Share to Buy Expert Sessions: Your questions about buying during COVID-19

Answering your questions about buying a home during lockdown.

Buying a home during coronavirus

Is it worth going through the buying process during COVID-19? I'm concerned as physical valuation can't take place which is resulting in mortgages being put on hold.

Response from Catalyst – Absolutely, we actually saw an increase in buyer enquiries in April compared to March, so if you want to have your “pick of the plots” then you are best to put yourself in the position to do so now and try to avoid any rush that may happen once marketing suites re-open.

In regards to mortgages, the mortgage market is still very competitive and rates are at all-time lows, so not only can you lock in a good mortgage product but some lenders have switched to desktop valuations. If not then we are still reserving properties subject to valuation when surveyors start attending site

Will I be able to move into a new home while we're still in lockdown?

Response from Catalyst – Yes, we have ensured that we’re abiding by the social distancing rules whilst completing on the sales of new homes, so whilst a contactless key handover is not the ideal as we love welcoming people into their new homes and watching them open their front door for the first time, we are still able to help people fulfil the dream they have been waiting for.

What will happen about applying for a mortgage on furlough wages?

Response from Catalyst – Lender criteria is varied on this but in the main most lenders will use the 80% of furlough income which is okay so long as it fits affordability.

Can I still apply for a Shared Ownership mortgage if I've been furloughed but still earning same wage? Will they accept the last three moths of statements even if we've been in lockdown?

Response from Censeo Financial – In both cases the answer to this is yes. You will be assessed on your current wage, and the last three statements will be what is asked for regardless of lockdown

I want to reserve a home that's still in the construction phase. It was due to be completed but has been delayed due to COVID-19. Should I hold off until works are completed or should I proceed?

Response from Southern Home Ownership – Speak to the housing association to find out when they are expecting your home to be completed. Bare in mind that this will still only be an estimate and is likely to be subject to change.

However, if you are prepared to wait for your home and feel comfortable proceeding then the housing association will keep in regular contact with you and provide you with updates on the progress of your home.