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House Market Lockdown

Buying, selling and moving house during lockdown

Heather

Written by

Heather

Last updated Friday 29th January 2021

Key in door

In lockdown, our homes have become more important than ever, often feeling like our whole world. But what happens when your home isn’t up to scratch? If you’ve been dreaming of moving to pastures new, you might be worried all these plans are in danger.

However, though the UK might currently be facing a lot of restrictions, the housing market is still in business. Here’s what’s still possible with your home...

Selling or buying a property in lockdown

Estate agents, solicitors, and mortgage brokers are all still working during the lockdown. Therefore, finding your dream home is still possible during this time - albeit the process will be a little different.

In order to put your own home on the market, you’ll likely need to book an appointment with an estate agent before turning up. Some are still operating in person, but others have moved the process entirely online. They’re also still allowed to visit your home to take photos/videos, as long as safety precautions are taken.

When it comes to seeing what’s on offer, there are rules you’ll need to follow during your viewings. If you’re not using an online service, here are the guidelines you and others need to bear in mind…

Guidelines for house viewings

  • Only two households are allowed in a property at any one time, this includes your estate agent but does not include a household which is part of your support bubble.

  • All viewings must be booked in advance.

  • You should maintain a two-metre distance from everyone outside of your household and avoid touching any surfaces.

  • Windows and doors should be kept open, where possible, to provide better ventilation.

  • Face masks should be worn at all times unless you have an exemption.

Contracts and mortgages

The biggest thing to bear in mind during the buying/selling process is time.

Many brokers and lenders are experiencing delays related to COVID, while the mortgage deals on offer have also significantly reduced - first-time buyers being the most affected.

Therefore, one of the best things you can do during this time is to get the ball rolling as soon as possible. If you’re not sure which finance route is right for you, talk to an expert.

Resi Finance

At Resi Finance, our team of brokers are always on hand to help you navigate the market during this time. As partners to the Mortgage Advice Bureau, we work with over 90 lenders and have access to exclusive deals and rates. Our architectural knowledge can also be used to help you explore the development potential of your selected property.

Learn more about Resi Finance.

Alongside mortgaging delays, there is the potential risk of other setbacks during the process. Should you, the other party, or your specialists be affected by COVID, your purchase could hit a wall.

To avoid the negative effects of any postponements, make sure your paperwork has the proper flexibility in place to accommodate these new risks.

Remember: you’ll be at particular risk during the sale/purchase of a property, as sudden changes in circumstance could incur extra costs. It is now possible to add a ‘COVID Clause’ when you exchange contracts. This should ensure you are not at fault or in breach of contract should you be unable to complete due to complications arising from the pandemic.

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Moving house in lockdown

Don’t worry, you can still move house, even during a national lockdown.

The rules allow you to travel to any part of the UK (this includes Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) in order to settle into a new adobe. You’re also able to spend time in temporary accommodation, if needed, before the big move. However, you should only do so if there are no other alternatives available.

While friends and family can help you pack up, it’s recommended you try to minimise the number of people involved. Whether using volunteers or professional help, you must follow these safety guidelines...

  • People from other households must remain socially distanced at all times.
  • Everyone should wear a mask, except children and those with health exemptions.
  • Open windows and doors to let in as much fresh air as possible.
  • Clean as many of your possessions as possible before they’re handled by others.
  • Do not provide any refreshments (food or drink).
  • Have others use paper towels or separate towels when they wash their hands.

For people travelling to Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland, the advice is similar but many have different details to England, therefore it’s worth checking the guidance for your new area.

For peace of mind, you might also want to consider getting your new home professionally cleaned before you move in.

Surveys

If you’re looking for a property to renovate, or you’ve just moved into a new home, you may want to undertake a survey to scope out its potential. Luckily, all tradespeople are still permitted to visit your home and this includes surveyors, plumbers, electricians - to name a few.

If you do end up having a tradesperson come into your home, whether for a survey or for another household fix, you’ll need to make sure they’re following the safety guidelines.

At Resi, we do everything we can to ensure your survey meets all of the government guidelines concerning COVID-19. During the course of your home visit, your surveyor will stick to strict hygiene rules, keep to an appropriate distance at all times, as well as wear protective gear.

We also use the latest in surveying technology. Our 3D laser scanners allow us to measure up your home in a fully contactless service, and we can be in and out of your home within half the time of a manual survey.

Learn more about our measured surveys.

Concerned about your home in 2021?

Don’t panic! Our team is always on hand to provide you with free expert advice. We specialise in…

  • Renovation, extensions, and building homes from scratch
  • Planning permission and permitted development rights
  • Building regulations
  • Finding contractors and other specialists
  • Budgeting
  • Mortgages and remortgages
  • Short-term loans
  • Insurance policies

Plus much more!

If you’re looking for a helping hand, simply book a free advice call here.

Please note:

  • You may have to pay an early repayment charge to your existing lender if you remortgage.
  • Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
  • There may be a fee for mortgage advice. The actual amount you pay will depend upon your circumstances. The fee is up to 1%, but a typical fee is £495.

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Phone: +44203 868 9453 | Email: advice@resi.co.uk

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We are proud to employ architects registered with the Architects Registration Board and were awarded the mark for The Mayor's Good Work Standard for fair pay & conditions, wellbeing, skills, progression, diversity and recruitment.

Resi Finance Ltd is an appointed representative of Mortgage Advice Bureau Limited and Mortgage Advice Bureau (Derby) Limited who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Resi Finance Ltd. Registered Office: International House Canterbury Crescent, Floor 4, London, England, SW9 7QE. Registered in England Number: 12327535