As we approach a year of living during the Covid-19 Pandemic, we reflect on the many shifts that have occurred professionally, personally, and socially. Change can be scary, as many of us fear the unknown; however, in order to navigate this ever-evolving terrain, we must embrace change and adapt where needed.
From Zoom classrooms, to home offices, and virtual meetings -- our houses have taken on a whole new meaning and much larger responsibility in 2021. Our homes have become our classrooms, gyms, yoga studios, and offices.
During the past eleven months, professionals across all industries have had to adjust to this remote way of life.
While many industries were forced to go completely virtual, in the aftermath of the immediate and required closures set at the start of the pandemic, many companies have chosen to relinquish their physical space, abandon their leases, and shut their brick and mortar places of operation.
The Covid-19 Pandemic has shown business owners that people can work from home, efficiently, and get the job done without being in the office. Since the start of the pandemic, studies show that people are working longer hours, replacing their daily commute with time in front of their computers answering emails.
While many industries have been forced to shut their doors or saw a decline in business, some industries found the shift to virtual workplaces productive and relatively seamless (beyond the initial hiccups).
The mortgage industry flourished. Why? Because interest rates for a 30-year fixed mortgage hit their lowest rate ever recorded (again and again) in 2020. Homeowners took advantage of the low interest rates to either 1.) Lower their monthly payment 2.) Lower their mortgage term or 3.) Use the equity in their home to supplement income lost or make renovations to their home.
Over 40% of Americans are working from home full-time. This accelerated rise of people working from home has impacted cities, especially New York. City dwellers left their studio and one-bedroom apartments in search of more space to accommodate this new way of living. When searching for apartments and houses, a home office was now at the top of the wish list.
In addition to needing more space, millennials, and other former renters, took advantage of the record-low interest rates and purchased a home, in spite of a competitive housing market.
Lower interest rates allowed homebuyers a higher budget for more spacious homes to accommodate their new working arrangements while maintaining their existing monthly budget.
While house hunting looks different than life pre-pandemic, virtual home tours, to physical tours in masks, have not deterred people from buying homes. Mortgage companies are still lending money at the lowest interest rate we have ever seen.
Jersey Mortgage Company has had to adjust and evolve repeatedly over the last year, with a large shift of operations to working from home; however, our loan officers are still meeting with borrowers virtually via FaceTime or Zoom or in person adhering to CDC Guidelines and practicing caution.
And although much of life has changed, one thing remains the same, the need for a place to call home.