These are tragic and unprecedented times in our nation. Not since 1918-1920 has the United States experienced a pandemic as menacing and as deadly as the current coronavirus. Like many of you, my wife an I are taking every precaution to reduce the spread of the virus and to support those who are on the front lines of the fight.
There is no question that the economic effect of sheltering in place for 30-60 days (or longer) will have a profound and lasting impact on the economy. Having spent the first five years of my real estate career selling homes during the Great Recession (2007-2012) I have witnessed how quickly things can change in the real estate market.
At this point, it is impossible to predict how much of an impact the virus will have on home sales. We have seen a predictable drop in listing volume, showings and contracts (especially in upper price ranges.) The industry is moving quickly to mitigate the effects of a slower marketplace and more changes are coming.
Lending requirements are already changing. Expect tighter employment verification, larger reserve requirements (even for conventional loans) as well as more stringent underwriting requirements.
The good news is that many lenders are proactively assisting distressed homeowners by allowing mortgage payments to be postponed and added to the back of the loan. Mortgage interest rates have also dropped to new historic lows. Many borrowers are refinancing to take advantage of this.
If you have specific questions about your current situation, I encourage you to call me. I am here for you as a resource and a guide to help no matter what your circumstances. Please stay healthy, safe and confident that we will beat this virus together.