Have you put your property plans on hold due to the Coronavirus?

While buying a new home is an exciting experience, it can also be very stressful. With the current coronavirus health pandemic added to the mix, it may have caused you to rethink your property plans.

For those who have been looking to make their move into the property market we encourage you not to lose hope. One thing we are certain of - the coronavirus pandemic will eventually pass and we are here to help you stay on track with your property goals.

What can I do while I take a break from looking at homes?

If you have paused your home buying plans, there may be a few other things to focus on in the interim to help you when you are ready.

Use this time whilst on pause wisely. Focusing on ways you can continue to save is an important one. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Revisit your budget - Take the time to review your expenses now that you are spending more time at home, look at what might change in your spending patterns
  • Work-out from home - Is it time to break up with your personal trainer? Or move to an online bootcamp instead of 1:1? Some gyms are offering a membership payment freeze while others are offering online classes. If you are looking to cut back on this expense, there are countless workout videos on YouTube.

10 step COVID-19 checklist

Read more tips like these in our handy financial checklist.

Read more

Should I still organise a pre-approval?

Organising a home loan pre-approval now could be a smart idea if you are seeking to get a clearer picture of how much you can borrow. It could also put you in a good position to buy when you're ready. There is a time limit to take into consideration, pre-approvals generally last for 90 days.

Can I still inspect and purchase a home right now?

'The answer is yes, but maybe not in what has been the conventional way. In an attempt to prevent the spread of Covid-19 on-site auctions and open house inspections are currently not permitted, however there are still ways of viewing a property.

It’s worth checking with the listing agent if they are able to facilitate a private inspection of the property, being mindful of the health advice from the Government.

As the property market shifts to virtual, it’s worth finding out from the listing agent if you could request an online inspection via video chat technology like Skype, WhatsApp, Zoom, Facetime or Google Hangout.

It’s important to note that changes to your personal circumstances might affect your ability to proceed with a full home loan application. Each lender will have a different approach to assessing your loan application.

The right advice is essential, be sure to work with your local Mortgage Choice broker to understand what options will be available based on your situation.

What if I have a home loan application currently being processed?

If you have an application currently underway, please contact your broker. Any delays in processing timeframes or changes to policies will vary from lender to lender, your broker will be able to advise you on the details specific to your application.

Is the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme still available?

Since 1 January, the banks had opened up a total of 10,000 spaces for potential first home buyers under the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme. However, of the spaces made available for this financial year, only 3,500 remain open.

The good news is that from 1 July 2020, an additional 10,000 spaces for the 5% First Home Loan Deposits schemes will be released.
And if you have put your property plans on hold, it’s good time to focus on the planning side of things - especially if you are in a position to continue to save for your deposit, gather additional information and learn more about mortgage best practices.

What will happen to property prices?

No one has a crystal ball to say what effect the coronavirus will have on the property market right now. The data will come through slowly as the event unfolds.

That being said, the government and the RBA are working hard to implement measures to support households and businesses and address the significant economic consequences of the Coronavirus.

While it’s natural to be concerned about your property buying plans during these difficult times, it is important to speak to an expert to make the right financial decisions. Get in touch with your Mortgage Choice broker today and find out what options may be available to you.

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Note: Information is accurate as at 2 April 2020

Posted in: Property market