How to get moving after Covid-19

Get moving with your 5-Step Mortgage Checklist

Post-lockdown, the UK housing market is currently experiencing a mini-boom as a result of pent-up demand and the new stamp duty payment holiday.  Rightmove reported a 75% increase of buyer enquiries in July 2020 compared to July 2019.  But, although demand to buy is strong, the availability of mortgage products has been cut in half compared to pre-lockdown numbers.

With increasing competition for houses, less product availability, fewer mortgage deals and also the potential of increasing rates, borrowers need to know how to put themselves in the best position to secure their next home.

Please see our 5 – step mortgage checklist below to get your application moving as quickly as possible:

  1. Eligibility & Affordability– Check your basic eligibility and mortgage affordability with one of our team of mortgage brokers.  Initial consultations with our team are free of charge and no obligation.  We recommend that you book the sooner the better and no need to wait until an offer is made on a property.  This consultation will identify any issues early on and help you to start to get any necessary finances in order, for example this may include gathering a larger deposit together.  Those looking to buy a new build property may benefit from a Government Help to Buy loan.  Whereas help from a family member may be a way to quickly boost a deposit and/ or affordability.  For more information about the options of help from family members please visit our blog Bank of Mum and Dad.
  2. Mortgage Consultation – Book a consultation when you’re ready – the sooner the better and no need to wait until an offer is made on a property. This will help to get the paperwork for a full application ready, for example, you may require employment references or proof of Government funding if you’re self-employed.  Book here >
  3. Mortgage Agreement – Get an Agreement in Principle (AIP) with the help of a mortgage broker – this is a pre-application not a confirmed agreement to lend you the money but can help to show sellers and estate agents that you are a serious buyer. The AIP is usually valid for 90-days but may vary.
  4. Mortgage Application – Get the paperwork ready – as soon as an offer is agreed, a mortgage application can be completed for you by your mortgage broker. Underwriting may take longer than normal, and having comprehensive paperwork ready with no missing details will get processed more quickly.
  5. Valuation – COVID-19 is challenging valuers’ ability to gather and analyse key information, creating unprecedented valuation uncertainty. The need for valuers to assess risk and ensure adherence to RICS- The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors – standards and guidance is therefore greater than ever. Different lenders use different surveying firms to conduct their valuations and some may use virtual valuations instead of physical valuations.  Brokers can ask the mortgage lender about the current timescale on valuations and if a virtual valuation could be completed instead.  If there is an issue with valuations, brokers can usually also help to find out more information from the lender in order to liaise with the estate agent and conveyance during the sales process.

A mortgage broker can be a useful shortcut for all of these stages, as they usually know lenders’ criteria and requirements from experience.  If your circumstances change at any point during the process, the mortgage application will need to be reviewed and your broker can help you with this.  Often the broker will also have access to additional lender contacts, helping to solve problems that may arise, or clarify queries as quickly as possible.

The hardest part of buying a new home quickly is managing the chain of other buyers and sellers in the process. Buying a property without a chain has the significant advantage of removing these issues. In all cases though, having good communication with all those involved in the chain will help to keep the purchase on track.

If you’d like to read more about financial support during Covid-19 please visit our blog here >

Speaking to a professional mortgage adviser that works with many lenders is imperative.  For advice on the right mortgage to suit your personal circumstances, please contact the team at Howard Mortgages on 01803 554455 or contact us here.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.