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Category : First Time Buyer

Help to buy mortgages

Is your Help to Buy deal ending?

Is your Help to Buy deal ending?

Since its launch in April 2013 more than 145,000 properties have been bought using the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme. Five years on and the interest-free element of the loan is due to end, with homeowners potentially facing expensive fees.

The Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme was aimed at helping more first-time buyers onto the housing ladder; they just needed a 5% deposit and 75% mortgage. The remaining 20% came as a loan from the government and was interest free for the first five years.

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fixed rate mortgage

What’s the point of a property survey?

You’re not bound by law to have a survey done on a property you’re buying, but while it may feel like an unnecessary expense given all the other costs involved in homebuying, it could actually save money and stress in the longer-term.

A survey is basically a health check on a property. If the property fails the health check, you’d want to know about it before you proceed so that you can negotiate with the seller or – if the worst is revealed – pull out of the sale. There are a number of different types of survey ranging in cost: Read More

Help to buy mortgages

Valuations vs Surveys

Conveyancing is an important part of the home buying process, and it’s important to note it’s required when both buying and selling a property.

So what should you consider when choosing a property solicitor to carry out your conveyancing? It’s important to use a qualified property solicitor who’ll be able to take care of a range of issues on your behalf, including:

Interest Rates

Interest Rate Rise

Interest Rate Rise

In 2007 Bulgaria and Romania joined the European Union, Lewis Hamilton got his first drive in Formula 1 partnering with Fernando Alonso at McLaren, the final book in the Harry Potter series was published and England played their first match at the new Wembley Stadium.

It was also the year in which the Bank of England last raised interest rates, when they went up by 0.25%.

That all changed on 2 November 2017 when The Bank of England voted to raise UK interest rates for the first time in over a decade, to 0.5%.

So how could an interest rate rise of 0.25% affect you?
In the short term, both borrowers and savers could see a modest effect on finances. Savers are likely to be pleased with the welcome boost even if the increase is small. Borrowers however will be less pleased as they could see their mortgage repayments rise.

Impact on borrowers
Higher interest will mean that those on Standard Variable Rates (SVR) or Trackers Rates will see their mortgage repayments rise. On a mortgage of £125,000 an increase of 0.25% would result in payments increasing by £15 a month (£185 a year).

Those with larger mortgages will in turn see a larger payment increase. Those with a mortgage balance of £250,000 will see their monthly payments increased by £31 (£369 a year). However, the 57% of borrowers on a fixed rate deal will be unaffected during their fixed term.

These figures might not seem much in isolation, but borrowers should also be aware that higher interest rates could impact other borrowing, like credit cards, car credit or unsecured loans.

There’s also the prospect that rates could continue to rise over the long-term. If we hit 1%, the monthly repayments on a £125,000 mortgage would go up by £78.48, and £161.69 if the rate doubled to 2%.

If you’re concerned about the impact of higher interest rates on your mortgage repayments you may want to consider a fixed-rate deal, especially if you’re currently on SVR. Remember, if you’re already on a fixed-rate deal you may face higher repayments when the term ends. Make sure you diarise when that’s due to happen and get in touch so that we can discuss whether the best option is to remortgage.

Impact on savers
According to research there’s no standard savings account on the market that can outpace inflation, in fact the average easy-access savings account is currently paying 0.35% interest.

If the Bank of England increases the base rate savers may be able to find better returns to keep up with rising inflation. However, as with mortgages, those already on a fixed rate will not see higher rates until the term ends.

Whether you’re a saver or a borrower, we’d love to help you make more of your money. Get in touch to find out how.

Your home/property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Self Build Homes

What are your grand designs?

What are your grand designs?

Are you a budding Frank Lloyd Wright with ambitions to design and build a home to your exact specifications?

If you’re choosing to build the property of your dreams and you have the knowledge and skills required, you could opt for the DIY route and take on as much of the work as you can. Or you could choose to employ professionals to do some, or all of it for you.

Self-build mortgages
Whichever route you choose you’ll need to think about financing the project – unless of course you have enough cash to fund such a project. You won’t be able to apply for a residential mortgage, which means you’ll need to look specifically at specialist self-build mortgages.

With a self-build mortgage you won’t receive all of the funds in one lump sum as you would with a residential mortgage. Instead, these types of mortgages tend to pay out funds during different stages in the process. For instance, once you’ve bought the land, or when the foundations are laid, or when the roof and windows have been installed.

The timing of the release of funds will differ depending on the materials you’re using to build your home, or if you’re renovating a property rather than building from scratch.

Self-build advantages
Every year 13,000 people from all walks of life take the plunge and build their dream home and it’s not surprising when you consider the benefits. You can choose where to splash out and where to save. You can design your living space around the needs of your family, so if you love cooking you could make the kitchen the heart of the home. You could also make sure your home has a low carbon footprint by installing solar panels and using eco-friendly building materials.

If you find a plot priced under the £125,000 threshold you could also save thousands on stamp duty as it is only payable on the purchase of the land.

If you have a grand design, or you’re looking for advice on non-standard mortgages, please get in touch. We can help find the right mortgage whatever your property ambitions.

HM Revenue and Customs practice and the law relating to taxation are complex and subject to individual circumstances and changes which cannot be foreseen.

Your home/property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Mortgage Advice

The value of our advice

The value of our advice

Good financial advice and planning helps people to protect and build their assets, make the most of their investments and help to achieve the goals and lifestyle they desire.

Establishing priorities
Every client we meet has a unique and varied range of financial planning needs, so it’s important to establish priorities right from the start if we are to create a meaningful and relevant plan.

As time passes, your financial plan will need to evolve, and regulatory changes can impact the effectiveness
of any structures already in place. That’s why we recommend a regular review to ensure that your plans remain on track and relevant.

The importance of ongoing advice and service
If you choose to receive ongoing advice and service from us, we’ll invite you to regular meetings where we will monitor the progress of your plans and discuss any adjustments required in the light of changing circumstances.

We believe that ongoing service can help you continue to make well-informed choices and give you the best chance of achieving your goals through key life stages.

Five promises we make to our clients

  1. We will help you arrange your finances so that they work as effectively as possible towards funding your life goals.
  2. We will help you take steps to ensure your income, assets and family are protected from the impact of long-term illness, disablement or death.
  3. We will advise you on how your investments can benefit from relevant tax reliefs and allowances. We will also advise you on the most effective way of withdrawing income or capital from your arrangements when the need arises, or how best to pass wealth to your intended beneficiaries.
  4. We will help you keep your plans in focus by regularly meeting with you to review and refresh arrangements. This might be a result of changing personal circumstances, legislation, new opportunities and any other factors relevant to your situation.
  5. We will be accessible and responsive whenever you wish to contact us with queries or requests.

For more information about any of our services, please get in touch.

Financial Advice

The value of mortgage advice

The value of mortgage advice

With so many mortgage lenders offering their products on the high street and online, it can be tempting to cut out the middleman and ‘go direct’.

But when you’re making such an important financial commitment, the guidance you can get from a qualified mortgage adviser can be invaluable. Here are five ways we can make a difference to your mortgage search:

  1. We know what a good deal looks like
    We have access to a wide range of well-known lenders and thousands of mortgage deals, so we can find a
    rate that suits you. But we also look beyond the rate. Lender administration and booking fees, length and
    type of loan, valuation costs and repayment methods can all affect the total amount you pay. By considering
    all these elements, we can recommend a solution tailored to your individual circumstances.
  2. We know the market
    If your needs or circumstances are ‘out of the ordinary’, it may be much harder for you to find a mortgage now than it was a few years ago. This is particularly true if you’re self-employed or a small deposit, or are
    borrowing into retirement. We can save you the time and hassle of trawling the market, and help you find a
    lender willing to provide your loan.
  3. We’ll do the hard work for you
    Selecting the most appropriate mortgage is just the start. We’ll work with you to complete all the necessary
    application forms, liaise on your behalf with solicitors, valuers and surveyors, and help to make the
    process as smooth as possible.
  4. We’re professionally qualified
    Unlike many branch and telephone-based mortgage sellers in banks and building societies, we’re qualified
    to advise you on a broad range of lenders and products. This means you benefit from genuine choice coupled with quality advice.
  5. We go beyond the mortgage
    We can help you safeguard your investment in your home by advising on a range of products that can
    financially protect your home, and your family, should the worst happen.

If you’re looking for a new mortgage, we’d love to help.

Your home/property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Mortgages

Mortgage-savvy millennials

Mortgage-savvy millennials

When it comes to their mortgage, are younger people making better financial decisions than their older counterparts?

The term ‘millennial generation’ applies to people born somewhere between 1980 and 2000, a 20-year span which also saw a huge rise in property prices. At the start of 1980, the average house price was £22,677, but by the end of 2000 this had risen to £81,628. Today the figure stands at £209,971.

A recent study shows the dramatic rise in property prices means just one in five 25-year-olds can afford to buy a property, and the average age of a first-time buyer in the UK has been pushed up to 30. Despite the financial challenges, almost three quarters of UK millennials intend to buy their first home in the next five years.

Repayment vs interest-only
The millennials who’ve bucked the trend and already made the first rung of the housing ladder obviously prefer the concept of reducing their loan month by month, with the vast majority (92%) of 18-34 year olds choosing a repayment mortgage, compared with 68% of those aged 55 and over.

Fixed rate
Younger borrowers also seem to prefer to know what their mortgage repayments are going to be, with nearly 70% opting for a fixed-rate deal compared with 35% of their older counterparts. They also seem happy to shop around, with a quarter remortgaging to potentially reduce their monthly payments, whereas 82% of those aged 55 and over have stuck with the same mortgage.

Offset mortgages also appear to be more attractive to younger generations with one third of 18-34 year olds taking out an offset mortgage (where they will use their savings to either reduce the term or repayments on their mortgage) compared to just 11% of over 55s.

If there is a conclusion to be made from these statistics it could be that millennials are more savvy when it comes to their mortgage, but remember, interest rates have remained at record lows for nearly ten years; something that’s very much in their favour.

Figures correct as at September 2017

Whatever age you are, whether you’re looking to buy for the first time, remortgage or move up the housing ladder, please get in touch to see how we can find the right mortgage for you.

Your home/property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.