So you decided to buy a home in San Diego during a pandemic. We’re going to break down the best ways to do that but first, you should watch all of our videos. We have some excellent content on San Diego. We have great neighborhood tours, what it’s like to live here, pros and cons, and more. Anything you needed to know about San Diego, you can find it on our YouTube channel.
Now that that’s out of the way, we can move on to our best tips for buying a home during a pandemic. We’ve been helping people buy and sell safely since the early days of COVID-19. As we prepare to head into the spring buying season, here are our best tips for buying a home in San Diego right now.
NARROW DOWN YOUR OPTIONS
When you’re starting your search, you need to figure out what type of neighborhood you would like to buy in. San Diego County is really large so you’ve got to narrow your search. Is there a certain school district you’d like your kids in? Is there a particular program at a school you want your kids to do? Did you just accept a new job? If you’d like to, or can afford to be in a beach town, what type of beach town? Would you like to be in a more Metro area? Would you like to be downtown? Something more walkable? Just do your research and try to pinpoint a general, but specific area.
NO OPEN HOUSES
The days of open houses in San Diego are over, at least for the time being. During the pandemic they’re not doing open houses because they don’t want a hundred people on top of each other and not socially distancing. So now you have to schedule a time. In the early days of the pandemic, agents were doing private open houses every thirty minutes. Since there are usually people living in the home, you only have a two-day period typically to see the house. A lot of times you’ll see appointments happening on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 3pm. So if you don’t schedule your appointment early, they’ll fill up. That’s happened to me a couple of times and you won’t even be able to see the home before they accept an offer.
Lately they’ve actually changed things a little bit. Now agents are doing almost like makeshift open houses where you show up some time between 10 and 3, and then you just wait in line until it’s your turn to go inside. We just did it this past weekend with a couple from Chicago and we waited outside the house for a good 20-30 minutes probably before we got it in.
COVID-19 SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
Agents are still taking a lot of precautions to keep everyone safe and socially distanced. You have to use hand sanitizer, you have to wear masks, there can only be one person in the house or one family in the house at one time, etc. They also have you sign a form that states that you have not been having any COVID symptoms. You have to sign it before each tour, every showing that you have, which is a little bit annoying, but you know, better to be on the safe side! On certain listings, some agents are requiring that you have a preapproval letter ready to go because they only want serious buyers walking through the home. They also tell you to try not to touch anything in the house, if at all possible. You can also wear gloves as an extra precaution as well. Some of these things will probably stick around after the pandemic actually.
BE READY TO ACT FAST
Homes do go quickly in San Diego. If a particular home is really in great demand, it’ll sell within four days max. They’ll list it on a Thursday, just have showings Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and then it’ll be sold by Tuesday!
We’ve had people from Chicago, New Jersey, Northern California, even people from Italy contacting us and wanting to move to San Diego. But you can’t always get here to see every house that comes on the market. So if you’re really, really interested in a home we can do a virtual walkthrough with you either through FaceTime or on Zoom. People have actually bought houses without walking into them. I’ve had three people buy houses here in San Diego without seeing them in person! Between all the videos we do, the neighborhood tours, and the 3D tour that’s usually available of the home, some people feel confident they’re going to love the house and put an offer in.
If you are able to make the trip out here and can stay for 48 hours or three days to see some homes, we will try to get you into as many homes as we can. Even if you don’t totally fall in love with one of the homes that you see that day, it may just help narrow down your search for a neighborhood or a general area. It’s kind of hard to get out right now to do touristy stuff and really get the full San Diego experience because a lot of things are closed, but you can still get a feel for the area. You can drive around and just see generally what’s nearby. I always tell my clients to just focus on the neighborhood you want to be in, and then the house will hopefully follow suit.
If you’re looking to sell your home here in San Diego, don’t think it’s impossible to do so during a pandemic because a lot of people are doing it these days. There are a lot of safety precautions in place for sellers. Some people will even leave for the weekend, like stay in a hotel or Airbnb while people see the houses. When you come back, we can disinfect the entire house. If you want to leave for just a few hours, we disinfect all of the common touch areas after each showing like the door and the countertops. Anything that people will touch!
That’s our blog on buying a home during a pandemic in San Diego! If you guys ever have questions about trying to buy or sell a house right now, please feel free to reach out! It can seem daunting, but it’s not really that scary. Sellers, know that there are people out there that want to buy your home. So don’t be afraid to list! We could definitely use more available homes as buyers are struggling with the super low inventory.
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