WASHINGTON — The coronavirus pandemic has upended all areas of life, from education to healthcare and even leisure activities like nightlife. However, one of the largest aspects of life that the virus has infiltrated is where people live and where they will choose to live moving forward.
With people researching downsizing and working towards upgrading -- as well as fleeing cities to move in with family or friends, and spending a lot of extra time at home in general -- many might consider how to make a change to their current quarters as the pandemic continues.
WUSA 9 reached out to D.C. Realtor Justin Noble to get his take on your questions about moving during the pandemic.
Q: Are rent prices actually falling in the District right now?
A: Yes - if it's a sizable building with more than 15 units. Noble says, due to the pandemic, you could be looking at anything from $100 to $400 of savings on a monthly rent.
"The biggest thing that we're seeing is vacancies, so larger buildings are really, really hurting," he explained.
"They're newer and usually they are amenity-rich. So they have the pool, they have the gym, all of that stuff. And those are things that people are trying to get away from."
Q: Does that mean it's the perfect time to make a move?
A: Not so fast. Noble said there are a few caveats and additional factors worth considering before you lay down that deposit.
"I would say right now is a good time to move to your dream place If you are comfortable doing so," he said.
"They make it so attractive for you to move into these larger buildings," he said on the topic of the many offered amenities. "But you can't use those amenities right now. Or you're very limited at which point you can use those amenities." He explained this might be a cause to consider how great the deal really is.
Plus we're still dealing with a pandemic, so safety concerns aren't too far behind.
"You're having all of these people in and out of your apartment while you're moving or [for example] you know how you clean, but you're not sure how the people cleaned before they moved out and before you move in. So there's a lot of variables that are affecting it."
Noble also said to remember that the drop in rent costs could be a short term arrangement. Although the rent can't be raised within your leasing term, as soon as the lease is up, a raise in rent could come along with a new signature.
"I think it's definitely important if you can get a good deal, but at what cost from a health perspective and from what cost from a longevity standpoint."
Q: Is there anything else important to know before starting the moving process?
A: "Just keep your pulse on the rental rates for the larger buildings," He recommended. "So if you really want to be in a larger building, just constantly email that person that is in charge of those rentals within that building, and see if they're running any, any sales or you know, any deals for that month. "
Noble said that if you don't see any listed, email the people in charge of the rentals to ask specifically about their current deals, like a few months of waived rent or move-in specials.
He also advised being upfront and communicative about any concerns or questions you may have surrounding renting right now. Hopefully, after a forward conversation, you can work out an agreement that makes you feel confident about the lease that you're looking to sign.