Whilst the UK and USA seesaw in and out of lockdown, those looking to move house are getting mixed signals about whether they can do it under the new rules. This is having an effect on mortgages across the board. However, do not lose hope, as there are a couple of positives to moving during a lockdown

The restrictions vary across the country, with each region defining its own rules, but they are all being reviewed at the end of January.

Can I buy a house?

People in the UK are currently still allowed to continue to move home throughout the lockdown period across all parts of the UK. However, buyers and sellers need to adhere to social distancing rules.

Removal firms and estate agents will remain open as normal and buyers and renters will be able to attend house viewings. However, it’s worth noting that you should only move with people outside of your household (or your support bubble) when it is absolutely necessary.

House viewings are done via private appointments, and each visit has strict rules. In most cases the existing residents must vacate the property to avoid any unnecessary mixing, potential buyers will need to sanitize their hands on entry and avoid touching surfaces and appliances. Face coverings should be worn at all times to minimize the risk of any transmission.

To avoid time wasters, it is recommended that buyers and renters view the property ‘virtually’ first to keep the number of viewings to an absolute minimum.

Should I buy a house?

In July, the government cut stamp duty rates which means that it should actually be a great time to buy. However, the delays in the house buying process and slowdown in exchanges have meant many have been put off. More recently, however, all sides of the home buying process have evolved to embrace the new rules giving people more confidence to start the process. Online mortgage calculators, such as those on MortgageCalculators.info are a great place to start as they can give buyers a clear idea of how much they can borrow during these turbulent times.

If you are having trouble selling you could also try one of the many regional ‘instant valuation’ websites such as https://webuyhousesinatlanta.com/ that give you a near instant valuation and take almost any property.

Next steps

Whilst the number of properties on the market has reduced slightly, house prices have stalled over the past eight months. If you buy, you could potentially bag a bargain before life returns to normal. Similarly, if you were to buy before April 2021, you could request a six-month mortgage payment holiday alleviating some of the financial burdens. 

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