In the past few weeks, we have received many questions about how the coronaviruspandemic has affected our local real estate market. Understandably, many buyers and sellers may be questioning whether now is a good time to make a move. The national news would portray a picture that makes one think that real estate has already come to a near-complete halt. But in Northeast Ohio and our local market, the picture is actually much more favorable than one might imagine. We get asked all the time about how our business is fairing in these times and wanted to share our truth so that someone who may be considering building or buying a new home this year will have the information that allows them to make the best decision for their family at this time.
We all know how suddenly this worldwide pandemic came upon us. The economy was booming, unemployment was at an all-time low, interest rates were at historical lows and then March came in like a lion…and well, everyone knows the rest.
For Petros Homes, having been a leading local homebuilder for over three decades, sales were very strong going in to the new year. “We actually started out the year exceeding our projected sales budgets, says Gary Naim President of the Broadview Heights, Ohio company. Given that many of our communities are at higher price points, we had clients in the design stage or already in line for building when the stay at home orders were announced in Ohio. Surprisingly, the company had zero fallout and no canceled contracts due to uncertainty or job loss due to the pandemic. “All of our homebuyers were still excited to be building a new home,” says Naim, “and while it’s been a daily balancing act to put new guidelines on-site visits, appointments and selection assistance, our employees, trades and suppliers truly demonstrated the “we’re all in this together” attitude that allowed our buyers to feel as comfortable and worry-free as they possibly could.
“We have tried to look for the “blessons”, meaning blessings and lessons in all of this,” says Naim. “I think everyone will come away from this pandemic forever changed.” For sure, people will be staying home more, working from home more, cooking at home more and spending time with family and friends “at home” more.” This shift will really put focus on where and how we live in our homes front and center. Many buyers who are returning to work soon are probably asking themselves is this is the right time to build a new home with the things they have always wanted that they don’t exist in their current home and my answer is this.
Start with the basics. If you find a home that seems right for you, you have job stability and you can get financing at historically low rates, buying a home right now is a wise choice and the right thing to do.
As you make that decision, you have to take a long view of the market. Your plan should be to live in your first home for at least five years. Over that time, you’ll have the enjoyment of a home, and in five years, the market outlook should be quite different from where we are today. The resale market has extremely low inventory and many of our buyers have sold their current home in much less market time than they anticipated because of that. While some of the lending guidelines have tightened, people have learned throughout this pandemic to save more and spend less allowing a good platform to get approved despite new regulations and lastly, if you want to take advantage of purchasing without waiting through a build process, we have a great selection of quick move-in homes in desirable locations and communities. So, all in all, there is certainly a silver lining to what we have experienced in 2020.