The unprecedented global pandemic brought on by the novel coronavirus has turned many facets of our lives upside down, and our perspective on rental properties is no exception. While no one can predict the future of our rental market, there are indicators for what is to come.
Some areas of the United States have seen drastic fluctuations in rental prices. Most notably, areas surrounding the outskirts of major cities, such as Phoenix, Atlanta and Baltimore, and mid-sized cities like Boise saw stark increases in rent. In fact, Boise has witnessed a near 10% increase in rental prices since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March. This could suggest a trend away from massive metropolitan areas as people grow more and more concerned about congregating in large populations or simply decide they can not afford exorbitantly higher rent prices while facing unemployment.
While the earlier stages of the pandemic led to redacted property listings, job loss and movement away from urban areas has again presented buying opportunities. For those moving due to job loss, buying most likely is not an option. For those moving to avoid larger, populated areas, the move is probably seen as temporary. Regardless of the reason, opportunities for purchasing an investment property may be more and more available.
The process of purchasing an investment property during COVID-19 has changed, too.
- Make sure to drive by any properties you are interested in prior to reaching out for a viewing. Photos of listings are designed to capture properties from their best angle, so the curb appeal of a property may seem different in person.
- Signing paperwork in person may not be the standard. Many realty companies are implementing electronic sign-in software for document signing.
- Property listings should have plenty of photos and videos available for viewing, as in-person viewings are being limited. If these are not readily available online, feel free to ask! A walk-through video can give you a much better idea of the space before potentially risking exposure.
- Come up with a list of questions you’d like to ask the sellers ahead of time. It’s very likely they will not be present during the showing to stick by social distancing standards. Additional questions will of course come up during the showing, so be sure to record these as well.
- Take advantage of mortgage interest rates that continue to drop. In 2020 alone, the mortgage interest rate has hit 14 record lows.
An investment property can be a passive way of increasing your monthly income but requires analysis in a time of turbulence. A trusted real estate agency coupled with Rooftop Rentals property management expertise can be a stress-free method of achieving your investment goals.