Is this the best time to buy real estate? Covid-19 has brought some uncertainty, but if you are ready and brave enough to buy now, you could also save yourself some money. This article will give you a few tips on how to buy a property in what we now call “the new normal“.
There has been a pause on many property sales due to the pandemic, as both buyers and sellers were unsure how long the situation would last.
And now, after having survived the crisis of 2008 and the effect it had on the real estate market, there is a new crisis in 2020. Although buying real estate is usually a solid investment, there is no escaping the general financial situation in a country.
A recent study by Caixabank Research shows the evolution of property sales in Spain. The research indicates that real estate prices will, at least until the end of the year 2021, adjust between 6 to 9%. In addition to these numbers, the Spanish GDP may be impacted with a fall of 15%.
Exactly because of this negative trend, now is an ideal time to buy an apartment in Barcelona, especially if you were planning to do this anyway – even despite the existence of the Corona virus.
Would you like to learn more about the impact of the pandemic on the real estate market? Then keep on reading, because we are looking into 2020 property prices in Spain, both buying and renting.
Related article: Covid-19 And How to Disinfect Your Home
Table of Contents
5 Tips when buying a property during Covid-19
1. Your budget: what is the maximum amount you can borrow?
Before you start the process of buying a property, the first tip is to let yourself be well informed about how much you can borrow. This will probably be the biggest purchase you will make, as it is one of the most important purchases in a lifetime.
So start saving up early, so you can finance part of the mortgage out of your own pocket. Find out what the maximum amount of the mortgage will be, and maybe check if there is someone in the family who can lend it (or a part) to you.
Be aware that Spanish banks only finance up to 80% of the actual value of a property. So you will have to be able to pay for the rest yourself.
In addition to the remaining 20% of the mortgage, there are also various additional costs involved in the purchase of a property, such as taxes and notary fees. These are usually between 10 and 15% of the total purchasing price of your new home.
Also take into account that every mortgage provider has its own rules for granting or rejecting a mortgage. Here we will share some of these bank requirements on granting a mortgage.
|📌 But if you are not into buying but into selling a property, then this is also a good time. At times of crisis many real estate investors are aiming at expanding their real estate portfolio.|
2. Hire a real estate agent
This tip is obvious, of course, but consulting expert advice when buying an apartment is always a good idea. Our team of professionals can help you throughout the entire buying process. Check out our portfolio of apartments that are for sale in Barcelona at the moment.
As already mentioned before: this is probably the most important and biggest purchase in your life, so make sure you profit from getting the best possible advice.
3. What type of property would you like to buy after Covid-19?
Where would you like to live after the Corona crisis? This is a big question you need to ask yourself, because once this time has passed, your preference for a specific type of property may well have changed. If there will be another period of time in which we need to quarantine, for example, you might prefer your home to be a bit more spacious or just outside of the city centre.
In a big city like Barcelona, the suburbs can also be easily reached by public transport. So why not live at a short distance from the centre, without feeling absolutely isolated?
Working from home has even become more normal than before Covid-19, so maybe you no longer need to live that close to your work in the city centre anymore.
Below you will find a list of enjoyable living spaces, especially during quarantine:
- An apartment with 2 or 3 bedrooms
- An apartment with a terrace
- An apartment with a garden
- An apartment with a pool
- A penthouse
These types of property are ideal, because they all have an outdoor area and plenty of natural daylight for you to enjoy. This is an important factor when there is a second wave of Covid-19. Our advice would be to avoid living in ground floor apartments or in properties that have no outdoor spaces at all.
|📌 Always keep in mind that this is not your second home or holiday accommodation. Analyse your preferences and budget before taking a definitive step.|
4. How to find a property during Covid-19?
The Coronavirus has also led to more digital working in the real estate sector. Digital tours in real estate advertisements are much more common now than they were before.
For example, real estate agents have increased the number of photos included in an add, online video tours of a house are available most of the time, and there are even 360º photos, sometimes even with floor plans.
Our most important advice today is to at least visit a house you find interesting once, and in order to make the most of that viewing, here are some tips:
- Check the general state of the apartment, the facilities and installations
- Check out what needs to be adjusted in the apartment
- Check the humidity inside the apartment
- What is the orientation?
- How is the lay out?
- Is the apartment energy efficient?
- What is the neighbourhood like and is public transport nearby?
5. Health and safety measures at viewings during Covid-19
We cannot emphasise well enough how important it is to obey to hygiene regulations when viewing an apartment during Covid-19. After all, we all have to do our part to help prevent the further spread of the virus.
Please bear in mind that the size of properties not always allow for you to keep a minimum distance of 1.5 metres, and that spaces without windows (or some other type of ventilation) can be part of your visit. So remember the following:
- Wear a mask at all times (and wear it correctly, covering both nose and mouth)
- Do not shake hands with the real estate agent
- Wash your hands before and after each viewing or use disinfectant gel
- Wear gloves if you plan on touching parts of the house (e.g. walls or installations)
We hope this article is helpfull when buying a property during or after the Corona crisis.
If you have any questions or would like to share any tips, please leave a comment below.