Even if you weren’t thinking of moving home a month ago the chances are it’s probably crossed your mind once or twice more recently.
Wouldn’t it be great if you had that extra room you could transform into an office to be more productive working from home? Maybe a quiet space to withdraw and relax in peace for an hour or two? If there are children or teenagers in the house, what would you give for a space for them to play in or chill out, enjoying their own company?
And as the weather warms up, a garden or even a community green space to make the most of the outdoors?
Even though it might not feel like it presently, many good things can come from this time, none more so than the ultimate endeavour of saving lives.
Social distancing and stay-at-home advice will undoubtedly change the way we live our lives, both now and in the future.
Once the Coronavirus has been defeated – and it will be – life to a certain extent will be different. More people may choose to work from home and employers will have perfected the means to do so, supported by home technology and superfast broadband.
Families previously forced to live fairly remote lives may now find more time to be together. Communities will hopefully continue to support one another more than ever before.
At the heart of everything will be the home.
You would be forgiven for thinking there’s simply nothing you can do presently to address those nagging concerns that you don’t have enough space, that there isn’t a pleasant back garden or nowhere to entertain all your friends when we are eventually allowed back out.
The fact is – there is. You can begin to get yourselves new home ready.
Covid-19 has taught us many things. One which often gets overlooked is the fragility of long term financial stability.
It can take much less than a global pandemic to negatively impact stocks and shares which can be catastrophic for those relying on pensions for their future financial security.
Never more so has the strength and stability of long term investment in bricks and mortar been so important and the reduction of interest rates to record lows will make buying a new home more affordable that is has been for many years.
As with much in life, the early bird often catches the worm and those who are able to use this unprecedented time to get themselves prepared could be in for huge bonuses.
And it IS possible to be ready, so when lockdown measures are relaxed you can enjoy the most exciting part by going to look around a potential new property.
Here’s what you can be doing now:
- Do your homework
- Start by calculating what you can realistically afford as a deposit – and remember to keep a bit back to cover for those inevitable rainy days
- Use this time to really understand your expenses. And remember to allow yourselves a bit extra for when the restaurants, shops and bars re-open!
- Look at how your finances may change in the short to medium term, especially if you are a planning a family or looking for a change of career
- Have a look through what mortgage lenders are currently offering (remembering interest rates are incredibly low making now a terrific time to buy) and think about whether you would be more comfortable with a fixed rate for a number of years or a tracker which will currently offer super low rates
- Speak to an adviser
Mortgage advice is perfect to be done remotely. Find an independent mortgage adviser who can talk you through how mortgages work, the differences between capital repayment and interest only and give you some examples of what type of mortgage amount you might be able to get. You may be pleasantly surprised that you can afford more than you think – and much less than you are paying in rent.
- Call a sales adviser
Even though you still might not be able to go and visit a show home, it is still a great idea to call a sales adviser who will be able to talk you through new home options, prices, the new home buying process, Help to Buy (the Government-backed support for new home buyers) and share videos and virtual tours. They may also have some fantastic incentives for those ready to move quickly post-lockdown.
- Do the paperwork
If you are able to find the time, getting your paperwork in order will be a huge weight off your mind. Here’s what you will need to sort out:
- At least six months’ worth of payslips (or three years of accounts if you are self-employed
- Your passport or driving licence – if these are out of date why not get them renewed remotely now?
- A utility bill or bank statement to prove your ID
- A rough calculation of your income and expenditure
- Get your own home valued
If you currently own your own home why not ask a local agent to give you a rough valuation on what they think your property may sell for? You can get advice over the telephone and you could send photos to give the agent more detail. Knowing what your home is worth will help you choose your next home on the ladder. You might even decide to list your home for sale now to give yourself the best chance of selling in order to move quickly this summer.
If you want to talk about any aspect of buying a new home in Feniscowles, Blackburn or at our other new homes developments in Forton, Lancashire or Hatherleigh, Devon, you can call one of our friendly advisers at any time. Even though are show homes are currently closed, we’re still here for our customers and residents and we would be more than happy to help you find your next home.