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.


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. and 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 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!