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Real Estate Markets Surge as Buyers Seek Larger Homes During Pandemic: What to Look for When Buying a Home in the COVID Era

Homebuyers are seeking to purchase more spacious homes these days as the coronavirus pandemic has families spending more time at home while they work and attend school remotely. According to data revealed by real estate experts at Redfin, sales of larger homes in the U.S. increased by 21 percent in July of 2020. That’s almost 10 times faster than small home sales.

Has your workplace shifted from the office to your home? If so, you’re not alone. You may even be feeling the space crunch yourself. This month, Granite and TREND Transformations has outlined what buyers are looking for when buying a new home during the pandemic. We even added some helpful tips to getting through the home buying process and making the move less stressful.

More space sets the pace

Families now find themselves in a unique circumstance where their work lives and family lives are intersecting. So, it comes as no surprise that the real estate market is seeing a surge in larger home sales. Buyers are taking this opportunity to search for homes with features that—up until now—may not have been a priority. And for those with steady work-from-home jobs, the silver lining is even brighter. They are embracing this time to move away from larger cities or to a favorite out-of-state destination that is similar in price, thus trading location for space. Here are some of the features homebuyers are looking for in today’s COVID-19 market:

  • Larger homes with more square footage
  • Extra rooms
  • Designated office spaces
  • Larger yards
  • Finished basements

Tips to buying a home during the pandemic

The pandemic has caused us to pivot on so many levels, and buying a house is certainly one example of this. Are you thinking of buying a new home? The good news is that between technology and good old-fashioned due diligence, the keys to your new home could be in your hands sooner than you expect. Here are four tips to follow when buying a house during the pandemic:

  • Secure a low-interest mortgage rate—Shoppers are seeing lower mortgage rates, making this a great time to buy a new home.
  • Start the process early—Lower interest rates spur a demand for refinancing and new home applications, which puts a strain on lenders and increases processing time. Experts suggest getting a jump-start on the process. Social distancing and quarantine clauses for appraisers, for example, are bumps in the road that can slow the process down.
  • Embrace Video and Virtual Tours—At the risk of spreading germs, some realtors are skipping in-person open houses and are instead hosting video and virtual tours. This is a great use of technology, as agents can conduct live chat sessions with potential buyers and essentially “walk” them through the house—zooming in on any specific details the buyer may be interested in. The good news about this is that the technology is well developed and reliable, and will give the buyer a comfort factor over-seeing the house in person.
  • Hire a responsible real estate broker—This tip may sound obvious but in these uncertain times it’s important to find an agent who takes the coronavirus seriously. Be sure to choose someone who understands any new protocols* that may be in place and who will be front and center when it comes to getting the job done.
  • *Note: For states where it is permitted, closings may be conducted digitally instead of in-person.

Making the move safely—hiring a professional

During the COVID-19 era, many are on the fence about moving their belongings themselves or hiring a professional mover. The decision is understandable considering the circumstances. Experts agree, however, that hiring a professional mover is in your best interest. Here’s why:

  • Moving is hard work and involves the heavy lifting of boxes and furniture, which requires at least two people. If you are one of those people, you will be working in close proximity to the other person in tight quarters throughout the move, not to mention at risk of getting injured.
  • Professional movers are trained and have all the necessary equipment to move your belongings safely and securely.
  • You can safely social distance yourselves from the movers and supervise from a safe place.

Here are some ways to stay protected during the move:

  • Wear masks/facial coverings—Be sure to ask everyone helping with the move to wear proper face coverings. (And this includes you.)
  • Buy and use only new boxes—It has been reported that the coronavirus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard. Play it safe and buy all new boxes and be sure to complete all your packing the night before the move.
  • Pack everything—These are not the days to leave anything loose. Be sure everything is packed tightly in a box. Seal all boxes with packing tape and do not leave any open gaps. Experts suggest completing all your packing at least 24 hours before the movers arrive.

Refresh the kitchen or bath in your home

Having more space in a new home is a wonderful thing. What’s even better is a fresh new look to add to the lifestyle experience in the rooms you use the most—the kitchen and baths.

Did you know a renovation from Granite and TREND Transformations can be completed in as little as one day? We make it easy to transform your space—even during these times. In addition to our in-home design consultations, we now offer virtual consultations for those who feel more comfortable viewing our beautiful line of etheriumTM by E-Stone surfaces from the comfort and safety of their own computer. Whichever you choose, you’ll receive the same professional service and care you’ve come to expect from Granite and TREND Transformations. Contact us today.

Schedule your in-home or virtual design consultation today.