This pandemic is an odd time to be doing lots of things, and house hunting is certainly one of them. The search began back in January. I like my little house, but after a few years here, it seemed like time to find something with a little more space, in a nicer neighborhood, and closer to work. And preferably not situated on Route 24, which during normal commutes is the bane of my existence.
And what a different world it was in January. Since the spring selling season gets going in March, this should have given me a little time to assess the market, get a few open houses under my belt, and really be ready to hit the ground running when all of the houses became available.
But when March came, the worst effects of the pandemic were in full swing, and there were almost no houses for sale. And I can certainly understand that. Who would want to move and have strangers in their house at a time like that? All along my realtor said things were just delayed, people still need to move, and the spring selling season would eventually come. But that didn’t happen in April. Or May. Then the calendar turned to June and there was a slight trickle of listings, but still not much. Finally in July there has been a little more activity, but it still doesn’t seem to be the normal amount.
That’s not to say things in this particular area are back to normal, because they are very different. There are more videos and virtual tours. Open houses are out, scheduled showings are in. During a scheduled showing you have to wear gloves, a mask, and even covers on your shoes. You might need to sign a waiver stating that you are not sick and have no known exposure to the virus. On the positive side, it’s easier to really evaluate a house when it isn’t teeming with other potential buyers.
Who could have ever guessed 6 months ago that we’d be house hunting like this? You can add it to the very long list of ways that life has become a little bit stranger.
The author of this article is Thomas Lally, Wealth Manager Assistant at U.S. Wealth Manager.