Author Topic: Should I Sell My House during COVID-19?  (Read 1381 times)

Offline Black November

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 630
  • Karma: 72
  • Lifetime MSB & PermaEthos Founding Member
Should I Sell My House during COVID-19?
« on: April 15, 2020, 04:58:56 PM »
Should I Sell My House during COVID-19?

Details:
Before COVID 19, I was planning to sell my house this summer and live in a RV during the construction of a new home on our 10 acre property (15 mins away).  Now I am unsure whether to proceed, and would like to hear some input from others.


Current House
36 miles south of Seattle. Houses in our neighborhood are very desirable, and usually sells quickly.
Some Equity in home
Our house/location is more affordable than nearby areas. good for first time buyers, or people looking to down size for affordability.

Property
Well in progress (almost done)
Septic not started (on hold until work ban lifted)
Electricity (in street, but not trenched in)
33 FT RV on-site (Boondocking, RV paid/no payments)
House Plan finalized (but construction has NOT started)
Interest rates are good.

Both wife an I are still working with fairly secure jobs.


Concerns
Will housing market go down?
Will delays make 12 months in a RV turn into 24 months?
Are people still buying?




Offline Morning Sunshine

  • Geese Smuggling Moonbat
  • Survival Veteran
  • ********
  • Posts: 6573
  • Karma: 312
  • There are no mistakes, just Learning Experiences
Re: Should I Sell My House during COVID-19?
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2020, 05:07:01 PM »
we are watching this as well.  We have had this summer on our radar as a time to sell; for various reasons, husband and I both came to separate conclusions that this summer would be pivotal in our work and property life.  He has felt for three years that after this summer he will need a new job, and I have felt for a few years that our house needs to be ready to sell by the end of summer.  Once we shared those feelings with each other, we felt a validation of our own thoughts.

Anyway, housing right here is top.  There are no houses on the market that have my acreage and square footage.  There are houses that have less of one or the other, and they are selling for over 500k, most a lot more than that.  Of course, they have granite counter tops and new appliances.  Ours is 20 years old with only a replacement dishwasher and microwave.

I do not know what to tell you.  I know that we have had people up on our mountain looking at the vacant lots even after the shut-down started, so I know people are looking, and still planning to buy.  In 2 months, 4 months?  I have no idea.



Should I Sell My House during COVID-19?

Details:
Concerns
Will delays make 12 months in a RV turn into 24 months?

maybe, but if you can pay cash in an economy where people want to work and cannot find jobs, you can probably get it done faster?

Offline Mr. Bill

  • Like a hot cocoa mojito
  • Administrator
  • Ultimate Survival Veteran
  • *******
  • Posts: 15347
  • Karma: 1878
  • Trained Attack Sheepdog/Troll hunter
Re: Should I Sell My House during COVID-19?
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2020, 07:11:49 PM »
We are right in the middle of this issue, in southeastern Washington.  Bought the new house just as the virus was closing in, now we have two houses 5 miles apart, and are trying to get moved so we can sell the old one.

What they're telling us here is that real estate agents cannot currently show houses to prospective buyers.  That puts a crimp in our ability to sell.

There's such a jumble of "essential" and "non-essential" businesses related to the real estate market and housing construction.  I've read the governor's official list and I still can't tell who is allowed to be doing what.  So I predict you will run into unpredictable problems.

That alone is not a reason to avoid selling, but it does make things weird.

Offline LvsChant

  • Resident Master Mudder
  • Global Moderator
  • Survival Veteran
  • ******
  • Posts: 7817
  • Karma: 614
Re: Should I Sell My House during COVID-19?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2020, 06:09:02 AM »
On the up side, the mortgage rate for buyers is very low... in fact, many mortgage brokers cannot keep up with the demand for refinance deals. With all the online photos and pre-shopping buyers do now, it may well be that you could sell the home even without a lot of foot traffic through the place. Restrictions in your particular area will be the big question. I cannot imagine a buyer closing on a home they have not been able to step foot into...

Offline Mr. Bill

  • Like a hot cocoa mojito
  • Administrator
  • Ultimate Survival Veteran
  • *******
  • Posts: 15347
  • Karma: 1878
  • Trained Attack Sheepdog/Troll hunter
Re: Should I Sell My House during COVID-19?
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2020, 07:54:10 AM »
...I cannot imagine a buyer closing on a home they have not been able to step foot into...

Yeah, that's where things get weird in Washington (and probably elsewhere), because home inspectors are "essential" yet real estate agents are not.  So you could make an offer based entirely on the Zillow photos, contingent on the house passing inspection (which is the norm anyway), and then have your first personal viewing of the place as part of said inspection.  But that would mean paying for a $400 home inspection for every house you're serious about.

I haven't talked with our real estate agent for a couple of weeks, but they are probably working around this problem somehow.  It may vary locally, depending on how local authorities are choosing to enforce the governor's edict.

Offline cmxterra

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1595
  • Karma: 91
  • Bugging out in style.
Re: Should I Sell My House during COVID-19?
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2020, 07:15:52 PM »
Speaking from the perspective as a real estate photographer. Yes. The market is still moving. I am shooting about 12 homes a week in the Minneapolis market and homes are selling. I have been doing more Matterport (3D tours) to reduce foot traffic.

At least get the ball rolling.

Offline mxitman

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1737
  • Karma: 125
  • Entrepreneur/HVAC Mechanic/Electrician
    • Heezy
Re: Should I Sell My House during COVID-19?
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2020, 10:42:24 PM »
I've got several friends who are Realtors in the Seattle area, we are on Bainbridge, if it was me and I needed to sell in the next 5 years I would do it sooner rather than later, so many possible undesirables outcomes the longer you wait at this point. With school being closed people might be looking to move sooner rather than after school gets out in June, rates are still low and people might still have their jobs, if this virus comes back for a round 2 in the fall/winter it could really push the housing market down...just my $0.02

Offline Mr. Bill

  • Like a hot cocoa mojito
  • Administrator
  • Ultimate Survival Veteran
  • *******
  • Posts: 15347
  • Karma: 1878
  • Trained Attack Sheepdog/Troll hunter
Re: Should I Sell My House during COVID-19?
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2020, 12:01:19 PM »
Some housing related data here -- but I don't know whether this means "sell" or "don't sell".  Probably it means "forget trying to sell during the lockdown, but maybe afterwards?"

Reuters, 4/21/20: U.S. home sales tumble as coronavirus keeps buyers indoors

Quote
...Existing home sales tumbled 8.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.27 million units last month. The percentage decline was the largest since November 2015. The data reflected contracts signed in February or even January, before measures to curb the spread of the virus paralyzed the economy.

The NAR [National Association of Realtors] said it expected a steeper decline in sales in April and in the few months thereafter, derailing the normally busy spring selling season. ...

“With unemployment still rising and some social distancing measures likely to remain in place once the economy re-opens, home buyer demand is unlikely to return to pre-Covid-19 levels quickly.” said James Knightley, chief international economist at ING in New York. “Credit availability may further constrain the housing market should rising defaults result in more wariness from lenders.”

There were 1.50 million previously owned homes on the market in March, the lowest on record and down 10.2% from a year ago. The median existing house price increased 8.0% from a year ago to $280,600 in March. The NAR said there was no indication the house price inflation would slow given tight inventory.

But economists expect slow house price growth or even a decline in home values. ...

Offline Mr. Bill

  • Like a hot cocoa mojito
  • Administrator
  • Ultimate Survival Veteran
  • *******
  • Posts: 15347
  • Karma: 1878
  • Trained Attack Sheepdog/Troll hunter
Re: Should I Sell My House during COVID-19?
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2020, 02:48:38 PM »
Construction (housing and otherwise) will resume In Washington State, but with social distancing for the workers:

AP, 4/24/20: Inslee: Construction projects can resume, with distancing

Quote
...Before work on the projects can resume, all contractors must develop and post a plan at each site that addresses use of the personal protective equipment like masks and gloves, on-site social distancing and sanitation. In addition, a site-specific supervisor will be designated to enforce the safety plan to monitor the health of employees, and employees will undergo training on the new policies.

“If it can’t be done with social distancing, then it cannot proceed at this time,” Inslee said, and he warned sites will be shut down if they do not follow the protocols once they resume work.

Construction was halted under the stay-at-home order and closure of non-essential businesses that Inslee ordered last month. There were some exemptions, including projects related to health care, energy, and publicly financed low-income housing, as well as emergency repairs.

Inslee had been working with a construction work group in previous weeks, including the Building Industry Association of Washington, the Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council and the Association of Washington Business, to come up with the plan announced Friday. ...

(Sorta amusing to read this after watching workers building a house 2 doors down from our new house for the past week.  Let's say that enforcement of the rules has been regionally various.)

I'm not sure how this will affect the housing market.  All by itself, it suggests that the scarcity of newly-built homes will be reduced.  But most home sales are of existing homes, and nearly all sales involve real estate agents who (I believe) are still restricted in what they can do.  So everything remains confusing.