NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The pandemic has changed how we live our lives and how we work. As a result, the social distancing, stay at home orders and shift to working from home has significantly impacted the real estate industry.

David Hicks, the CEO of HomeVestors, says the demand for single family homes has increased since the pandemic began.

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“There’s a lot of people working from home who don’t want to have to work from an apartment or, even more so, they have kids who can’t go to a playground and that new backyard sure looks nice,” Hicks says.

HomeVestors’ 1,150 independently owned and operated We Buy Ugly Houses franchises purchased nearly 10,000 houses in 2020, generating sales of more than $1.6 billion.

While demand for homes has increased, Hicks says there has been a decreased supply of homes available on the market, as people who would normally be listing their homes for sale and moving are not, because they are waiting until the pandemic is over.

Life amid COVID-19 has also changed how real estate deals are done. Agents are now using technology to offer virtual showings and title companies, in some states, are offering virtual closings.

Hicks says popular zip codes are also changing. With more people working from home, he says there is less emphasis on people living close to their office, so there is an increased trend of buying homes further away from city centers.

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HomeVestors was formed to give people a fast and easy way to sell a house of unwanted property for cash. Since the pandemic began, Hicks says they are noticing a trend of people buying investment properties to fix up and use for rental income.

“People are getting rental properties, out of a trend of flipping house,” Hicks says.

“There’s a big trend towards buying rental properties because people are really seeing there’s an opportunity in rental properties going forward.”

Hicks says it is important to do your homework before buying a house you plan to use as a rental property.

He suggests understanding how much rent you can get from a property, then working backwards to determine what price you can afford to buy the property at and how much it will cost you to renovate it.

Once those values are known, you will be able to determine if you can still make a profit off the potential rental property.

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Madison Sawyer