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Should I buy or should I rent?

The UK has one of the highest home owning percentage rates in the world. No matter how many times we experience boom or bust, the British like the idea of buying their own home.

Part of the attraction is not just financial, but the sentiment of owning your own home, not worrying about having unreputable landlords, and being able to paint your walls whatever colour you want.

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Independent Mortgage Advisers – Why you should speak to them before anyone else!

Even seasoned home owners can find buying a property a complicated and confusing experience, particularly as it’s something most of us only do occasionally during our lifetime. So why should you speak to an Independent Mortgage Adviser before anyone else?

For first time buyers, the process can be even more baffling, so they need a professional, independent mortgage adviser, on their side. 

Although it was a few years ago now, I still remember the initial excitement of buying my first home.  I also remember the stress, worry and anxiety that went with it, which is why I absolutely believe it makes sense to talk with an independent mortgage adviser before even thinking about looking at houses! This applies to anyone, whether you’re a first timer, home mover, or buying a property for investment. It’s important to understand what’s currently happening in the mortgage arena.

We can help with more than just the mortgage

For me, and my fellow advisers at Temple Mortgage, it’s more about forging a two-way relationship (which doesn’t end once the mortgage starts but continues for many years as your life and circumstances change). We will work together on your current situation, finding out where you want to get to and help you to devise a plan and a timescale to get there.

Most advisers go that extra mile and offer practical advice too – I for one wished I had someone like this back in 1992, as I had so many questions. It’s one of the reasons my Financial Services career moved in this direction! Additionally, having access to the whole of the marketplace puts you as the buyer in a better, more informed position all round.

Using an independent mortgage adviser can save time and a lot of stress!

Lots of things can impact on borrow-ability including salaries, employment status, how long you’ve been employed/self-employed, credit commitments, credit status, and age, among other things. We can help you work out who to go to which can be a time-consuming process.  An independent mortgage adviser will recommend a lender from the whole of the market to achieve the best mortgage based on your specific circumstances.

Apart from advising and arranging on the mortgage itself, our services tend to go a lot deeper than just a transaction as the needs and understanding of mortgages can vary from client to client. An experienced mortgage adviser will pitch the advice at the right level, ideally before a property has been found.

How an independent mortgage adviser can help you…

A mortgage adviser can help in many ways, but some in particular include advice on:

  • What a mortgage is and the house buying process. It needs to be explained in plain English by someone who has the knowledge, but more importantly, empathy! 
  • How much can be borrowed, which I call ‘mortgageability’. It’s not just a case of walking into the local bank and they lend the money! It’s competitive out there, some lenders may not be as competitive as another, or their lending policy may mean they won’t lend at all.  This could cost you both time and money, and trying several different lenders has its own implications
  • The Help to Buy scheme and the additional factors that need to be considered with this
  • Reducing your outgoings and advice on what lenders will look for when assessing mortgage applications to be in the best position possible to move forward when a potential home is found
  • Saving for a deposit (including government bonuses such as the Help to Buy scheme) and advising on ways to boost your savings
  • The likely costs involved – solicitors, surveys, arrangement fees etc
  • What information lenders will need so it’s readily available, and if not, there is time to facilitate this
  • How credit scores affect borrowing and ways to improve it, if necessary
  • Making an offer on a property and negotiating with the Estate Agent
  • Recommend other professionals to help such as a solicitor, surveyor or Estate Agent, if you don’t already have one
  • Be there when it gets frustrating and understand the stresses involved
  • What happens at each stage of the process and keeping all parties informed – effective communication is a fundamental part and can help the wheels run more smoothly.  Who does what and why! 

In a nutshell, using an independent mortgage adviser can make life that little bit easier. Having a professional overseeing the process with the lender, estate agent and solicitor, will leave you to concentrate on the more enjoyable side, such as looking at furniture or planning your new kitchen!

To find out how we can help you, whether you are a seasoned home owner, or you are looking at saving for and buying your first house, contact Diane Blackman by email diane.blackman@templemortgage.co.uk, call Temple Mortgage on 01305 213150 / 07977 467117, or send us a message on our Contact Us or Diane’s Facebook page.

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

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The importance of reviewing your personal finances, whatever your age

Setting goals for your personal finances is crucial to success and achieving your financial objectives.

What does it mean for your age group?

From your first job until your 30s, these are known as “the vulnerable years” as you are trying to build up your personal finances to secure your future, protecting your income and saving for the future.  You may have a specific financial objective such as buying your first car, saving a deposit for your first house or for even retirement.  This means being aware that, however small, the earlier you start the better the result.

Then you move to your 40s, when you may own your own home, have a family.  Your objectives will change towards protecting a higher level of income, whilst also protecting your family and lifestyle.  Retirement starts to be foremost in your planning in order to ensure financial security. It is important to consider making the most of your tax allowances for the future. 

In the years up until retirement, which could be any age from 55 upwards to around 70 you will begin to see the benefit of planning your personal finances from an early age.  You will be looking at making retirement work for you.  These are the years that you will start to think about your children and grandchildren and their financial security, maybe preparing the “bank of Mum and Dad”.  Health will start to play a part in your future financial planning.  An Independent Financial Adviser can help you assess if your personal finances are on track to achieve your goals.  

From your 70s and through retirement, your personal finances may mean that long term care becomes more of a consideration.   This can also include succession planning in terms of inheritance tax, Power of Attorney and ensuring your will is up to date.

There will be other areas of planning that will be unique to your situation and therefore the earlier you engage with planning your personal finances the better.  It does not matter if you think you have no money to consider these things; if you start planning early and engaging the easier it will be in the future.  An Independent Financial Adviser can help at any stage of planning.

Temple Wealth Management – Your Financial Partner for Life.

We believe that professional financial advice can add significant value to individuals at any stage of life whether this be ensuring you have a competitive mortgage rate; reviewing your protection needs in case the worst were to happen. 

Temple Wealth Management can help find the right solution to make your savings work better for you and guide you through retirement planning.

Contact TWM on 01329 282882 or fareham@templewealth.co.uk to find out how one of our advisers can help you

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How does the Help to Buy Scheme work?

In the five years since its inception, the Government has committed over £9.9 billion to Help to Buy. This is a scheme designed to help first-time buyers onto the housing ladder and home movers up a rung. Independent analysis shows that both the rate of take-up and the size of equity loans being given are growing.

So, how does Help to Buy work?

The Help to Buy scheme offers an equity loan where the government lends first-time buyers and existing homeowners money to buy a newly-built home.

Help to Buy Equity loans – how they work

  • You need at least 5% of the sale price of your new-build flat or house as a deposit.
  • The government lends you up to 20% of the sale price or up to 40% in Greater London
  • You apply to borrow the rest from a mortgage lender, on a repayment basis.

EXAMPLE 1 – Cost of home = £200,000

Your deposit (5%) £10,000
Equity loan (20%) £40,000
Mortgage (75%) £150,000
TOTAL (100%) £200,000

Who can’t apply for the scheme?

  • You can’t use the Help to Buy scheme to buy a second home or a property to rent out.
  • If you use Help to Buy, you can only take out a repayment mortgage.
  • You can’t buy a property for more than the set price limits.

When you sell your home, or the mortgage is paid off, you repay the equity loan plus a share of any increase in the value. It works like this:

EXAMPLE 2 – selling your home (value = £250,000)

Increase in value = 25%
Equity loan repayment = £50,000 (£40,000 + 25% profit)
Mortgage = £150,000 (less capital repayments)
Your share = £50,000 (excluding any moving costs)

The remaining equity figure after moving costs can be used as a deposit on your next home. The exact amount also depends on how much you’ve paid off your mortgage. You can also pay back part or all of the loan at any time. The minimum percentage you can pay back is 10% of the market value of your home. The amount payable will depend on the market value at the time.

What are the advantages of the Help to Buy Scheme?

  • If you want to move home but cannot quite afford the deposit, the Government’s Help to Buy scheme could make a big difference.
  • You get help buying a home enabling you to get on to the property ladder, boosting the housing market, and helping the wider economy
  • You need a smaller deposit to buy a home through Help to Buy which is set at a more manageable level of 5%. This is much lower than many other mortgage options meaning you could buy more quickly and own a brand new property
  • There are no loan fees due in the first five years although the amount owed can still increase during that time. The equity loan will rise and fall with the housing market, so if the house value increases in value, so will the amount owed.
  • For first time buyers in particular, these first five years can be some of the most financially strenuous, so a few years of breathing space may be viewed as an advantage.
  • Mortgage payments would still be made during this time (which will include interest charged by the mortgage lender), but no interest will be added to the Help to Buy loan.
  • There is the potential to access cheaper mortgage rates depending on individual circumstances. The fact you will need to borrow less overall may also mean being able to qualify for a mortgage in the first place. By needing to borrow a lesser Loan to Value, a more competitive rate of interest may be possible than if applying for a standard 95% mortgage.
  • You get a competitive Help to Buy loan rate (after five years). After not paying interest on the equity loan for five years, the initial rate of interest is 1.75% in the sixth year.

What are the drawbacks of the Help to Buy Scheme?

  • Although Help to Buy may give you the opportunity to purchase a new build home that you may not otherwise be able to afford, there are some limitations to carefully consider.
  • The Help to Buy loan will become more and more expensive. Although you will benefit from five years without interest, after this time the rate of interest applied to your loan will increase each year. While you will only pay 1.75% in your sixth year, each year your loan fee will increase by 1% plus any RPI increase.
  • The creeping annual cost of fees could put pressure on your monthly budget. Also, should RPI increase dramatically in any 12 month period, so would the additional rate of interest applied to your loan.
  • The amount you will ultimately need to repay on your Help to Buy equity loan is not fixed. Instead it will fluctuate with the market value of your property because it is percentage-based. This means that if your property has risen in value you may have to pay significantly more than you originally borrowed.
  • Currently the Help to Buy scheme is only available on new properties which may limit the choice of home. It is also only offered by some developers so the choice of property will be limited too.
  • It may feel like paying a premium for buying new, so unless you are really wanting a new property, other options should also be considered.
  • Not all providers offer Help to Buy mortgages, and those that do sometimes make them different from their standard mortgage packages. This is because a third party is involved with the purchase of your property, and they also have a claim to part of the sale value.
  • The potential danger of negative equity as some property experts claim that the Help to Buy scheme has started to inflate house prices. They are concerned that it is causing a housing bubble that will burst when the scheme ends, trapping a vast number of buyers in negative equity.
  • If you are buying a new home as an investment in the hope you will be able to move in the short to mid-term this could be an issue – if you are planning on living in the property for many years this will be less of a problem.
  • You do not know if the terms might change. While you can only plan your finances based on information you currently have available, a future government could review and change the terms of the scheme.

Your home maybe repossessed if you do not keep up repayment on your mortgage.

For more information on mortgages contact Martin Crump, one of our independent mortgage advisers at Temple Mortgages on 01305 213150

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The Secret of a Successful Mortgage

The secret to a successful mortgageThe need for convenience in modern day Britain is high with people becoming dependent on technology to speed up everyday tasks so that more tasks can be squeezed into each day. Banks and building societies are quick at adapting to market needs and provide services such as online banking and mobile apps.  If you are looking for a mortgage there are now a range of different ways you can apply, we look at how to ensure you get the best mortgage rate and service available.

The Time Vacuum of High Street Lenders

Obtaining a mortgage the classic way is a time-consuming process. Read more