Personal Finance: I’m in the process of buying a house, should I pull out?
Kelly-Anne Byres, director of KBL Accounts, looks at how to negotiate a house purchase during the crisis.
Without a doubt, coronavirus has brought the UK to a standstill and not even the bricks and mortar of our economy is immune to its effects.
This means that anyone buying or selling a house should consider how to progress. That’s not to say you should pull out. But you do need to consider a few things.
First of all, what is your reason for buying? Is this an investment or a home of your own?
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People still need places to live, and few can simply abandon their purchases – especially if it means they will lose money by doing so. If this is your dream home, you might not want to risk losing it, even if the process is going to take a lot longer than usual.
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If this is an investment, or you plan to resell in a year, be aware that house prices are likely to fall in value this year so if you have had an offer accepted, it might be worth renegotiating the price.
Secondly, have your finances been detrimentally affected by the pandemic? If so, can you afford the mortgage repayments? Have you even got a mortgage in place?
For buyers looking for a mortgage the options are starting to dwindle.
Some lenders have also begun to rescind mortgage offerings, starting with Halifax which is now asking for a minimum 40% deposit to qualify for a loan.
Thirdly, how far down the line is your purchase?
The government has advised buyers and renters to delay moving house while self-isolation and social distancing measures are in place – and removal companies are not operational.
Official guidance has been very clear that all parties are to delay transactions if possible, urging people to adapt and be flexible.
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