Moving house is often touted as one of the most stressful things you can do in life. From decluttering, packing and finally trying to make your old sofa fit through the door, it’s not an easy process. Whilst all the steps have remained the same during the COVID19 pandemic, there are new rules to follow and different scenarios to expect.
The number one thing to take away from this is that it’s going to take much longer than usual. All the steps you’d expect with normal house hunting are still going ahead but have been modified to keep everyone safe, and so with that comes long wait times.
First of all, when doing your initial search, you’ll find that estate agents have adapted their sites to include much more information than usual, a pleasant side effect of the pandemic! Most agents are including videos, virtual tours, and floor plans in their listings. It’s wise to use these additional features to significantly narrow down your search.
Be brutal when it comes to your shortlist because booking an in-person appointment is taking much longer these days.
If you’re moving to a new area, it’s advised to book a virtual viewing. Driving hours away to view a property in person that you actually find you hate will not only be a waste of your time but a strain on public resources. In a way, virtual viewings actually work around your schedule and potentially save you money so it’s worth using them as an extra time-saver. However, if you do like the property, don’t feel badgered into putting in an offer based on your virtual viewing, as in-person viewings are still allowed and vital to ensure that you like the space and atmosphere, especially when buying.
Unfortunately, there are no new regulations that stop estate agents from being pushy, so don’t feel pressured to make a quick decision.
When it comes to viewings, you might find that the windows to attend are small and specific, so you might have to wait longer than you’re used to. Tenants and owners are allowed to dictate when viewings are to a much greater degree, especially if they’re shielding. This might mean viewing on an inconvenient day or time but unfortunately, there’s no way around it.
For renters, and in some cases letting agents, are doing their credit checks first and once approved by the landlord the in-person viewing can go ahead, so make sure you have all of your financial information to hand before you start.
Once you’ve decided to go ahead with an in-person appointment, remember that you cannot attend with anyone outside of your household. This of course can be very daunting for any first-time buyers or solo purchasers, remember to film your viewing so you can watch back later and it send to others who couldn’t attend. It’s also a good idea to make a list of things to check, like water pressure, cracks or any issues, so that you don’t get lost in the excitement of the moment.
Estate agents should be opening all doors so that you can avoid touching as many surfaces as possible, but if you need to turn on the shower or flush the toilet, then they will make a note and clean it afterwards. It goes without saying that you’ll need to wear a mask.
Once you’ve found your dream abode, you’ll need to get packing. The government advice is to do as much yourself and avoid using removal services to pack for you. Obviously, in lots of cases, this is unavoidable when it comes to physically move everything but when it comes to packing it’s largely down to you.
After you’re packed and you’ve probably pulled a muscle from lugging your belongings around, it’s time to open the wine and settle down for a good night’s sleep, because you’ll probably be completely knackered!
Be proud of yourself
Moving isn’t an easy job, especially during a global pandemic. Moving house can be stressful at the best of times, let alone when the whole world is put on hold for a virus. Although moving during lockdown might come with extra stresses and stimulations, be proud of yourself. You’ve successfully got yourself a home through all the additional stress, and no doubt one of the hardest times of your life.