Test-Drive a Neighborhood While Sheltering in Place

moving coupleWhen you’re in the market for a new place to live, finding the right neighborhood is everything. But in our current state, with shelter-in-place orders in full effect in many areas (and mere common sense limiting people's excursions), scoping out a new neighborhood can be a little more challenging. But with some online detective work and the right tools, you can learn a lot about a neighborhood without leaving your home. That's because you're not the first one to consider buying a home without being able to pound the pavement personally.

Even though you won't be able to pop in to a local coffee shop or take a leisurely stroll down Main Street, exploring a neighborhood in the time of coronavirus is possible. So let your fingers do the walking—on your laptop—and get to digging. Here's how to start your research.

1. Check out neighborhood publications and local social media

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How To Conduct a Virtual House Hunt

online home searchIf you've been thinking about buying a home for a while, you may have marked your calendar back in the winter to start your house hunt right about now. After all, spring typically kicks off the busiest home-buying period of the year. But what a difference a few months make! Now, the coronavirus pandemic probably has you worried about how to safely check out homes without risking infection.

Our new series, "Home Buying in the Age of Coronavirus," aims to help you stay safe if you want to continue your home search, because now may just be the perfect time to buy. So if you are in a position to buy, this article explains how to conduct a virtual house hunt and how to protect yourself if you do visit a home in person.

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Is Now the Right Time To Buy an Investment Property?

success1With all the upheaval caused by the coronavirus pandemic, now might not seem like the best time to buy any type of real estate, much less an investment property or second home. But don't rule out the idea completely. With historic low rates, it is a good time to consider investing in real estate, as low rates give you more buying power. Mortgage rates are expected to drop again after the Federal Reserve’s recent rate slash, which was intended to protect against the economic impact of the pandemic. That means that it may be time for buyers to consider an investment property. Here are some reasons to go for it.

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Single Homeownership Is at Record Levels

home grid 01There was a time when buying a home as a single person was nearly unheard of. But that is changing. Actually, it already has.  According to the National Association of Realtors, single individuals made up 25% of home sales in 2019. A whopping 17% of that 25% was single female buyers, many of them older. However, new data shows that single homebuying may be an even more substantial number.

“The share of U.S. homeowners who are single hit a record 38.4% in 2018, the latest data available, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data by Haus,” said USA Today. “The trend largely reflects rapid growth in the portion of Americans who are single. It also highlights an improving economy and job market and the willingness of buyers to set up households in untraditional ways to overcome sharply rising housing costs.”

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