Top tips for securing a mortgage

With the UK property market now entering its busiest period of the year, leading property finance specialists, we have put together some top tips for homebuyers when it comes to securing the best deal on a mortgage. While the affordability of mortgage products remains at almost record lows, there are still plenty of ways to make your mortgage even more cost-effective, although your broker might not always disclose these methods. While some tips will save you money, it really is a case of spending money to make money with some of the others. When combined they should place you in the best position when buying in the current market.

Deposit thresholds

More often than not, increasing your deposit by just a small amount can boost you into the next Loan to Value band, meaning a better rate and even potentially less onerous credit scores with lenders. Always work on 5% increments as these are where the best deals are for your price band.

Seek a no-fee mortgage broker

Pretty simple but many of us fail to do it. All brokers are paid commission on the product they sell you, but around 80% will also charge an additional fee – typically £500. May seem minute in the grand scheme of buying a house, but it all adds up.

Life cover

With the cost required to get on the ladder, many of us can be forgiven for skipping the add ons a broker may suggest. If there’s one cost you don’t want to skip on, it’s life cover. Understandably, many of us today can only get on the ladder with the help of our partners as a joint income is required. However, if the worst were to happen and illness or even death strikes, the lack of any form of protection cover can result in the whole deck of cards coming crashing down immediately. This is the last thing you need in this situation, so make sure your life cover is in place and up to date.

Don’t restrict your options

It’s common knowledge that your bank isn’t the best place to start as they only offer their rates and products. But you would be surprised as to how many brokers and advisers can only offer products from a restricted panel of lenders. As a customer, this means you are missing out on potentially the best deal for you so make sure your broker has access to the entire marketplace.

Get your personal details in order

Such a simple one, but if you’ve failed to update documents to your married name, or you aren’t registered to your current home address, the lender’s computer will literally say no as it won’t be able to find you. This is a shortcut route to having your application declined.

Electoral roll

Once your details are correctly registered, register for the electoral roll. You might not know it, but this has a huge bearing on the scoring system of lenders credit. If you aren’t registered it’s another minor little detail that can see you fall at the first hurdle of a mortgage application.

Forward your post

The £60 it costs to have your mail forwarded for a year will be the best money you’ve ever spent without even realising it. This doesn’t necessarily apply to your mortgage but it will save you money. All too often a client moves house and ended up with a default notice on their phone bill or credit card as they’ve not received the reminder and forgot to pay it.

Overpayments

Again, sounds obvious right? But many of us plod along without even considering it. If your mortgage product allows overpayments – make them! You would be surprised at how much even a small overpayment can make on a monthly basis when it comes to the total interest over the lifetime term of your mortgage.

Lock it in

We’re currently in the middle of an artificially low, interest rate cycle and mortgage product affordability is close to record lows. Great news but make sure you lock in on a fixed rate mortgage to make the best of the current climate. A longer term of a fixed five-year rate is probably the best option however a three year fixed might be a happy middle ground for many between a two and five-year product. However, be aware of any 10 year plus fixed rate products. The fee might be great but over the years we’ve seen best-laid plans fall by the wayside and clients are then hit with huge early exit fees if they need to move or pay their mortgage early.

Working overtime

Any overtime worked can be beneficial towards mortgage eligibility but try and ensure that this overtime is consistent as possible. If there are drastic swings in the hours worked, lenders will often work from the lowest figure when deciding your position in the market.

Credit score

If you’re looking to buy right now and your credit score is no good, then you’ve probably already had a few lenders say no. Your credit score is everything to a lender in this day and age and poor payment history or a low score will put you at a severe disadvantage from the offset. Do all you can to cultivate a healthy score starting now and as most lenders base their judgement on Experian, it’s worth the small investment.

Top tips for getting on the property ladder in 2018

Planning to buy a first home can be as daunting as it is exciting for first-time buyers but there are a number of simple steps people can take to be 100% prepared and make the process run as smoothly as possible. With 2018 came the abolishment of stamp duty for first-time buyers, which has likely motivated aspiring homeowners to begin exploring how they can make their dream of owning their own home a reality. Check out these top tips to go from dream home to a real home this year.

1. Save save SAVE…
Saving for a deposit is undoubtedly one of the scariest and biggest hurdles anyone will have to overcome.

2. Research affordability hotspots
The property market around the UK is constantly changing, when buying a property, it is important to understand everything there is to know about the area you are hoping to settle. Try researching 3 potential areas to see which has the most stable market.
3. Get the most suitable mortgage to your circumstances
Take some time to really investigate the variety of mortgages that are available for first-time buyers. Some mortgage providers such as Virgin Money, have been developing innovative mortgages to help address challenges that first-time buyers in the current market.

4. Understand the credit score
Before getting a mortgage, you will be credit checked so now is the time to check your credit report and ensure all information is up to date and is accurate LINK TO CLEARSCORE. A slightly bad credit score can lead to mortgage lenders turning you away. It is the deciding factor in not only getting approved but also the rate of the mortgage you are offered. Now is the time to start paying any outstanding debt, be sure not to miss any payment agreements and all phone bills, utilities, and generic direct debits must be paid on time. Try to make more then the minimum repayment in 6 months prior to your mortgage application.

5. Do your calculations
Once your savings pot is up and running, consider using an affordability calculator to get an idea of how much you’ll be able to borrow based on your income and outgoings. This will give you a clear guide as to what you can really afford. Once on the property ladder it can only get easier…

6. Know what your spending
One of the first steps to feeling more in control of your finances is to monitor your spending – plan in advance and review all spending. There are many saving cards, which do this for you, the saving card of the year is Monzo; an application platform that tracks your every move.