Don’t put your move on hold: how to stay safe when buying a home

Our Resale and Staircasing Officer, Chloe, has been helping people to sell their shared ownership homes safely over the last few months. Here she shares some insight onto how to approach buying a home during the Covid-19 crisis.

Despite the ongoing restrictions on many areas of life, people have been permitted to move home across the UK since the national lockdown lifted earlier this summer. The weeks of limited movement and the need to work from home has given more of us the motivation to move – and the good news is that it’s safe to do so as long as you take the right precautions. Even under the current three tier system, house moves are permitted to go ahead. So you don’t need to put your move on hold unnecessarily.

Many of the homes we sell are new builds but there are lots of fantastic shared ownership homes on the market which are currently lived in too. Considering a pre-owned home could be a great way to find a home in the area you’re looking in sooner than you think. Over the last 6 months, we’ve supported shared owners in Lincolnshire, Milton Keynes, Peterborough and Huntingdon to sell their homes. 

You’ll be able to tell a home is being sold for shared ownership when you see its listing – whether that’s on Rightmove or in an estate agent window, it should be clear that the property is shared ownership and what the minimum share required is. When you apply we’ll still take you through the same affordability checks we would for any shared ownership home, but we ask you to buy at least the same size share as the current owner. 

The process of buying a pre-owned home is almost identical to buying a new build, but as the home is already built you can go to take a look around. Viewings are a wonderful way to work out if a home is the right fit for you, but they can feel a bit different under current circumstances. The government has issued some really useful advice on how to approach viewings and the precautions you should take before, during and after. There are some things which could delay a sale, for instance if you or a member of the other person’s household tested positive, the rules around self-isolation would mean you might need to agree a new moving date. I think everyone can agree that it’s worth pushing things back a few weeks to keep everyone safe.

If you've found the right home for you, take a look at my colleague, Meghann’s advice on applying made easy.

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