Here at Lifetime Solicitors, we understand how daunting buying a property can be… without the extra pressure of a global pandemic. In the last year, the coronavirus pandemic has heightened the number of home buying hurdles due to lockdowns, isolations, and everything in between. Fortunately, the property market has remained resilient, allowing people to still find their dream homes or even their first home.
If you are planning to purchase your first home during the pandemic, we have put together a list of top tips on property investment to help make the process a little easier for you.
1. Research the Government grants available to you
Taking the first step onto the property ladder is always difficult, even more so during a pandemic, where there has been a squeeze on finances for a number of households. There is, however, some hope, for first-time buyers in the form of Government incentives.
The latest option available is the ‘Help to Buy scheme. This scheme has been around since 2013 but in December 2020, Homes England announced that Help to Buy will be extended until 2023, but only eligible for first-time buyers buying new-build homes. This scheme is a good option for people who can only afford a 5% deposit as you can borrow up to 20% from the Government interest-free for the first five years.
Shared Ownership has been another popular scheme created by the Government to provide help to first-time buyers with some help. The scheme allows you to buy a share of the house (between 25% and 75% of the home’s value) and pay rent on the remaining share. Perfect for those who are struggling to afford the mortgage on 100% of a home.
2. More Than Just A Home
While price can often be the deciding factor, especially for first-time buyers, you do need to think about other factors including location, size, and maintenance.
Think about the location of this property; Is it convenient for work/school travel? Is it close to family and friends? Where is the nearest school/college? What local amenities are available to you?
Next, think about the size and the level of maintenance on the property; Can you afford to redecorate? How many bedrooms are there? Do you need more space? Perhaps make a checklist of your requirements/wishes before your viewing to ensure you cover all of the most important factors.
3. Keep safe during viewings
As a first-time buyer, you are probably itching to view all of the properties that are of interest to you. But due to Covid-19, there are now certain precautions you, the seller, and agents that have to be followed.
As the buyer, property viewings are permitted but you are recommended to do the bulk of the process online for safety precaution. When attending the viewing, there are plenty of ways you can keep safe which includes wearing a mask and gloves and maintaining a safe distance. If you develop any symptoms of coronavirus, you shouldn’t attend the viewing, which should go without saying.
4. Save, save, save
I’m sure you don’t need us to tell you how expensive moving house is. The deposit, maintenance, bills, buying furniture, it all adds up. Always look for ways you can save money, whether that be buying second-hand furniture or not having that extra cup of coffee from your favourite chain, it really does make a difference.
5. Speak to a Conveyancer
The process of purchasing a property relies on a number of professionals, such as estate agents an conveyancing solicitors. Here at Lifetime Solicitors, we have helped a number of first-time buyers with the process.
Our conveyancing team aims to make the property buying process as stress-free as possible. Get in touch with our impressive conveyancing team on 0333 241 7675 today!