THE PANDEMIC EFFECT – SELLING AND BUYING A HOME IN THE GLASS CITY

The Pandemic Effect in Toledo’s Real Estate Market

The Pandemic Effect in Toledo’s Real Estate Market

Here we are over a year and a half of dealing with the coronavirus.
Now, the “Rona” has morphed and we’re fighting with the delta variant. When is this going to end so life can get back to normal?
Sorry, I don’t know.
But if history has any bearing, the Spanish flu plagued humankind for a little over two years.

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, unanswered questions arise such as… 

  • What if companies let workers work from home for the rest of their lives?
  • Why go back to brick-and-mortar shopping when I’m already ordering everything online? 
  • Why live “downtown” if half of the restaurants, bars, and museums never re-open?

Because of this pandemic effect, people are rethinking where they chose to live.

Housing prices have risen sharply over the past year and the amount of time homes spend on the market has decreased dramatically.
Houses are selling so fast that potential buyers cannot keep up. It’s a seller’s market and potential house buyers are frustrated as supply bottoms out and prices soar.

Toledo, Ohio is no exception.

Let’s explore this pandemic effect scenario from two different perspectives: sellers and buyers.

Sellers’ perspective

Baylen and Kelly raised three children in Ottawa Hills and are now contemplating retirement.

Their multi-level single-family home is too big for the empty nesters and a dog named Rocky.

On top of this, Baylen’s job has allowed him to work from home since the start of the pandemic and it’s unlikely that he will return to the office before he retires.
They also have a smaller home in North Carolina where the weather is milder, especially during the winter.

“My wife, Kelly, is a real estate agent, and she’s always telling me how homes are selling well above the original listing price, and that sounds good to me. But I also don’t want a bunch of people walking through my home during the pandemic,” says Baylen.

Kelly adds, “It’s tough to find enough homes to show customers. It’s so crazy out there for the buyers. I mean, now it’s more affordable than ever to purchase a home, but there’s literally a bidding war on just about every home that hits the market. Unless it’s overpriced or needs a lot of work, they are selling with multiple offers in one day.”

Baylen and Kelly decided to sell and, sure enough, they received multiple offers in one day. They sold their home to the highest bidder well over the asking price. But now, they have to move out soon.

Buyers’ perspective

Abraham and Liza are a millennial couple busy raising two children in an apartment in Old West End. “My daughter tells me all the time, “I hate our place. I can’t move. It’s so cramped,” says Liza.

Abe and Liza have been saving every penny for two years to buy a house where they can raise their kids in a more suburban neighborhood. But houses are going so quickly that they can rarely get a showing, let alone make an offer.

“Sometimes you find a place that’s like ‘I love it, I love it,’ and you have to remind yourself that you’re probably not going to get it, so just don’t get excited about it,” says Liza.

Why is this happening?

It seems people are hesitant to let strangers into their homes or to make major changes such as selling during the pandemic. And those who would typically be forced to sell because they can’t afford their property are protected under COVID mortgage relief measures. This has led to a drop in supply. But demand is still high. 

In addition, interest rates are low, which attracts a lot of out-of-town buyers who are looking to take advantage of Toledo’s relatively low housing costs.

And with the rise in remote work, Northwest Ohio is becoming more feasible for people who want to keep their job, but live in a more affordable area.

Low-interest rates allow potential buyers to purchase a house cheaper than they can rent. Out-of-state investors also know that, so they want to come to Toledo and purchase properties that will go on a cash flow.

This has resulted in homes selling in a matter of days, or even hours, rather than the weeks it typically takes in this region.
People are purchasing homes sight unseen—just based on pictures online.
There’s a bidding war on just about every home that hits the market and many homes around the Toledo area are being sold higher than the original listing price.
With the surge of speedy outside buying, it’s difficult for local buyers, like Abe and Liza, to compete.

“It’s just really discouraging. It’s hard to let your kids down like that,” says Liza.

What to do?

Baylen, Kelly, and Rocky now have to get out fast and relocate. But all the items in their current home will not fit into their smaller home in North Carolina. What are they going to do with all their stuff? 

Soon after the interview, Abe and Liza landed a successful bid on a home – albeit way higher than they desired.
Now, they too, are going to have to get out fast and move into their new home. 

Both families had moving issues because of the pandemic effect.

Labor shortages and disruptions in the supply chain made moving during the pandemic precarious, to say the least.
Also, moving inherently means that decisions need to be made on whether to put items in storage and/or get rid of some things. 

Mitigating The Pandemic Effect

Thankfully, both families contacted Horton Hauls Junk & More, a local junk removal company. This premier junk removal service responded quickly to their urgent moving needs, such as junking items and moving things to storage.
The uniformed truck team members provided all the labor necessary to load and unload the moving trucks. They even helped move bulky furniture items up and downstairs.

A combination service of Moving Labor and Junk Removal saved both families a lot of money and helped mitigate the pandemic effect!

As the vaccine rolls out and things return to a new “normal,” most are confident that the market will fluctuate again as more and more people begin to feel comfortable listing their homes.

In the meantime, the sellers’ and potential buyers’ conflicts will continue. But right now, sellers like Baylen and Kelly are winning the battle in the “Glass City”. 

By Derik Hicks

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