There is no question the coronavrius pandemic has had a severe impact on our daily lives. Financially, it’s brought a very strong economy into a recession almost overnight. In the past three weeks more than 17 million U.S. workers filed for unemployment after a staggering number of layoffs.
Real estate sales slowed during stay-at-home orders and as of April 5, new home listings were down 27% nationally year-over-year.
You may have heard talk of the Fed cutting rates to 0%. Let’s be clear, though, that mortgage rates and the Fed’s rates are two different things. But there is some good news for buyers. Two weeks ago, the rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 3.29%, hitting an all-time low. This week, they rose to 3.33%, but that’s still significantly lower than the very reasonable 4.12% from a year ago.
While a low rate may make purchasing a new home or refinancing your existing one a desirable option, there are things you should consider. Is your job and income secure? (That may be difficult to answer given the uncertainty of what’s to come.) Do you have assets and savings along with good credit? This is particularly important now because banks may be more stringent than ever in approving mortgage applications.
This is where I can help. I know how to navigate towards a mortgage approval in difficult times. I have experience and success working with clients in the post-9/11 economy as well as during the recession in 2009. This is a similar situation and together we can figure out if buying now is right for you, your family, or friends.
We’ll get through this as we have in the past. We have learned hard lessons and that makes us more equipped to take on challenges as we adjust to the new economy.
I wish you all good health and if I can be of any help to you myself or through my trusted network, please call me at 617-965-1236.
Ready to buy a new home or refinance the one you own? Please get in touch and I’ll be happy to answer your questions and help guide you through the process. I look forward to speaking with you.
Tips for Making Staying Home More Interesting
If you are a non-essential worker and you find yourself housebound during the coronavirus, you may find yourself getting restless. If you live alone, you may feel isolated and if you have a family, you may feel like there’s no escape from the kids running around and looking for something to do. After all, how much Tiger King can you take?
Here are some ideas to make your 24/7 stay-at-home life a little more interesting.
- Learn something new. Watch a TED Talk every day.
- Start a blog on Medium and get paid for if it takes off. Or just read the thousands of articles published daily.
- Update your résumé and use free Canva templates to get creative with it.
- Self-publish that book that’s been sitting on your computer for free with Kindle Direct Publishing.
- Have fun with leftovers and miscellaneous food items and stage a “Chopped” competition with your family.
- Try 63 science experiments with the kids using stuff from around the house.
- Do the Getty Museum challenge. It’s becoming very popular! Use household items to recreate famous works of art.
- Have Virtual Happy Hour with friends (for adults) and Virtual play dates (for the kids) with Zoom or Google Hangouts.
- Plan a scavenger hunt in your house by hiding items in different rooms and have the kids hunt them down.
- Try a free 30-day yoga challenge.
April’s Home Improver: Spring Cleaning & Donating
Since most non-essential workers are spending more time at home than they have in years, we’re hearing of a lot of small home improvement projects. But most of all, people are keeping busy with spring cleaning. You may notice you have quite a few things in your home that you no longer use or need. Donating to charities can give your possessions a second life while decluttering your home. Here are a few ideas of places to donate.
- Non-perishable foods. Local food pantries are always in need of non-perishable items. If you have canned goods you’ll probably never use as you clean out the cupboard, you can always donate them to a food pantry in your neighborhood.
- Old books. For those who prefer paper books to Kindle or Apple e-books, you may have accumulated a stockpile of novels you no longer need. Why not donate them to the military? Check out Operation Paperback and send some books to our troops!
- Old clothes. If you have gone through your closets and realized you’ve got clothes in good shape that you and your family will probably never wear again, you can always make a donation to a charity that will gladly accept them along with other household items you may want to donate. Here is a list of charities you can help.