Category : Mortgages

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


What’s your repayment plan?

What’s your repayment plan?

Thousands of people with interest-only mortgages expiring this year do not have a repayment plan, putting their homes at serious risk of repossession.

40,000 interest-only mortgages are set to mature in 2016, but experts suggest that only half of these homeowners have the capital in place to repay the loan. And according to the charity Citizen’s Advice Bureau, this is just the tip of the iceberg, with 934,000 interest-only borrowers without a plan to pay off their mortgage.

The ins and outs of interest-only

Unlike a repayment mortgage, where the borrower pays off the capital and interest on their loan each month until the debt is cleared, an interest-only loan offers a cheaper monthly premium but requires a single repayment of the capital at the end of the term. Normally this is cleared using the proceeds from a separate investment vehicle.

For example, a £150,000 mortgage at 5% over 25 years would cost £877 per month on a repayment basis, but only £625 per month interest-only. However, the latter leaves the original £150,000 capital debt to be repaid.

Since 2012, anyone taking out an interest-only loan must have a repayment plan in place which has led to a drop in the number being sold.

Don’t get trapped
If you have an interest-only mortgage but no repayment vehicle in place, it is critical you review your finances as a matter of urgency. Depending on the term left on the mortgage you could set up a repayment plan now, or look at switching to a repayment mortgage. This may mean higher monthly repayments, but there are a lot of competitive deals in this current low-interest rate environment. Another option could be to sell your home and downsize – something that may be possible if older children have flown the nest but nevertheless a difficult decision if you don’t want to lose a cherished family home.

[gem_quote style=”5″]If you are concerned about your mortgage, or you need advice on a suitable investment vehicle, please get in touch.[/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]
downsizing your home

Bank of mum and dad

With rising house prices outpacing income an increasing number of young people will borrow from parents and family in order to get onto the property ladder.

The 10th largest mortgage lender

The combined amount which parents and grandparents will be prepared to gift or loan their children to help them buy their first home is estimated to be £5bn. This puts them alongside the 10th largest mortgage lender in the country, Clydesdale Bank, which lent the same amount in 2014.

Research from Legal and General estimates the “Bank of Mum and Dad” will be involved in approximately one in four UK mortgage transactions this year, showing the extent of how borrowing from family members is supporting the housing market. The risks of borrowing from Mum and Dad However, as well as the obvious benefits, Legal and General suggests people from less advantageous backgrounds will be increasingly squeezed out, effectively widening inequality in the housing market.

They also caution that the “Bank of Mum and Dad”will, at some stage in the future (they estimate 2035), come into a funding crisis, caused by unexpected care costs for parents and grandparents living longer. The problem is exacerbated for families in London who have been known to contribute more than half their net worth on their children’s house purchase.

Other investment options for your children

There are more ways to help your children financially than contributing to their first home, but whatever approach you take it’s important to start early. By saving for your children from an early age (even perhaps before they are born) you can help put them in a better financial situation for their adulthood.

If you would like advice on choosing the right savings and investment options for you and your children, please get in touch today

Financial Advice

The value of financial advice

Everyone is unique. We all think – and work – differently. Some people are good with words, and others, numbers. The same might be true when it comes to planning and managing our finances. But however different our approaches might be, we probably all have similar goals for our money.

Whichever way you come at it, it’s important to think about your financial goals and what you would like to achieve with your money. This is especially true if you have other people who rely on your income. This is where we come in. As professional financial advisers, we can make this job easier and add real value when it comes to protecting your family, investing wisely, moving home or planning for a comfortable retirement.

Getting to know you

When advising you about your finances we want to understand you – not your money. We’ll take the time to find out where you’ve come from, where you are now and where you would like to be in the future. Together, we can design a plan to help you better manage your financial affairs, save tax efficiently for retirement, and ultimately achieve your financial goals – whether short, or longer-term.

Ensuring contingency along the way

Throughout your life, you’ll need to find answers to many different financial questions:

  • how much should we offer on a new house?
  • when can we buy a new car?
  • what’s our holiday budget?
  • shall we start our own business?
  • can we help fund our children’s education?
  • can we support our children with their wedding costs and house deposits?
  • can we make our money work harder and smarter?
  • when can we retire and how much will we need to support our lifestyle?
  • when we’re no longer here, who would we want to benefit from the wealth we’ve created?
  • We can help you answer these questions and make the right decisions to benefit you and your loved ones now and in the long run.
Planning for the unexpected

Not everything in life is straightforward and things don’t always go to plan. We can help you prepare for the unexpected and put in place some financial safety nets in case anything happens to impact your family or disrupt your plans. Think about:

  • whether your family could cope financially if either you or your spouse/partner died?
  • how much income you would have if you were taken seriously ill and couldn’t work?
  • whether your business would survive without you or your key people?
    how your lifestyle may change if you had an accident and couldn’t do the things you do today?
  • By getting to know your priorities and goals and understanding the bigger picture, we can piece together a plan to ensure the things that matter to you most – your family, income, business, or maybe all three – are protected leaving you on track to achieve your financial goals.

For more information on how we can help you create and achieve your financial plan, please get in touch.