Tag Archives: buying a home

14 new Garden Villages to be built across the UK

Garden Villages to be builtWe now know where the 14 new ‘Garden Villages’  - new towns to help solve the housing crisis – will be. Their locations range from Cumbria to Cornwall.

Government ministers have backed plans for a brand new wave of ‘garden villages’ with between 1,500 and 10,000 new homes, in an effort to confront the growing lack of good housing stock.

Here’s where they are:

Long Marston (Stratford-on-Avon)
Oxfordshire Cotswold (west Oxfordshire)
Deenethorpe (east Northamptonshire)
Culm  (Devon)
Welborne (Hampshire)
West Carclaze (Cornwall)
Dunton Hills (Essex)
Spitalgate Heath (Lincolnshire)
Halsnead (Merseyside)
Longcross (Runnymede and Surrey Heath)
Bailrigg (Lancaster)
Infinity Garden Village (south Derbyshire)
St Cuthberts (near Carlisle)
North Cheshire (Cheshire)

Each village will include green spaces, good links to public transport and a wide mix of house prices, including affordable homes. Continue reading

How to make your dream home a reality

Britain has enjoyed a number of property booms over the past 20 years. And despite the fact that property prices have also tumbled on a number of occasions, the average house price has risen significantly. 

According to the Nationwide House Price Index, the average UK house price went up from £54,008 at the end of Q3 1996 to £206,346 at the end of Q3 2016 – a whopping 282 per cent increase.

Unfortunately, rising house prices has meant that it has become harder for first-time buyers to get a foot onto the property ladder. Using the average house price as a guide, even if a mortgage has a 95 per cent loan-to-value, buyers would still need to find a deposit of over £10,000. Add in solicitor and estate agent fees and the initial layout can seem daunting.

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Brexit: What’s the latest, and how does the interest rate cut affect homeowners?

brexit-interest-rate2After the political whirlwind of the last couple of months, it appears the country’s immediate future may be becoming a little clearer.

Now that Theresa May has taken office as Prime Minister, she will agree the government’s negotiating position before she triggers Article 50, and officially starts the clock on the UK’s exit from the EU.

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Why choose Shared Ownership?

The home ownership dream can seem more out of reach than ever, with mortgage affordability rules making the home-buying process more complicated. And ever-increasing house prices mean that many hopeful homeowners usually have to find larger deposits than before.

According to the Nationwide House Price Index, the average UK property price in October 2015 was £196,807 – up from £173,678 in October 2013 (a rise of 13.3 per cent). On a mortgage that offers 90 per cent loan-to-value (LTV), this means finding a deposit of nearly £20,000, with estate agent and legal fees on top of that too.

More information: What type of mortgages should I get?

So what for the hopeful at the foot of the property ladder? One potential solution is part-own, part-buy – Shared Ownership. A step that yours truly took a few years back and have never regretted.

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5 ways the cost of living has changed since 1966

UK Bobby Moore World Cup postage stampHas ‘fifty years of hurt’ come by already? Saturday 30 July marks the fiftieth anniversary of English football’s finest moment, when they thought it was all over (and it was) and England’s XI won the World Cup for the first and only time with a 4-2 win over West Germany at a sun-drenched Wembley Stadium.

We thought it would be interesting to look at five ways the cost of living may have changed since 1966 – in real terms – which brought up some surprises.

1.       Buying a house – In 1966 the average cost of a house was £3,620, which equates to about £60,848 in today’s money. In contrast, the average cost of a house in the UK broke the £200,000 barrier for the first time in April 2016, going up to £313,000 in the south of England.   Continue reading

Changes in home ownership through the generations

Getting on the property ladder is a lot different to how it used to be. If we compare the home ownership status of young people today to the older generation – the results show a stark difference.  Check out our Mortgage Application Guide for more information about the mortgage process.

changes in home ownership

Where will you retire to?

It used to be that the retirement dream was to leave the city and head for the seaside – if not the year-round sun of the south of Spain, then perhaps the clean air of the British coast.

But could it be that the emergence of the ‘Smarties’ – Senior Market Town Retirees – is set to change that?

retired-couple-in park-300These tend to be couples and singles aged 65-plus, who have chosen to move to green and pleasant market towns for their retirement . Places with a thriving community of all ages, small enough to have a ‘villagey’ feel but large enough to have all the regular amenities and social needs that they would be used to.

“Old age and retirement used to be a more homogenous group,” explained Richard Jenkings from Experian.

“In the past people would go on holiday to the seaside and then a lucky few would then retire to those same resorts. Today we still see this happening, but a rising trend is for better-off retirees to move not to the traditional sea-side resorts, but instead to pleasant, often historic, cathedral cities and quality market towns. Continue reading

Why was I refused a mortgage?

If your mortgage application is refused, it can be not only frustrating but inconvenient, as it can affect or even halt many plans you may have already made.

The Mortgage Advice Bureau now says that the average age of a first-time buyer is now 37, which would make a standard 25-year mortgage take them to 62. However, this figure is likely to creep up, as high house prices up and down the country take first-time buyer ages beyond 40.

The mortgage affordability rules introduced in April 2014 take into account not only how much you are earning, but how much you are spending, and whether you actually have the money to make your monthly mortgage repayment.  It could even lead to longer-term mortgages, potentially taking people past 65.

The consequence for many people though is that credit refusal can often lead to more attempts to get credit – and making multiple applications in a short space of time could have a serious impact on your chances of getting credit in the future.

There are a number of reasons you might be turned down – and finding out what they are could get you back on track.

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How could the Spending Review affect you?

budget-family-350The Chancellor today (25 Nov) announced his Autumn Statement and Spending Review, and many of us are likely to be affected in different ways, from tax to benefits, from housing to local amenities.

Some of the headlines are:

Tax Credits/Welfare –  The planned £4.4bn cuts to working tax credits as part of plans to reduce the welfare bill by £12billion, has now been abandoned and tax credits will now remain unchanged.

The Chancellor said the £12bn of welfare savings will be “delivered in a way that helps families as we make the progression to a national living wage

The Chancellor also says that ”more than a million” more jobs will be created over the next five years.

Council Tax – It’s been confirmed that local councils have the freedom to increase council tax bills by more than 2 per cent, to help pay for social care funding.

Childcare – 30 hours free childcare for 3 and 4-year-olds from 2017, to parents working more than 16 hours and earning less than £100,000.

Pensions - The basic state pension will increase by £3.35 a week next year, taking the weekly ‘single tier’ total up to £155.65 for new pensioners.

Housing -  £2bn has been set aside for more than 400,000 “affordable homes” to be built in England, to buy and to rent. Stamp duty for Buy To Let homes will be 3% higher than for regular stamp duty.

Right-to-buy is being extended to housing association tenants starting with a new pilot in five housing associations from midnight.

Help To Buy will be a shared ownership venture aimed at allowing people to get equity loans to help buy a home. London Help to Buy gives a 40% interest-free loan to first-time buyers.

Find out more about the Help to Buy ISA here

Arts & sport: Arts Council funding will be increased so as to keep free museum entry. UK sport budget will increase by 29% “so we go for gold in Rio and in Tokyo”.

Could the Help to Buy ISA help with property dreams?

what is help to buy ISA

The home ownership dream can seem just that for many of us – a dream. New mortgage affordability rules – where mortgage lenders require more current financial information as well as examining your ability to pay in the future – have made the home-buying process more complicated. Add to this, booming house prices and it means that many hopeful homeowners have to find larger deposits than before. 

According to the Nationwide House Price Index, the average UK property price in October 2015 was £196,807 – up from £173,678 in October 2013 (a rise of 13.3 per cent). On a mortgage that offers 90 per cent loan-to-value (LTV), this means finding a deposit of nearly £20,000, with estate agent and legal fees on top of that too.

On 1 December 2015, as trailed in the Chancellor’s March 2015 budget, the Help to Buy ISA will be launched, in which the government will make a contribution towards the deposit on a house purchase.

The scheme allows first-time or existing buyers to get onto, or move up, the housing ladder with as little as a 5 per cent deposit. Depending on your circumstances and the property you are trying to buy, such as a new build, the Help to Buy scheme can help you with an equity loan or mortgage guarantee.

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