Category : First Time Buyer

conveyancing

Do you know your credit rating?

Do you know your credit rating?

If you’re looking to take your first steps onto the housing ladder you may have sacrificed your takeaways and holidays to save the deposit and scoured hundreds of houses online. But have your checked your credit history?

Even if you’re remortgaging or moving up the housing ladder your credit history will be important.

What is a credit score?
A credit report includes details of your credit history including any credit you’ve applied for (like loans,
credit cards, and overdrafts), credit you’ve been given and how you’ve managed the repayments. Also included are your address details (current and previous), public records such as county court judgments and financial associates (someone who is financially linked to you eg. a joint mortgage or bank account).

All the details in your credit report are analysed to calculate your credit score. This score is used by
lenders as an indication of how you’ll manage and repay the money you borrow.

Scores on the doors
The general rule is the higher the score the better, and the more likely you’ll be accepted for a mortgage or other credit.

If you’re looking to take out a mortgage or remortgage, check your credit score regularly. You can usually get a simple overview for free and it pays to check with several different sources. Noddle, Equifax, ClearScore and Experian all offer a service to help you understand your rating.

According to research from Experian, when the home buyers who were surveyed checked their
credit 18% found their score was lower than expected. The good news is that there are ways
to improve a low score:

  • Pay more than your minimum payments on credit cards
  •  Bring your overdraft down
  • Close unused credit accounts
  • Register for the electoral roll

Happily, 54% of those surveyed found their score was higher than expected and 25% were surprised
by their score. Given that 43% of people haven’t checked their credit score it may be that many are unaware of the impact it may have until they come to apply for a mortgage.

If you’re a first-time buyer looking for a mortgage or a homeowner looking to remortgage, please get in touch to see how we can help find the right mortgage for your circumstances.

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

conveyancing

How to choose a good conveyancer

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:

fixed rate mortgage

Thinking of fixing your mortgage?

Thinking of fixing your mortgage?

If you think an increase in your mortgage repayments could have a negative impact on your lifestyle or financial wellbeing, you may want to consider fixing your mortgage.

With a fixed rate mortgage, your payments are set at a certain level for an agreed period, regardless of whether your lender changes its Standard Variable Rate (SVR). Such an increase typically occurs when the Bank of England Base Rate starts to climb.

Fixed rate mortgages can offer protection from rate rises for an agreed period, but there are several considerations you’ll need to think about before making your decision.

Predictable repayments – but you won’t benefit from rate cuts
With a tracker mortgage, your monthly payment fluctuates in line with a rate that’s equal to, higher, or lower than a chosen Base Rate (usually the Bank of England Base Rate). The rate charged on the mortgage ‘tracks’ that rate, usually for a set period of two to three years.

Tracker rates might be more appealing if you don’t have a fixed budget and can tolerate higher mortgage payments if rates rise, whilst being able to benefit from reduced monthly mortgage payments if rates go down.

But with a fixed rate mortgage, the rate (and therefore your repayments) will stay the same for an agreed period. A fixed rate mortgage makes budgeting much easier because your payments will not change – even if interest rates go up. However, it also means you won’t benefit if rates go down.

Longer fixed terms will be more expensive

If you choose a fixed rate mortgage, you’ll need to decide how long you want your fixed rate to last. Two-year fixed rate mortgages typically offer the lowest initial interest rate. If you want to fix your interest rate for longer, you will probably pay more
for that longer-term security. This may be worthwhile in return for predictable repayments, or you might choose to take the lower rate for a shorter timeframe if you expect that your financial position will improve by the time the deal ends.

A change in circumstances could cost you
Do you have any known changes on the horizon that will have an impact on your mortgage?

With a fixed rate mortgage, you could face an early repayment charge if you repay all or a certain percentage of the mortgage during the fixed rate period.

If you have no known changes and want to benefit from a longer period of security, then a longer term fixed rate of five years may appeal. It might cost more initially, but you’ll benefit from knowing that your budget is fixed for that period.

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

Don’t be drawn into trying to second guess what will happen with interest rates over the coming years. We can help you come to the most appropriate decision for your next mortgage.

Mortgages

The ninth largest lender

The ninth largest lender

34% of first-time buyers relied on their parents for financial help, making the bank of mum and dad’, the equivalent of the UK’s ninth largest lender in 2017.

If you’re trying to get on the housing ladder, you’ll know how hard it can be
• The average price of a first home is over £200,000 in the UK (and £400,000 in London)
• The average first-time buyer deposit has more than doubled over the past decade from £15,168 in 2006 to £32,321 in 2016
• Only 29% of all first-time buyer purchases in 2016 were below the £125,000 Stamp Duty threshold.
• 28% of all first-time buyers with a mortgage opted for a 30 to 35 year mortgage term (in 2016)

With numbers like those left it’s little wonder that so many first-time buyers turned to their parents for financial support in helping them buy their first home. In fact, according to a recent report from Legal and General, the bank of mum and dad could lend more than £6.5bn in 2017, a massive 30% increase on 2016.

The money will help to buy £75bn worth of property and puts parents on a par with the UK’s ninth largest mortgage lender, the Yorkshire Building Society.

Is parental support sustainable?
The bank of mum and dad makes an average financial contribution of £21,600 for each property. And of the buyers who received support from their family, 57% received it in the form of a gift while just 5% were given the money as a loan with interest.

According to Legal and General a loan by the bank of mum and dad could wipe out just over half of a family’s available net wealth, raising the question of whether this type of support is sustainable over the longer term.

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

If you’re looking to buy your first house with help from your family, we can help you find an appropriate mortgage deal for you.

If you’re still in the process of saving your deposit (typically 16% of the value of an average first home), we can help you explore the different ways to invest for your near, mid and long-term plans.

First Time Buyers

Buying for the first time

Buying for the first time?

For first time buyers, getting onto the property ladder may seem like a daunting process, but there is help available.

With demand outstripping supply in many areas, the average UK house price has been pushed beyond the reach of many of the UK’s estimated 335,750 first time buyers. A report from The Land Registry (based on data from November 2016) shows an annual price increase of 6.7%, taking the value of the average UK property to £217,928.

When you consider that first-time buyers would typically put down around 20% against their first home, it’s no wonder that finding a sufficient deposit is becoming increasingly difficult – especially for those currently renting. In fact, one of the major lenders reported the average first-time deposit has more than doubled since 2007 to more than £32,000.

If you’re struggling to save a large deposit you may be able to find a mortgage rate of 90% or 95% – provided you can meet the lender’s affordability criteria.

The bank of mum and dad
Meanwhile research by the Social Mobility Commission has found an increasing proportion are turning to their parents for help buying their first home. In fact, over a third of first-time buyers in England (34%) are relying on the bank of mum and dad, compared to one in five in 2010.

The ‘bank of mum and dad’ has been a useful financial foot-up for many, but what about parents who want to help their kids but don’t have savings?

Government help
Although the Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee scheme ended in December 2016 the Help to Buy: Equity Loan is still available. The Government lends you up to 20% of the cost of your newly-built home, so you’ll only need a 5% cash deposit and a 75% mortgage to make up the rest. Equity loans are available to first time buyers as well as homeowners looking to move. The home you want to buy must be newly built with a maximum price tag of £600,000.

Other initiatives to help first-time buyers include The Help to Buy: ISA which helps you boost your savings by 25%. For every £200 you save you receive a government bonus of £50. The maximum government bonus you can receive is £3,000.

Sound mortgage advice can take the complexities out of the home-buying process and maximise your chances of getting an affordable mortgage.

At a glance:
335,750 first time buyers in the UK
x2 first-time buyer deposits doubled since 2007
34% of first time buyers rely on parents
£217,928 average value of a UK property

If you need help getting onto the property ladder please get in touch

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

downsizing your home

Parent landlords

Parent landlords

With house prices rising faster than salaries, the younger generation face having to find a much bigger multiple of their income to buy a home, compared to their baby-boomer parents.

Couple this with rising rent payments that stifle the ability to raise a deposit and you can see why ‘Generation Rent’ is a growing population and more kids are looking to their parents for help.

Parent landlords
In the UK, 730,000 parents rent properties to their children and a further 1.4m landlords have said they would be willing to take their children as tenants.

As both the cost of renting and buying a property increases, renting from a parent should help prospective first-time buyers get on the property ladder sooner rather than later. Especially given that just 5% of parents charge the market rate, 30% allow their children to pay whatever they can afford and 12% even go so far as to pay the bills for the property.

Buy to Let
If you have a property you’re considering renting to your children, or you’re thinking of Buying to Let to help out your kids, make sure you consider all the costs involved before you take the leap.

Solicitors, valuers and surveyors are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

[gem_quote style=”5″]If you need mortgage advice, or you’re looking to help your children onto the property ladder, please talk to us.[/gem_quote]
Mortgage Advisers

Buying for the first time?

Buying for the first time?

For first-time buyers, getting onto the property ladder may seem a daunting process, but there’s more help available than you might think.

With supply and demand at an imbalance, the average UK house price has been pushed beyond the reach of many first-time buyers. August data from Land Registry shows an annual price increase of 8.4%, taking the value of the average UK property to £218,964. When you consider that first-time buyers would typically put down around 20% against their first home, it’s no wonder finding a sufficient deposit is becoming increasingly difficult – especially if you are currently renting.

Help is at hand
A report from Which? shows that just over half of first-time buyers (52%) had to rely on financial support from a parent or family member in order to purchase their home. This ‘bank of mum and dad’ has been a useful financial foot-up for many.

If you’re not able to put down a large deposit you may be able to find a mortgage rate of 90% or 95% – provided you can meet the lender’s affordability criteria.

Government help
Although the Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee scheme came to an end in December 2016, the Help to Buy: Equity Loan is still available. Here, the Government lends you up to 20% of the cost of your home, so you’ll only need a 5% cash deposit and a 75% mortgage to make up the rest. Equity loans are available to first-time buyers as well as homeowners looking to move, provided it’s for a new-build
worth less than £600,000.

The Help to Buy: ISA will help you boost your savings by 25%. For every £200 you save you receive a government bonus of £50. The maximum government bonus you can receive is £3,000.

Sound mortgage advice can take the complexities out of the home-buying process and maximise your chances of getting an affordable mortgage

If you need help getting onto the property ladder please get in touch.

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

moving home

Pack up your troubles

Pack up your troubles

Moving home can be stressful, especially if you’re new to the property ladder. But, by following a few simple tips, you can help ensure your move goes as smoothly as possible.

Seek mortgage advice

Try and get a mortgage offer in place before you start the buying process. It can be tempting to cut out the middleman and ‘go direct’ when choosing a deal, but the guidance you can get from qualified mortgage advisers, like us, can be invaluable.

We’ll compare a wide range of lenders and thousands of deals to find the most suitable Mortgage for you. We’ll also advise you on the right insurance cover to make sure you and your new home are protected. And we’ll be on hand throughout the application process to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Choose a reliable estate agent

If you’re selling up and want an estate agent to market your property, make sure you choose one who knows the local market. It’s easy to be tempted by a lower agency fee or higher suggested asking price, but make sure this doesn’t reduce the number of viewings or compromise on service. A comparison site like www.estateagent4me.co.uk can help you come up with a shortlist of agents in your area.

Find a good solicitor

As with estate agents, choosing a reliable solicitor can help remove unnecessary stress from the buying and selling process. You don’t need to use a local firm, but you should consider postal delays when it comes to signing or verifying important documents. Seek recommendations from friends and family where possible and make sure your solicitor is always going to be easy to get hold of.

Pack to a plan

Start packing up non-essential items early on. Label boxes on the top and side with details of what’s inside and where it needs to go, and keep screws and bolts from deconstructed furniture attached to the relevant piece.

Create an essentials box for items you’ll need on moving day (including things like kettle, mugs, lightbulbs, bedding etc.). If you’re paying to use a professional removals firm, check they’re a member of the British Association of Removers.

Small but important details

Make sure you find out those small but important details about your new property before you move in. Ask the previous owner, their solicitor or the estate agent, things like where the stopcock and utility meters are, what day the bins are collected, details of any alarm codes and who supplies the utilities. If the sellers leave any appliances, ask for the instructions and details of warranties.

Review your insurance

While putting buildings insurance in place is normally a condition of your mortgage, it can be easy to overlook other types of insurance that will help you pay your mortgage should you become ill or unable to work. We can help you identify the risks you face and, where appropriate, put policies in place to financially protect you and your family

[gem_quote style=”5″]If you’re planning on moving home, please talk to us about your mortgage and insurance needs.[/gem_quote]

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

mortgage advice

Help to Buy schemes proving successful

Help to Buy schemes proving successful

Over 160,000 people have been able to achieve home-ownership thanks to the government’s Help to Buy housing schemes.

Of those, 118,000 were first time buyers, the average house price was £189,795 (significantly under the national average of £292,000), more than half were for new build homes and all but 5% of completions took place outside of London.

Supporting first time buyers

The Help to Buy schemes were primarily designed to support first time buyers and began with the Help to Buy: equity loan launched in April 2013. This was designed to support purchases of new build properties up to the value of £600,000, with a maximum equity of 20% (40% in Greater London). To date, 81,014properties have been purchased with the help of a Help to Buy: equity loan. Then followed the Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee scheme in October 2013, offering lenders the option to purchase a guarantee on mortgage loans where the borrower has a deposit of between 5% and 20%. 78,749 mortgages have been completed with the support of this scheme and 79% of those are first time buyers.

First time buyers got a further boost in December 2015, with the launch of the Help to Buy: ISA. Since then, more than 500,000 people saving for their first home will benefit from a government bonus of up to £3,000.

Helping people across the UK

Help to Buy is helping people throughout the UK to achieve their dream of owning a new or bigger home. It also appears to be contributing to a potential turnaround in the housing market decline: recent figures from the latest English housing survey show the number of people owning their own home has stopped reducing for the first time since 2003.

With the majority of completions outside of London, the highest number of homes completed through both the Help to Buy: ISA and mortgage guarantee schemes has been in the North West region. The equity loan is particularly popular in the South East region.

City-based first time buyers and second-steppers have been supported further by the London Help to Buy scheme launched in February 2016. The scheme supports purchases of new build homes in the capital by offering a 5% deposit backed by an equity loan of up to 40% from the government. There were 256 completions in London between 1 February 2016 and 31 March 2016 using the equity loan.

Right to Buy

In total, more than 309,000 households have been helped to purchase a home through a government backed Right to Buy scheme in the last six years – that’s 141 new homeowners a day and around 4,350 a month.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

[gem_quote style=”5″]If you’re dreaming of getting onto the housing ladder, or you need more space, please get in touch. We can help you find the perfect mortgage for your new home[/gem_quote]

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

Insurance Advisers

Have you found your forever home?

Have you found your forever home?

When you think about your dream home – the one you can see yourself growing old in – what do you imagine it looks like? A modern architectural masterpiece built of glass and metal, or something more old-fashioned and cosy? If you asked your friends and family what their ideal ‘forever’ home looks like they will probably all have very different ideas.

What does your forever home look like?

Whether you’re fortunate enough to be on the lookout to buy your forever home, or you’re thinking of doing up your current home to make it one you won’t ever want to move from a recent survey has revealed some interesting statistics:

Top of the must-have list for UK home buyers is off-street parking, whereas one of the ‘dream’ features is a garage – despite reports suggesting we rarely use our garages to park our cars.

Marketing your forever home

If you’re selling your home, you can make it more marketable by appealing to someone’s idea of a forever home. Converting an office or junk room into an extra bedroom can make it more attractive to families. You could also convert your downstairs cloakroom or the cupboard under the stairs into a toilet or wet room and use potted plants on patios or driveways if you haven’t got a big garden.

What do you think a forever home is?
  • 61% of the people surveyed think their forever home is the one they’ll grow old in
  • Only 10% think it’s something they can currently afford
Where should it be?
  • 26% want their forever home to be in a village
  • Only 8% think their forever home will be in a big city
Do you live in yours?

33% of 18-24 year olds think they’re currently living in their forever home compared to 43% of 35-44 year olds believe the same

[gem_quote style=”5″]If you are thinking of improving your current home, or you’re looking to buy or sell a property, please get in touch to discuss your mortgage needs.[/gem_quote]