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Buying A Home In Challenging Times: How To Make The Process Smoother

Posted 25 June 2021 by Keith Osborne

The knock-on effect of Covid-19 is that it can take a bit extra work to buy a property compared with pre-pandemic times...

The coronavirus pandemic has presented unique challenges for those hoping to buy a home. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a mover, it is undeniable that the process of purchasing a property in 2021 is different to previous years.

The housing market has largely weathered the coronavirus storm, with a few fluctuations early on, which have since settled. However, the pandemic’s impact on our lives has had a knock-on effect on the ability to buy a home for many, so it can take a bit extra work to buy a property compared with pre-pandemic times.

Save more for a deposit

One of the major impacts of the pandemic has been a reduction in income, whether due to furlough, redundancy, or fewer hours offered to work. This is one of the biggest impediments to buying a home, particularly for younger first-time buyers.

It may help to ensure that you save as much as you can for a deposit. This may mean putting your plans on hold for a time to save up more. The bigger your deposit, the easier it can be to find a decent mortgage so, while it may be frustrating, this can be one of the best ways to make the house buying process more manageable.

Cut out unnecessary expenses

If you need to save more for your deposit or move, it is crucial to cut out unnecessary expenditure. It may help to track your monthly spending and see where you can cut back and eliminate waste. This could mean cancelling subscriptions to streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, reducing the number of times you buy takeaway and switching from branded groceries to generic. Small changes can amount to big savings in the long term.

You could also consider moving back in with your parents if you are currently renting. This can be a good solution for younger buyers, as it will save you on your rental bills, which tend to be the biggest monthly expense for renters. While you may not be able to live rent-free at your parents’ home, it can often be significantly cheaper than renting privately.

Have the property surveyed

A property survey can ensure that you know exactly what you are getting. A property may look perfect to the untrained eye, but a surveyor will be able to assess any issues a property has or might develop. There are many levels of property survey you could choose from, and if in doubt, it is often best to select the most comprehensive survey to ensure you are buying a sound home.

Check out this article about the benefits of home surveys from these experienced chartered surveyors. GB Home Surveys will give you the peace of mind you need to move into your new home with confidence in the quality of the property.

Know exactly what you want

When looking for a home, it is essential to know precisely what you want. The pandemic means that it is harder to view properties, so eliminating properties based on an extensive list of requirements can help reduce the number of properties you visit.

You could start by making a list of all the essentials that a home must have, for instance, a set number of bedrooms. You can then create a list of ‘nice to haves’, which will narrow down your options further. It is essential to be realistic with your requirements.

Take lots of photos and videos

It is best to limit the number of times you visit a property due to the risk of transmitting coronavirus. When viewing a property, it may help to take as many photos of the space as possible so that you can review them at your leisure afterwards. Taking a video of your walkthrough can also help give you plenty of opportunities to review the property after a viewing.

Having video and photos of the properties available will mean that you can show these to family and friends and get their opinion on the property without any unnecessary additional home viewings. However, you should note that it is a good idea to view a property more than once before you buy.

Take advantage of the help available

For first-time buyers, there are plenty of government schemes to help you onto the property ladder. You should look into the different help to buy schemes to see if you qualify for any financial aid or deposit bonuses.

You can also take advantage of schemes like the 5% deposit mortgages, which came into effect in April 2021. Some other schemes allow a family member or friend to put up their savings as surety for your mortgage, enabling you to get a mortgage without any deposit. It is essential to balance these options with the repayments you will pay, which can be higher than buying a property with a deposit of 10% or more.


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A Guide To Part Buy Part Rent
With Home Reach you buy a share of your chosen newly built home and pay a monthly rent on the part you don’t buy. Your budget will decide the size of the share you buy, rather than the size of your home. So, you might decide to buy a bigger share of a lower priced home or a smaller share of a more expensive home.

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