Home Shoppers Adapt to Buy During COVID-19

How a Phoenix-area couple found the confidence to buy their dream home

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Esteban and Stacy Garza never thought they would buy a house during a pandemic.

“We were talking about buying a home for almost two years now, and I just thought the right time would surface and we’d buy at that moment,” said Esteban Garza, who closed on a home in Peoria, AZ in mid-April. “It just worked out.”

“The Seller Was Zillow”

The Garzas’ new home was owned by Zillow. All Zillow-owned homes are evaluated, repaired and refreshed before they are considered ready for a new owner. The Garzas’ future home was vacant, move-in ready and offered a safe and predictable purchase. 

“There are a lot of variables when you buy a house,” said Esteban. “The only constant variable that made me comfortable buying was that it was Zillow home. We knew it was empty, we knew the seller was Zillow, there was the confidence that they wouldn’t change their mind or lose their job.”

The Garzas said buying a vacant home also allowed the inspector and appraiser to do their jobs safely. 

“The fact that it was vacant allowed us a flexible close date,” added Stacy, a real estate agent with the Laughton Group.  That was especially helpful because the couple was trying to time the purchase of their new home with the sale of their old home. 

Early Signs of Real Estate Recovery

The Garzas may be part of an early trend. According to a Zillow analysis, April brought a slight housing market turnaround after a pandemic-led pullback in March. By late April, pending home sales were climbing week-over-week.   

“People are still buying homes,” said Esteban. “We just have to adapt to the new norm. Now we can take a deep breath and enjoy what we have. It’s a beautiful home.”