5 Simple Precautions Every Houston Home Buyer Needs to Know
Houston is on a "Stay-home-work-safe" order, but real estate is an "essential business" (and showings continue.) 5 things buyers need to know to be safe.
On March 24, Harris County issued a Stay-home-work-safe order.
However, according to the state Department of Economic and Community Development, Home-related services, including real estate transactions have been deemed essential and can stay open past the 11:59PM Tuesday deadline.
Five recommended tips for home buyers during this critical time of the Coronavirus.
Top 10 Do’s and Top 5 Don’ts For First Time Home Buyer Houston
Houston Home Buying Guide: How to Buy a House in Houston, Texas
During this time of uncertainty, if you have questions about what this means for you, contact Paige@HoustonProperties.com for expert advice and guidance.
Table of Contents
- Benefits To Buying a Home Now
- BUYER TIP: Stay At Home If You're Not Feeling Well
- BUYER TIP: Drive Your Own Car
- BUYER TIP: Protect Yourself – Cover Your Face, Hands, and Feet
- BUYER TIP: Always Wash or Disinfect Your Hands
- BUYER TIP: Avoid Touching Surfaces
Benefits To Buying a Home Now
If you're considering buying a home now, let's talk through the pro's and con's. Email Paige@HoustonProperties.com to set up a virtual conference call today!
If you're uncertain about your job, finances or future, it may not make a lot of sense for you to buy a home now.
However, if you are financially secure, there are four main advantages to buying a Houston home now:
1) You're likely to get a better deal, as you'll have less competition from other buyers.
2) You're likely to get a better deal, as some sellers are much more motivated than they were a few weeks ago.
3) Interest rates are at all time lows (making the home you buy more affordable each month).
4) You can pick up some very high quality properties.
- Pro's and Con's to Buying Now
- Current Real Estate Statistics.
- Likely Impact of the Coronavirus on the Houston Housing Market
- Why Some Sellers Are Motivated Now - And How To Find Them
BUYER TIP: Stay At Home If You're Not Feeling Well
If you feel unwell, stay home!
According to Governor Greg Abbott, 1,424 people have tested positive for COVID-19. That’s less than 10 percent of the whole population of Houston.
However, as testing increases, the number of positive cases will rise. This is why, for everyone’s safety, it is essential to continue to social distance.
Aside from practicing social distancing, people who are experiencing any of the following symptoms are expected to self-quarantine:
• Dry cough
These symptoms are considered mild, and if your immune system is strong enough, rest and self-medication are enough.
Once you start experiencing these other symptoms together with those above, it’s time for you to seek medical attention:
• Shortness of breath (often signals the onset of pneumonia)
• Body aches
• Sore throat
• Nasal congestion
People who have underlying conditions like heart disease and diabetes, including those over 60 years old are considered high-risk. They should immediately seek medical attention at the onset of any of these symptoms.
There are other options to conduct business without leaving your home. You can communicate with your agent or seller through the phone or over the internet.
Don’t be afraid to cancel. Sellers and agents will be more than willing to reschedule a showing, just inform them a day before so they can prepare accordingly.
BUYER TIP: Drive Your Own Car
If you have to expose yourself to the public, make sure to keep a distance of at least 6 feet from others.
Now that Houston has been placed on lockdown, everything but essential businesses are closed until further notice. This was imposed to encourage people to stay at home.
However, we know that staying at home is completely impossible for most people. This includes people who are looking to buy a home.
People who have to attend showings should consider driving their own cars. Using public transportation increases the risk of contagion because of unavoidable physical contact.
Driving your own car limits this contact and helps reduce risk. As much as possible, drive alone. Lastly, don’t forget to disinfect your car before and after using it.
BUYER TIP: Protect Yourself – Cover Your Face, Hands, and Feet
In case you have COVID-19, gloves, face masks, and plastic booties can prevent you from spreading the virus.
During a house showing or a meeting, don’t forget to protect yourself by wearing a face mask.
Although some health experts agree that healthy individuals who don’t exhibit any symptoms don’t need to wear masks, a person can still become an asymptomatic carrier.
Wearing a mask can stop you from infecting others, and prevents the virus from entering your nose or mouth.
Once you enter a house, wear booties or plastic covers over your shoes. Coronavirus is thought to live on surfaces for up to 12 hours, potentially longer. Plastic covers can help prevent you from accidentally taking the virus into your own home.
After a house showing, dispose of your mask, shoe covers, and gloves quickly after using them.
BUYER TIP: Always Wash or Disinfect Your Hands
Pro Tip: To make sure you’re getting all those microbes out, make sure to wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds.
Aside from practicing social distancing, the next best thing you can do to prevent an infection is to wash your hands frequently.
Wash your hands before and after touching anything during a showing – door knobs, counter tops, hand rails, closet doors, etc.
Always wash your hands before you touch your face. Coronavirus spreads through respiratory droplets. If a carrier sneezes or coughs without covering their mouths, they could spray you with the virus.
These droplets that land on your hand may enter your body once you touch your mouth or nose without washing your hands.
When you wash your hands, always use soap and water. The virus is made up of a protein molecule covered by a protective layer of lipid. Soap dissolves this lipid layer, exposing the protein molecule. With no means of protection, the protein molecule then dissolves and breaks down on its own.
If you don’t have access to soap and water, you may use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Make sure to find a sanitizer that is at least 60 percent alcohol.
BUYER TIP: Avoid Touching Surfaces
Pro Tip: Use your non-dominant hand for touching surfaces as you’ll be less likely to wipe your face with that hand.
Counter tops, door knobs, handles, and handrails are just a few examples of frequently touched surfaces in a home. While touring a property, it is best to avoid touching surfaces with just your bare hands.
Experts are still unsure about how long the novel coronavirus can survive on surfaces. But if it behaves like other viruses, it can survive for several hours to several days.
To protect yourself, wear gloves if you have to handle touching anything. Don’t forget to wash or sanitize your hands thoroughly, after.
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