ODESSA, Texas — COVID-19 has given the word "home" a different meaning. With people working where they live, it has many people considering whether or not to buy a new house.
NewsWest 9 spoke with Heather Prichard, broker and owner of Ziglar Realty. She said despite all the shortages happening nationwide, homes are not experiencing that same problem.
"We have plenty of listings to choose from," said Prichard. "There are over 500 homes on the market on average right now. In the Odessa area, there are many homes to choose from. It takes about 60 marketing days, so it's a good time to sell."
Prichard said the housing market has recovered slowly, even though West Texas was not impacted as severely as other larger cities.
"I think people did continue purchasing throughout COVID, not as plentiful as we have seen in the past, but people did continue purchasing through it all," said Prichard.
According to data from the Odessa Board of Realtors, the number of home sales in Ector County has remained steady for the last few months. Sales slowed down at the beginning of the year, after the holiday season and also when the pandemic began last year.
Prichard said the current low interest rates have caused many to leave the renting cycle in the past.
"The average price is about $250,000, and right now the interest rates are so low that people are able to buy more home for their money," said Prichard. "People are able to have lower payments and take advantage of those interest rates. Many times I'm seeing buyers sit at the closing table tell me 'Heather this payment is less than what I was paying for rent at an apartment or renting a home.'"
Prichard believes that despite the hardships the pandemic has caused, people are realizing the true value of their home.
"Home means so much more now than it did prior to COVID," said Prichard. "I think so many people were working from home more and schooling their kids from home more. And it's just our safe haven. Now more than ever people realize the benefit of home ownership."
Prichard said that people who are considering buying a home should do their research on the types of homes they are planning to buy. She also recommends for people to talk to a local realtor to help them through the process.