign a document indicating they have not been exposed to Covid-19. Once we secure the date and time, buyers have to tour with masks, gloves and in some cases, booties.
#4 Can I get a deal now? In general, no. The same rules still apply: if the house looks amazing, is priced well and is in the right neighborhood, it will still sell relatively quickly and in most cases, over asking.
Have more questions about buying in this market? Just reach out 🙂