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Moving house during a pandemic. What do I need to know?

(4 Posts)
Thingsthatgo Thu 27-Aug-20 22:33:08

We’ve accepted an offer on our place, and waiting to hear back if our offer has been accepted on a house we’d like to buy. (EA hinted they might like a bit more, but we are close!).
Our estate agent said that searches in our area are taking no longer than pre COVID, which is good news. We need to find a solicitor (are online ones any good, or is it better to find someone local?).
If you’ve moved recently, what should I be aware of? Anything I need to do early because it’s taking ages?
We’ve got a mortgage broker who is on the case, and has got the ball rolling.
Tell me all about your experiences and tell me all your advice please smile

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Globalpandemicmum Fri 28-Aug-20 05:12:27

We moved back in May which was a very different time in terms of lockdown and means that we’d initiated most things before lockdown started so I’m not sure how relevant these points are now but thought I’d share anyway:

Most solicitors had been furloughed so there were less people available to deal with the work, so response times were slower.

Our buyers searches took a little longer due to corona but ours were fine. We were moving borough so different councils were obviously effected differently.

We had to exchange and complete on the same day. This was to make sure no one caught corona and then couldn’t move on the agreed completion date.

We could only move at that time because the house we were buying was empty and our buyers could wait two days before moving in to our house.

Notyetthere Fri 28-Aug-20 06:37:13

A lot of the banks have a back log of applications. Following discussions on here it seems Halifax are one of the few who are processing applications at a reasonable timescale.

Our offer was accepted on 14th July. Completed the telephone mortgage application with our bank to port and borrow extra. It then took a week for us to receive the paperwork to sign. the bank received the whole application pack on 7th August. Survey was instructed immediately for 1st September. So now we wait. I spoke to the bank last and they told me they hadn't even started on applications received in August! They were still underwriting those received mid-July.

Be prepared to get the conveyancing side of things as soon as you can. That way by the time your mortgage offer comes in, you will be ready to talk exchange and completion. I also do wish we had paid for our own survey but our bank gave us such a good quote to get both valuation and Building survey completed by their surveyors. We now have to wait till at the earliest end of next week to glimpse the survey. Highly likely that our bank will not have got to our application yet.

I read elsewhere that the applications were taking so long that by the time the underwriters got to some peoples', they asked for more recent bank statements since the ones in the application are now old. This also put them back at the bottom of the pile.

Thingsthatgo Fri 28-Aug-20 21:25:59

Thank you. It seems that things are pretty slow at the moment. I have heard of other people exchanging and completing on the same day. I can understand why it’s a good idea, but it sounds unbelievably stressful!

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