Should I use an estate agent’s broker?

Posted on February 7th, 2018

Getting a mortgage is probably the biggest financial commitment you’re ever likely to make so it’s understandable that you want to get it right. The best way to do this is to seek the advice of a professional who will be able to guide you through the products on offer and find the correct one for your circumstances.

If you opt to take out a mortgage without the advice of a broker – say, for instance, you choose to go direct to a lender – you won’t be able to compare all of the products available to you and while you might get the best product on offer from that lender it won’t necessarily be the best on offer in the market as a whole.

Comparison sites, meanwhile, will present you with a list of options but the site can’t come up with a bespoke solution based on your situation.

Those people who do use mortgage brokers tend to find them themselves – we’ve all got pretty good online presences as well as high street branches like our office in Piccadilly. However, some will be encouraged, by the estate agent selling the property they want to buy, to use an in house broker – in other words a broker who works within the estate agent branch.

There are pros and cons to doing this. It’s certainly efficient if your broker is based in the same place as the agent selling your dream home.

However there are some downsides too. The estate agent may not be whole of market which means they can only source mortgages from a select panel of lenders. Furthermore, giving all of your financial information to a broker based within an estate agent can cause something of a conflict of interest. The estate agent works for the seller whereas the broker should work for you, the buyer. You could lose your bargaining power if the agent is fully aware of your financial position.

Getting professional advice when taking out a mortgage is always a better option than going it alone but make sure you choose a broker who can offer the very best service and the very best products.

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

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


Stamp Duty cut already helping FTBs

Posted on January 23rd, 2018

It’s been less than two months since chancellor Philip Hammond announced Stamp Duty was to be scrapped for first time buyers of properties up to £300,000 yet the initiative is already having a considerable impact, according to the government.

A statement released by Downing Street revealed over 16,000 first time buyers have already saved thousands of pounds since the changes took effect in November, with over a million first time buyers set to benefit in total over the next five years.

Of course, Stamp Duty isn’t the only cost first time buyers need to consider when getting on the property ladder. Aside from the actual cost of the house (which I’m sure you’ve already considered!) buyers will also find themselves faced with conveyancing (or legal) fees to the tune of £800 to £1500.

You’ll also need to pay out for surveys and valuations – not just to secure the mortgage but also to let you know of any problems in the house that might impact the price of it or that you may want to owner to address before the sale goes through. Depending on what type of survey you have this could cost anything from a couple of hundred pounds to over £1000.

Add to that the removals costs if you’ve furniture to move and the potential cost of decorating the new house and it’s clear to see why moving house can be an expensive business.

Luckily though, there are experts on hand to make sure your mortgage doesn’t cost the earth. Come visit us today or give us a call to find out how we can get the best mortgage deal for you.

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


Is now the time to fix?

Posted on December 20th, 2017

It’s one of the most difficult decisions to make when taking out a mortgage – should you fix or not? There are of course benefits to both. Fixing your mortgage rate gives you the security of knowing what you’re paying each month, making it easier to budget and plan ahead. Meanwhile opting for a variable rate often means you’ll get a better rate – albeit with the risk that it might change.

Over the last few years borrowers opting for variable rates have certainly benefited from doing so. Rates have been at a record low for a decade. Indeed, last month saw the first interest rise since 2007. That’s mean those borrowers whose mortgage rates track the Bank of England base rate have seen their mortgage repayments fall.

That being said of course the record low interest rate environment has meant even fixes have hit rock bottom levels.

But with rates not on the rise – albeit slowly – is now the time to fix for a longer period?

While some economists are predicting we’ll have several more rate rises in 2018 the Bank of England has made it clear it’s not in a hurry to raise rates again. The general consensus is we shouldn’t see another rise until perhaps next August or September and any rise will again be modest.

Despite this fixes are certainly becoming more popular. According to Paragon Mortgages almost 90% of all mortgages cases are fixed rate products and the amount of five year products reached an all-time high, at 39% of all mortgages written.

If you’re looking for security and stability now could be a good time to tie in to a good deal.

Call into see us at We Know Mortgages to see how we can help you find the perfect mortgage for you.

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


What the Stamp Duty changes mean for you?

Posted on December 6th, 2017

Last month chancellor Philip Hammond announced during his Budget speech that Stamp Duty would be scrapped for first time buyers purchasing a property up to £300,000. Furthermore, first timers looking to buy in more expensive areas will pay no duty on the first £300,000 of properties up to the value of £500,000.

This is big news for first time buyers, many of whom often cite Stamp Duty as a hurdle in their plans to get onto the property ladder. Buying a property is an expensive business and having to come up with a few extra thousand pounds is often a step too far for many buyers.

Before these announcement buyers purchasing a property up to £300,000 would pay £5,000. That’s a fair chunk of change to save!

Following Mr Hammond’s announcement we’ve seen lenders quick to react. Indeed, one high street lender recently made a return to the 95% LTV market. Its clear lenders are expecting the number of first time buyer borrowers to surge and are aiming to cater for them.

If you’re looking to get onto the property ladder and you’re not sure what options are available to you or how much you can borrow come and speak to us today.

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


Stamp Duty Hopes

Posted on November 20th, 2017

With just days to go until Chancellor Philip Hammond unveils his Budget speculation is mounting that a Stamp Duty holiday may be on the cards. The Chancellor is under pressure to cut the tax for first time buyers in order to help more borrowers get on the property ladder. And several recent studies have shown just how much of an obstacle Stamp Duty actually is.

A report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research revealed Stamp Duty is preventing a staggering number of house purchases a year.  The study claimed an extra 146,000 sales could have taken place over the past five years had buyers not been deterred by the tax.

Meanwhile a study by the specialist bank Aldermore found one in five people who have bought a house within the last three years would be willing to buy again if Stamp Duty was cut. House movers are essential for the success of the housing market because, as people move up the property ladder, they free up more first time buyer friendly homes for new buyers. If Stamp Duty is making people stay put this will be having a huge impact on the market.

All eyes are on you Mr Hammond. We watch with baited breath!

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


What’s happening with larger landlords?

Posted on November 16th, 2017

There have been plenty of changes in the buy to let world over the last few years and for landlords the market is now very different to what it once was. Perhaps the biggest change to the sector came in last year when the roll out of a new system for tax relief came into effect which essentially limited the amount of relief a landlord could claim on the money paid as interest on their mortgage. That, coupled with the 3% surcharge in Stamp Duty on investment properties and second homes hit the sector hard, financially. But the latest round of regulation in the sector could cause problems in other areas – namely time.

The property investment world moves quickly and as such landlords often need fast decisions on finance applications. However, the latest rules to come into play from the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) have meant the application process for landlords with large portfolios can be quite cumbersome.

Under the new rules lenders must obtain the financial details of every property in a landlord’s portfolio when he or she applies for a new mortgages and doing so can take some time.

If you’re a landlord and you’re looking to increase your portfolio or remortgage your current properties call in and see us at We Know Mortgages and we’ll help you navigate the changes with as little disruption as possible.

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

Information is based on our current understanding of taxation legislation and regulations. Any levels and bases of, and reliefs from taxation, are subject to change.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate most forms of buy to let mortgage.


Interest rates rise

Posted on November 7th, 2017

For the first time in 10 years, the Bank of England base rate has risen and, understandably, consumers are feeling a little concerned. So what does it mean for you?

Well, that all depends on what type of mortgage you have.
If you have a fixed rate mortgage you won’t see any change. As the name suggests fixed rate mortgages are set at a certain rate for a fixed period of time and are therefore unaffected by the rate rise. Once that term expires however you’ll revert to your lender’s Standard Variable Rate (SVR).

SVRs and tracker rate mortgages are affected by the Bank of England base rate. When the base rate rises so too do mortgage rates and when it falls mortgage rates fall too. The rate rise means anyone on their lender’s SVR or tracker mortgage could see their mortgage repayments increase. You may have already been contacted by your bank to let you know of any changes.

Despite the rise there are still some very attractive mortgage rates on offer so if you’re concerned about your mortgage now would be a great time to contact an experienced broker, like the team at We Know Mortgages, to find out if you could be on a better deal.

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


Race to remortgage

Posted on October 20th, 2017

If you’re a mortgage holder you may well have been been enjoying a fantastic rate in recent years. Interest rates have been at a record lows since 2009 and those borrowers on their lender’s Standard Variable Rate (SVR) have certainly felt the benefit. SVRs tend to move in line with Bank of England base rate so a low interest rate at the Bank means a low mortgage rate for the borrower!

However, all of this could be about to change. Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England has made it clear that interest rates will be rising in the very near future. Indeed, most experts are predicting we could see the first hike as soon as November.

This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Inflation – which is the rate at which the price of general goods rise – has been higher than the government’s target for some time and one way to counter this is to raise interest rates. Furthermore Michael Saunders – an external member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee which is responsible for setting interest rates – had been pretty vocal about the need to increase rates.

So where does that leave you? Well, if you’re approaching the end of your mortgage deal or you’re currently on your lender’s SVR now is the time to remortgage. There are still some fantastic deals on offer that you can lock into before rates start to move and we can help you find the most suitable one for you. Call in and see us today to find out more.

You may have to pay an early repayment charge to your existing lender if you remortgage. 

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


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.