After spending months on end being stuck inside the four walls of your home, you start to realise that you might need more space. Now, you’re looking at new homes with extra bedrooms so that you can turn one room into a home office. Maybe you’re looking at properties with gardens or small patios so that you can sit outside and enjoy the fresh air. You’re probably looking at bigger spaces because you feel that you need to upgrade your home. Well, whatever the reason, if you’re thinking about buying a property in London during Covid-19, here are the 5 most essential tips that you need to keep in mind!
Figure out your finances
Before you even start the process of looking at property, get your finances in order. Understand precisely how much money you can afford to spend on your new home without burning a hole in your pocket. Generally, the rule of thumb is that your property loan should not exceed more than 40 per cent of your income. Keep in mind that the future is pretty uncertain due to Covid-19, so you must not get stuck paying off loans without enough money in your bank account to support your daily needs. Whether you’re thinking about investing in buy to let as a first-time buyer or you’re interested in purchasing a new home in the countryside, figure out your finances before you start looking at potential properties.
Do your research online
Check out listings online, join groups where you can find out about the upcoming houses on the market, opt for virtual viewings and virtual open houses and do your research before you make any decision. You could be looking at a buy to let property or a new home upgrade for personal use; regardless, you need to do your research. Find out about the area, find out about the average price of homes in that area, assess value for money and make sure you find a property that is well within your budget. Nowadays, you can get all your information online, so you don’t even need to step out of the comfort of your home to do your due diligence.
Hire a real estate agent
Real estate agents understand the basic rules and regulations as well as the current protocols that need to be followed during Covid-19 when it comes to buying property. If you’re a first-time buyer, then it is highly recommended that you go through this process with a real estate agent by your side. From virtual tours to assessing the condition of the home, from negotiating a good deal to helping you close the deal, your estate agent will help you do it all.
Practice safe meetings
Whether you are going to meet your real estate agent or you’re going to meet the owners of your potential new home, make sure that you practice safe meetings. Always wear a face mask and gloves. Carry a sanitiser with you and spray any surfaces before touching them. Maintain a proper distance when you’re meeting new people and ensure that you follow social distancing protocols. Even when you're inside the property with your real estate agent or the homeowners, make sure that you keep your mask on at all times. If you can, try to avoid physical meetings altogether. Arrange for online video conferences and virtual viewings so that you can limit your exposure.
Don’t forget to shop around
Don’t set your heart on the first property that you see. Make sure to look around at different properties before you even pick your top five! Don’t limit yourself to certain areas and specific neighbourhoods; leave behind all your preconceived notions and look at multiple properties in various areas that you might like. Once you have a list of your top properties, then start to look at factors like value for money, budget limitations, convenience and comfort, and so on. Think of it like shopping for a pair of shoes – just because it’s the time of Covid-19 doesn’t mean that you have to buy the first property that you like. Do your research, view all your potential options and make an informed decision.