Bill Landon
Bill Landon

The spring housing market of 2020 is quite different compared to market trends from previous years. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected all aspects of our daily routines including how we do business. Dave Stevens, CMB, and Advisor to the George Mason Mortgage (GMM) Board of Directors mentioned a quote from John Lennon at a recent virtual company meeting that coincides with what we are experiencing in our world today. He shared, “There are decades where nothing happens and there are weeks when decades happen.” This resonates with what we are experiencing and where we will be heading as a nation. It also relates to the mortgage industry as interest rates have remained low – even during this time of uncertainty.

Stevens also addressed the fact that technology resources will be coming out of the woodwork to bridge the gaps for homebuyers that exist during this period. However, even with these changes in place, many homebuyers are questioning if this is the right time to make such a large investment or if a refinance makes sense right now on an existing mortgage. The good news is that home values did not plunge as a result of the pandemic. Rather, the industry is in a holding pattern. A vast majority of mortgage lenders and real estate agents firmly believe the market will bounce back soon and consumer confidence will grow.

Though optimism is high for the markets to stabilize, there will be some short-term challenges within the market.  Credit guidelines have tightened, there are higher credit scores on some products and larger down payments may slow down purchase business.  Investors will continue to monitor the impact that forbearance may have on loan performance, but once we start to see people heading back to work we should start to see some relief in these guidelines.

Over the past two months, we have been learning how to adjust to a new norm. With modifications and safety protocol in place at George Mason Mortgage, many businesses like ours have been fortunate to remain open. We have implemented advanced technology solutions that allow homebuyers to continue with their transactions in a safe and efficient manner. We are consistently monitoring updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in conjunction with local and state officials in the markets we serve while also helping those directly affected by the pandemic.

George Mason Mortgage celebrates 40 years of business this year — a reminder of how far we have come and where we will continue to go even during challenging times. We are proud of our success and we are confident that our commitment to service will be stronger than ever before. We are all in this together.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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