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10 Factors to Help You Decide Where to Live in London

Home Buyer Mortgage Advice in London

Whether you are local to the London area or are moving from outside of London, one of the main factors when moving home in London is knowing more about the area you are looking to live in.

Of course this is beyond just simply looking at where you would like to live. You will also need to look at how the area currently looks, what any of the nearby facilities are, what would be included in your dream property?

To help you to create a better understanding of the type of area that you would prefer to live in, we have put together a detailed list of the different types of factors that you, as a home buyer, need to look out for when you are looking to find a new home in London. 

1. Busy city or relaxing countryside? 

Make sure to come up with an idea of the type of area you would like to start living in, after all you will likely be living within that property for a long time.

Seeing as London is mostly made up of city properties, it is perfect for those who prefer a more urban lifestyle. Of course if you prefer the country life, that’s going to be a little more challenging, as you may need to move slightly further afield towards the outer areas of London.

2. Transport Links 

Tying into the previous point, if you are looking to move more to the outside of London, rather than closer to the center, you will of course need to make sure there are plenty of transport links, especially if you do not drive.

Whether it is for work, to see family and friends or for the night life, transport is key to any area. Fortunately, because of the significance of London, you will find plenty of transport links allowing you to commute to and from the city itself.

Whilst that in itself is a positive, there is a cost element. What type of public transport are you taking? How much does it cost to get there and which method is most cost effective?

If you are driving, how much fuel will you need to pay for per week? These are all important things to bear in mind before making a decision.

3. Schools & Education 

If you are a home buyer who has their own children, you should do some research on what the nearest schools are. Review the school league tables and any Ofsted reports, in order to get a better idea of what they may be like.

If you currently don’t have any children, whether it’s on the cards for the future or not, it’s always worth checking this just in case, as a way to future proof yourself.

4. Nearby Facilities – What You Need Vs What You Want 

When you are making plans to live within a certain area, it is important to prepare for various facilities you would like to have nearby. Making a list of this is always handy, noting which ones are essential and which ones you just really want.

For example, if you would like to have any nearby shops or gyms, take a look at the local area to see what is there. Closer to the center of London, you are likely to find most of what you are looking for. The downside is that these things may be busier or cost more.

Of course if you’re living further away from London, you may need to prioritise what is essential, but you will have the benefit of these possibly costing less. Remember that shops probably outweigh facilities like a gym, due to the needs of general living.

5. Friends and Family 

Some people will factor in how far away their family and friends are, into where they are looking to live. Many will want their family and friends nearby, especially if they have kids. Others may prefer a quiet life, only socialising sporadically.

This relates back to the transport links topic too, as even if you are a little bit away from family and friends, you may still be within viable travelling distance, due to the amount of transport options around the area.

6. Is the property good value for money? 

Everyone wants to have something that is worth the money they are paying for it. This will entirely depend on the area you are looking to live in, especially when you consider London property prices.

Generally some people may look to go for a cheaper property initially, compromising on features and facilities they would’ve liked, in order to save some money, before moving later down the line.

With London being as expensive as it is, one of your compromises may be the area itself, if you would prefer the urban life. This is because these houses tend to be at a premium cost, and you are probably getting more value for money further out of the city.

7. What is the community like? 

An area is often defined by the local community. Some may prefer a quieter life, staying to themselves, whereas others may prefer to have a much busier community. It’s always worth speaking with an estate agent to learn more about what it’s like.

Additionally, there may be a community Facebook page or local newsletter to take a look at, as those have become more popular over recent years. Once again, because of London and the wider areas significance, a lot of information and opinion can likely even be found online.

8. Career Changes 

A lot of home buyers will be looking for a new home because they will have found or will be on the search for a new career. It is important to look at the level of distance between your new home and your new workplace.

As touched upon, many people will commute to work in London from the outskirts, with plenty of transport links to choose from. This makes quieter, more affordable living a much more viable option. Some people prefer to work from home, so this may reduce the need to travel to work.

9. Property Type 

There are various different types of property that are available on the property market, with the area you are looking to buy in being a factor in which type is more prevalent.

Some will prefer to live on an end-terrace with a garden to relax in on a sunny day, whilst others would much rather live in a modern flat or a studio apartment.

Make sure you review all of the different options that are out there for you. Look at the viewings to get a good idea of what sort of property you would prefer to live in.

10. Local Developments 

Any information you can obtain regarding future improvements in the area you’re looking to live in is also useful to have, especially if you’re looking to build a life within that new home and stay there for a number of years.

Online research will definitely be worth your while when you are looking to find any future investments. It’s important to consider whether or not these will be beneficial to you and your lifestyle.

If you prefer a quiet country life, your ideal perfect world may be turned upside down if there’s any plans for a sudden big housing development nearby.

Moving Home Mortgage Advice in London

When the time comes to start making offers on a property and getting yourself a mortgage, it is worth getting yourself booked in for a free mortgage appointment. Our fast & friendly mortgage advisors in London will be glad to help!

We work from early until late, every day of the week and including some weekends and bank holidays, subject to appointment availability. 

Whether you need help as a first time buyer mortgage in London or are moving home in London, we will be more than happy to help you along with your mortgage journey.

Lifetime ISA Explained in London

Lifetime ISA Mortgage Advice in London

The Lifetime ISA (LISA) is a new, modern scheme that helps first time buyers create a housing deposit to get onto the property ladder. This is not to be confused with the recently ended Help to Buy ISA scheme.

This scheme provides buyers with a great incentive to purchase a property using this scheme. There are many many benefits that can only make your mortgage process easier! As a Mortgage Broker in London, we are seeing a rapid increase of applicants with a Lifetime ISA in place.

It is becoming more and more popular, especially with the phenomenal increase in the cost of living. Having a deposit boost in place will benefit your application and could potentially put you in front of other buyers when making an offer on a property.

What is a Lifetime ISA?

A Lifetime ISA is a savings account where your money grows tax-free. It works just like a normal savings account where you can add money in lump sums or through smaller monthly instalments, it’s completely up to you.

For every penny that you save, you will receive a 25% government bonus. The way that this works is that every tax year, whatever the amount is that you have saved, you will receive an extra 25% bonus on top.

The total amount per tax year that you can save is capped at £4,000. So, the maximum that you can save per year is £5,000 (£4,000 own savings + £1,000 govt. 25% bonus).

Where can I use my savings?

You can only access the scheme as a first time buyer in London. And, the funds that you have saved can only be used on your first property.

Once money has been transferred into the ISA, it cannot be withdrawn without a 25% charge. For example, if you were trying to withdraw £500 from your ISA, you will only get £375.

There is another way to use your Lifetime ISA, you can use it for later in life savings. As a Mortgage Broker in London, we do not offer advice in this case.

It is also worth knowing that you can also only have one Lifetime ISA in your life, therefore, you will need to decide what you want to use it for.

What are the scheme requirements for Lifetime ISA?

In order to set up your Lifetime ISA account, you will need to meet the scheme requirements:

  • This has to be your first home purchase
  • You can only add a maximum of £4,000 to your Lifetime ISA each tax year
  • The property that you are buying must cost £450,000 or less
  • Your savings account must be open for at least a year before you can make a purchase
  • You must be over the age of 18 but less than 40


Find out more about the LISA on the government’s OwnYourHome website or get in touch with our team at Londonmoneyman. Our first time buyer Mortgage Advisors in London are available to talk 7 days a week, just give us a call!

LISA Mortgage Advice in London

If the Lifetime ISA sounds like the scheme that can help you make a start on your mortgage journey, make sure to get in touch with our team. First time buyer mortgage advice in London is only one call away!

Alternatively, follow our book online process and select a date and time for your appointment.

Can I Get a Mortgage on a Fixed-Term Contract in London?

Fixed-term contracts were once considered to be more of a less conventional form of income, though nowadays they’re a lot more commonly found.

As a general rule of thumb, the only difference between this fixed-term contract employment and regular employment, is how the contract that you have is structured.

Regular employment generally will typically mean you have to sign a contract at the start of your employment, which will remain in effect until you are either terminated or you hand in your notice to the employer.

If you are employed on a fixed-term contract, this will mean you are only a contracted employee for a specific length of time, as opposed to permanently. That being said, you’re still classed as PAYE, which is similar to what a teacher on a per year contract.

Is it possible to get a mortgage on a fixed-term contract?

Yes, it is absolutely a potential option. It may be a little challenging if you are looking for a first time buyer mortgage in London, though we do still have mortgage lenders on panel who will consider these types of circumstances.

Current Contract Length

How long your current contract length is can have an impact on whether or not you can obtain a mortgage. If your contract is a short-term one, you may find it even more difficult to take out a mortgage.

The reason for this, is because you are not guaranteed any sort of long-term employment. Coupled with a large, long-term outgoing such as a mortgage payment, this could be a risk to a mortgage lender.

Most mortgage lenders will want to see consistent, longer term contracts one after another. This will showcase to the mortgage lender that you are likely to keep on with regular contracted work, which in turn will help you in maintaining your mortgage payments.

In addition to this, you can further increase your chances of having a mortgage application accepted by having written confirmation from your employer that once your contract has ended, it will be renewed with the same employer.

Breaks in Employment

If you have had or are currently having any breaks in employment, mortgage lenders may see this as a problem due to their uncertainty of whether or not you can maintain your monthly mortgage payments.

On the off chance you have had any significant employment gaps over the course of the last 12 months, you may not be able to get a mortgage. This is dependant on the mortgage lender and their own criteria, though a more sustainable income may work in your favour more with some lenders.

Further to this, what is defined as a gap in employment will vary per mortgage lender. Some will see a week as a gap of employment, whereas others may deem 4 to 5 months as a gap.

An expert mortgage broker in London will be able to check lender criteria and match you up with the most appropriate one.

What documentation do I need to get a mortgage on a fixed-term contract?

In order for a mortgage lender to consider accepting your application for a mortgage, you will need to provide them with multiple pieces of identification.

The types of documentation you will need to submit to a mortgage lender, include;

  • Passport
  • Driving License
  • Proof of Address
  • Proof of ID
  • Most Recent CV
  • Most Recent Employment Contract
  • Proof of Previous Employment (If Possible)
  • Last 3 Months Bank Statements
  • Last 3 Months Payslips

An expert mortgage advisor in London will be able to take a look at your documents in advance, to make sure it is all suitable for passing along to a mortgage lender.

If they require any other forms of ID from you, they will let you know so that you are more prepared for your mortgage journey ahead.

How much can I borrow on a fixed-term contract?

It is very likely that, providing you have a solid history of consistent employment, with very few or no gaps and a contract with a good amount of time left on it, you will be able to apply for a 95% mortgage, only putting down a 5% deposit.

Unfortunately, because it is deemed to be a risk to the mortgage lender, if your contracts are more short-term or you have some gaps in your employment, you may need to put down a much larger deposit in order to secure a deal with a mortgage lender.

Can you get a remortgage on a fixed-term contract?

Perhaps you are already a homeowner. If this is the case and you are on a fixed-term contract, heading towards the end of your fixed mortgage period, you may be curious of the options you have present.

It is at this stage that we would greatly recommend getting in touch with remortgage experts like ourselves and benefitting from remortgage advice in London.

This is because on top of the possibility of new deals that you may be able to access, there may well have been a change in your income. Maybe you aren’t working as often as you were in the past? Is your average income lower than it used to be?

It is elements like this that can have an effect on your ability to remortgage your property. Depending, you may have limited options, perhaps even with extra costs.

Enquiring for remortgage advice in London with expert mortgage advisors is definitely recommended ahead of jumping in to remortgage your home.

Book Your Free Mortgage Appointment

For anyone who is curious about whether or not it is possible for a home buyer or homeowner to obtain a mortgage whilst on a fixed-term contract, the simple answer to this question is yes, it is.

In order for you to have a much better chance of getting a mortgage with these circumstances, book a free mortgage appointment today with a dedicated mortgage broker in London and we’ll see how we are able to help you.

Gifted Deposits FAQ’s | Mortgage Advice in London

Gifted Deposit Explained | Mortgage Advice in London

During our time as an open and honest Mortgage Broker in London, we understand that sometimes scraping together a deposit, is one of the biggest hurdles for a First Time Buyer in London to get onto the property ladder.

We tend to find, parents, grandparents and on rare occasions, even friends who want to help the ones they care for get onto the property ladder. They’ll provide either a portion or the entire amount of the deposit to put down on a property and obtain a mortgage. Find out what gifted deposits are and how they work.

What is a gifted deposit?

A gifted deposit is money given by parents, grandparents, or friends to a homebuyer to use towards your deposit to put down on a property and obtain a mortgage. It can either be a portion or the entire amount.

The money given isn’t a loan and gifted deposits are given to you with an understanding that the money doesn’t need to be repaid.

How can gifted deposits help out? 

Gifted deposits are helpful to First Time Buyers in London. Mainly those who are financially capable of covering their mortgage repayments, but struggling to save up for the initial deposit.

We tend to find, that these situations happen quote often. Perhaps they’ll have larger outgoings, such as rental payments, home energy bills, and essentials. That there isn’t anything else left to put into savings for a deposit.

By receiving a gifted deposit, this will allow you to gain access to much better rates of interest during your mortgage process, especially if that gift is above the minimum 5-10% deposit requirement.

Who can gift the deposit? 

As we’ve said, it’s mainly parents or carers who can gift you the deposit. This is often discussed online using the terminology “Bank of Mum & Dad”, don’t let the name throw you off this can include adopted parents too.

Sometimes other family members may also be able to help out with a gifted deposit. Though this entirely depends on the mortgage lender that you end up with. That’s why it’s worth getting in touch to speak to a Mortgage Advisor in London beforehand.

Do your parents know you need help? 

We often hear back from customers who have no idea their parents can help with their mortgage! This is why we aim to inform and encounter more people to ask for some extra help, so more people can get a chance to get onto the property ladder.

The majority of parents are more than happy to help their children to find a home of their own, comfortably living as opposed to struggling whilst living in a rental property.
 
In some areas taking out a mortgage may save you more money per month than you would get from renting, of course, this depends on several factors, but in some circumstances, it can happen.

Gifted deposits can come from inheritance, although parents can sometimes gift it much earlier if they have enough money saved or have released equity from their own home.

Gifted Deposit vs Loans 

Some mortgage lenders out there won’t accept loans as a means of paying off your deposit. It will be often related to the lender not being so sure if you can afford to pay back both simultaneously.

Is there a maximum or minimum gifted amount? 

There are no limits to the amount that can be gifted to a home buyer, it’s worth remembering that some lenders will want you to have a minimum of 5% from your own savings.

The more you can afford to put down, perhaps combining savings and gifts, you’ll open yourself up to better deals. 

Who could benefit from a gifted deposit? 

We tend to find, that it’s normally First Time Buyers and Home Movers in London who will benefit the most from the gifted deposit.

A gifted deposit can be used to cover the initial 5% deposit for the Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme. However, this will depend on the lender.

What proof is required? 

Your donor will need to sign a gifted deposit form stating that it is not a loan and is in fact a gift. Additional proof such as ID, address, and bank statements will be required.

Our Mortgage Advice Service in London 

As a fast and friendly mortgage broker in London, we aim to provide our customers with the highest level of customer service, through a fast and friendly Mortgage Advice in London service.

No matter your mortgage situation. When someone gets in touch with us for Mortgage Advice in London, we will consider all cases, no matter how complex, and try our best to find a resolution.

Book Your Free Mortgage Appointment 

A trusted and experienced Mortgage Broker in London is available seven days a week, from early on until late. Our Mortgage Advisors in London will be ready and waiting to offer their support at all times.

Book your free mortgage appointment today with an expert mortgage advisor in London and we’ll see how we are able to help you on your mortgage journey. 

 

 

Our 10 Step Home Buying Guide for First Time Buyers in London

We tend to find a lot of customers asking us about the process of being a First Time Buyer in London when buying a home. Below we put together an extensive list of the 10 steps that you will go through during the mortgage process. We want to make sure that you are in the best possible position to get you prepared for your mortgage journey.

Here are the 10 steps to the home buying process and to obtaining a mortgage;

Step One: Get in Touch for Your Free Mortgage Appointment

Now, it’s time to purchase a home and take out a first time buyer mortgage. Getting onto the property ladder will be one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make. The entire experience can be a bit daunting, especially when you have had no experience before.

With the help of a dedicated Mortgage Broker in London, we’ll be able to help you along the process. We aim to take the stress away from you and work hard to ensure you come out with a suitable mortgage deal.

To speak with one of our qualified Mortgage Advisors in London, book your free mortgage appointment today. They’ll take a few key details and look at what you’re hoping to achieve, before starting your process.

Step Two: Mortgage Affordability Assessment

During your free mortgage consultation, we’ll be able to run through a Mortgage Affordability Assessment. Our Mortgage Advisors in London will go through your monthly income and regular expenditures, to determine whether or not you can afford the monthly repayments of the mortgage amount you’re looking to borrow.

The reason why doing an affordability assessment is essential before putting your application forward, with a lender, is because they need to be confident that you can afford your repayments. By avoiding the risk of arrears and potential future repossession, something the lender will desperately want to avoid.

A Mortgage Affordability Assessment is something the lender will usually check themselves, so our initial check will help save the time of the lender, ourselves, and more importantly you, from an application that may be declined due to failing on affordability. 

Step Three: Obtaining a Mortgage Agreement in Principle

During your consultation, you will be able to obtain a Mortgage Agreement in Principle. Which can help give First-Time Buyers in London a boost when making an offer on a property.

You may have seen this under a few different, but similar names. These include ‘Decision in Principle’, ‘Mortgage in Principle’, as well as the abbreviations ‘DIP’ & ‘AIP’. There is no difference between these, other than the name.

The purpose of a Mortgage Agreement in Principle is to document that you have passed a lender’s initial credit scoring system, either via a hard credit search or a soft search.

However, this does not guarantee you will be accepted on a mortgage but is a necessary document to have. Having an A.I.P. will show the seller of a property that you are serious buyer, possibly creating a possibility for price negotiations.

An A.I.P. can last anywhere between 30-90 days, and can easily be renewed once expired. Our Mortgage Advisors in London can usually get one of these turned around for you within 24 hours of your initial appointment.

Step Four: Finding the Right Solicitor

Following your Agreement in Principle, you will need to find yourself a Conveyancing Solicitor to help you with the legal proceedings of the homebuying process.

Your Conveyancing Solicitor will be able to handle; Contracts, provide any legal advice, conduct local council / authority searches, deal with the Land registry, and transfer the funds you have acquired to pay for your property. As you can see, you must make sure you can choose carefully.

Also make sure to note that Licensed Conveyancers are property specialists who can’t deal with complicated legal issues, whereas more general Solicitors offer a full range of services so can often seem more expensive.

Sadly, whilst we do not offer these services ourselves in-house, our dedicated Mortgage Advisors in London can refer you out to someone to is.

Step Five: Making an Offer on a Property

After speaking to a Mortgage Broker in London, passed the Mortgage Affordability Assessment, obtained an Agreement in Principle, and found yourself a Conveyancing Solicitor to handle the legal side of things. You’re now halfway through the process, next it’s time to make an offer on the property you wish to purchase.

With an Agreement in Principle, you will be in a much better place to negotiate on price. With the seller knowing that you have an AIP they may be more likely to sell to you than someone who is willing to pay the asking price but is unprepared. But this isn’t a guarantee.

Worst-case scenario the seller rejects your offer, you can work out a more reasonable offer or find yourself another property. If your offer got accepted, get back in touch with your Mortgage Advisor in London, and they will continue with your mortgage journey.

Sixth Six: Submit Your Documents  

Make sure to submit the required documents. Your lender will need you to provide various documentation, including the amount you earn from your job, where you live, and how you conduct your finances, are very important to the lender.

If you’re obtaining a joint mortgage, they will require this documentation from both candidates involved. The several types of documents you will need to submit, include; 

  • Proof of ID and proof of address
  • Last 3 months’ pay slips
  • Latest P60

As for self employed applicants in London you will need to provide; 

  • Proof of any income such as state benefits or maintenance
  • Proof of deposit
  • The last 90 days’ bank statements

Step Seven: We’ll Progress Your Mortgage Application  

With your mortgage agreed in principle, and your offer accepted, your Mortgage Advisors in London can now proceed to submit your full mortgage application. Having everything checked and ready by your Mortgage Advisor in London and Administrators, we are ready to submit an application to the lender for a mortgage.

Your Mortgage Advisor in London will send off all the gathered documentation for this, and then wait for them to respond with whether or not the application has been accepted or declined. Sadly, there is no given time frame, however, our Mortgage Administration team will be able to chase the lender for an answer on this for you.

Step Eight: Property Valuation / Survey  

During the process, the lender will require a valuation survey of your property to be undertaken. These are usually carried out by the lender’s choice. The valuation is to help understand the true value of the property.

If you’re paying above its actual market value, the lender may be less willing to accept your offer. Because they’ll be out of pocket and unable to make back the full borrowed amount. This terminology is also known as a ‘Down Valuation’.

Your Mortgage Advisor in London will be able to help you choose the right survey for you. Each surveyor comes with a different price. Some will just want to check the property’s worth, whereas some will also provide information on any structural concerns as well as possible repairs.

Step Nine: Receiving Your Mortgage Offer  

Once your lender has checked over your case and assessed all the evidencing documentation, they will present you with your Mortgage Offer.

Our team of Mortgage Advisors and Administrators in London will make final checks to make sure nothing got missed. Next, it’s down to your Conveyancing Solicitor to take your purchase through to completion.  

Step Ten: Completing The Process  

Now for the exciting part, you’ve now officially went from a First Time Buyer in London to a homeowner. By now, we hope you are happy and ready to begin your new life, in your new home.

Just have to wait for the key and moving-in date. We hope you found our service beneficial and received a fast and friendly Mortgage Advice service in London. If you have chosen a fixed-rate mortgage, at the end of your term, we will be in touch to help out once again with your Remortgage in London

9 Questions to Ask When Buying A House in London

First Time Buyer Mortgage Advice in London

Taking your initial step towards finally owning your own home as a first time buyer in London can be quite a stressful activity to undertake, especially if you don’t quite know what you’re doing.

Whilst this thought process commonly occurs amongst first time buyers and even some home buyers, though it’s our job to reassure you that this doesn’t always need to be the case!

You should always make sure that you’re ‘mortgage ready’, so that you’re best prepared for your home buying experience.

Below we have compiled 9 questions that you may want to ask when you are buying a house as a first time buyer in London.

The 9 Most Common Home Buying Questions:

1. How much interest has there been in the property/development?

It’s always better for you to seriously think about a property before you commit to a purchase, as taking out a mortgage in your name, will likely be the most significant financial commitment that you’ll ever make.

One thing that you should definitely find out more information about, is how much interest has actually been shown in your potential new home. If it isn’t very popular, you can probably take some time to decide.

If on the other hand, it is a popular property, you may have to decide a lot quicker than you otherwise would’ve liked to.

2. Is there a property chain?

If there happens to be multiple property transactions happening at one time, completely reliant on every sale and purchase being completed in order to proceed, you have found yourself a property chain.

Your mortgage process can be affected by a property chain if you find yourself in one, as this could slow down your ability to get a mortgage or potentially mean you lose out on the sale of your own property if you are moving home in London.

Luckily if your home is a new build, you won’t have to worry so much about a property chain, and you may be likely to move along the process a lot quicker, due to not having to wait for people to move out.

First time buyers in London will have the advantage even more so, as even if a small chain occurs, they won’t be selling a home to move into one. This is a good thing to mention when discussing property price with the seller.

3. What’s included in the sale?

You’ll quite frequently find that when some homes are purchased, the previous owner will have chosen to leave some items behind.

Items that tend to be left for the next owner, include electronic goods such as washing machines, fridges or freezers, as well as sometimes finding that a shed has been left in the garden.

This won’t apply to new build properties, as they are generally built on the conditions that are agreed upon before the work commences.

The advantage of this for first time buyers in London, is that you’re getting free items that often will be working just fine. The downside is having to pay to remove them if you don’t want them.

If you happen to be buying a new build property, there might additional items you can ask to be put in ahead of time, so they’re ready for when you move.

4. What are the neighbours like?

Another factor to think about, is what the neighbourhood is like. Do you have good neighbours or are they unfavourable? Things like this can impact your decision to actually move to an area.

If you are moving into a property that is on a new build estate, then you and your neighbours will be the building up an entirely new community, which could be a risk as it presents an unknown element.

5. How much does it cost to run?

The running costs of the property can often affect whether or not you decide to buy a property. These costs will be dependant on the area you are looking at, so it’s always best to ask in advance.

Make sure you ask about the costs of Council Tax, as well as the typical utility costs and other things like that. This can help you budget as you go around looking at properties.

6. Which way does the house face?

The way that your house is facing can also have an impact on your decision to buy a property. Some would much prefer to be able to relax during the summer evenings in their garden, reading a good book or enjoying a nice beverage.

You’ll often find that south facing gardens will cost a lot more money, due to the fact they’ll be getting much more sunlight during the day.

7. How much work will be required after moving in?

The amount of work that may be required after you have moved in might also affect your budgeting for the property. Here are some of the most common things that home buyers should keep their eye out for;

  • How energy efficient is the property you’re looking to buy? Will it end up costing a lot to run?
  • Is there any damp currently in your home? This may need fixing and it is not likely to be cheap.
  • Will you need to fix or update any furnishings? Will you be needing new carpets? Will your old furniture even fit?

8. Are you open to offers?

The house buying process will, generally speaking, begin with property price negotiations between you and the seller. It is important that you are prepared for this so that you are in with the best chance of your offer being accepted on a home you really like.

If you would like to learn further about the best ways to improve your chances during negotiation, please do not hesitate to get in touch. As soon as you are “mortgage ready”, you can begin making offers on properties you wish to buy.

The best way to learn whether or not the offer you are planning to make is too high, it to have a conversation with the seller themselves or even the estate agent, to discuss other offers that may have been made and rejected.

9. When can we move in?

Having a date in mind for when you can move in will allow you to plan everything else around it. You may need to instruct a conveyancing solicitor, pack up your belongings and then finally move them.

Speaking to the seller and finding out the earliest date that you could move in will allow you to be much more organised and prepared for the journey that lies ahead.

Moving Home Mortgage Advice in London

Buying vs Renting a Property in London

Mortgage Advice in London for Home Buyers and Renters

If you are currently renting in London, taking the dive and purchasing a property will be a massive financial decision.

For many, it all comes down to affordability. In certain parts of London, the average monthly rent can be higher than your mortgage repayments. Thus making buying a much better option (as long as you have the right amount of deposit).

Everyone’s circumstances are different, that’s why, If you are in the position to either rent or put down a deposit on a property in London. We hope this article will aid First Time Buyers in London when it’s time to make that decision.

Buying a House in London

More often than not, especially if you are younger, parents will encourage you to invest in property sooner rather than later. There are pros to doing this, but there are cons too.

Mortgage Payments

It all comes down to the type of mortgage you are on. In certain parts of London, you are looking to buy or rent. You’ll find that your monthly repayments will be cheaper than renting.

For example, if you are on a tracker mortgage, this tracks the Bank of England’s base rate. So you’ll find your monthly mortgage repayments may be much lower than renting. However, this could fluctuate every month.

There are ways around this. If you got put onto a fixed-rate mortgage, your payments would remain the same until the end of your fixed term.

With rising maintenance costs and fluctuating interest rates, your landlord might increase your rent. However, it’s a rare situation if your landlord decides to reduce your rent.

Security 

As long as you can keep up with your mortgage payments, you will always have that sense of security within a home. No one can force you out of your own home as you are the property owner.

Whereas being a tenant leaves you with next to no protection against the landlord wanting you out. Yes, they will have to give you notice, but the landlord owns the property you rent at the end of the day.

All of this worry doesn’t come with owning a home. In some cases, landlords may be more considerate and extend your notice period. However, not every landlord is as lenient.

Uncertainty

The property market tends to reshuffle things now and again, the good news is when you find out that your house is going to go up in value. However, this works both ways and unfortunately, your property price can also go down in value.

History has shown that even if you purchase a property during the very peak of the market. Make sure you can afford to keep hold of the property, eventually property prices will go back up. During the credit crunch in 2008, sold values dipped dramatically. After a few years and backing from the government, the market shot back up.

If you have no choice but to sell your home, doing so at the wrong time may cost you losing money. Sometimes you don’t have a choice but to sell your home quickly. We tend to find this was lead to a relationship breakdown, a reduction of income, or other circumstances.

Don’t rush into a purchase, get Mortgage Advice in London 

Never rush into a property purchase; buying a home is a huge financial commitment and you should only go forward with one if you are ready to do so.

If you are eligible to take out cover, it’s always smart to do so Mortgage protection insurance isn’t mandatory, but you should think very carefully about how you will keep up mortgage repayments if you find yourself out of work for a while.

If you are unable to work due to an illness, you could look at the Critical Illness cover to help down the line. You can always get the right support from a Mortgage Advisor in London if you are unsure about whether or not to purchase a property over renting one.

Renting a House in London 

Here are now the pros and cons of renting in London. Depending on your situation, renting could be the best option for you. There are a lot of different questions to ask before rushing into renting before looking to obtain a mortgage.

Flexibility 

Compared to renting, buying a home is a long-term investment, you need to be thinking about where you can realistically see yourself in the future. Whereas, when you are renting, you can move out whenever you want. For example, you could have been renting, but saving for a mortgage deposit over time.

Once enough has been saved for your deposit or you receive a gifted deposit, you can move out whenever you want to and get your mortgage process started in London; once your notice has been given.

If you can’t imagine yourself living in London for a very long time, you should consider the idea of renting. There is no point in obtaining a mortgage if living in a certain part of London is only a temporary part of your life.

Repairs

When you are renting, your landlord is usually responsible for any repairs on the property. We tend to find, that some landlords are better than others, for example, some may take their time in getting back to you, and some may be great and get right back to you within 24 hours. Make sure to do your research and check out reviews and recommendations before you go proceed with anything.

Major repairs should be handled by the landlord and minor repairs should be taken care of by you. In London, if you choose to buy a home you will have to take care of all of the repairs and damages inside and outside of the property.

Moving Home in London with a friend(s) / family member? 

When deciding to whether buy or rent with a friend or family member, as a Mortgage Broker in London, we would recommend that you look at renting first. Renting is a fantastic and more beneficial option if this is the route that you want to go down.

Being tied into a mortgage deal with your friend(s)/family can cause problems down the line when you want to move on and out of the property. It’s not always as easy as it seems to get your name removed from a mortgage.

Removing a name can often require Specialist Mortgage Advice in London to get this sort of thing moving. So, if you are looking at renting or even purchasing with a friend(s) or family, you should seek out an expert mortgage advisor in London help to assist you along the way. 

Summary – Buying vs Renting 

Now that you know some of the pros and cons of buying and renting, you should now weigh up your options. Which is right for you? Which will benefit you most? Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years’ time?

These are questions to consider during any big decision in your life. Some people prefer to make a list of the pros and cons, that seems to always help!

When it comes down to the numbers, the majority of people choose to buy over rent, they see it as an early opportunity to get themselves onto the property ladder. People would also rather the money go towards their own mortgage rather than paying somebody else’s.

If you need more renting vs buying advice in London, book your free mortgage appointment today to speak with one of our mortgage advisors in London today. 

Contractor Mortgages & the Gig Economy in London

Can I Get a Mortgage as a Contractor? | MoneymanTV

Contractor Mortgage Advice in London

At present, there are over a million people in the UK now working in the ‘gig economy’ as contracted workers. Considering this career is technically freelance and they’re working short term contracts, a lot of these people aren’t entitled to many benefits that permanent, full-time employees get like any sick pay or holiday pay.

We’re finding that most of these workers are either operating in some form of professional service, are both skilled and unskilled manual workers (e.g., carpenters, electricians etc.), and due to the increase of internet based shopping, many are now taking up careers as couriers and delivery drivers.

Unfortunately, gig economy workers will naturally find it a lot more difficult when trying to obtain a mortgage, because the mortgage lenders will be treating them as Self Employed Mortgage applicants.

Increase Your Chance at Mortgage Application Success

For you to increase your chances of having a successful mortgage application, an applicant will need to demonstrate a strong history of employment. One year’s history is probably the minimum that will be required to qualify for a mortgage, unless you have an upcoming contract set to last for quite a long duration. If your contract is due to last a few years with the same company, you may not be seen as self-employed, depending on the lender.

If a lender opts instead to treat a mortgage applicant as a sole trader, then you will need to provide the lender with proof of your net profit. This is the amount that is earned in total, with expenses taken off. For this, you may find that you need the services of an accountant.

If the person applying for the mortgage has set up their own limited company, then the majority of lenders will be making their calculations based on the total of declared salary plus dividends.

Mortgage Lender Flexibility

The way that mortgage lenders are choosing to assess contract workers seems to be a lot more flexible now, likely due to the high number of them currently existing within the economy. If a person has been working this way for a while and currently holds a contract, then depending on the industry, some may have their incomes assessed through their ‘day rate’.

If day rate is assessed, they will take that amount and then times it by 5 and times that total by 46. The reason for this, is lenders know that a Contractor is unlikely to work 52 weeks a year, even if they are not paid for any holidays they take. As such, they work off a 46 week basis. This method of calculating works well for IT contractors especially, as they have the options to choose what contracts they take and when.

Self-Employed Mortgage Advice in London

If an applicant is Self Employed in London, it is advised to be organised as best as you can, collating what is needed in advance prior to applying for a mortgage in the same way that a contractor applicant would. It’s also important to remember that if you are wanting to apply for a mortgage, a potential lender will be wanting to see healthy levels of earnings that are sustainable. As such, you may end up paying a bit more tax.

Regarding the place of zero-hour contracts in all this, it is possible for someone with these who is applying for a mortgage to obtain one too. Once again, a mortgage lender will want to see 12 months’ earnings before it is possible to apply for a mortgage. They will consider taking an average of earnings, rather than a full year.

What is a Cashback Mortgage?

Cashback Mortgage Advice in London

There are many different types of mortgages, and some of them will be perfect for your situation and some will not. The type of mortgage that you obtain will be down to what you are looking to achieve and your personal and financial situation.

There are no ‘regular’ mortgage types, there are the most popular ones and the specialist ones. Cashback mortgages fit into the specialist category as they are only taken out in certain circumstances and they have become less popular over recent years.

Not all mortgages will be beneficial to you and your situation, and that’s why it’s important to shop around and make sure that you take out a product that is right for you.

How do Cashback Mortgages work?

After paying off your whole mortgage term (paying off your mortgage), you will receive a lump sum from your lender. You should not confuse this with your shorter fixed terms.

The amount that you receive back is based on a percentage of what you have borrowed. This percentage is something like 1% or 2%. This may seem like a small amount, however, if you took out a £360,000 mortgage, 1% is £3,600 and 2% is £7,200. Sometimes lenders may offer a little more, it depends on the lender.

Will a Cashback Mortgage benefit me?

There are pros and cons to Cashback Mortgages. First of all, like other mortgage products, you may be offered some extra perks for taking out the deal. These perks could include a free mortgage valuation or some other sort of fringe benefits.

Once you receive your lump sum, you will be able to spend it on whatever you want. We’ve often seen people use the money to improve parts of their homes such as an extension or conversion. Most of the Cashback Mortgage customers that we have dealt with are those taking out lower mortgages.

Unfortunately, Cashback Mortgages can come with high-interest rates, and that is what can put people off. You should speak to a Mortgage Advisor in London to get an idea of what rates you can access.

Different types of mortgages in London

There are many different types of mortgages. Some mortgages will not match your situation or the property that you’re purchasing, and that’s why it’s important that you find the right one. Finding the right one for you can be a difficult task though! This is where a Mortgage Broker in London like us comes in.

We can search 1000s of mortgage deals for you and we will make sure that you are on the best deal for your personal and financial situation. If you are interested in Cashback Mortgages and are considering taking one out on your property, feel free to get in touch. Getting Specialist Mortgage Advice in London could be very beneficial to your situation.

Follow our ‘Book Online’ process and book a free mortgage appointment with a Mortgage Advisor in London. Pick your own date and time, there are slots available seven days a week.

A Guide to Remortgages in London: Top Reasons to Consider

When your mortgage term is coming to its end. Your options are to either sell up and upsize/downsize into a new property. Maybe you are in the market for selling your portfolio to the tenant(s) or another buyer and want to know what options are available? The most popular option, however, overall of the above, is a Remortgage.

What is a Remortgage?

A Remortgage is a process of moving your existing mortgage to a new provider or switching to a different arrangement with your current lender. There are lots of different opportunities when taking out a Remortgage.

By taking advantage of the 20 years or so knowledge of our resident “Moneyman” Malcolm Davidson mortgage advisor and director of Londonmoneyman and host of our YouTube channel MoneymanTV, has put together a quick remortgage guide to help you understand the main reasons homeowners choose to remortgage.

Remortgage For Better Interest Rates

In some cases, your initial mortgage deal will normally last somewhere between 2-5 years and feature low fixed rates or possibly discounted rates. Your lender may suggest placing you on a tracker mortgage, which follows the Bank of England’s base rate.

When your mortgage term is ending you will be placed onto the lenders Standard Variable Rate (SVR). SVR’s can affect whether the interest rate moves up or down, depending on what the lenders choose.

They also don’t follow the Bank of England’s base rate like a tracker mortgage hence why they can be riskier, as the lender is not legally obligated to charge the recommended amount.

Because of this, SVR’s are usually the most expensive option to take, leaving many to look at Remortgaging for better rates, which will hopefully save them some money on their monthly repayments.

Remortgage For Home Improvements

Spending several years occupying your home, you may come across wanting an extra room or a much larger living space to start a family, a newer and modern kitchen, a new office as more people are working from home or loft conversion. If you weren’t sure whether to do some home improvements or move into a bigger house, some choose to release their equity with a remortgage to cover the costs of any work needed or wanted.

The idea of having to obtain planning permission and fund/manage your own project seems time consuming, some will argue it’s a lot less stressful and more rewarding than the process of having to go property hunting again, selling your current home and having to move all your possessions.

At the same time, creating more space and having good quality craftsmanship will likely increase the value of your home. This comes in handy if you ever do decide to sell up or rent out.

Remortgages For Changes to Your Term

Some homeowners may choose to Remortgage in London for a more suitable mortgage term, whether that’s switching to a more flexible product or reducing the length. However, doing so means you won’t be paying back your mortgage for a long duration. But, you’ll be faced with higher monthly repayments. The longer your term, the lower the payments will be over time.

Other homeowners may choose to opt-in for their remortgage term to be more flexible. The befits of doing so are if you gain the ability to overpay, you will be able to pay off your mortgage quickly, as well as being able to carry the same mortgage and rates over to another property, should you decide to move later down the line.

We tend to find that flexible mortgages usually come in the form of a tracker mortgage. A tracker mortgage follows the Bank of England base rate. Meaning your mortgage payments will fluctuate based on interest.

Equity Release

All homeowners will have some form of equity in their property. This is worked out with the difference between what is still owed on the mortgage and the current value of your property. As previously mentioned, equity can be used for home improvements. However, there are other routes to go down.

Some homeowners choose to cover long-term care costs, whereas others may choose to add to their income, to have a holiday, to pay off an interest-only mortgage or simply have some extra money to spend on whatever they would like.

In other cases, Buy-to-Let landlords will use their Equity Release as a means of covering their deposit for purchasing additional properties for their portfolio.

Remortgage to Consolidate Debt

Others may choose to release equity to pay off any unsecured debts that may have built up over time. However, Debt Consolidation not only bases the amount on how much you are owed and the value of the property, but things like your credit rating are also a factor. All this can limit you on the amount you can borrow.

To pay off your previous mortgage and your debts, you will need to borrow a substantial amount. This means your monthly repayments will be higher.

If you have a poor credit score, you might have a slim chance to remortgage, you might benefit to look into Specialist Remortgage Advice in London. Even then, there is no guarantee that you could remortgage.

You should always seek mortgage advice before choosing to consolidate and secure any debts against your property.

Dedicated Mortgage Advisors in London

If you are coming to the end of your term and are wanting to know what your options are, we highly recommend you book your free mortgage appointment to speak with one of your experienced and trusted Mortgage Advisors in London.

Our team will discuss what’s the most suitable options for you and your circumstances, to create the most suitable plan of action for you in the next step of your mortgage adventure. We aim to ensure this go-around is a quicker and easier process than when you took out your initial mortgage.

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