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Buying a house in 2021

Who knew that when the dreaded C-bomb hit us in 2020, it would lead to a boom in the housing market? Truthfully, we didn’t and I don’t think many agents would disagree with us.

As we are now well in to 2021, we can see that the market has continued to thrive and prices have increased. Since the beginning of the year, new listings have slowed and sales have increased, which has been a driving factor in the surge in price increases.

So with all of this in mind, there are a few things that you should probably consider when you are buying in 2021

Less bang for your buck!

With the surge in prices in the past 18 months, the effect of the furlough scheme and job security, you may find that you really need to re-assess your affordability.

Prices have increase by 9.4%* in the past year. We have noticed that a rise in detached houses that would have been on the market a couple of years ago at around £250,000 are now at an asking price around £280,000 – £290,000. This means that the house that you had your eye on a couple of years ago is no longer viable in 2021, so it is very important to consider your budget.

*Official Rightmove data from March 2020 – March 2021 in the Yorkshire & Humber region

You also need to take different factors into account; what could happen if your hours were unexpectedly reduced, or you lost your job completely? How has the furlough scheme affected your affordability? Also, if your place of employment moved locations, or if you worked from home permanently? All would need to be considered when planning your budget.

Living (and working) Space

Living accommodation has always been important in a property search but it has become a main deciding factor, not just for the normal living arrangements, but since Covid-19 many people have been forced to work from home on kitchen tables and in spare bedrooms.

This means that you could be searching for a property where there is a space to work from comfortably.

  • Ideally a study or maybe a spare bedroom would be preferable.
  • Would a space under the stairs be an acceptable alternative? (although, it would probably better to have a window to look out of and some natural light, don’t underestimate the effect these can have on your mental health)
  • Is there room for a cabin/summerhouse outside?
  • Can you convert a garage or outbuilding?

The Great Outdoors

As we were spending weeks and months confined to our houses, we all realised the importance of outdoor space.

Space or the lack of it can be a new consideration especially since the pandemic as those spending extra time inside their flats or apartments made them realise the importance for some personal outside space.  Likewise, those that had space that was not fully utilised may feel that they want to look for something more suitable for their needs.

So, take into consideration if you would be happy with a large garden, a little garden or a courtyard garden. Also consider the orientation of the garden. It may be that you are now working from home and want morning sun in your garden to improve your work life. On the flip side, if you are working at the business premises during the day, you may well want the afternoon/evening sun in your garden so you can relax after a hard day with a glass of gin.

Location, location, location

No, we are not talking about the show with Kirsty and Phil. Location has always been an important factor in any home move. Consider where your home will be in relation to transport links, local amenities and distance to relatives and friends.

Due to the pandemic the job market is not so stable, would you be able to find a new job close to your new home?

As we mentioned above, outdoor space is important so see what you will have on your new doorstep. Is there a local park? Areas to walk with friends or your dog? Look for things that suit your lifestyle.

A helping hand

Whilst the market has soared, there have been several things that have helped buyers across the market.

Stamp Duty Holiday

Whilst the full Stamp Duty holiday has ended (30th June 2021) it is still available for properties from £125,001 to £250,000 up until 30th September 2021. After this point it will go back up to 2% of the difference between £125,000 and the sale price.

5% Deposits

Lower deposits have become available to a wider range of buyers, not just first-time buyers, who are purchasing a property up to £600,000 using the Government’s new 5% deposit home loan guarantee scheme.

It is helping more people become homeowners, however with any financial products always seek independent advice to ensure it is the best option for you. Click here to visit our recommended mortgage advisors website, Lincolnshire Financial Services.

Lifetime ISAs

Available for first time buyers only who are over 18 and under 40. With a lifetime ISA, you can put up to £4000 a year into the ISA and get a 25% bonus, up to a maximum of £1,000 per year is payable by the government.

If you are a couple this can be for each person too, so increasing the money payable to you and helping you even more to buy the home of your dreams.

As with the above, you need to ensure you speak to an advisor to ensure you qualify but you can find a link here for more information. We will be covering this subject in more detail in a future video blog.

Whatever property you end up buying, we wish you all the best for your new home. If we can be of assistance in selling your current home, you can call us to arrange a a time for us to provide you with free advice and valuation.

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