1. Safer viewings - Developers, agents, buyers and sellers alike need to be fully prepared to put safety first to maintain the confidence and protection of everyone involved, but if you are feeling anxious about viewings there are lots of things you can feel positive about. All Kebbell show home viewings are being taken by appointment so there are fewer people in a house at any one time and everyone must respect social distancing. Visitors will be asked not to touch surfaces when looking inside a house in many developments and masks, gloves and hand sanitiser will be available to all.
2. Know what you want - To reduce attending an excessive amount of show home appointments, don’t start looking until you are clear about what the critical things you want in your new home are. Estate agents will also favour more serious buyers so be clear about what you want and what your budget is.
3. A change in trends – As lockdown is lifted more people are considering a move out of cities. Gardens or nearby outdoor spaces have become increasingly important. Many of us will need and want to work more from home, so space for a home office is also a very desirable home feature.
4. Undertake virtual research first - During lockdown there was a noticeable increase in online viewings and virtual tours. These are still the best ways to look at properties prior to seeing them in person, so do your research online first to minimise viewings of properties that simply don’t tick all your boxes.
5. Make the most of stamp duty paid! - Homebuyers don't need to pay stamp duty on the first £500,000 of a property's purchase price until 31 March 2021 in England, in a temporary measure announced by the Chancellor. This is a significant opportunity for homebuyers right now as previously buyers paid stamp duty after the first £125,000, or £300,000 for first-time buyers (if buying a property worth less than £500,000).
6. Expect short delays - COVID-19 has impacted every household and business so it is inevitable now the market has carefully reopened that there may be disrupted services because of a backlog of local authority searches, surveys, removal companies, materials required on site and banking approvals. Be realistic about your timeline and factor in delays.
7. Pent up demand - Both lockdown and Brexit will have slowed the market, but serious buyers are now ready to commit to purchasing as they want to move their lives forward so be brave and be decisive!
8. Location, Location, Location – Lockdown might have forced you to evaluate if you are currently living in the right area with the right community. Spending time getting to know a new area might be harder than it was before so trust your instincts and pop into the local post office or ask around. Social media is a good source to capture the essence of a village or town. A sense of community has never been more important.
9. Research into incentive schemes – There are lots of Government-backed incentive schemes available as well as those offered directly by housebuilders. Your dream home could be more achievable than you think, particularly if you are a first-time buyer. Schemes include: Help to Buy, Armed Forces Help to Buy, Part Exchange and Shared Ownership. Don’t miss out on these opportunities.
10. Cleaning up buying – As recent times have caused the property industry to be evermore considerate about cleanliness and hygiene, you could ask for your new home to be deep cleaned before you move in. This is not a requirement for housebuilders but it is something that Kebbell is offering to all buyers.
11. If you have symptoms, delay your visit - Potential buyers who may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should refrain from visiting until the appropriate self-isolation period has been completed in the same way that sellers and agents also will.
So if now is the time to make your move check out the new homes page to find out more about all of our developments.