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    Buying or Selling during the 2020 Holidays

    Oct 19, 2020 10:29:56 AM

    It may seem a bit premature to talk to you about buying and selling during the holiday season, but let's face it!  If you are going to uproot your life whether it be PCS, ETS, or simply just buying and selling a new home, the holidays are riddled with challenges and also benefits.  This year also brings added levels of challenge.  COVID had delayed close to 30,000 military moves, upsetting and disrupting the entire military moving industry.  Many families found themselves in limbo due to goods being picked up, their homes already being sold, and then being told they couldn't move.  These families now find themselves transitioning and looking for new homes.  Other Veterans simply waited to see what the market was going to do before making a decision to buy or sell.  Couple these factors with record low VA Loan interest rates, an election year, and already low levels of inventory and we have a literal goat rope. Let's face it.  This is no ordinary market and this season will not be an ordinary season.

    Quick stats that aren't boring

    As we roll into the end of October, interest rates are still hovering under 3% on a 30 year fixed rate VA Loan, spurring more purchases.  Home sales were up 13% in August versus last year.  Now let's take that number and look at this next crazy number.  Inventory was down 39%! Thirty-nine percent!!!  Over a third fewer homes available for buyers!  This has a huge impact on the buying and selling process and sellers often find themselves nervous to sell and afraid they will not be able to find a replacement home that meets their needs.  Where the heck will they go and will they ever find what they're looking for? (Enter U2 singing in my head "I still haven't found what I'm looking for.)

    Action Plan

    So enough of the stats!  Here we are and you are thinking of moving now.  Perhaps you have PCS orders and it is not that you are thinking of moving.  You are simply moving. Period.

    With the holidays approaching, we can expect to see an even further decline in sellers wanting to sell.  Typically, folks like to sit tight during the holidays with plans of moving in Spring. If you are moving, your choices may be slim.  It is during this time that it really pays to have a VHN Realtor in your corner.  Most Realtors worth their salt, have a network of people that are thinking of selling but waiting for a better time. VHN Realtors can easily reach out to the potential sellers to provide more housing options. VHN Realtors also are extremely connected with other agents that may have knowledge of homes that will be coming on the market but are not yet listed.  With the limited resources available, having an advocate in your corner that reaches out, may be just what you need to find the perfect home.

    A benefit to using your VA Loan to purchase your new home during the holidays is that most sellers are anxious to sell.  If you were given a choice, would you CHOOSE to sell during the holiday season?  Often sellers are folks that have to move for one reason or another, whether it be PCS, ETS, civilian job change, financial difficulty or probate reasons. Although the market still is a sellers market, we see many more concessions and negotiations during this season.  The benefit to you is a bit more leverage. 

    Luckily, all indicators read that mortgage rates will stay low. The experts do not expect them to fluctuate much until the economy recovers, so that is a worry you can wipe off your plate.  It is of course, important to connect with a great local lender that your VHN agent can help you identify.  You can then work together to lock in a low rate when you see it. While you do not have massive control over where rates land when you are ready to use your VA Loan, there is a bit of strategy and it is great to have a professional that has your six.

    Being in the military taught us that holidays were just that. Holidays.  We weren't always guaranteed to celebrate with our families and we learned quickly that mission came first.  However, now that you are moving, you do have some control over how you spend the season.  I would recommend referring back to our past blog Relieve Military Moving Stress. We have compiled a list of resources that will allow you to take that stress level down a notch and attempt to enjoy it.  We at VHN know how stressful a move is while your in the military, and we also know the base line of stress that is involved in moving, even after we ETS. 

    With Halloween near, moving does not need to be scary. This holiday season let us help you maximize your move with Veteran professionals that have your best interest in mind.  We get it. We have been there and done that.




    Michelle Roberts, an Operation Desert Shield/Storm Veteran founded Veterans Housing Network in response to the overwhelming need to provide honest, non-predatory, local Real Estate expertise and service to her military family