COVID-19 put a stop to many of our plans. Students, especially those biased against remote learning, had to lay low on their studies. Career-driven people had to reassess their priorities and realize that their job is not all there is to life. Chronic travelers had to postpone their itinerary at least until it’s once again safe to travel. All of us, regardless of age, gender, and any other demographic classifications, had been adversely affected by the pandemic in more ways than one. However, the current state of things should not be an excuse for you to neglect taking care of your financial future.
If anything, the pandemic should teach you that now and not later is the best time to secure your financial health. After all, diversified assets could serve as your safety net should another life-altering crisis happen in the future.
Think real estate. It’s a thriving market, all things considered. It’s a viable option if you’re in search of investment opportunities. Here are some recommendations on how to search for real estate properties amid COVID.
Consider video tours
It’s understandable if you are wary about exploring the real estate market now. The risks are there. They cannot be overstated. However, there are safe options at your disposal. Consider video tours, for instance.
They will not oblige you to go out of the house. All you need is a working computer and a reliable internet connection. From the safety of your home, you can take a look at what’s currently listed in the market. At the very least, you could use video tours to narrow down your options. Once you pinpoint a couple of properties that appeal to you, that’s the time you contact your estate agent for a physical tour.
See beyond the obvious
Many people lost their livelihood during the pandemic. Those paying mortgages probably had to sell their property. And some of these houses could be fixer-uppers. It’s easy to get turned off by a property with a leaky ceiling or gutters falling off or an unkempt front porch. However, you must be discerning enough to see the potential of a real estate listing. Look beyond the obvious.
Remember that many people earn considerable money from flipping houses. And that could be on your financial horizon too if you learn about how it works. For starters, know what a promising fixer-upper looks like.
Your estate agent can give you expert advice regarding that. Consult with them as needed.
Listen to your instinct
Many people are selling because they are strapped for cash. Many people who saved enough pre-pandemic are buying too. That means competition is a little stiff. While you need all the discernment you can muster when choosing which property to buy, you must not be stalled by indecision.
You have to trust your instinct. Or your estate agent’s gut. They know the market inside out so what they have to say is as informed as they come.
Sure, investing in real estate should not be rushed. That goes without saying that a timetable is needed so you get to decide eventually. Otherwise, you might end up in the market for longer than usual.
Maximize remote transactions
Once you decide to buy a property, there will be many documents to sign. They will come from different offices. If you are afraid of too much social interaction, you could ask your estate agent if remote transactions are possible. Think documents that are e-signature ready.
Now, if an entirely remote deal closure is out of the question, at least remember to be extra careful when going outside. If you are meeting the seller with your agent, choose an open-air location. Spaces with little to zero ventilation are notorious for COVID spread. Also, bring your own hand sanitizer.
Although vaccinations are already being carried out worldwide, there’s no saying when we can all return to how things used to be. Experts still advise everyone, inoculated or not, to wear protective masks because the vaccine does not stop the virus from spreading per se. What it does is buff up a vaccinated person’s biological defenses against the disease. That means what’s here now will probably remain as our reality for years to come.
With that said, it’s no longer right to use the pandemic as an excuse to be lax about aspects of life you can’t afford to take for granted. Take, for instance, your financial health. Exhaust all opportunities available to you that will benefit your financial plans. Start with real estate investment.