Part I: Home Values, Purchase Prices, and Getting a Loan

Recently, we reached out to several of our friends in real estate and lending for their feedback on the current state of the world, especially as it pertains to buying and selling real estate in the Northwest post Covid-19. “Home Values, Purchases Prices, and Getting a Loan” is the first in a series of four articles resulting from the feedback we received.

We asked the following questions, “How have home values and purchase prices been affected by the Pandemic, ensuing unemployment and government shutdown?” and “Is it harder to get a loan to purchase a home during this pandemic?” Here’s what our friends had to say.

Home Values/Purchase Prices – Washington
Jeremy Asmus of the Kenmore Team in Kennewick, Washington noted “the uptick in the market we expect to see in the spring has been delayed, but home prices are holding steady.” Shawn Flinders with Evergreen Home Loans in Kennewick felt it may be too soon to tell what the impact will be, but said, “In Eastern WA there is a shortage of available inventory which should help keep home prices relatively stable.” However, “Further stay-at-home orders have the potential to dramatically change this,” he added.

Home Values/Purchase Prices – Oregon
Our friend Chris Stewart with Windemere Pacific West Properties in Salem, Oregon had this to say about the market there, “At this time values have not been impacted. We are seeing buyers and sellers who are concerned about their employment status put off buying and selling until they feel more comfortable, but that is a very small percentage of what we are experiencing. There are more buyers in the market than sellers which keeps upward pressure on home pricing.”

Getting a Loan – Washington/Oregon
On questions regarding loans, Eric Culverhouse of Retter & Company in Kennewick, Washington answered, “We have not noticed issues with lending other than a few delays and back log with appraisers due to the continued record low interest rates, compounded with the refinance market.” Dr. Kay Lehman of Realtor Kay, LLC however, felt it’s currently harder to get a loan because, while the underlying qualifications from FHA, Fannie Mae etc. have not changed, some lenders have raised their in-house qualifications. She adds, “Today it is more important than ever to shop around and ask questions of lenders.” Finally, Chris Stewart of Windermere Pacific West Properties reported little to no impact on getting a loan in his market in Oregon. “In fact, we’ve seen interest reductions which created an activity of refinancing and more buyers in the market.”

In summary, as Eric Culver of Retter & Company noted, “The housing market has long been one of the primary cornerstones of our economy” and “will be a significant factor assisting the economy and livelihoods of our nation.” And here at JPI, we love Dave Ramsey… So, for a nationwide perspective, here’s what Dave has to say. Check out his article, Can I Buy or Sell a Home in 2020?

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Follow our four-part series on buying and selling real estate when we talk more about the availability of housing for the remainder of 2020 and offer some advice to buyers and sellers for the coming months.