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COVID-19 and YOU

How To Navigate Through COVID-19
New home buyers all over the country are concerned about how to navigate through COVID-19. Many were planning on finding their dream home during the spring. Across the country, people are told to follow public health orders and stay at home or to practice social distancing. For buyers in the Nortex area, that means you might not have the opportunity to walk through a home with your agent, or your agent might not be able to show homes in person. 
 
What does this mean for you as a buyer in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area during these trying times?  
 
Local Market 
 
Spring, 2020 was looking like it would be a huge success across the board for the real estate market. In the first weeks of February, according to North Texas Real Estate Information Systems, listings in the area were up by over 10% compared to 2019. A bright outlook with all signs pointing to a prosperous 2020 market. 
 
Barring any unforeseen changes, the local real estate market in North Texas is still active and healthy according to the Dallas News. Even with a drop off in physical sales, interest in buying a home is still high and virtual viewings are on the rise, while low-interest rates, and other applications, provide many ways in which you can buy a home during coronavirus
 Virtual Showings 
 
In times like these, having an agent who is an expert at using these new technologies is an asset to your home buying experience. 
 
Virtual open houses appear on a myriad of platforms that allow buyers to reach more properties in the safety and comfort of their homes. According to a recent NBC report, the brokerage firm Redfin found that at the beginning of March 2020, 30% of all open house requests were for live video tours, up from 0.2% at the beginning of the month.  
 
Traditionally used by realtors to market their listings, in today’s COVID-19 environment, they are a great tool to help you find and purchase your dream home safely. The video 
or live viewing provides an immersive experience that allows you to build a connection going beyond still photos placing you, the buyer, in the home. 
 
Mortgage Rates 
 
With interest rates at an all-time low, how does this affect the home buyer? According to The Ascent, mortgage rates are low but unsteady and may remain that way for a while. Freddie Mac states that at the beginning of April 2020 the average 30-year FRM is at 3.33% while a 15-year FRM sits at 2.82%, pretty good news for buyers. 
 
New Appraisal Process for COVID-19 
 
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced on March 23, 2020, that they would ease their standards for property appraisals and employment verification of new buyers. This change came about due to the concerns of both the homeowners and inspectors over health and safety. Some of the new alternative appraisal options, states Homelight, are researched Desktop appraisals and Hybrid appraisals (i.e. exterior drive.by + video chat). Either choice decided by the buyer and agent will be an accurate appraisal adhering to all set standards. 
 
Contact our offices at The Escalante Group and speak to our expert agents to help you navigate through COVID-19 as a homebuyer in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area.