A few weeks ago we talked about the Selling side in the challenges that COVID-19 has brought to the Okanagan Real Estate Market. This week we will talk about the trials faced by buyers during the pandemic.
Fortunately, many of the problems brought on in the beginning of the pandemic have been eased as human ingenuity leads to new ways of adapting and over coming the presented hurdles of COVID-19.
The first and largest challenge faced by many buyers in the current Kelowna Real Estate market is securing and guarantying financing. Planning and organizing in advance with both a buyer’s employer and lender is crucial to not being caught off guard when purchasing a home. Previously, simply being employed for longer than 6 months was often sufficient for financing, now lenders are requiring employment letters updated by the employer as often as every 30 days.
Once a buyer has secured financing, the next complication to overcome is finding the right home. Where previously what was a simple matter of hopping into a car with their Realtor for a grand tour of all the home buying options, now the savvy Okanagan Buyer and their agent must consider social distancing, and proper protective measures. The good news is more and more listings now offer online virtual tours to help cut down on viewing unnecessary properties. When an online virtual tour isn’t available At the Okanagan Lifestyle Group we also offer other remote viewing options for the benefit of our buyers. Options like Facetime, Zoom, or filming video for later viewing can all be useful tools for our clients. When it is time go see a property in person (We always recommend getting a good feel for a property in person before making the big decision!) provided gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer go a long way to helping keep clients safe!
As a side note on looking for real estate properties in Okanagan, it is important to be careful when looking to purchase a tenanted property. With restrictions on evicting tenants during the pandemic, you don’t want to end up in a situation where you can’t move into your new home!
Earlier in the arrival of COVID it was difficult to stay isolated, especially when it came to signing the paperwork, even more so at the end of the process when a Buyer needed to sign the final paperwork for the land transfer directly with their lawyer. The good news is most lawyers are now able to do remote signing for the final transactions via zoom or similar programs.
The reality is buying a new home, whether for the first time or the tenth time can be a stressful process if you don’t have the right help and guidance to navigate the experience. Compounded by all the craziness that has affected our lives in the last few months it can be easy to get overwhelmed! Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone, professionals like ourselves at the Okanagan Lifestyle group are always available and ready to help you, do not hesitate to reach out at let us know how.
“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.” Rabindranath Tagore
Brody is a Realtor specializing in the Luxury Okanagan Real Estate Market. He is a strong advocate for client education and transparency in the real estate industry and is passionate about sharing his knowledge with others.