Posted in: Latest News, 1st May, 2020

Buying a home during lockdown

There is so much we are being asked not to do at the moment, and most of us are doing our very best to comply with the restrictions put into place to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Photograph of Saltersford Gardens in Holmes Chapel
Yo9u could still make the move to Saltersford Gardens during lockdown

But there are also lots of things we can still do, and one of those is buy a new home.

There has been some confusion about the rules governing moving house during the current lockdown period.

The government has now clarified its advice and issued guidance about making a move.

The great news for our customers is that moving into a new build home is still allowed.

In fact the government explicitly states in its guidance note: Where the property being moved into is vacant, then you can continue with this transaction.

It makes sense, of course, as the restrictions are aimed at reducing contact between people and avoiding cross contamination where possible.

So moving into a second-hand home, just hours after the previous owner has left it, isn’t advised.

A new build home, however, is spotlessly clean as no one has ever lived in it before.

And, as part of the Russell Homes customer service promise, each property is given a final pre-occupation clean by a professional team.

But what if I’m in a chain

If your move depends on the sale of your own home and a moving date has already been agreed, the government acknowledges this can still take place subject to all social distancing measures being implemented.

Removals companies have been asked to honour existing commitments and to adhere to the government guidance on social distancing and working in people’s homes.

If it turns out that your sale is affected please don’t worry. Get in touch with our sales manager Gill Richardson and we’ll work out how best to keep your move on track, even if it means pushing the timescale back a few weeks.

And do remember, if any of the parties are ill or has symptoms of the Coronavirus, which would require them to self-isolate not leave the house for any reason for a fortnight, there will be a delay regardless of any previous arrangements.

I’m in the middle of the buying process

Anyone who is in the process of buying their new build home can still continue with their purchase. Customers can still contact the Russell Homes sales team, who are working from home and can help progress the transaction as usual.

If you are relying on a sale for your existing property, speak to your agent and solicitor to find out about any delays or restrictions further down the chain.

Can I still reserve a home?

Yes we are still taking reservations and, as it usually takes six to eight weeks to exchange of contracts, there may not be much of a delay at all.

If you have a mortgage offer and there is a delay in the process due to some other factor, such as being dependent on the sale of your own home or someone further down the chain, the government has asked lenders extend the term of the offer.

Lenders have also been asked to be flexible and positive when it comes to someone suffering a change in their financial circumstances due to the pandemic. It is definitely worth getting in touch with your lender and asking what they can do to help.

To read the Government Guidance Note on Moving House in full, click here.

For the latest guidance on what to do if you have symptoms of the Coronavirus, click here.

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