We at Cunningham Group are adjusting to the new reality of an abruptly changed economy. We know from many of our friends, family and valued clients that struggles are widespread and real. We hope the disruption to the world economy and local economy are not long lasting but for many of us, two weeks is too long, and we are likely to be dealing with COVID for months to come in one form or the other.
The real estate market was on a tear up until two weeks ago, with fast-dropping inventory of homes that had begun to lead to multiple offer situations. We have seen inventory rise quickly in the past two weeks – it is still low but trending higher, as more homes are on the market and fewer are going under contract.
There are many articles and TV shows focusing on the doom and gloom, and obviously people are dying this is a serious matter. But we want to focus on actions you can take if you are worried about what to do next…
Thinking About Buying a Home:
The reason for buying always matters more than the market. If you are relocating to Las Vegas and need a place to live, take advantage of great rates and procure yourself a home. Could prices drop in the next 6 months? Yes its possible (not assured), but if you spend 1 year paying rent instead of owning (and potential tax advantages), would you gain more being a renter than being a homeowner with rates in the high 3s or low 4s?
If you are looking to invest cash, with rates near 0 from banks, you would almost certainly have more stability in return in real estate than leaving cash in the bank or in stocks in the near term. People always need a place to live, that was true in the worst recessions in the last century – as rents did not decline while home prices did.
Thinking about selling your home:
It’s never good to make financial decisions in a panic. If you are thinking about selling in the near future, keep your plans and just stay in touch with us on changing market conditions. In the next 4-6 weeks as COVID-19 is a primary source of fear, it is increasingly difficult to sell occupied properties as buyers prefer to avoid being in an occupied space. We are recommending if possible to vacate your property or spend a little more on advanced marketing such as Matterport tours to allow for a virtual exploration of your home. Talk to us for more information on these options.
Laid off / Slower Business and Need Immediate Relief from Bills?
While most states will not evict or foreclosure int his period of time, but that doesn’t mean you don’t owe the mortgage payments and won’t take a credit hit. If you are laid off or experiencing a major downturn in revenue in your business – call your mortgage servicer and ask to skip payments. This effectively adds a number of months to the end of your mortgage but gives you more flexibility now. This tactic can also be used with some auto loans or other forms of debt. It doesn’t hurt to call and ask what’s possible.
Rents are trickier. Because most rentals re owned by private investors, they usually have expenses that can’t be deferred. If you are laid off, talk to your landlord immediately and determine a course of action, depending on the length and severity of your expected loss of income. Good communication at times like this is essential.
4. Need More Resources?
This is a good article with additional resources for you: https://www.fastcompany.com/90480769/empty-toilet-rolls-and-hand-sanitizer-emoji-get-redesigned-for-covid-19 “the Department of Labor is doing what it can to ease the hurt on individuals affected by cutbacks and shutdowns. It’s set up a website, CareerOneStop.org, with a compendium of resources for the unemployed…”
Remember not every industry is downsizing. Some such as delivery services, retail, shipping, will need more help. Reach out to your network and explore what job opportunities are growing in this changing world.