Mortgages in Corona Virus Times

(This is a colaborative post)

Mortgages in Corona Virus Times

It is no surprise to anyone that Coronavirus has affected many industries and the property industry is certainly no exception. With various lockdowns and local restrictions taking place over the last 12 months, there has been a massive effect on the property industry and the selling of property.

The Property Industry Now

Over recent weeks the property industry has started to pick up. With a roadmap out of restrictions announced by the government, students return to school and better weather in sight, estate agencies are reporting an uplift in both properties coming to the market and those looking to buy.
The March 2021 budget certainly helped with this, as the government announced that the Stamp Duty Holiday implemented in 2020 would be extended to June 30th in England and North Ireland.

Buying a Property

A photo of a skyline with The Shard in the distance

When the pandemic first hit and lockdown was announced the prospect of getting a mortgage did change. Lenders were reluctant to lend to people with less than a 10% deposit and some even asked for a 15% deposit before you could be considered for a mortgage. This was driven by the financial industry being in decline and the fact that many people’s jobs were up in the air with furlough, redundancies and reduced hours on the cards of many employees.
The property industry like many others stepped up to help their customers and lots of mortgage companies gave their homeowners the option of having a 6 month mortgage holiday – allowing them to take a break in the payments they owed.

First Time Buyers

The mortgage prospects for many have changed, with lenders starting to become more lenient with their lending criteria as we start to exit restrictions. Another thing the Government announced during the 2021 budget was a scheme to support first-time buyers. As of April 2021, a number of mortgage lenders will be offering 95% mortgages to first time buyers that qualify. Each lender will have their own criteria of the people they will lend to, but it is great news for people wanting to get on the property ladder for the first time.

How Much Can I Borrow?

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or not, one of the first things you’ll need to investigate when considering a property to buy is how much you can borrow. It is a good idea to find a reliable mortgage calculator and start from there – is a popular choice as it gives you lots of mortgage information which you can vary depending on your circumstances. Make sure you fill in all of your details as accurately as possible and you’ll be given an idea of how much you can borrow.

It is also worth looking at what Help To Buy schemes are operating in the area you wish to buy in because these can be a great way to enable you to afford the type of property you wish to purchase. The Government has some great resources on affordable home-ownership schemes which are also worth reading.

Start with a mortgage calculator and get in touch with a mortgage broker. They’ll be able to tell you exactly what you can borrow, what you can do to improve your chances of being able to borrow more & what schemes you might be eligible for to help you climb the property ladder.

What is the Market Doing?

A photo of a doormat that says, "Hello Wonderful People".
Once you have your own front door, you can have your own door mat!

Its hard to tell what the Market is going to do or even what it is doing. If you want to buy a property; whether it is your first one or your ‘next’ one, then you should make sure you know both what you want and what you can afford. ‘The Market’ will do whatever it is going to do anyway so really your decision is driven from what you want and what you can afford. Be flexible in what you want because you’ll soon realise that what you can afford is the real driver in any property purchase.

The Reverends Final Thought

Buying a property is stressful and nerve-racking but it is also a necessary evil in today’s world. Information is key – make sure you do your research in the areas you want to live. You can even see the crime rates in your area, as well as school performance and commuting options. So much information is out there for you to check and make sure you are best informed in how to make your buying decision. Once the purchase is made you can relax in your own home and that is a great feeling.


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