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

Whether you are a first time buyer, moving house or looking at saving money on your current mortgage we are here to help you. Contact us for a chat with no obligation.

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First time buyers

You may find buying your first home a little bit daunting.  With the challenge of finding your first property, choosing the right mortgage, selecting the best solicitor and making sure the whole process runs smoothly, you may find the information below useful to help you achieve the first rung of the property ladder.

The first step is to contact us and we will advise you on the mortgage options available to you.  It doesn't matter if you haven't found a property just yet, we can provide you with some facts and figures that will help you select the property within your price range.

In the meantime we've outlined below some background information on mortgages for first time buyers that we hope you'll find useful.

How much can you borrow?

The amount of mortgage you can get depends on your income.  Some lenders use a multiple of your income others look at how much you can afford based on your income and outgoings.  As a rough guide, a typical multiple is four times your income. This figure could be higher or lower depending upon your individual circumstances and different lenders' criteria. Lenders who look at what you can afford base this on the number of people and any loans or debts that you have outstanding.  Some lenders offer very good deals for first time buyers, so it always worth asking us to research the market on your behalf.

What other costs do you need to be aware of?

It is also worth remembering the additional costs, on top of your deposit and mortgage that you will be expected to pay.

For example, you will have to pay stamp duty, which is (from Mar 2012) 1% of the purchase price for properties between £125,001 and £250,000, then 3% up to £500,000 then 4% up to £1 million, then 5% up to £2 million and 7% on properties over £2 million. For properties up to £125,000 you do not have to pay stamp duty.

Plus you will have to pay for the survey and the valuation of the property, and solicitor's fees.

You may also have fees to pay to the lender for your mortgage.  These could be an arrangement fee and/or booking fee.  Contact us to find out how much these fees may be.

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


Moving Home

When you're thinking of selling your existing property and moving to a new home, it's important that you try and budget accurately.  The more accurately you can estimate this figure, the better.

How Much You Can Spend On a New House?

To enable you to work out this, you first need to know what your total available funds are and then subtract the cost of moving home.  Start by putting some simple figures down on paper, such as:

  • Savings or assets you have available (not relating to your existing house)
  • The maximum mortgage payment you can comfortably afford

 Then you need to work out the cost of moving house:

  • What selling your property will cost (estate agents typically charge between 1%-1.5% of the property value)
  • What buying your new house will cost (mortgage fees charged by the lender, solicitors costs, removal lorries, etc)

Once you've worked out the costs for each of the categories above, you can start looking at how much money you will have available from the sale of your existing property.  So,

  • What do you think your house will sell for?
  • What do you still owe on your current mortgage?

The first figure is easy enough to work, get at least three quotes from estate agents.  Next,finding out what you still owe on your current mortgage is simply a matter of calling and asking your lender directly.

Traditional financial wisdom recommends your monthly mortgage payments are no more than a third of your monthly net income (i.e. what you take home after tax).

We don't want to sound patronising but we can't stress enough how important it is not to overstretch yourself.

Once you've had a mortgage and proved you can make repayments, lenders become minded to offer ever-increasing sums....

Don't expect lenders to lend responsibly. It's up to you to make a judgment call as to the risk.

Remember, if interest rates start to increase, you need to ensure that you can still afford the monthly mortgage payments.  A mortgage adviser will be able to provide you with different figures depending on rate rises.

Potentially you could borrow anywhere between 3 - 5 times your salary (if you're buying as a couple it'll be more like 2.5 times your combined incomes).

Each lender is different and with over 12,000 different mortgages it pays to get the right advice.

The quickest way to discover the maximum you can comfortably borrow is by speaking to an experienced "whole of market" mortgage broker, such as ourselves, and getting them to check out all available mortgage deals, that way you can be sure you get the most suitable deal.

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


Re-mortgaging

Re-mortgaging Your Property

Many of us are looking for a better mortgage deal, or would like to release some of the equity in our home but the process is often not as easy as it first appears.

So what do you need to know before you seriously consider remortgaging?

Where to start?

The first step is to contact us and we can advise you on the best remortgaging options.

We will work with you to check the terms and conditions of your existing mortgage. These will tell if you are tied-in to your mortgage deal or if there are any early repayment charges. You can then decide if it is worth switching to a different rate or stay put until the penalties have expired.

How do I apply?

We will of course guide you through the whole remortgaging process, which will include:

• An early repayment statement will be needed from your existing lender telling you how much you owe.
• An application form from your new lender will need to be completed, along with details of your income and proof of your identity
• Your new lender values your home
• Subject to all the paperwork being satisfactory, the lender will issue a mortgage offer which will contain the amount of the mortgage and the terms that they will offer you
• Solicitors will need to be instructed at this point to arrange the legal documentation, leading through to completion of the loan

How long does it take?

The whole process should take about a month to complete however this may vary from customer to customer.

Once you have received a completion statement from your solicitor or new lender, the process has finished and your new mortgage is in place.

Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.


Buying A Property to Rent (Buy to Let)

This can be a popular mortgage option for those wishing to invest in residential rental property.  Although the perception is that buy to let mortgages are expensive, this isn't necessarily correct.   There are many lenders who offer competitive rates, which in many cases are generally similar to the rates offered on a standard mortgage.

Landlords also have a choice between interest only and repayment mortgages. Buy to let mortgages do differ in several ways from standard mortgages.  When lenders are considering approving a buy to let loan, they generally base their decision on the likely rental income from the property and not necessarily the applicants' income.  A prospective landlord needs to be aware that the rental income typically needed is 125% of the mortgage repayment, although this can vary from as little as 100% rental income up to 130%.

With our expertise in this market, we can help you find the best product to suit your requirements.  With our extensive access to thousands of mortgages and our knowledge of lender's requirements, we can find you the right buy-to-let mortgage. 

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

 Buy to Let mortgages are NOT regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.


Shared Ownership Home

Shared-ownership is a great way into home ownership and is the main affordable housing scheme. If you can't afford to buy outright, you can part buy/part rent your home.You might buy a 25%, 50% or 75% share in your home. You pay a rent for the share that you don't buy normally set at an 'affordable' rate of, say, 2.75%. The
bigger the share that you purchase, the less rent you have to pay. When you can afford to do so, you can buy more shares until you own your home outright in a
process known as 'staircasing'.

The other share in a shared ownership property is usually owned by a'housing association'. Alternatively, some shared ownership homes are provided by house builders directly on schemes called 'shared equity'. The Homes and Communities Agency refers to such schemes as 'Equity Loan' schemes because the Government provides a loan to buy part of the home.

 
Who can buy shared ownership housing?

You can buy a home through shared ownership if:

  • Your household earns £60,000 a year or less (or £71,000 a year or less in London for a 1 or 2 bedroom property, or £85,000 a year or less in London for a 3 or more bedroom property)
  • You're a first-time buyer (or you used to own a home, but can't afford to buy one now)
  • You rent a council or housing association property

When a new housing scheme is developed that includes shared-ownership homes for sale, housing associations will usually advertise shared ownership properties for sale. If you are interested in shared ownership housing apply to the local authority or a housing association that offers shared ownership housing in your area as soon as possible.

You don't have to find a new housing development to be able to buy a shared ownership property. When shared owners want to move home, their property will either be offered to the housing association to find a buyer, or will be advertised in the local estate agents (i.e. as a second hand 'resale' property as described above).

Who does the repairs on shared ownership properties.

The shared ownership lease between you and the housing association will set out your rights and responsibilities as a shared owner. Although you have not bought the property outright, you will generally have the normal rights and responsibilities of a full owner-occupier. In particular, you will generally be responsible for the cost of repair and maintenance to your home, paid through a monthly fee known as a 'service charge'.   

What is 'First Steps'?

First Steps is the Mayor of London's brand to promote low cost home ownership throughout Greater London. First Steps London will have its own branding for London equity loan/shared equity and shared ownership/part buy part rent in the capital.

What is 'shared equity'?

Shared equity is not the same thing as shared ownership. With shared equity, you generally use an 'equity loan' to form part of a deposit but the person buying the home owns the whole property (though the provider of the equity loan usually has an agreement to share in any appreciation). From a customer's perspective, the main difference between the two schemes is that you are likely to need a larger deposit on shared equity as the shares typically start from 75%, compared to as little as 25% on shared ownership. Also, the main providers of shared equity and other equity loan schemes tend to be major
housebuilders.

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