From tenant to owner

 We have partnered up with estate agents, property finders and first time buyer vendors all over the UK to offer you the First Time Buyer exclusive property deals. Otherwise unavailable to the public.

 

These deals have been sourced from what we call “motivated sellers” these are property owners who are so keen to sell their property they are willing to offer a discount.

No Deposit to Buy Your Home? Your Options Explained

No Deposit to Buy Your Home? Your Options Explained

Raising a deposit for your new home is never easy, how can you save when you have ongoing rent, bills, car payments… The list goes on, and if you do not have kindly family members who are prepared to offer you a helping hand you may feel like giving up and moving into private rented accommodation.

Typically lenders request 5% of the purchase price as a deposit, but as house prices have soared over the last few years even a 5% deposit can be thousands of pounds. Add to this the cost of legal and mortgage fees, stamp duty and valuation fees, a property costing £150,000 will easily eat into £10,000, not small change! Added to this, raising a mortgage for the remaining £142,500 will require an income totalling £35,500, and monthly mortgage payments of more than £850.00.

The Government have recognised that first time buyers need that vital helping hand, and they have taken generous steps in making your first home attainable. In addition reputable builders such as Barratts and David Wilson Homes, to name only 2, are offering schemes which eliminate the need for a deposit.

While they will not simply hand over £10,000, they have introduced shared ownership schemes which dramatically reduce the financial outlay required, as little as £2500 can be sufficient.

The Government Shared Ownership Scheme

It works for 2 reasons. The mortgage amount you need to raise initially is much lower and therefore accommodates lower incomes, secondly the mortgage and rental payments are equal to, or only a little higher than renting a property completely (and paying the landlords mortgage).

Example: Jack and Kate are first time buyers earning £15,000 each. They each have 1 loan costing £120 per month for each loan.

The property they want to buy is valued at £180,000, and they wish to purchase a 50% share, raising a mortgage of £60,000. The rental payment for the remaining share is £150 per month.

Jack and Kate’s incomes and outgoings will allow them to borrow up to £100,000, so £60,000 is comfortable for them, the mortgage payments will be in the region of £430.00 per month. And the best bit? While a deposit would be great, they could opt for 100% of their share!

After paying the mortgage, the rental and their loans, Jack and Kate will be left with around £1000 per month for remaining bills.

When the couple’s income increases they will be able to buy an additional share of the property.

Builders Shared Equity

This is similar to the Shared Ownership, but you will own the property jointly with the Builder and not a Housing Association.

A builder will offer a new home at typically 75% of the property value. So, if the property is valued at £200,000 you will raise a mortgage for £150,000. You do not pay rent to the builder for the remaining 25% but usually have to buy the remaining share within 10 years at market value.

Lenders are happy to accept the builders share as a deposit, saving you a massive £10,000 on the deposit alone.

The housing market will slowly grind to a halt without first time buyers, Shared ownership provides glimmer of optimism in dark mortgage market.

Property Types And Their Pros And Cons

Property Types And Their Pros And Cons


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Does age matter?

Of course it may, if you’re looking for a new abode, that is.  Each era will tick a diverse set of boxes for every house hunter. Don’t make your mind up until you’ve read our take on some  of the most likeliest contenders in the market.

1500-1800: Cottage

If your dream home is a cottage, it’s superior to think of it as a fashion, rather than a period. 1500 right through 1800 is the time, when cottages are the existing home of the people. Originally, cottages were the homes of agricultural workers, way back. However, Industrial Innovations brought up versions of cottages built in towns and municipality and they were called railway cottages, miners’ cottages or weavers’ cottages.

Pros:

Thick walls with small, multi-paned windows are the characteristics of the traditional stone-built cottages. Authentic glass is pleasing; just look at the vaguely uneven, imperfect look of pre-factory glass.  Beams and exposed timbers might be visible (especially in the main living areas) fireplaces and if you’re fortunate maybe an aged, working range hob in the kitchen. Several cottages have first floor room in the roof space- so the bathrooms are frequently in the top space with uncovered rafters.

Cons:

Generally, most cottages will be lacking a hallway, so the front entry generally opens directly into the sitting room, In addition to that, quarters can be small in size with low ceilings. Bedrooms on the first floor can be little and often have a bathroom leading instantly to one of the rooms. A predicament is the luggage rack if the bedroom is in the roof- it may have to be customized.

Improvements to add value

If there are several little rooms, the ground floor living space must be modernized. Re-establish fireplace, add storeroom, and refurbish original floor tiles or bricks which are often still in spot, but unseen underneath layers of newer floors.

1714-1830: Georgian

Elegant” is the word that springs to mind when recounting a Georgian House. The evenness and grace of Classical architecture are the admired quality of the Georgians and the houses show that. Three or four storey townhouse, with gracefully balanced sash windows, stuccoed exterior to the ground floor and an impressive front door are the trait of a typical Georgian house.

Pros:

Flats in Georgian houses are a more inexpensive way of experiencing Georgian style.  Georgian houses can be roomy, while Georgian town house will often be divided into three or more.  Each one will have a discrete character – lower ceilings and a garden, cellars have tiny rooms, the central apartment will benefit from the height and stylishness of utilising the ‘public’ rooms of a larger house, and the top floor will once again have smaller rooms, but perhaps the use of a roof terrace on the flat roof.  The elegant sash windows were usually made up of nine to 12 stylish small panes with lean glazing bars. Genuine plasterwork and fireplaces will make it appealing to upcoming consumer.

Cons:

Georgian houses have been here long enough for unsuitable “improvements” to be made!

Larger rooms may be divided, in houses that have been split into flats. Spoiling the symmetry and grace.  Stucco, brickwork and exterior may be damaged as well.

Improvements to add value

Make sure that sash windows are properly proportioned, which almost unquestionably means having surrogate custom made. Missing or damaged plasterwork and other original features must be restored.  Original floors would have been rock-hard oak, wide boards and enhancing fire surrounds ended the lines of Classical architecture.

1830-1900:  Victorian

Typical and most attractive period property are the few characteristics of a Victorian house. They are mature enough to have a specific ‘period’ style, but less likely than older constructions to be listed, costly or in need of pricey and expert restoration.  That doesn’t mean that Victorian houses are an economical option, but they are extensively accessible, offer well proportioned living places and refurbishment are uncomplicated.

Pros:

There are thousands of Victoria terraced houses, as well as grand scale family homes. Red brick exterior are striking with altering details around windows. Three bedroom properties often have a loft conversion, adding another bedroom and bathroom. Original slate roofs, fireplaces, dado rails, skirting boards and coving are great, if undamaged and bathrooms may be liberally sized if rehabilitated from a bedroom (bathrooms didn’t become common place until the 1890s). Original windows and doors are a vast bonus, especially if they still have their original glazing.

Cons:

Without a second thought, the original features of Victorian houses have been discarded. Houses can be draughty if windows and doors are ill-fitting. Windows are especially likely to have been interchanged with UPVC or pseudo-Victorian styles. Halls and stairs may be spoiled, split into flats, coving, plasterwork, hallways and stairs may be spoiled, losing their sense of proportion as well as original features, this will happen if rooms are divided.

Improvements to add value:

Hallway floors have frequently been altered – orginals were parquet or colourful encaustic tiles, investing in alternative (look in salvage and reclamation yards) will make an optimistic impact on the overall glance of the house.  Think about cavity-wall and loft insulation to continue fuel bills in check.

1930s:  Arts & Crafts

In 1920s and 30s new house style were brought to the

UK, Arts & Crafts style. Which accentuate a return to ‘handmade’ houses and furniture and attain its artistic peak around the turn of the century – was a momentous influence, by the side of the ‘modern’ look that started in the 1920s.  Builders rented and customized pure Arts & Crafts and modernists design ideas to mass produce semi-disconnected houses, which went up at a rate of knots, in small groups or expansion.

Pros:

In 1930s there are huge bands of homes; they demonstrate the suburban landscape. And make high quality family homes.  Mostly, the homes have three bedrooms – one of which might be a small ‘box room’; but there is usually space for a loft conversion. They often have a generous sized conservatory or sun room at the back, leading off the dining room (or second reception room), because these houses were quite wide. The desirable stained glass windows were at the front of the house and facade doors often have a square or oval stained glass panel at the top. Pretty porches and red tiles roofs all look attractive and are often found intact, next to the double bays to the front.

Cons:

Inappropriate windows are often seen in 1930s homes, due to a lot of houses. Garish colors were painted in pebble dash exteriors. Flat roofs and metal windows and may be in a sorry state, these can be seen in 1930s “modern” houses. Plus flat roofs are renowned for leakage problems and metal window frames can weather roughly if not looked after, as well as letting in breeze and moisture.

Improvements to add value

Concentrate with the exterior.  The mock Tudor styles of 1930s homes look very much advanced if spruced up, e.g. pebble dash painted white, beams stained and refurbished and windows in good order.

1960s:  Functional

The first things that spring to mind when 1960s architecture crops up in a discussion are Gloomy high-rise tower blocks. But there are several 1960s family homes that are convenient and fascinating today as they were when they were first built. A 1960s house, if restored in its original style, is a first-class scaffold for many of today’s interior décor trends – simple hardwood or laminate flooring, neutral paint colours, contemporary hole-in-the wall fireplaces and sleek fitted kitchens.

Pros:

The features of these homes are concrete tiled roofs, pre-cast flues for the trendy gas fires that were installed and relatively large kitchens. Styles swerve dramatically from boxy three or four bedroom semis and detached homes to ‘modern’ split levels and bungalows.

Styles are basically natural and simple with very little interior detail.  Most will have central heating.

Cons:

Now we’re 40 years on, many original 1960s windows will have been replaced by UPVC double-glazing (although these at least look less out of place than when they were installed in older homes). Out of period additions that may have been made, such as old-fashioned fireplaces, ‘period’ style coving and ‘traditional’ front doors are the most common drawbacks with ‘modern’ 1960s houses.  Radiators may be starting to decay or leak, and so need restoring.

Improvements to add value

Keep things plain and straightforward. Strip out period style coving, fancy skirting boards and ceiling roses – none of which would have featured in the décor when the house was built. Beware of adding a period style conservatory – they end up looking rather out of place.  Go for a modern ‘glass box’ design instead.

2007:  Brand new

If a brand-new house is on the cards, then you’re spoilt for choice! Whether you want a cosy family home, a conversion in an old school or factory or want an ultra modern flat that’s all glass and stainless steel, you’ll find something to go with. Today’s new houses are built to National House Building Council standards and guidelines, and come with a ten-year guarantee.

Pros:

Some major advantages of buying new: Insulation, new windows, efficient boilers and central heating systems, building guarantees and warranties. Mainly three and four bedroom homes will have an en-suite bathroom for the main bedroom, as well as a family bathroom and doubtless a utility room and downstairs cloakroom, too. You can generally choose your own finishes (flooring, paint colours, kitchen cabinets). Plus, there are also quite a few deals accessible when buying direct from a developer, so look out for money saving offers.

Cons:

Some people find brand new houses a bit characterless and if you’re buying on a new estate or development, you could end up living on a building site until it’s all finished.  Gardens take a good few years to establish and there may not be much sense of neighbourhood at first.  Be sure to check vicinity facilities (shops, doctors, schools) are sufficient if it’s a very new development.


Can You Afford To Buy Right Now?

Can you afford to buy a house right now?


Things to consider

In terms of UK house prices this is one of the best times in history to buy property.

But how about for your personal circumstances?

Buying a home is probably the biggest financial decision you will ever make so it is worth taking time to consider whether it is the right choice for you. You will become responsible for all the costs of maintaining the property, including major structural repairs, routine repairs and improvements.

There are a lot of costs to consider initial costs as well as ongoing costs.

Here I’d like to breakdown all the costs involved in buying a property for you so that you know whether it is something you can afford right now an dthe options available for you if you need help.

Upfront costs needed
 

  1. Your Deposit
  2. Surveyor fees
  3. Stamp Duty
  4. Land registry fee
  5. Solicitor fees
  6. Mortgage arrangement and broker fees
  7. Furniture, decorating and moving costs

 
Ongoing costs to consider

  • mortgage repayments
  • mortgage protection insurance for if you fall ill or lose your job
  • life assurance to enable your family to pay off the mortgage if you die
  • contents insurance against the risk of theft, fire, flood or other accidents
  • council tax and water charges
  • gas, electricity, telephone, etc
  • ground rent and service charges may apply
     

These costs may vary dramatically depending on a number of factors. It is wise to consider your own circumstances and seek financial advise.

Best First Time Buyer Mortgage Deals

Best First Time Buyer Mortgage Deals

Couple  The time has come for you to buy a house, but for a first time buyer, the housing market can be frightening and confusing. Unethical lenders may try to ensnare you with high interest rates and a loan that will have you paying for years. Many houses are priced out of the range affordable by first time buyers. The market for mortgage loans fluctuates every year, the interest rates rising and falling without apparent rhyme or reason. All these things make finding a good deal on a house difficult.

A first time buyer should consider a number of factors before going to purchase a property, such as how much they will be permitted to borrow, how much they can afford to pay per month, the initial cash outlay for fees and deposit, and what kind of mortgage they ought to use. A mortgage broker, who will act as an intermediary to find you the right mortgage, can help immensely to ease this process.

It can be dangerous to borrow too much money to buy a house, no matter how tempting the idea of home ownership is. The problem of negative equity is when your mortgage is worth more than your house, is still a danger. Many first time buyers consider only the monthly payment when they sign up for a mortgage. It also is important to look closely at the full amount you will be paying, and the length of time it will take to repay. Some kind of deposit is normally required, as well. Though there are a few lender who will offer a mortgage for 100% of the price of your house, these are rare, and will ensure a long payment process. It is best to have at least 5% of the purchase price. If you have 10% or more, you can secure a better deal on your mortgage.

There are many different types of mortgage that can be chosen. These include the fixed rate mortgage – with an unvarying interest rate over the life of the loan, the adjustable rate mortgage is one where the interest rate is periodically adjusted based on a index, and the interest-only loan is where for a period of time, the buyer pays only the interest on the loan, then must begin making payments on the principal. These last two types can be tempting to the first time buyer with little income, but can result in more money paid out over the lifetime of the mortgage. An adjustable rate mortgage can be the better deal if interest rates continue to fall, but worse if they rise. Interest only loans permit a buyer who will be in better financial shape in a few years to get a foothold in the housing market. The downside is that the principal will be untouched for those years.

With careful planning and consideration, the housing market need not be frightening or daunting to the first time buyer. All that is needed is a good assessment of your needs and situation.
 

How To Negotiate With An Estate Agent


How To Negotiate With An Estate Agent

You may not want to haggle over price with an estate agent, but you need to be clear about what you want. And price you are willing to pay this will really help in achieving your goal…

The majority of properties sell for between 95% and 98% of their asking price.
The estate agent should ideally handle the negotiations since it can be a sensitive issue. With luck, the estate agent will be experienced and considerate of the needs of both parties – but don't forget that ultimately they do work for the seller.



  • Never look too keen. If the vendor sees how much you are in love with a home, they know you will be willing to pay more and will be reluctant to budge on the price. Be a little hard to get, and make sure they know you have seen a lot of properties.

 

  • Make sure you have gained enough knowledge and show them you know what you are talking about. Always let it be known that you have viewed plenty of homes and understand the property market in your area and how much the home should be worth. Asking well-informed questions is one way of showing you are not a customer who can be easily conned.

 

  • It is always best to negotiate in person, not over the phone or by sending an email. This way you can better gauge the estate agents or vendors reaction to what you say and respond accordingly.

 

  • Stay polite, however stressed or angry you might feel. Aggression won’t get you far at all. In fact, it might just have the opposite affect. Remember that if a seller has two equal offers, they will probably go for the buyers with whom they had a good feeling about.

 

  • Estate agents are hard-nosed professional negotiators – be prepared for their ruthless bargaining tactics and don't let yourself be bullied. Take what they say with a pinch of salt, and try to look and feel confident.

 

  • While it is good to play it cool, don't be overly cautious or evasive, especially if you know the seller has received other offers or needs to sell very quickly. Assess your own and the seller's positions and act accordingly – if your position is not that strong, worrying over a relatively small sum of money could lose you your dream home.

·         If the property is priced just beyond your reach, do try a lower offer. The seller just might say yes, especially if you have your financing in place and can move quickly.
Remember that it's easier to increase an offer than reduce it.

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If you are offering to the limit of the price you can afford, then say so – but only if it's true. Equally, don't show your hand to the agent and say you are prepared to pay more (if you are) when you make the initial offer – wait for the response to your first one and then up it if necessary.

Be aware that if you make too low an offer the seller could be offended and not give you a second chance. Make what you feel is an appropriate offer – treat the seller with respect and hopefully they will act in the same way.

If your offer is turned down and you are reasonably confident there are no other offers on the table, wait a few days before increasing your offer by 3%-4%. You could also ask for some extra fittings to be included in the price.

 

Join our club and find out how we can help you with this process.



The 9 Steps To Buying Your First Home

The 9 Steps To Buying Your First Home


Step-by-step Guide to Homebuying

 

Buying your first house or flat doesn’t have to be a nightmare.  With a bit of luck, some serious research and a dash of common sense, it could even be fun!

 

 

1.          Get your finances in order.  Work out your total income and what bills and loans you pay off each month.  Any mortgage adviser will need all of this info before they tell you how much you can borrow.  Most lenders recommend that your monthly repayments don’t exceed 35-40 per cent of your monthly income.

 

2.         Start doing some serious research.  Most banks and building societies have their own websites, which are well-stocked with information about their products and services.  But for impartial advice, you might want to speak to an independent mortgage adviser. 

 

3.         Once you’ve sorted your mortgage, you can start looking for your dream home.  Decide where you’d like to live and visit a few local estate agents to find out whether the kind of property you want is available there. www.findaproperty.co.uk and www.rightmove.co.uk both list properties for sale nationwide.

 

4.         When you think you’ve found the perfect home, don’t let the excitement go to your head; go back for another viewing with a close friend or family and get a second opinion.  Finally, sit down and ask yourself a few important questions.  Is it the right size? Is it handy for local shops and transport services?  Is it convenient for work?  Is the area safe after dark?  Have you found out what the neighbours are like?

 

5.         When you decide to make an offer, try not to let your emotions get in the way – even though you REALLY want this house!  Work out the maximum you can afford to pay first and come in with an offer that’s lower.  That way you can afford to add more onto your second offer if the first one is rejected.  If you really can’t clinch a deal at a price that’s right for you, be prepared to walk away.  There’s no point getting too upset about it – you have to think that it simply wasn’t meant to be.

 

6.         If your offer is accepted, go back to your financial advisor and get your mortgage in place.  Then you will need to arrange for a solicitor to do all your conveyancing.  The best way to find one is through word of mouth, or look online at www.web-conveyancing.co.uk Your solicitor will take care of all of the legal aspects of the sale- sorting out the property searches and checking that there are no disputes over land rights.  A good solicitor can make all the difference between a fast and a slow sale, so it’s worth asking around for recommendations. 

 

7.         Next comes the Mortgage Valuation Survey (costs upwards of £150).  This is required by your mortgage company to make sure that you’re not paying out more money than the property is actually worth.  A separate and much more extensive homebuyer’s survey is definitely worth having, as it should reveal any serious structural problems with the building that could cause you problems in the future – expect to pay around £300.

 

8.         Exchange contracts.  Both parties are now committed to the sale.  This is the point at which you part with your deposit, if you have one.

 

9.         Completion.  The final stages of home buying usually take place either simultaneously after the exchanging of contracts or about a week later.  It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for – you’re a homeowner!