Our mortgage guides can provide you with an in-depth understanding of the different mortgages available. So, whether you’re a first time buyer or looking to remortgage your house, our guides can help. Read through our mortgage FAQs and learn everything you need to know to ensure you experience a smooth process.

What are the Benefits of an Interest Only Mortgage

There are different types of mortgage loans available. A form of mortgage loan arrangement called an interest only loan affords the borrower low monthly payments that go towards paying off the interest only. The interest payments will run for a set amount of time, and when the term is due, the borrower owes the lender for the total amount of the principal. Why consider an interest only mortgage? To begin with, you might ask yourself who would want to take out an interest only loan? First of all, an interest only mortgage is a cheaper way to acquire your own […]

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Ten Most Common Home Improvements Revealed

Property value is a crucial element in getting the best mortgage deals. A vast number of homeowners across the UK spend on renovations each year to increase the value of their homes. While there are some who are willing to shell out big money for significant home improvements, not all big projects guarantee the best returns. Small changes can prove very cost effective when the time comes to assess the value of your property. So, what are the top ten most common home renovations undertaken by property owners in the UK? Kitchen and bathroom upgrades Perhaps the most commonly renovated […]

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Remortgaging Can Save You Big Time

A mortgage is one of the most significant financial commitments any person will make in his or her life. There are a variety of factors that will affect your ability to get a reasonable interest rate, but it does not mean that you can’t do anything else to ensure that you are getting the best deal possible. This is the reason why for some, remortgaging becomes the only way to save thousands of pounds each year on their current home loan. Consider this – when you buy a consumer product, you always shop around first for the best deals. Of […]

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Mortgage And Poor Credit FAQs

If you are currently shopping around for a home and would like to apply for a mortgage, chances are you have a lot of questions; more so if you are concerned that you have a poor credit rating. It is understandable to feel slightly intimidated by the possibility of not getting a good deal (or any deal) because of your credit rating. In this article, we aim to address some of the frequently asked questions related to mortgage applications and poor credit. Can I get a mortgage with a poor credit score? It is natural to be concerned when your […]

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Is Now The Right Time to Remortgage Your Home?

While it is true to say that you can remortgage your home anytime you want, there is really not much benefit to it if your only reason for doing so is to switch from one mortgage lender to another. Timing is crucial to guarantee that you are getting the most out of a new mortgage deal. In the past, people tended to pay off their mortgage loan using the same lender all throughout the life of the mortgage. These days, this practice is infrequent indeed. It is now more common to remortgage than to stay at the same lender to […]

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Is An Interest Only Mortgage Ever a Good Option?

Interest only mortgages have made a comeback in recent years. This loan type was popular some years ago but became less available due to the financial crisis of a decade ago. Because the housing market has performed considerably better since then, mortgage lenders are now confident to offer interest-only loans to borrowers. What is an interest only loan? An interest only mortgage is designed to offer lenders low monthly payments that reduce the interest alone. Since you are not paying off the principal amount borrowed, the entire amount will be due for payment at the end of the term. Mortgage […]

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How to Get a Mortgage with a Bad Credit Score

Taking back control of your finances can be difficult at times especially after going through some stressful life events. When your spending goes out of hand, and you have poorly managed debts, your credit rating is bound to suffer. A poor credit rating will reduce your capability to get the lender’s approval for products like mortgages. When you are in the market for a home, you might feel discouraged and think it is impossible to get a mortgage from any lender. However, this is far from the truth. Even if you have low credit scores, it is still possible for […]

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How Do I Consolidate My Loan Into a Manageable Monthly Payment?

Let’s face it, every person has at least one debt being paid off. In fact, if you have several debts you are paying off all at once, you are no different from a majority of people in the country. Unfortunately, managing several payments can become overwhelming eventually, and you may be missing out on the opportunity to pay off your obligations a lot faster if you don’t look into options such as debt consolidation. Basically, what a debt consolidation does is to pay off several debts by taking out another loan. You will then pay off what you owe the […]

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Home Improvements For The Best Return on Investment

Owning a home can become a money pit if you’re not careful. With mortgage payments and maintenance costs, sometimes owning a home may not appear to be the best investment. To counteract this, you can make additions and changes that can add to your home’s value and later on pay off, come the time you decide to sell or remortgage. Statistically, UK residents spend around £30 billion a year on home improvements. How can you ensure that the money you are putting on improving your home goes to the right project that will increase its value? Here are the top […]

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Do Debt Consolidation Loans Hurt Your Credit?

Having some form of debt is part of everyone’s life. In many ways, your ability to manage debt becomes advantageous as it gives financial institutions confidence in your ability to pay. Hence, with a good credit score comes better borrowing opportunities. Managing debt is no easy task. If things get out of hand, you may end up in more hot water than you were in initially. If you are having troubles with multiple debt payments, you may consider a debt consolidation option to manage your obligations. What is debt consolidation? Debt consolidation works by taking out a new loan to […]

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When can you remortgage

Remortgaging has become an increasingly popular money-saving approach amongst homeowners who are looking for better rates than what their current and respective deals are. Because mortgages can often put a sizeable dent in the bank, it’s not just an option that should be considered especially by those who can ill-afford the existing repayments or perhaps need the cash value that is currently locked within the property. As effective as remortgaging can be to save money and reduce overall expenditure in the long run however, the desired results that it can produce depends on knowing exactly when to pursue it. It […]

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What percentage deposit do I need for a buy to let mortgage

It’s common knowledge that learning all about mortgage is essential if you’re going to be purchasing a property to begin with. However, that isn’t the only type of mortgage out there – there is also the Buy to Let mortgage to contend with. The main difference between ordinary mortgage and Buy to Let is the fact that this type is for landlords who purchase a property with the intention of renting it out to tenants. This is the main reason why it’s important to be specific with your broker when it comes to the properties that you’re purchasing. Are you […]

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What is the best mortgage for a first time buyer

So you’ve finally decided to purchase your very first home. This is often an exciting – and nerve wracking – milestone because aside from the home itself, you need to decide on a proper mortgage deal. There are just so many out there that it can be overwhelming, with most simply looking to strike a deal with the lowest rates. Unfortunately, purchasing a mortgage for a first time home isn’t that simple, and it could lead to regrets down the line. Mortgage is something that can’t be taken lightly, which means just like anything else worth doing, it deserves your […]

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What is a consumer buy to let

When it comes to owning properties in general, it pays to know the ins and outs of the different types of mortgages available today. This is especially important for landlords out there who want to rent a property as a business – for these individuals, the regular mortgage will not do. Instead, it’s all about the Buy to Let mortgage, a risky but also a very rewarding form of mortgage that can vary quite a bit from lender to lender. Aside from the normal Buy to Let mortgage, there is also another form known as consumer Buy to Let mortgage. […]

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Remortgage how much can I borrow

There’s no denying how advantageous and beneficial remortgaging can be in reducing expenditure on monthly repayments and ultimately aiding homeowners is saving money. While this may certainly be its primary purpose for many homeowners however, it also provides a means for those lacking in funds to acquire some much needed cash in the event that it becomes a necessity instead of dipping into their own savings. But the amount that can be borrowed depends on a number of factors and can be a little tricky to ascertain. Here are a few elements that are generally considered by lenders to help […]

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How to qualify first time home buyer

It goes without saying that qualifying for a mortgage is essential to many aspiring homeowners who are looking to secure a property. As simple as this may seem however, getting through the qualification process can prove to be tricky, especially when considering all of the factors that most lenders generally focus on. But boosting your chances of becoming qualified for the desired mortgage isn’t rocket science, and obtaining what you need can be determined by a few points of interest. Keep your credit score in check before applying One of the first things that lenders will look into when applying […]

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How to get a mortgage first time buyer

Getting a mortgage, especially for first-timers, is by no means an easy task. It requires careful consideration and thought as it may most likely end up being your biggest investment and take a huge portion of monthly banking activities. While it may not be without its own fair share of challenges, there are certainly ways to make far better informed decisions that will benefit you in the long run. Here are a few things to keep in mind when securing a mortgage. Budget allocation Looking to secure a mortgage is a lot like chess. You need to think two or […]

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How much deposit needed for buy to let

All things considered, mortgage can be a rather overwhelming process if you don’t know how to properly tackle it. However, traditional mortgage is definitely much easier when compare to something like a Buy to Let mortgage. Compared to simply purchasing a property, the Buy to Let mortgage has to do with renting out the property that you purchase. It might be simple in theory but it’s a tricky venture – risky enough that lenders themselves often have a set of difficult criteria before you can apply for one. Don’t let that dissuade you however, as there are still benefits to […]

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How much can I remortgage my house for

Many homeowners continue to take advantage of cheaper mortgage rates in order to pragmatically approach remortgaging and switch to lower repayments or in some cases release the monetary equivalent of their respective properties when the need arises. The popularity of this option stems not only from being a much more economical recourse but rather a necessity to improve to avoid having to move from their current residence in lieu of both stamp duty and high home prices. As easy as it was to apply this method to remortgaging, this is no longer the case today since it’s now an impossibility […]

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How many buy to let mortgages can I have

In the world of finance and mortgages, risk becomes a common factor no matter how good of a deal you’ve struck. This is true whether you’re a first-timer looking for the best deal or an experienced landlord looking to make more income out of what you have. For many lenders, perhaps the biggest risks have come with Buy to Let mortgages. It can be difficult to blame them as the most recent financial crisis in 2017 made it clear that they need to be more cautious in general. That said, applying for Buy to Let mortgages now is all about […]

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How You Can Effectively Acquire a Mortgage even with Bad Credit

Mortgage lenders will definitely assess your financial situation inside and out if you apply for a mortgage. This is normal; after all, lenders would like to mitigate their risks as much as possible when taking on a mortgage applicant. A lender would need to make sure you can really afford to pay your mortgage, and one way they assess your credibility is by taking a look at your credit rating. If your credit rating is poor, you may be understandably worried. But don’t lose heart just yet – there are still ways for you to get that mortgage. Here’s how […]

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Are You a First-Time Home Buyer? Here’s Your Guide to Getting the Best Mortgage Deal

If you have made a decision to buy property, congratulations! Your decision couldn’t have been an easy one, considering the cost of property and what you have to do to get one. But once you have property to call your own, the rewards can be great. If you are a first-time buyer, however, there are some things you need to know first. There are some factors which can affect how good a mortgage deal you’ll be able to get. Here, then, is your guide to getting the best mortgage deal. The steps to applying for a first-time buyer mortgage The […]

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Your Essential Guide to Affording a Mortgage even on a Lower Income

Sometimes, many people are deterred from even thinking about buying property just because they feel and know that they have a low income. The income they have is often just enough for bare expenses, and owning property is considered a far-fetched dream. But it doesn’t have to be this way – if you’re tired of renting and are focused and determined enough to have your own piece of property no matter what it takes, there are ways to achieve your dream. Here’s your essential guide to affording a mortgage even on a lower income. Wait until you get a big […]

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Everything You Need to Know about Poor Credit before Applying for a Mortgage

Everyone who has ever borrowed money in the form of a loan or who has had a credit card or previous mortgages will have a credit record. It’s unavoidable not to have a credit record in this day and age. But your credit record can speak volumes about how you have handled your money and finances in the past and, more importantly, how you have handled debt. If you are worried that you have a poor credit rating but would like to make a mortgage application, here’s what you should know before applying. Check it first The first thing you […]

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How You Can Easily Improve and Enhance Your Credit Rating when Applying for a Mortgage

If you have a poor credit rating, you may be a bit worried about applying for a mortgage for your dream property. The fact is that lenders will always make it a point to check applicants’ credit ratings and histories, and if your history or rating is less-than-satisfactory, you could find it more difficult to get mortgage approval. But before giving up on your dream, you should know that there are ways through which you can improve and enhance your credit rating when applying for a mortgage. So, what can you do to get a better credit rating? Let’s find […]

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How You can Properly Work Out Your Income and Expenses before Applying for a Mortgage

The truth of the matter is that getting a mortgage is not easy, especially in this time when the market is more competitive, and lenders are stricter than ever. Acquiring the home or property of your dreams can be quite a challenge if you don’t have a very good idea of how to go about it in the proper way. For instance, before you even look for property, you should work out how you will pay the mortgage. This means working out how much you earn and how much you spend each month. Here’s how you can properly work out […]

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How Best to Determine if You can Really Afford to Get a Mortgage

Before making a decision to buy the property of your dreams, you need to think about some major factors that can have an effect on your decision. Although it’s the dream of many to have their own home, not all can realistically afford a mortgage. So how do you know if it’s feasible for you to get a mortgage? Here’s how best to determine if you can really afford to get a mortgage and if lenders will actually give you one. Figure it out The first important thing you have to do is determine your whole income. How much do […]

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How to Know the Best Kind of Mortgage Deal for Your Needs

When applying for a mortgage, one of your most important responsibilities is determining if that mortgage is really right for your situation or circumstance. For instance, can you really afford it? Will the mortgage repayments allow you to still live comfortably and take care of all your other expenses? Will you be able to afford the mortgage plus other expenses associated with buying property, such as taxes and fees as well as the cost of moving? There are many reasons why you need to choose your mortgage very carefully. Here’s how to know the best kind of mortgage deal for […]

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How Much Can I Borrow for Mortgage Deposit?

There are many people who dream of becoming a homeowner one day. Aside from making sure that your finances are in order, you’ll also have to save up for a deposit. This is one of the struggles why a potential homeowner may take years to prepare before finally taking a chance at applying for a mortgage. With living expenses that seem to mount up year after year, having substantial savings enough to make a deposit can be difficult. Often the next option considered is to borrow money for a deposit. Is this option risky? Yes, there are considerable risks involved […]

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What is a Mortgage Broker?

Mortgage brokers are the middlemen in the process of loan applications. They are individuals with professional capabilities to work with you and the lender in order to secure a mortgage offer. The primary purpose of dealing with a broker is to find an expert who can help you go over the details of the application process as well as assist you in finding the best deal possible. Brokers can either work independently or be affiliated with a lender. Some brokers work under the recommendation of a few lenders but not from all. It’s always recommended to look for an independent […]

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How Long Does a Mortgage Offer Last?

One concern raised by those who apply for a mortgage is the time it takes to be approved for a loan as well as how long the offer is going to last. The primary reason why approvals are delayed is that the borrower is not always prepared with all of the required information. Some borrowers try to get an estimated mortgage or a mortgage in principle in order to get an idea of how much they can borrow. This is helpful in shopping around for potential properties for sale that are within your price range. This is done by the […]

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What Do You Need to Get a Mortgage?

Deciding to own a home is a big decision for any person or family. It’s not necessarily a burden, rather a major responsibility that should involve careful planning. In the end, owning a home is the dream of many families. Renting doesn’t give the kind of stability that a mortgaged home does. For anyone who has looked into the housing market and checked for mortgage offerings may feel slightly overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information, you need to process before making a decision. The general rule of thumb before applying for a mortgage is your financial readiness. This has […]

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What is a Lifetime Mortgage?

Planning for a good retirement may not be the priority of some people. With living expenses taking a toll, saving up for old age often takes a backseat. When you have already paid up your mortgage and are nearing the age of retirement, you would want to think about how you can better enjoy your life. With no savings or retirement benefits, what other options do you have? You’re fortunate if you own your home because you can get a lifetime mortgage. A lifetime mortgage is a type of equity product with enough flexibility, and also ensures that you remain the owner […]

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What is a Buy to Let Mortgage?

The housing market is always in demand. This is true for large congested cities where home ownership may not be an option for most people. In addition to this, there is a big requirement for flats and apartments for rent in commercial areas. Real estate companies aim to tap this market by offering properties for rent. If there is no capital to build, companies look to banks for buy to let mortgage. Since this type of mortgage is considered a business loan, borrowers should expect that interest rates are higher than residential mortgages. Obviously, you’ll be required to put down a […]

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How Much Mortgage Can I Borrow with My Salary?

times the value of a person’s annual income. A person’s ability to afford a loan was not given as much importance back then to a certain extent where lenders will not even ask for hard proof of a person’s income. Unfortunately, when the economy crashed years later, mortgage lenders had to employ stricter measures to avoid experiencing the same crisis again. What does this mean for someone who wants to take out a mortgage loan? You can expect that many aspects of your finances will be looked into with careful detail. This will also determine how much you can borrow with […]

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How to Get a Mortgage with Bad Credit?

Your credit score is very important if you want to use financial services such as loans. In a way, financial institutions use your credit score as a standard basis for your capability to manage your finances and pay off a loan. Not all give their credit score the amount of priority it needs. As a result, negative credit rating can have a long-term impact on your finances. Factors that can Affect Your Credit Rating All your financial decisions can have an impact on your score. Your bill payments must be made on time. This includes your credit cards, mobile phone […]

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How Much Mortgage Can I Afford in the UK?

Mortgage lenders are always keen to help anyone who wants to own a home. But even if you want to have a home now, perhaps you are not yet financially ready. How do you know when it’s the right time to take out a loan? Mortgage lenders can help by assessing your financial preparedness. Whether this be a first time buyer mortgage or not. Traditionally, lenders base the amount you can borrow on the ratio of your income against the loan amount. For example, a lender will allow you to borrow an amount equivalent to five times your annual income. These days, […]

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What Mortgage Can I Get?

Owning a home remains to be the goal of many people. The same applies to most of the population in the UK. However, not everyone has enough disposable cash to build or buy a home. And if you live in congested cities like London, you are less likely to own a property unless you consider getting a loan. A mortgage is not necessarily an indication of a bad economy. In fact, the ability of residents to take out a loan indicates that financial institutions have confidence in their ability to pay. When is the Best Time to get a Mortgage? […]

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Your guide to debt consolidation

Is debt consolidation right for me? Without speaking to an advisor it can be difficult to know the true overall costs and whether or not a debt consolidation mortgage is the right solution for you. It is important to consider the new overall interest costs of repaying your debts within your mortgage. It is also important to understand that whilst repaying debts within the mortgage can potentially save you money, it could also end up costing more in the long run. The advantages of debt consolidation Can reduce overall monthly outgoings The rates may be lower than taking a loan […]

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Questions to ask when buying a house

You will face many choices when taking out a mortgage and it is best to prepare as much as you can before hand. Below are a few questions you should consider before committing to a mortgage. How much can I afford to pay each month? It is essential that you only borrow the amount that you can attainably pay back each month for the period of your mortgage. A mortgage is a long-term commitment and therefore you will be making monthly repayments for many years, depending on your circumstances. When considering your monthly budget, allow a buffer for things like […]

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Can I get a mortgage?

Can I get a mortgage with bad credit? Lenders are reluctant to offer mortgages to those with poor credit score as they would not want to be portrayed as encouraging you to take on more debt where there is potential of repayments not being made on time.  It may be an idea to improve your credit score before applying for a mortgage. This can be done using a “credit builder” credit card in which you pay off the full amount owed each month to show you can manage your debts responsibly. However, these cards often how low credit limits and […]

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How to get a mortgage

The first step in getting a mortgage would be to sit down with us and discuss your circumstances and what type of mortgage you are looking for. There are several types of mortgages, each suiting different people’s circumstances. Fixed Rate Mortgage With fixed rate mortgages, your interest rate and monthly repayments will be fixed for a certain amount of time. This will mean you will know exactly how much you are paying each month for the term of the fixed rate. This would mean however, that your interest rate will stay the same even if other rates go down. Also, […]

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Is it better to rent or buy?

Many people believe that renting is ‘throwing money at the wall’ and would rather buy but buying is not the best option for everyone; The pros of buying You are investing in an asset which may increase over time You have the security of living in the property for as long as you want You can change and decorate the property as you like   The cons of buying You are committed to a mortgage payment which is a big responsibility There are potentially more costs to arrange a mortgage such as stamp duty and solicitor’s costs The property may […]

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Different Types of Mortgages

Mortgage Types explained Different types of mortgage include the following: Repayment Mortgages Interest-Only Mortgages Fixed Rate Mortgage Variable Rate Mortgage Tracker Mortgage Discounted Rate Mortgage Capped Rate Mortgage Cashback Mortgages Offset Mortgages Flexible Mortgages 95% Mortgages Buy to Let Mortgages First Time Buyer Mortgages   Repayment Mortgages  This is the most common way of repaying back a mortgage. Each month you will pay back some of the capital and some of the interest that you owe. At the end of the mortgage term, you will have paid back the full mortgage amount and thus, will own your house outright. Interest-Only […]

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What do I need to apply for a mortgage?

For any type of mortgage, there are specific documents that will need to be readily available. We will ask for these before we submit the full application to the lender.  The specifics will be dependent on your circumstances and the lender of which you are applying to. A great place to start would be getting a copy of your credit report. Ensure you are registered on the electoral roll at your current address Ensure your address history is accurate Avoid payday loans and overdrafts where possible Different lenders will look at your credit report differently, however we are able to […]

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How long does it take to get a mortgage?

The amount of time it takes to get a mortgage depends on a variety of different factors including: The type of mortgage being applied for i.e. a remortgage or a purchase The time it you takes to gather the necessary documentation for the application The turn-around time of the mortgage lender The turn-around time of your conveyancer The complexity of the mortgage application   Typically, the process begins by getting a Mortgage Agreement In Principle. The mortgage lender will perform a credit search and agree a figure that they would be willing to lend you for mortgage purposes. However, this […]

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What is a mortgage decision in principle and how long does one last?

A mortgage in principle is an agreed figure from the lender that they would be willing to lend you. In order to do so they will gather basic information and perform a background credit search. A mortgage in principle is not a guarantee and a full application and assessment will have to be made before the lender can issue you with a mortgage offer. A mortgage in principle can last between 60-90 days depending on the lender. Because a credit search is needed, multiple decision in principles could have a negative effect on your credit score.

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Mortgage in Principle & Mortgage Offers

A mortgage in principle is an agreed figure from the lender that they would be willing to lend you. In order to do so they will gather basic information and perform a background credit search. A mortgage in principle is not a guarantee and a full application and assessment will have to be made before the lender can issue you with a mortgage offer. A mortgage in principle can last between 60-90 days depending on the lender. Because a credit search is needed, multiple decision in principles could have a negative effect on your credit score.   A mortgage offer […]

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What is a mortgage offer and how long does one last?

A mortgage offer is confirmation that the lender will provide you with a mortgage. This will be after fully assessing your circumstances and a full application is made alongside a valuation of the property. The amount of time it takes to get to this stage depends on the overall complexity of the application. In general, it will take between 18-40 days for the processing of the mortgage  application and an offer to be produced. Mortgage offers can last between 3-6 months, depending on the lender. Some will be valid starting from the date of application whilst others start from the […]

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What are the different types of house survey?

Basic Valuation This is a valuation for the lenders benefit. In some cases you may not even see a copy of the report and is designed to establish whether the property is deemed as good collateral to lend against. If there any issues the lender may recommend a further survey or inspections before they can proceed with a mortgage. In some cases the lender may charge a fee for this survey but this will vary depending on the lender.   Homebuyers Report This type of valuation is for the benefit of the buyer. The report will inform you of any […]

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Stamp duty explained

If the property you are buying is worth more than £125,000 then you will have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT).   What is stamp duty? Stamp duty is payable on both freehold and leasehold properties costing in excess of £125,000. Stamp duty for first time buyers is the same as any other transaction (there was an exemption in 2010 but this was removed in 2012). Stamp duty for new build properties is also the same but some builders may offer you an incentive by contribution toward the cost. Stamp duty on shared ownership properties can vary; you can […]

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What does remortgage mean?

A remortgage is the process of switching your existing deal to a new deal and potentially a new provider. You’re not moving house and the mortgage is still secured against the same property. You can remortgage to get a better rate or to raise capital.   What is remortgaging? Here are some reasons that you may decide to remortgage; To take advantage of a new, lower rate To consolidate debts To fix and reduce your monthly outgoings To raise capital for home improvements or property investment Taking a new deal can potentially save you money, depending on the new deal. […]

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Should I remortgage?

Should I remortgage? The main reason to remortgage is to reduce your monthly repayments. Reason why you shouldn’t include an increase in interest rates or having to pay an Early Repayment Charge (ERC). Why do people remortgage? There can be various reasons to remortgage but usually it is to get yourself a better deal such as a lower interest rate or a mortgage that suits your situation better like fixing the interest rate for a certain amount of time. It may be that you wish to take out some of the equity in your property for other purposes such as […]

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How much does it cost to remortgage?

When considering a remortgage, you should take into account the monthly repayments as well as any associated fees and early repayment charges that may apply. This will help you work out exactly how much you will be saving by remortgaging. Below are some of the fees that may apply: Remortgage Arrangement fees Many lenders charge an arrangement fee to set up a new mortgage. The amount charged varies depending on the lender – with some not charging a fee at all. Some will be a fixed amount whereas some will be charged on a percentage of the overall loan. You […]

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What information do I need for my remortgage?

What information do I need for my remortgage? Existing Mortgage Details This includes your outstanding balance, term of your mortgage and the monthly repayments. We will also need to know of any early repayment charges that may be payable. Income details This can be provided via 3 months payslips or the last 2 years SA302s if you are self-employed. If you are to use any tax credits, pensions or other benefits we will need the latest years award letter for each. Current outgoings In order to check whether a new mortgage will be affordable, ourselves and the lender will need […]

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Questions to ask when remortgaging

What is a remortgage? Remortgaging means moving your current mortgage to a new lender whilst you remain in the same property. The main reason to remortgage is to ensure you are not paying more than you need to. Moving to a new lender with different interest rates could save you a lot of money in the long run so it is worth considering. You could remortgage to fixed your monthly repayments for a certain period of time – this will ensure your monthly repayments will remain the same during this time. Many people also remortgage to raise capital to pay […]

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How does remortgaging work?

How does remortgaging work? Remortgaging is usually simpler than buying a new house and the chain of events is often shorter. It will often start by discussing what it is you would like to remortgage for whether it be to secure a lower interest rate or raise capital for home improvements or to consolidate unsecured debt. How long does it take to remortgage? Once we have discussed your circumstances, we will then go away and research the whole of the market and get a decision in principle for a deal that is best suited to your needs. Once we have […]

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How do I remortgage my home?

How do I remortgage my home? You may want to remortgage for a variety of reasons including securing a lower interest rate, consolidating debt or raising capital for home improvements. There are several stages in getting a new mortgage however we are here to help every step of the way.  Below are briefly the main points of how to go about remortgaging your property. Firstly, a discussion around how much you can afford to pay each month should take place – including considering how much you could potentially afford if the repayments were to increase.  You may not necessarily be […]

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Can I remortgage my home?

Can I remortgage if I own my house outright? Yes – however the mortgage rates available to you will depend on the loan to value ratio (the percentage of how much you want to borrow against the current property value of your home).  Some lenders may not offer you deals from their remortgage range but instead from their purchase range which could workout being a better rate for you. You will need to meet the lender’s criteria and prove that you can afford the monthly repayments of the new mortgage. Can I remortgage when I’m over 60 or retired? It […]

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When is the best time to remortgage?

You can remortgage at any time but it is not worth doing just to switch lender. There are certain times which could be more advantageous when it comes to remortgaging such as the following: Low interest rates At the end of your current term When you have built up a certain amount of equity in your property When remortgaging and the costs of doing so still work out less expensive than your current mortgage Low interest rates Mortgage lenders are always providing new deals and mortgage rates. If you have had your mortgage for a long period of time, it […]

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Finding the best buy to let mortgage

The buy-to-let mortgage market is a specialised one. In April 2014 the mortgage industry implemented the changes that came from the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Mortgage Market Review (MMR). The MMR changed the face of mortgage lending, forcing lenders to pay much more attention to affordability and expenditure rather than simply assessing gross rental income. Lenders view buy-to-let mortgages as higher risk than residential mortgages because they know that many landlords rely on rental income to make the mortgage repayments and if the property is vacant for a period there is no income. Because of this perceived risk, interest rates […]

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Niche Mortgage Products

Sub Prime Products Sub prime products are for people who do not fit high street lender’s lending criteria. This tends to be due to past credit problems such as missed payments, county court judgements or bankruptcy, which makes the borrower ineligible for standard mortgage deals. Sub prime products tend to have higher interest rates as the borrower is considered a higher risk.   Self-build Products Self-build products are for people building their own property or renovation projects. Lenders usually release the money in stages as they assess the building progress throughout. Some will ask that you have the plot of […]

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The buy to let market

The introduction of assured shorthold tenancies in 1997, which made the rights of tenants and landlords more equal, created the buy-to-let market that exists today. Some say buy-to-let has forced up property prices but there is no doubt it has a part to play as first time buyers are getting older and younger people are renting. The whole point of buying-to-let is for its investment potential – both capital growth on the value of the property and the income it generates in rent. Buy-to-let lending is to support investment, not home ownership. It is important to note that lenders carry […]

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Choosing the right buy to let property

When choosing a property to let, your main considerations are different to those you might apply when choosing a house in which to live. For example, you might not choose to live in an area heavily populated by students, but when looking for rental potential that same area may be exactly what you’re looking for. Choosing the right property with the right rental yields is important. This is true not just for your income but also because you want the rent to more than cover the cost of your buy-to-let mortgage. The Association of Residential Letting Agents produces a booklet […]

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New Build Mortgages

It is vital to get your timing right when it comes to new build properties and related mortgages as it is unlikely that you will be moving in straight away. You need to bear in mind that you will need a mortgage before you exchange contracts. It may be worth starting to plan your mortgage even before you find a property. The mortgage lender will need to be made aware that it is a new build property as there could be delays between exchanging contracts and completion.  Without doing so, your mortgage offer could expire and the whole process will […]

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Shared ownership mortgages and schemes.

Shared ownership means you will own a certain percentage of your property with the other share being owned by a housing association.  It will be a leasehold property for this reason. How does shared ownership work? When you first purchase the property, you would chose how much of a percentage you would like to buy – this is usually between 25% and 50%, although you can also purchase 75% if affordable. You would mortgage the share you would like to buy whilst paying rent to the housing association for the remainder that they own. Not all lenders will offer a […]

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What is an offset mortgage?

Offset mortgages are linked to saving accounts. You will pay interest on the different between the outstanding mortgage balance and the amount of savings in your account. For example, if you owe £200,000 in total and you have £50,000 in savings, your interest rate for that month will be calculated on £150,000. You are usually able to decide whether to keep the monthly repayments the same each month or to reduce them when the amount of offset savings increase. You are still able to access and use your savings however the more to offset, the faster the mortgage will be […]

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Help to Buy Schemes

There are various initiatives, detailed below, which form the government’s “Help to Buy” scheme. The aim of which is to aid people with the build-up of deposit in order to buy a new home.   Help to Buy ISA The Help to Buy Individual Savings Account(ISA) scheme involves receiving a government bonus on top of your own savings. This account is offered from a variety of banks and building societies across the UK to first time buyers on their first home A starting deposit of anywhere up to £1,200 can be made followed by a maximum monthly amount of £200. […]

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What is a tracker mortgage?

A tracker mortgage is dependent on the Bank of England Base Rate, meaning when this fluctuates, your monthly repayments will also change accordingly. The interest payable on a tracker mortgage is usually a certain margin above the Bank of England Base Rate – for example the Base Rate plus 1.00% with some trackers having a “floor” of which the rate will not fall below. Lifetime trackers track the Base Rate for the full life of the mortgage. They tend to be at a higher rate than other trackers however due to not having to switch lenders or products every couple […]

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What information do I need for my life insurance application?

In order for us to submit your life insurance application we will need the following information from you: Your height and weight GP details – including name and address Your medical history including details of any current or previous illnesses Details of any current medication or previous medication taken in the last 5 years Details of any family history of serious illnesses Your existing policy information – including provider, sum assured, term of the policy and policy number. Bank Account Details – for the account you wish the monthly premiums to be taken from. Once your application has been submitted […]

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What is a variable rate mortgage?

The interest on a variable rate rises and falls as changes in interest rates occur. There are different kinds of variable rates offered by lenders including a standard variable rate, a tracker rate or a discounted rate mortgage. Your monthly mortgage repayments are most likely to fluctuate whilst being on a variable rate unlike those on a fixed rate for example meaning your mortgage repayments could be different each month. The rate you will pay is entirely dependent on your mortgage lender, with changes to it not necessarily being affected by the Bank of England Base Rate. Standard variable rate […]

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Accident, Sickness and Unemployment cover

This is a yearly renewable cover that provides payment for a short period of time if accident, sickness or unemployment occurs. Often there is a deferred period after the point of claim (e.g. six weeks), and it is after this point that benefits are then paid. Benefits are normally only paid for periods of up to two years. Be aware that premiums will vary at renewal each year. ‘This Payment Protection Insurance is optional. There are other providers of Payment Protection Insurance and other products designed to protect you against the loss of income. For impartial information about insurance, please […]

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Affordability

At the moment it is easy to lull yourself into believing you can afford the mortgage you need – mortgage rates are at all-time lows and feel easily affordable. However, you need to ask yourself not only can you afford it today but can you afford it in the future when mortgage rates return to more normal levels. Let’s say you manage to find a buy-to-let mortgage with an interest rate of three percent, fixed for three years. That’s a great rate. After three years you find interest rates have gone up and the best deal you can now get […]

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Annual Percentage Rate of charge (APR)

This is the interest rate that takes into account the total charge for lending you the money each year. It includes the added costs of the loan (such as arrangement fees), as well as factoring in the frequency that interest is charged (daily, monthly, quarterly or annually). This results in a figure that shows the equivalent rate on an annual basis. While this is a good initial benchmark for comparison, it should not be looked at in isolation as the only way to choose your mortgage.

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Builders incentives – new-build ‘off plan’ offers

These may be attractive to the price you pay for the property. Be aware that some lenders may restrict the amount they lend in relation to these types of contracts. This helps protect them against market sentiment and may mean you have to invest more of your own deposit.

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Buildings insurance

This is insurance that protects the property, fixtures and fittings. It can protect against fire, flood, subsidence and accidental damage. A key point to note is that the amount of cover chosen is to cover the rebuilding cost of the property, which is often different to its market value. The amount you have to pay towards any claim is called an excess, and can vary depending on what is being covered (e.g. subsidence, fire).

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Completion

The stage in England and Wales where the property ownership finally changes for a purchase. Your conveyancer arranges for your deposit and lender monies to be paid to the person selling and completes the legal documentation.

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Contents insurance

This insurance protects items that can easily be removed from a property. Cover can be for risks such as fire, theft or accidental damage. The amount you have to pay towards any claim is called an excess, and can vary depending on the item covered and what it is being insured against (e.g. accidental damage, theft).

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Conveyancer

The job of a conveyancer (or solicitor) for a purchase is to help: Carry out a search of local planning information for items that may impact the value (e.g. upcoming land developments, new roads) Prepare a fixtures, fittings and contents list – this makes it clear what you are buying (e.g. kitchen appliances, lights, carpets) Confirm from the vendor whether they are aware of any material, structural or other defects to the property that you should know about Obtain proof that the property legally belongs to the person you are buying it from Research and find the property’s legal boundaries […]

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Credit reference agencies

These agencies hold information on most UK adults. That data helps lenders assess the risk of lending to a specific person. There are a number of agencies in the UK, the main ones being Experian,

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Credit score

To help a lender assess your application, it is usual that they will use a form of scoring system to decide whether to accept your application. Different lenders give different levels of importance to your circumstances, and some set a higher pass mark than others. It is normally based on three core areas: Public record information (e.g. the electoral roll), Credit account information (e.g. records of amounts of loans and your payment history), and Search information (e.g. the number of applications you have made for credit). This means that care is required to ensure you approach the most suitable lenders, […]

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Critical illness cover

This is insurance that pays out when a defined medical event occurs. For example, following a heart attack, stroke, cancer or some other specifically defined critical illness. Cover is for a set term, which may be equal to a mortgage term, for when children have grown up, until retirement or another life stage milestone. It may be worth considering having one policy for a set term to cover the mortgage, and another that will provide money to help provide for your different lifestyle if a serious illness happens. Most people choose a lump sum to be paid out. There is […]

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Deposit

Lenders are no longer happy to take all the risk of buying your next property, and so do not lend 100% of the value of the property. If you are unable, in the future, to pay your mortgage, the lender needs reassurance that it can take your home and cover the loan by selling it. Less risk taking means lower loan-to value (LTV) ratios, and personal deposits need to be larger than in the recent past. The source of the deposit may come from your current property, savings, inheritance or a gift. Be aware that deposit loans from family and […]

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Disclosure

It is a legal requirement that you disclose your circumstances fully and accurately. Also, non-disclosure of credit commitments, missed payments, County Court Judgements (CCJs), accurate address history, and number of dependents will have a big impact on your application now and also on any future application for financial services (as evidence of this may be loaded onto fraud databases). Disclosing any issues to a lender does not automatically mean the application will be declined – indeed many lenders have provision for this type of business. You may wish to consider obtaining a credit report to identify any historical or current […]

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Drawdown

During the completion stage, this is when funds are released from your lender to be used for the property purchase.

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Early repayment charge

This is normally shown as a percentage of the loan but can also be a fixed fee. They apply if you repay your loan during any special incentive periods (e.g. discount). Some products extend that time beyond the initial period so be aware. Part payments can also sometimes trigger this, although most lenders allow a small percentage a year to be repaid without this happening.

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Exchange

In England and Wales, this is the stage after which you are legally committed to purchase the new property. Usually deposits will be moved to the vendor’s conveyancer, so if you withdraw from the process you will lose the deposit. Insurance and protection should be in place at this point.

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Equifax, Callcredit and Checkmyfile

You can request a copy of your credit file from them, which is very worthwhile. You may be charged for this and some also have a monthly fee, so take care to check their terms and conditions.

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Equity

The difference between the value of your home and your outstanding mortgage is known as equity. You could use the equity in your home as your deposit for your new mortgage. Less risk-taking by lenders means lower LTV ratios, so the more equity the better. If you get into trouble making your mortgage repayments your lender needs to be sure it can cover the outstanding mortgage by taking your home and selling it. The lower the LTV the more chance your lender has of achieving this. To get the best deals on interest rates you’ll need around 20% equity. As […]

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Family Income Benefit

This cover will pay out if death occurs, and provides an income per year for the term remaining on the policy. For example, for a 20 year term, where the claim occurred after five years, there would be 15 annual payments made in total. The income is not normally subject to income tax but may impact some state benefits.

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Freehold

If you own the freehold of a property, it means that you own the building and the land it stands on.

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Furnished / unfurnished?

Most lenders calculations are based on unfurnished rental agreements, irrespective of how you intend to let out the property. This can give lower rental and lower yields while lowering the amount you can borrow against your expectations. The cost of fittings also needs to be considered, as well as budgeting for their maintenance.

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Gazumping

This is where the seller decides to take a higher offer, even after initially accepting yours. This could leave you out of pocket on expenses like the legal costs and survey fee. In England and Wales, the sale is secured by law only when contracts have been signed and exchanged. Under the Scottish system, the seller confirms his acceptance of the offer. If the seller then gets a better offer and wants to change his mind, his solicitor will refuse to act for him on the new transaction – as doing so would leave him open to charges of professional […]

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Guarantor

A guarantor doesn’t have to be a parent but usually is. A guarantor takes on some of the risk of you being unable to meet your repayments. The lender will normally require your guarantors to offer their property as security against the guaranteed part of the mortgage. Technically they become immediately liable to repay the outstanding loan if you are no longer able to make your payments. In reality what usually happens is an agreement is made between the lender and the guarantor, so they maintain payments until you are able to do so. The amount of lenders willing to […]

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Higher lending charge

This was previously known as a mortgage indemnity guarantee (MIG). It is where high LTV lending happens and an insurance policy is taken out by the lender to protect itself – should you default and property values decline. This cost is passed on to you through this charge. Not all lenders charge this as high loan-to-value loans are rare for buy-to-lets.

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House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

If your property will have multiple occupants, you must check to see whether you require a license (www. propertylicence.gov.uk). You will find that this will limit the number of lenders willing to consider your application.

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Interest only mortgage

With an interest only mortgage, your payments to the lender cover only the interest on the loan (i.e. they do not repay any of the capital). The total amount of your debt does not reduce over time and the full amount of the loan still has to be repaid to the lender at the end of the term, so you will need to ensure you have that money ready. So you can make this final payment, you can invest so that you generate enough capital to repay the loan at the end of the term. If you choose to invest, […]

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Leasehold

A leasehold building means you have permission to use the property for a certain term, as agreed with the freeholder who owns the land. Typically this applies to apartments, where the freeholder will be responsible for maintaining the common parts of the building (e.g. entrance hall, staircase, roof), for which the leaseholder pays ground rent.

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Legal fees

When you buy a property there is legal work that needs to be done. You will often hear this called conveyancing. You will probably use a solicitor to do this work for you although you can use a licenced conveyancer. Your legal bill will be the fees for the legal work plus other expenses that your solicitor has paid on your behalf, such as searches and Land Registry fees. You may see these additional expenses described as disbursements. Some remortgage deals may include free conveyancing, otherwise expect to pay around £500 + VAT for the legal work plus the cost […]

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Letting agreement

The type of tenancy agreement will influence the number of lenders who will consider lending to you. A six month assured shorthold tenancy agreement (AST) is acceptable to most providers. Your choice will narrow if you are considering letting to a local authority, a company or housing association.

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