The traditionally busy spring and summer real estate season is right around the corner, but with the threat of corona virus and its effects on the economy looming, many planning to move this spring are asking me if they should put off their sell or purchase until the crisis passes. The answer to that question really depends on your personal situation.
The Argument to Buy NOW:
Before the stock market crashed in early March, interest rates had already plunged to their lowest levels since about 2016, but now that corona is more of a house hold name as a dangerous virus than a Mexican beer, rates have tumbled even further presenting a rare opportunity to buy or refinance a home for near record low interest rates. A lower interest rate means a lower monthly payment, which means more home for your money, so why would you possibly want to wait any longer?
The Argument to Delay Your Purchase:
Basically, if you have a stable job that can withstand all the closures, postponements and cancellations, there is really no reason not to proceed with your upcoming home purchase as planned. In fact, the sooner the better. However, if you do not have a sufficient emergency fund to pay the bills should you be forced to take time off work or miss a paycheck for any reason, then you may want to wait until we see how bad things get (or do not get). The other thing to keep in mind if you will be cashing in stock for your down payment, you will probably want to wait until the crisis passes and stock prices begin to rebound.
What About Selling My Current Home?
With interest rates hovering near record lows and possibly dropping even more, many investors and savvy home shoppers will be eager to cash in on the low rates. With local inventory remaining critically low, this is a great opportunity for home sellers. The only downside to selling now is that if the corona crisis worsens, and the economy continues to sputter, that could result in declining home prices similar to what we saw in 2008. Either way, if you are planning to sell your home in 2020, sooner rather than later is the way to go. Contact me today if you live in the Augusta-Aiken area and would like to talk to me about listing your CSRA home.
The Bottom Line:
The bottom line is that the news is not all bad when it comes to the impacts of the corona virus on the real estate market. From a buyer’s standpoint, why would you not want to buy as soon as possible while interest rates are still the lowest they have been in years? From the seller’s viewpoint, the busy spring season is practically underway, and home prices are still the highest they have ever been in the Augusta area, so why not cash in now before the economy has a chance to drive down home prices? Consult your financial adviser or accountant before making the best decision for you, but for those with the financial means, the corona virus crisis presents a unique opportunity to lock in a historically low interest rate. For those already planning to sell in 2020, waiting could be a costly decision, because if the crisis lingers and the economy starts to tank, home prices would likely only have one place to go.