Buying Advice

Would You Try to Buy a Home During Covid-19?

If you’ve been asking yourself this question lately because you have been marching along on the path to buying a home for the past year or more and then suddenly Covid-19 put a screeching halt to your life, then you are not alone! You’ve been working with a lender, carefully and obsessively watching your credit score, saving every extra penny rather than spending it on that expensive Starbucks latte or last minute McDonalds run, and yes, I know some of you actually eat McDonalds even though no one likes to admit it but an average of $2.7 million in average annual burger and fry sales doesn’t lie!

You Did All the Right Things, But…

You’ve been doing all of the right things and checking off your list of items needed in order to be in perfect buying position. Then, the most unforeseeable catastrophic event happens that throws everything into the air of the unknown. There are literally thousands of situations that could arise that might thwart your buying process or significantly change your plans even if you’ve taken all the right steps. Your teenage son could break both of his arms while swinging wildly on the neighbors monkey bars like mine did, you could go on a trip of a lifetime African Safari and be the unlucky one in a billion people folks that gets mauled by a lion, or better yet — a worldwide pandemic can occur and the entire world can go on lockdown along with all of the finances and jobs!

Getting Finances in Order

But fear not! It is still possible to follow through with the dream of owning on Maui even if there is a blip on the agenda the size of Mt. Rushmore, otherwise known as Covid-19. I myself had been carefully and meticulously planning for a purchase over the past 2 years. I had to work to improve my credit score because even though I had paid off all of my debt I was uneducated in the world of credit and just let mine sit stagnant which meant my score was not flourishing (reach out to me if you want some very effective tips on how to grow the score naturally and quickly), boost my income, and salivate over properties that my Clients purchase that I was not yet able to buy myself. After carefully working with my tax accountant, financial advisor, and most importantly my own self when it came to managing my finances and budgeting I was in position to put in offers on homes.

Finding a Lender & Getting a Loan

No, I couldn’t afford a million dollar home and Maui price point for a home that is livable, not in need of dramatic and immediate repairs is easily well over half a million dollars. Our Market can seem unobtainable for the average working person like me. But dreams do come true and nothing is out of reach with patience, consistent hard work and a little faith. Having a Lender that is not only seasoned and skilled in their profession but also personable and who genuinely cares about getting you to the goal is imperative. I was lucky to work with Chris Adriano of Element Mortgage whom answered all of my endless questions, late night texts trying to work angles to get into buying position properly, and most importantly he was skilled in finding the right loan programs for me.

Choosing a Home & Submitting an Offer

Now that is was game on — I finally chose a house and submitted my Offer.  I was utterly elated that my Offer was accepted, and even though I submitted at lower than List Price I included a letter about myself, my children and my honest intentions for the home. Sometimes getting heart to heart can go a long way when there is a gap between the List Price and the Sold price.

Offer Accepted

March 16, 2020 my Offer was accepted and faster than you can say the alphabet the entire world skidded into a panic over the Corona Virus pandemic as the illness began to rapidly infect the globe. I spent the first half of my Escrow worrying and considering if I should cancel my Escrow as my income was decimated right before my eyes and all of my hard work and planning seemed as if it was about to be thrown in the trash along with the economy! As I watched the news, read my Wall Street Journal every day and watched the stock market bounce like a yo yo I was unsure if I could even close an Escrow, but I decided to hang in there. I had done so much back end work with my Lender, my credit and my finances that even a pandemic was not going to stop me!

Closing Time

Fortunately, I Closed on the home, and truth be known, it was a nail biter the entire time. Lending parameters began to change to adjust to the unemployment rate, I watched Escrows cancel due to Buyers losing their jobs during the life of their contract, and I myself began to hang on to every penny in angst over what may be the start of a long dry spell financially. I watched the trends of what was still selling in regards to homes and condos and what types of Buyers are able to purchase right now. I thought maybe there would be a significant dip in pricing to accommodate the sudden and drastic shift in the economy but like with everything else right now I found that there are no magic answers as to what the future holds.

The only thing I can say is despite the economy and the uncertainty of the effects of the Corona Virus, Maui is still a place I want to call home and I believe that the dream of owning here is still alive and well. Even if there is a pause in the plan, do not give up hope and keep plugging away! Patience and even thinking will always prevail in the end if we allow it and soon enough the keys to your home will be in your hand and you will open your own door for the first time!

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