How to Buy Real Estate During the Coronavirus Crisis

Buying Real Estate During COVID-19
Are you looking to buy a house in Ontario? Perhaps a few months ago you had gotten your mortgage pre approval and began going to view houses. Whether you’re a first time home buyer looking for that first starter home, upsizing due to a growing family or perhaps you’re an investor searching for your next rental property, surely you were excited to be hunting for that perfect property. Then all of a sudden the Coronavirus came and threw a wrench in your plans. Though COVID-19 has halted many aspects of our normal lives, that does not necessarily need to include our real estate plans. The process has undoubtedly become more challenging but the good news is that our team is here to help! In this post we’ll discuss 3 things you need to consider when buying real estate during these times of uncertainty.

Take Precautions – Health Comes First

We all know that the most exciting part of looking for a house is actually going to view the properties. However with the Coronavirus outbreak, we strongly suggest doing more due diligence before going to see the property. Most homes currently listed on the MLS include detailed videos and virtual tours. When our team sends out discounted properties to our investors, we often feature over 50 pictures and videos so they can see every aspect of the property, inside and out. This means you’ll have a good idea of how interested you are in the property. Of course if you’re serious about a property you will want to go see it before making an offer. In these instances be sure to wear the proper PPE (mask and gloves), limit the amount of people you bring to see the property, request that the property be vacant for the viewing and practice social distancing whenever possible. For our buyers, we are even offering virtual showings through Zoom or Facetime if preferred.

Quality is More Important than Ever

In Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area more specifically, we have seen unprecedented growth in real estate prices over the past decade. This has lead many buyers to believe that prices can only go in one direction. Because of this many “investors” have been less concerned with cashflow, some even being content with having to put up hundreds of dollars a month to cover the shortfall. Though this trend may continue, we are also starting to see vulnerabilities in the market, that may soon point to potential price declines in the short to medium term. With this in mind, it could be beneficial to shift away from price speculation and return to an emphasis on cash flow. If you are earning income on a monthly basis, short term price declines should not be a major concern. In this case, your investment will continue to provide a return. 

It’s all About Buying at the Right Price

The uncertainty of the current market presents a real possibility that prices could decline. Of course, it is nearly impossible to project to what extent, if any, this actually pans out. However, we feel it is always best to minimize risk while continuing to execute your investment strategy. The best way to mitigate risk of price declines when buying real estate is to buy properties at a discount to market value. We would urge that this is definitely not the time to be entering bidding wars but instead to be placing more conservative offers or finding off market deals. We have always held this belief, even prior to the Coronavirus, which is why we focus on marketing directly to sellers and securing off market deals at a discount. Fortunately for our buyers, we can’t purchase every great deal we find, so we make many of them available to other home buyers and investors. If you would like access to these deals you can sign up for our Buyer’s List here.

Admittedly, we are in unprecedented times and experiencing a great deal of uncertainty. However through taking precautions, buying quality real estate and purchasing at a discount you can minimize your risk and maximize your return even in these challenging times.

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