What to Do if COVID-19 Halted Your Homebuying Plans

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Within less than two weeks, the global COVID-19 crisis has resulted in many businesses in the Philippines closing until further notice. This means lost sales. Many markets have also experienced crashing and fluctuation. 

Despite the challenge that the world economy might be facing right now, savvy investors consider times like this as pockets of opportunities that allow seekers to look at the new listings uploaded by brokers to showcase their units for sale or for rent. 

If you’ve been considering buying a home, whether as your primary residence or as an investment, COVID-19 poses certain challenges you need to think through. Here’s how you can make smart investment decisions when buying houses in times like this. 

Plan Ahead

If you’ve already been in contact with a broker or agent and have started the homebuying process, COVID-19 may have put a temporary halt on the next step. You think, maybe it’s better to wait it out. That’s okay, and you can use your time to stock up on food, set up online payment for essential bills, and make sure everyone in the family is in good health. Once everything has been settled, the remaining time you have in home quarantine can be used to think of the repairs or renovations (if you buy a foreclosed property) or moving in schedule after you’ve completed your home purchase. 

As everyone goes back to their busy lives, you may find yourself competing with several others in buying property or contacting tradespeople for all your needs. Plan these while you have the time, then call your broker or agent to proceed with the next step. 

Maximize the Power of Virtual Viewing

Nowadays, social media has become an integral part of everyone’s daily lives, whether it’s for your career or personal connections. With the ongoing community quarantine covering Luzon, technology keeps brokers and buyers connected despite ‘social distancing’ being the buzzword nowadays.

“Everything is digital,” says Rafael Felix of PHINMA and SHDA during the first of Lamudi’s Roundtable Series for 2020, held last March 11 at the Makati Shangri-La. He emphasized that walkthroughs, units, and everything new about the property market are online and seekers can view these while being at home.

In Lamudi’s Special Webinar, “Surviving Broker Business in the Time of COVID,” brokers Gary Hablero and Andy Mañalac also talked about the importance of updating and looking after clients through social media, which means that if you are a property seeker looking for a home, now is the best time to get in touch with brokers and agents. 

While you’re unable to leave home to see the property you’re interested in, there are several ways to get a virtual view of new units and houses. These let you view your potential new homes despite the lockdown.

Use technology to browse through various listings online and decide which areas are viable for you and your family. After looking at several options, contact active brokers regarding the property. There are tons of active house and lot listings where you can even view the interior and exterior of the property before buying it. Don’t hesitate to ask for more photos or videos from your broker or agent as well. 

Consider Looking for Properties Outside Metro Manila

While the real estate market remains afloat even during these times, the ongoing COVID-19 scare concentrated in Metro Manila can be a challenge if you fear uncertainty. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of this prime time for investment. 

Developers say there is pent-up demand and that soon, it will be difficult to have enough supply to meet the growing interest in real estate. Before you run out of options and prices skyrocket, look at other flourishing regions.  

Search for and invest in houses located in suburban areas outside Metro Manila. On the outskirts, there is more space for horizontal developments so it might be sensible to look at these areas if you’re aiming to buy a house and lot for your family.

Investing in a house during this time may prove most beneficial after the crisis is over, especially if you are buying it as a secondary home. This then becomes a property you and your family can go to in case a disaster or another pandemic hits the heart of the country.

Join Lamudi’s Special Webinar Series

If you want to learn about the how-tos and ups and downs of buying property in a time of economical crisis just like the COVID-19 pandemic, Lamudi’s Special Webinar Series, “Surviving Real Estate in the Time of COVID” will be a great source of information. 

In these webinar-slash-roundtable discussions, Nadine Pacis, Training and Development Coach at Lamudi Academy, talks to real estate professionals and thought leaders about how to keep the real estate industry afloat and how to make smart investments during this ongoing pandemic. The webinar will also be an avenue to learn how to keep in touch with brokers and have meetings with them amid the social distancing implementation.

Stay tuned for the next installment to the Lamudi Webinar Series focusing on “Continuing Broker Business and How to Invest in Real Estate during COVID” on Lamudi’s Facebook page. The episode will air on March 25, Wednesday, 10 AM. 

The ongoing COVID-19 crisis may have bruised many industries, but smart investors consider it an opportunity for property seekers to finalize their homebuying deals. During these times, truly, it’s worth taking the plunge for your dream home. 

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