Moving home during the coronavirus pandemic

Moving house is one of the most exciting, albeit stressful, events in a person’s life. The amount of organisation that goes into getting everything ready for moving day needs to be carefully planned out weeks, if not months, in advance.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, those of you due to move house soon are probably feeling a bit lost and confused about what is going to happen and how you can best prepare for this.

We’ve taken a look at the government advice for any homemovers during this time and have listed the key things you need to know.

Moving house during lockdown

If you’re moving into a house that is currently occupied, government advice is that you should look to find an alternative date for after this has all blown over and we’re no longer being advised to stay at home. However, if you’re moving into an empty house, as long as you follow the correct guidelines and stay away from others as much as possible to contain the spread of the virus, your move can still go ahead during the lockdown period.

If anyone starts to show symptoms of the virus, they should follow medical advice and postpone the house move for the safety of all parties involved.

Therefore, there shouldn’t be any need to pull out of transactions altogether as you’ll either be still moving or postponing the date.

If you’ve already exchanged contracts

If you’ve already exchanged contracts and have a completion date, get in touch with your mortgage lender. Many lenders are looking to extend their mortgage offer by three months which will allow you to push your moving date back to a later date.

Your lender is fully aware that your financial situation may have changed in the three months, since they last issued your original mortgage offer. Therefore, if your circumstances have significantly changed, your lender will work with you to help manage your finances as soon as possible.

Reason for delays

If everything is going ahead, yet you’re still experiencing delays, the main reason for this could be the difficulty surveyors are having carrying out physical valuations of properties due to the social distancing measures now in place. Until these restrictions are lifted, this could continue to cause further delays with many applications.

Some lenders have turned to Automated Valuation Models (AVM) and desktop valuations where the valuations can be carried out remotely and from the safety of their own desks. This gives an accurate value of the property using a combination of technology, property data and local knowledge of the area.

Thinking about putting your house on the market?

You’ll struggle to do so at the moment with the new stay at home guidelines in place, as no one is allowed to view properties. Therefore, our advice to you is to spend this time getting your house ready to put on the market, for instance, give it a good spring clean and clear out anything you no longer use. This way, when the time is right, your house will be ready and hopefully it won’t take long to sell.

So, the general message from the government is that there is no need to pull out of your house move. Their advice is to be as flexible as possible with altering your arrangements, despite how frustrating this may be, but at least this way your home move can still go ahead - finger’s crossed!

If you'd like to talk through your situation with us, for further advice and guidance, please feel free to contact us today.

Because we play by the book we want to tell you that…

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 0.3% of the amount borrowed.

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