Figuring out fees

Posted on July 21st, 2017

When you’re looking for a new mortgage what’s the most important thing to you? For most people the answer will be rates. The mortgage rate determines how much you’ll repay on the loan and is obviously a key consideration! But are you ignoring another important factor? And are you losing a considerable amount of money as a result? I’m talking, of course, about fees.

According to new research by Moneyfacts average mortgage fees are now at their highest ever level. Currently buyers will pay an average of £1,018 – not a small amount by anyone’s standards.

However, just like focusing too heavily on rates is a dangerous tactic so too is making your decision on whether or not the product has a large fee or a small one. Really, what you need to be focusing on is the APRC rate, or Annual Percentage Rate of Charge. This figure will help you understand the whole cost of the mortgage, including fees, should you stick with it for the whole 25 year term.

The APRC makes it easier for borrowers to understand exactly how much the mortgage will cost but taking on such a huge financial commitment can still be worrying. Here at We Know Mortgages we’ll help you to find the best rate and deal for your circumstances and we’ll take away all of the stress and worry by explaining things every step of the way.

Call in and see us today to find out how we can help you.

A mortgage is a loan secured against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Manchester housing market

Posted on April 3rd, 2017

We’ve known it all along but now it’s official – Manchester is leading the way when it comes to property. According to the latest figures from property data firm Hometrack prices in Manchester are rising faster than in any other city in the UK. The UK Cities House Price Index reveals prices soared in the city by 8.8% within 12 months. And an increase in prices means only one thing – demand is soaring. It’s clear investors and homebuyers alike are looking to Manchester to snap up property.

Property prices here are still relatively low compared to other areas. The average price of a home in Manchester is just under £152,000 – compared to almost £490,000 in the capital. But with the city experiencing the fastest price growth rate that may soon change.

If you’re thinking of getting on the property ladder then now might be the time to do it. There are some fantastic mortgage rates on offer, interest rates are still at record lows and the property market here in Manchester is hotter than ever. Call in to our office on Piccadilly or give us a call to find out how we can help you make the move into home ownership.

A mortgage is a loan secured against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

The Autumn Statement and the Housing Market

Posted on December 2nd, 2016

Last week Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered his first – and last! – Autumn Statement. Mr Hammond declared there to be no need for two economic statements each year and, as such, as of next year the Budget will be delivered in the autumn and the spring statement will be scrapped.

Housing, as expected, was a feature in this year’s statement with a pledge made to invest £23bn to build more houses in high demand areas.

There was little, however, in the way of help for buyers. Lack of housing availability is not the only reason buyers are struggling to get on or move up the housing ladder. Affordability is a much bigger issue so it was disappointing to see no changes to Stamp Duty, for example, which would help many buyers.

The increase in Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) will also come as a blow to many buyers and homeowners. Home insurance costs will rise once again thanks to the hike – the third increase in IPT in less than two years. Home insurance – including contents cover – is a crucial product for homeowners – as we saw only too clearly this time last year when floods devastated Yorkshire. Let’s hope the increase in prices doesn’t deter consumers from seeking good quality policies.

Finally of course the headline news for the housing market surrounded the rental sector as Mr Hammond announced letting agent fees for tenants would be banned. This is an issue that has been the subject of debate for some time and I’m sure renters will welcome the move. Let’s hope we don’t see an increase in rents however if agents hike the fees their landlords must pay and landlords, in turn, look for somewhere to recoup their losses.

If you’re looking to buy a property and you’d like some advice on where things stand in the market right now, come and visit us at We Know Mortgages on Ducie Street, Manchester Piccadilly today.

A mortgage is a loan secured against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debt secured on it.

Is now a good time to buy a property?

Posted on November 6th, 2016

If you’re planning to buy a property you’re no doubt feeling somewhat uncertain right now. 2016 has not gone the way anybody expected. A decision to leave the EU. a new Prime Minister and Cabinet. The second labour leadership contest in a year. It’s safe to say the last 12 months have been unprecedented.

It’s understandable therefore those would-be buyers don’t know what to do for the best. It’s a question we’re asked regularly at the moment – is now a good time to buy or should we hang fire?

The fact is now is actually a very good time to get on or move up the property ladder. The market has been quieter over the last few months – a combination of the summer lull and the uncertainty from the period of political madness from June onwards. As a result buyers are now in the driving seat. House prices haven’t risen in many areas so it’s possible to get a good deal.

Furthermore of course mortgage rates are at record lows. Fixed rates are very attractive right now with rates on two year fixes particularly low.

Market commentators are predicting this to change over the next few years, despite the recent cut to Bank Base Rate. Swap Rates, the rates at which banks borrow money, are rising so mortgage rates could follow suit.

Furthermore we may see house prices creep up as some sort of stability returns to the market.

So if you’re ready to buy a property now don’t be put off by the chaos of the last few months. Come see us at We Know Mortgages and we’ll help you find the right deal for your next move.

Should I remortgage?

Posted on August 24th, 2016

With interest rates now at the record low of 0.25% if you’re coming to the end of a fixed rate deal you may be starting to think about what to do next. When you come to the end of your mortgage deal you have three options, you can stay on your lender’s standard variable rate (SVR), you can move onto another of your lender’s mortgage products or you can switch providers. This option is called remortgaging and can help you to find the right mortgage deal for you.

Remortgaging allows you to apply for mortgages that may not have been available to you or on offer when you first applied for a mortgage. Just as it’s a good idea to shop around when it comes to your gas and electricity supplier, shopping around for your next mortgage, rather than just settling for your lender’s default rate helps to ensure you don’t miss out on any good deals. However, it may be more cost effective to stay with your existing lender who may also have new rates available.

And there are some fantastic deals on the market at present. Indeed, with interest rates so low it may be a good time to lock into a fixed rate with even some five or ten year fixed rate products on offer at rates below 3%.

Obviously remortgaging does come at a cost so it’s important to weigh up the fees you will pay against any potential saving but here at We Know Mortgages we can help you to work out whether the time is right to remortgage and how to find the most suitable deal for you.

A mortgage is a loan secured against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.


Can I move my mortgage to a new house?

Posted on July 31st, 2016

If you have an existing mortgage and are looking to move to a new property you have a couple of options. You can remortgage to a new lender or you can move your mortgage from your current property to the property you wish to buy. This is called porting.

Most lenders allow mortgages to be transferred to a new property these days but there are a couple of things to bear in mind. Firstly, your lender will need to check your eligibly and affordability and also the property’s suitability, just as if you were applying for a new mortgage. This may mean that you will need to have a valuation carried out on the new property at your cost. Secondly, you may have to pay a fee to transfer the mortgage. This could be a couple hundred pounds depending on the lender. It is also worth pointing out that you may need to pay additional fees if you need to borrow more as part of your move and any additional borrowing could be at a different rate of interest and terms depending on product availability at the time.

Porting is a relatively fuss free way of moving house however it could mean you miss out on the chance to get a better mortgage deal. It is worth looking around at the remortgage options available to you before deciding whether or not you’d like to transfer your current product. However, this could be the cheaper option if an Early Repayment Charge is applicable.

If you’re out of your original mortgage deal (for example if you had a two-year fixed rate and those two years have now expired, leaving you on your lender’s Standard Variable Rate)  you won’t have to pay any early repayment charges. However you could still face an exit fee of a few hundred pounds. Whether or not it’s worth doing this depends on how good a deal you could get by switching.

It’s worth bearing in mind however that in the last few years we’ve seen lenders tighten their criteria, particularly as a result of new regulation following the Mortgage Market Review and legislation from the EU. This means you may face tougher eligibility requirements when applying for a mortgage with a new lender. What’s more, you may have to pay an arrangement fee to the new lender.

If you’re thinking of moving home and you’re unsure of the most appropriate option for you and your mortgage call in and see us today at We Know Mortgages Ltd. Our expert team can ensure you find the most cost efficient and most appropriate option.

A mortgage is a loan secured against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Seven day remortgage a possibility

Posted on July 22nd, 2016

Homeowners could be able to remortgage their home within just a week, under new plans announced in the Queen’s Speech. At the moment it can take anywhere between six weeks and three months to switch mortgage providers, much to the frustration of everyone involved! These new plans, currently being considered by the government, could speed things up significantly.

If you’re currently looking to remortgage, below are our top tips for ensuring you get the most appropriate deal.

Shop around

Loyalty is an admirable quality but in the world of financial services especially it doesn’t always count for much! We’ve all heard stories of the best credit card rates or the cheapest TV and phone contracts being available to new customers only while loyal, existing customers get the rough end of the deal. When remortgaging, it makes sense to see what your lender can offer you before looking for another deal elsewhere but don’t feel like you owe them anything. If your existing mortgage lender can’t offer you what you’re after and there is a more attractive deal elsewhere to meet your needs then it may be appropriate to consider moving lenders.

Be realistic

When you buy your first home you’re filled with a sense of accomplishment – you’ve done it, you’ve bought your very own bricks and mortar and it’s all yours! Then you read your mortgage statement a year or two down the line and realise very little of it actually belongs to you just yet! Be realistic about how much you’ve paid off your mortgage and how much your house is worth when looking to remortgage.

Get your finances in order

Just like you did first time round, when remortgaging it’s essential that your finances are in order and you appear to be managing your money well. Pay off any debts where possible, keep an eye on your credit score and keep your bank statements and wage slips organised.

Get advice

As with any financial commitment it’s important that you receive sound, unbiased advice before making a decision. If you’re looking to remortgage call in and see us at We Know Mortgages Ltd today and find out how we can help you.

A mortgage is a loan secured against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Brexit and the housing market

Posted on July 19th, 2016

Given the state of uncertainty the country currently finds itself it would be a brave (or should that be foolish?) man who would make any predictions right now. Who will be Labour leader, whether the pound will recover, when the next General Election will happen or what the terms of our EU exit will be. As such, to speculate over what the housing market will look like in a year’s time will involve an awful lot of guesswork. But let’s look at some of the things that are unlikely to happen in our opinion, in order to allay any fears.

House prices should fall drastically

We may well see house prices fall a little but fluctuations in this market are common. However, despite the odd scaremonger predicting crashing prices most predictions tend to point to prices being largely unaffected. Indeed, the Council of Mortgage Lenders released a statement soon after the result which said it does not expect house prices to be significantly impacted.

Buyers will not disappear
There will always be people looking to buy a home. While the uncertainty in the run up to the referendum no doubt caused some people to hold off on purchases until the picture was a little clearer those people are not going to decide not to buy a property as a result of Britain’s exit from the EU.

Lenders will still lend

There is an unfounded fear that Brexit will make lenders batten down the hatches and shut up shop but in our opinion this is unlikely to happen. As the Bank of England governor Mark Carney stated, banks are prepared for this and more funding may be available to them.

If you’re looking to buy a home and are concerned about Brexit and how it will impact you, come visit us at We Know Mortgages Ltd. We’ll help you find the most suitable and competitive deal to take that first step on the property ladder.

A mortgage is a loan secured against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

What’s an interest only mortgage?

Posted on July 4th, 2016

Interest only mortgages were a hugely popular product, which allowed borrowers to pay the interest on their mortgage each month and not any of the actual debt.

Paying just the interest meant the borrower’s monthly repayments were significantly lower than they would be for a repayment mortgage. Unsurprisingly therefore, interest only mortgages were popular with borrowers struggling with affordability.

The reason for the past tense is that once the credit crunch hit most of these products disappeared from market as they were deemed too much of a risk. Indeed, there are quite a few borrowers with interest only mortgages today who are reaching the end of their mortgage term and facing a problem – they have no means of paying off their debt.

Interest only mortgages rose in popularity at a time when house prices were rising significantly. As such many homeowners thought they could simply pay the interest over a 25 or 30 year term of the mortgage and prices would have risen high enough to pay off the mortgage debt. Of course this was a huge gamble to take. Repayment vehicles such as Endowment policies, Isas etc… hoping for returns could not usually be relied upon to pay off the outstanding debt which meant that people were left with outstanding debt that they did not anticipate. Also house prices can be volatile and many borrowers are now stuck with a chunk of debt and no way of repaying it.
There are alternative – and much safer ways – of keeping your monthly repayments low. To begin with, put down as a big a deposit as possible. The bigger the deposit the lower your monthly repayments will be so it really is worth taking that extra time to save before rushing into buying.

And, wherever possible, make overpayments (if your mortgage lender allows this). If you get a big bonus at work or come into a bit of cash, paying it off your mortgage can reduce how much you owe and as a result how much you pay each month (depending on your agreement with your lender).

To find out more about how to make your mortgage repayments manageable call in to We Know Mortgages Ltd today.

A mortgage is a loan secured against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

What do I need to do to get a mortgage?

Posted on May 28th, 2016

If you’re a first time buyer looking to get onto the property ladder your main focus is probably raising a deposit. And rightly so. The bigger the deposit you can put down the cheaper your mortgage will be. If you have a large deposit you’re deemed less risky and therefore lenders will look upon you more favourably. However, there are other steps you can take to improve your chances of getting a mortgage too.

Boost your credit score

Your credit score is important. Lenders will use it to determine how you manage your finances and how you’re likely to cope with a mortgage. Yet, despite how vital it is when it comes to seeking a mortgage or a loan, most people have no idea what their credit score is or if it’s causing them problems. Start by checking your score using a credit reference agency. Most lenders use Experian or Equifax so these are good options. If your score is not looking great take steps to improve it. Cancelling any credit cards you don’t use and making sure you’re on the electoral register are good starting points.

Reduce your debts
A mortgage is a big commitment and your lender will want to know that you can manage your finances well enough to repay it. If you’ve got lots of debts your lender may think you’re unable to manage. Furthermore, having lots of outgoings will seriously affect your affordability. Where possible, pay down any debts you have before applying for a mortgage.

Prove your income
If a lender is giving you a huge sum of money it wants to know you have the means to repay it and that means having proof that you have a regular income. Your lender will probably want to see six months of banks statements clearly showing your wages being paid in to your account. If you’re self employed you’ll need at least two year’s of accounts. It’s helpful to use a qualified accountant to ensure your documents are all in order.

Get expert advice

Taking out a mortgage is probably the biggest financial commitment you’re ever likely to make so it’s important to get it right. Enlisting the help of a qualified and experienced mortgage broker, like the team at We Know Mortgages, will help to ensure you get the most appropriate deal for your circumstances. If you’re looking to take that all important first step on the ladder call in to our Piccadilly offices and see what we can do for you.