2 WAYS TO BUY A BOULDER HOME SAFELY DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Dated: April 16 2020

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These days in real estate, it isn't quite business as usual.

But we're finding ways to help people who must buy or sell do it safely!

How to buy a home safely during Covid-19

Some are shocked to find out that others are buying homes during the Covid-19 pandemic, even during stay-at-home orders.   Are they nuts? Is it safe? Is it a good idea?

Why are there people buying homes NOW?

  

In a nutshell, they NEED to buy a home... either 

  • they have sold their home and don’t have another home to move to

  • this could have been part of a multi-year planned move

  • or a lease could be expiring and interest rates are so low buying is a very attractive option

  • or the home they were renting was sold 

  • or an investor is in the middle of a 1031 exchange

  • or relocation

  • or any other number of reasons…

While Real Estate in Colorado has been deemed a critical service there is one not-so-small caveat.  As of 4/9/2020, in-person showings are not permitted, subject to $1,000 fine and more.

What does this mean?

It means that everyone is now effectively going behave like a relocation buyer.  

Keep reading for the longer version to see what that entails:

How does this work?

  

Well, right now, if you want to go into a home to see it (aka a showing) my understanding is that the ONLY way this is legally allowed to happen (again, as of 4/9 and subject to change) is that you're allowed to view the home once you have an accepted offer.  In our superheated market of very low inventory (still true today, as we have only 114 homes listed for sale in the Boulder Valley as of this writing) all buyers and especially the out-of-area buyers need to act fast.  

SEARCH MLS LISTINGSelocation buyers usually have 2 options:

  1. Arrange a home buying trip and hope that the right one is available?  Yes, I've sold homes this way - it's a very long and intense few days!  It's very hard to do with limited inventory. And besides, with no hotels or AirBNBs and many area’s shelter-in-place rules, travel will be near impossible

  2. The next option: virtual showings.  Here’s how this works:

    • You still have the (usually) professional photographs of the home as seen in the on-line listings from MLS

    • Now more agents are adding a floor plan to give you an idea of the space.  Trish & I have almost always provided floor plans for our clients’ listings.  

    • There are "Matterport" 3D tours or doll-house tours.  This is where there are a series of 2D photographs

    • that are stitched together to allow the user to move the camera and "look" around the home.  In this scenario, the floor plan is like a doll house - you can look down into each room from above, and you can even see floors stacked so you know if a room is over a garage or patio.  

    • The last piece are walk-through videos:  These are usually on a cell phone and are either "live" via Facetime/Duo, Facebook, Zoom or some other video app (with the owner or listing agent shooting the footage) or previously recorded videos including all the rooms, garage, storage, etc.  Typically all the things you can see in person but not online.

In many cases, we have a video conference with buyer clients going over what they like, HOA documents, neighborhood amenities, utilities, taxes and other due-diligence items.  Then if the property looks right, and often when we get through all these steps, we have another call to go over the contract before signing.

We’ll get into what that looks like in the next installment. Or call me or Trish at 720-295-1604 for more details.

INSTANT HOME VALUATION

Thank you for reading.

Trish and I live and work in Boulder County and we welcome your calls with questions or concerns about real estate and how to make selling or buying a home in today's crazy environment a successful reality!

 

Blog author image

Jason Kay & Trish Giassa

Since 2013 Jason has been honing the skills to provide you with one of the best experiences in selling or buying your home: one that is as smooth and as stress free as possible. Prior to real estate....

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