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Is COVID-19 Affecting Real Estate?

IF You Are Wanting to Buy a Home Right Now, This is For You!

Most of us have a ton of questions about what the true health and economic impact will be as a result of COVID-19.  But, what does this mean if you are still looking to buy a home?

Today I received this message from a Buyer Client: “I understand rates are excellent. How do you think the market will be in the near future? I know that may be hard to predict.

As with everything COVID-19, we are evaluating the real estate market on a DAILY basis! What we may believe to be true today could change.  Things could stay the same. Things could improve.

Here is what we know to be true right now:

1) Mortgage Interest Rates are at an all time low.  NO–Just because the Federal Reserve dropped rates to 0% does NOT mean that you are getting a 0% interest rate on your mortgage.  This is the rate at which banks can borrow. Due to the influx of refinances some lenders actually slightly raised the interest rate to curb business and make it manageable.  RATES ARE STILL AT A 50-YEAR LOW! Best course of action is to speak to your mortgage lender. They are on top of everything current in all things mortgage.
2) Home Inventory is still low and DEMAND is still at a high.  Houses are continuing to come on the market.  They continue to sell. Many continue to command multiple offers. This means that you as a buyer still need to be VERY proactive about getting into properties as soon as they hit the market and be ready to make a quick, yet informed, decision.
3) Real Estate Professionals are taking every precaution to ensure the health of both buyers and sellers.  This includes not touching door knobs directly, in some cases removing shoes before entering an occupied property, and increased use of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes or spray.

Here are direct and/or foreseeable future realities:

—>Some sellers who currently occupy the home may temporarily remove the home from market.
—>Sellers who choose to leave their home on the market could require special precautions be taken during showings and/or limit showings.
—>Some buyers are temporarily now out of the market if they had limited funds to get into a home and are concerned or impacted by temporary time off work.
—>Buyers who were borrowing money from their 401k to purchase may put their home search on hold.
—>There could be some equalizing forces in this market.  As some buyers drop out it could loosen up the competition a little for the strongest, most serious buyers. However, if inventory does not continue to rise then the effect may be minimal.

Here is what I believe to be absolutely true no matter what the market is doing.  IF buying or selling a home is going to improve the overall quality of your life and the lives of those you love, NOW is always the best time to buy or sell.  We also know that the best time to buy anything is when it is on sale–in the stock market that could be buying when stock prices are low, in the housing market it can mean buying when INTEREST RATES are low OR when there is HIGH INVENTORY.  In this case, we are at low interest rates. So long as you are staying in your home 7-10 years, and not drastically overpaying for your home, you should weather any market change.

Uncertainty about the long-term effects on COVID-19 are understandable.  We also know that this too shall pass (as my dad was so fond of saying). If you are looking to buy simply educate yourself.  Talk to your financial advisor. If you don’t have one, ask me to refer you (it’s free). Make the best decision for you and your family.

And please, if you have questions, just reach out.  I can’t promise to look into a crystal ball and let you know where we will be in three or four weeks, but I can promise to help guide you to the best solutions for you.  Just call me 717-963-0016. P.S. Text works too.

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Gina Casner

In 2016, I began my tenure in real estate as a licensed Executive Assistant for a leading real estate training coach and subsequently for high-producing real estate teams. I very quickly fell in love with real estate and by 2019, I transitioned into personally helping clients turn their dreams into keys. After dozens of transactions, I have been dubbed the “unicorn hunter,” finding out-of-the-box solutions for clients looking for a home with unique requirements. In addition to managing my real estate practice, I am involved in providing community education on responsible home ownership through my exclusive Path to Home Ownership workshop series. I also am the founder of Chronically Strong, an organization that promotes mental health awareness and suicide prevention in our local communities. I take a holistic and individualized approach to real estate. Buying or selling a home in Central PA can be complex, sophisticated and often a deeply personal endeavor. Your experience should mimic the high level of customer service all of my clients have, while being very specific to your own individual needs. I work with a team of experts to provide a full, complete experience that only a cohesive team can consistently provide. Working with us, you will be given personal attention in every aspect of your home buying and selling experience with the professionalism and consistency of a thoughtful business model. And yes, superior results will follow! On a personal note, I attribute my success not only to my passion for helping clients execute on their next “big move”, but also to my knowledge regarding the psychology of buying and selling. My clientele works in diverse industries with an emphasis on technology, finance, medicine, law, and business. My real estate practice has grown successfully and consistently thanks to the repeat business of happy clients and their introductions to friends, family and neighbors. This track record is only possible because we deliver both results AND an enjoyable experience. Growing up, my family moved frequently all across the continental U.S., but you will hear me say that I am from California because that is the longest place that I lived during my formative years. Moving became a way of life for my family and each place I lived became a part of my story. It taught me that our home truly is the foundation of everything in our lives, and it is this belief that compels me to work hard for my clients when they are buying or selling their home. In many ways, our home becomes a part of our identity, an identity and memory that should be honored. I have been accused of being tenacious and super honest. I like to win (for my clients) but do so with a calm demeanor and a smile. I live in a raised ranch home in Lower Paxton Township with my main squeeze, my teenage son, and our very spoiled dog, Ginger. I have mad faith, and truly believe that each and every one of us is capable of great things. I graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelors’ in Sociology. There is a running joke in my family that every day I go to real estate school because every day my clients teach me something new. I continually invest time, money and thought into the latest sales, marketing and negotiation techniques. Why? Because I believe that you deserve to have the best working for you. I want to live life on my own terms, and am committed to helping you do the same. Would you like to work together? Please reach out. I look forward to hearing from you! Gina

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