In some ways, buying a home got a lot easier in 2020, and in a lot of ways, it didn't. Welcome to the mixed-up, unpredictable, unprecedentedpandemic world we've all been living through. It's truly been a year like no other. But no matter which way the pendulum was swinging, realtor.comwas here to help you make the best of it.
Whether you were a first-time home buyer house hunting during the pandemic or a seller wondering how to get the best price for your property, we brought expert-approved insights to you all year long.
We're (finally) just a couple of weeks away from 2021, but to help you head into the new year as a well-informed home buyer, seller, or owner, we thought we'd reflect on the top lessons we learned about real estate this year.
As if deciding whether or not it's time to purchase a home isn't a tough enough decision, the coronavirus pandemic made everything even more shaky.
Many potential home buyers have been wondering if it's even safe to shop for a home during a pandemic, and that's a very fair question. And even if you do succeed in finding a home you like, is this the right time to pull the trigger?
Here's what our top finance experts had to say about whether now is the time to buy.
Can't miss tip: Mortgage rates reached historic lows in 2020, but experts believe they'll rise quickly in 2021. Now may be a good time to buy if you want to lock in those low interest rates.
It's no secret to sellers that refreshing the inside and outside of your home is a great way to bring in potential buyers—and multiple offers. But in 2020, the world became a different place, and stay-at-home orders, plus the closures of schools, restaurants, and gyms, made us look at homes much differently.
Knowing they'd be spending much more time at home (working, schooling, exercising, and just about everything else that used to be done elsewhere), buyers started prioritizing features they might have overlooked in the past.
Watch: Talking About the Top Real Estate Markets for 2021
Find out what new upgrades buyers are seeking in the COVID-19 era—and what formerly hot upgrades are now so 2019.
Can't miss tip: Home buyers in 2020 and beyond are looking for a place where a lot can happen—and maybe all at once. This means the once-desired open floor plan is now a turnoff, and separation of space is where it's at.
Safety is still top of mind for most active home buyers and sellers.
While the majority of real estate agents are doing everything they can to lessen the risk for their clients, there are still some home buyers who just don't feel comfortable taking on the process in-person.
Read along as we explain every part of the process that can now be done remotely, and how to make sure it works for you.
Can't miss tip: A good home-buying experience always starts with choosing the right real estate agent, and it was never more true than in 2020. If you're looking for a virtual home-buying experience, it's important to connect with a real estate agent who knows exactly how to make it work to your advantage.
If you found yourself with a little extra time on your hands this year, you may have decided to take on a few DIY home improvement projects. Because you were at home already!
It makes sense, then, that you'd wonder which ones would give you the biggest return on investment—the home projects that will earn you more money when you decide to sell. No one wants to waste their time on fruitless labor, so check out which DIY projects tend to promise the biggest payoff.
Can't miss tip: It's not always those giant projects that yield the biggest profit. One expert says bells and whistles don't always pay off, and instead recommends homeowners take on several, smaller projects for a better ROI.
If you're trying to sell your home, it's important you take everything into consideration—and we mean everything.
It doesn't matter if you believe in omens or not. There are a lot of potential home buyers who do, which means seeing a bad token could be a complete deal breaker, no matter how much they love your home.
Click through to find out what some of the more common bad omens are, so you can get to work clearing them out of your space.
Can't miss tip: Those adorable rocking chairs on your front porch might seem like a warm welcome to you, but if the wind blows and they rock, it may send some home shoppers running. Thankfully, there's something you can do to keep it from happening, without moving your chairs to the garage.
Every home buyer's worst nightmare is finding a dream house and having to battle other buyers for it. But what if there were 32 other buyers?
That's exactly what happened to these buyers, and they came out victorious—even without placing the highest bid. Keep reading to find out exactly how they made it happen.
Can't miss tip: Today's real estate market is very fast-moving in many areas, which means there's very little time (if any) between viewing a house you love and placing an offer. Study up on the neighborhoods you're shopping in, so you're ready to make an informed decision on the spot.
It's true that COVID-19 has turned the real estate market on its head, but that doesn't mean you should believe everything you hear. In fact, falling for some of the real estate myths may cause a potential home buyer or seller to miss out on a golden opportunity. Read on to find out what's being said, and what's actually factual.
Can't miss tip: You may have heard that home prices are plummeting because of COVID-19, meaning it's not a good time to list your house. In actuality, the opposite is true thanks to low interest rates.
Due to the pandemic, this year found many city dwellers moving out of the city into quieter, less populated areas. That means sprawling yards, quiet neighbors, dark nights, and lots of peace, right? Truth be told, country life isn't always idyllic. In fact, it has some strange quirks that you may not expect.
Find out what happened when one city dweller bought a rural home and discovered that even in the country, things can get weird.
Can't miss tip: Country living is all about co-existing with woodland critters, so if you move out of the city, be prepared to share your space—both inside and out—with deer, mice, and other wildlife.