On Saturday 31st October, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that England would enter a second lockdown from Thursday 5th November, through until Wednesday 2nd December. This was done with the intention to decrease the spread of the coronavirus across the country, with additional restrictions in place.
Luckily for some, this lockdown is a little more relaxed than the first lockdown we experienced, allowing more industries and educational settings to remain open. The thing that initially concerned us the most, was what would happen to the property market. Thankfully, now that Lockdown 2.0 is underway, we can say that everything looks promising and the property market will remains open as normal.
Of course, there has been some minor changes to areas of the home buying process, most of them relating to social distancing. The property market is still standing strong though! Here is a look at some of the things you can still do:
Unlike the start of the last lockdown when the rules were stricter, in this lockdown you are still able to move home if you need to. Home removal services, van hire, everything needed to move home will still be available for people to use.
As mentioned at the start, the process of moving home will have to be completed under the social distancing guidelines. This will be vital to follow if you are either viewing other people’s properties or taking house viewings on a regular basis.
Yes, the government are allowing you to visit your estate agent’s office. However, this is dependent on individual branches, as some estate agents have chosen to work form home and have closed their public office. You may have to check online to see whether they are open or not.
Nowadays a lot of people prefer to transact over the phone, so even if you can’t visit in person, you can rest assured that the staff are fully equipped to get the process started over the phone and even online.
We advise that you take your time if you are going through the process online, and make sure that you fully understand everything that is being communicated.
You can still continue with your house viewings, however, if your estate agent is offering a virtual house viewing, it is probably more recommended to try that. Most home buyers are shifting towards this new way of doing house viewings; as a Mortgage Broker in Manchester, we also expect that the number of virtual viewings will increase over the course of national lockdown.
Even though virtual viewings may be your safest option, we also understand that choosing your dream home is a really big decision for your life going, so if you want to view the property in person, this is understandable. Just remember to be careful!
Your estate agents will also check with the property owners that a property viewing is okay, so long as it is socially distanced property viewing. If they agree, then you can arrange a date and time. Depending on the time of day and the homeowner’s personal situation, they may go out somewhere so that there as few people in the household at one time as possible.
The property market hasn’t been put on pause like it was earlier in 2020, so you are still able to go through the home selling process as normal. You will need to consider everything that comes with selling a property, including choosing an estate agent and a property valuation, getting pictures of the property taken and making it presentable for any viewers.
With the guidelines and restrictions in place, there may be some delay in certain areas of the process, though that should not put you off. Estate agents are very busy right now with enquiries and with all of the different measures in place, things that are normally easy to complete are taking a little longer than they would like.
Yes, conveyancing solicitors will remain open as normal. They will still be available to support the sale of your property. Much like estate agents, most solicitors are working from home and we advise that you be patient as due to the demand in the property market, things may not go as quickly as you’d normally hope for.
As a dedicated Mortgage Broker in Manchester, this is a question that we have been asked quite a lot during the course of the pandemic. It was particularly asked by lots of homeowners during the first UK lockdown.
In this lockdown, even though it’s much shorter, you can take a mortgage payment holiday if it is really deemed necessary. We understand that there are many homeowners out there that need help meeting their mortgage payments. If this is your situation then taking one out could be a real lifeline for you and your home.
To find out more helpful information about mortgage payment holidays and whether you should take one out, check out our article on mortgage payment holidays.
If you took out a mortgage payment holiday during the first lockdown and are currently still on the scheme, you can extend your holiday further so that it comes to a total of six months holiday. However, if you have already had a six month payment holiday and you have already reached the six month limit and therefore unlikely that you will be able to utilise the scheme again going forward.
The property market is slowly catching up to speed and thankfully can continue marching on through this second lockdown. If you are wanting to start the mortgage/home buying process and would like help from someone with experience, it may be within your best interests to get professional Mortgage Advice in Manchester.
With all of the social distancing measures in place and the demand in the market, this could also make things a lot quicker for you. As an experienced Mortgage Broker in Manchester, we have a wealth of knowledge in helping customers achieve their mortgage dreams. We want the whole process to run as smoothly as your do; don’t hesitate to get in touch today and we will get you booked in with a mortgage advisor!