Renting vs Owning During the Pandemic

Posted: July 12th, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to our global economy in 2020. Unemployment rates skyrocketed, industries were completely torn down, and most of us -- if not all of us -- were living in fear one way or another. Fear of losing our jobs, our loved ones, and our way of life to the unknown. As America recovers in 2021, there is one thing that is certain -- that fear of the unknown isn’t going away any time soon. 

2020 woke many Americans up to the true fragility of their financial positions. Those who believed they had steady jobs and housing situations were suddenly furloughed and unable to pay rent. Others were at risk of having their small businesses file bankruptcy. In Florida, where tourism is a primary source of private wealth and state tax revenue, many small businesses were forced to close in the busiest summer months. Some were able to come out with only bumps and bruises. Others were forced to close their doors forever. 

In the wake of this devastating pandemic, many residents wonder, “Should I invest in real estate now, or should I keep renting and wait for more stable times?” Before you make your decision, we want you to consider these factors to renting vs. buying amidst pandemic recovery:

Do you have leverage as a renter?

While certain laws were in place during the pandemic to protect renters, many of these are now vanishing so that landlords can start earning again. With many unemployment benefits going away as well, this is a time when those who are struggling will lose and those who made it out of the pandemic will take their place. As a homeowner, the lender can’t simply evict you and put your home up for sale. You have more options to negotiate (such as a forbearance or loan modification) and will be more secure long-term if you are able to afford to buy now. 

Is your job waiting for you?

If you were furloughed during the pandemic, you may have a job waiting for you or have already gone back to work after a stint with unemployment. However, if you have lost your job due to COVID-19 layoffs, renting may be the right choice until you know your next steps. If you know you’ll be in the city where you live now, there’s no sense in stopping your home search. However, the changes caused by the pandemic have opened up opportunities for many to move in search of new career paths, which should factor into your home search. Think about your long-term strategy before signing the lease or making that down payment. 

Are you lowering your expectations?

One thing we don’t want home shoppers to do is to lower their budget or expectations because they want to move now. If you are still struggling from a loss of income due to COVID-19, there’s no harm in renting until you have rebuilt your financial situation and can buy the home you want. You don’t have to stop your home search, however, while regaining your financial footing. Talk to your [company name] realtor to set a timeline for resuming an active home search and keep your eyes out for properties that you want to aim for in the future. 

America is slowly but steadily recovering from COVID-19, and so will you. When you’re ready to take the leap back into the real estate market, contact us today!