After the unfortunate event that was the 2008 credit crunch, our government opted to create a backup plan, in a bid to try and restart the pulse of the mortgage market. Their focuses were on first time buyers, introducing ways to help them get onto the property ladder, referring to these as government ‘Help to Buy Schemes’.
There are various different Help to Buy Schemes available, some that you might find you are better suited for and others you won’t qualify for. Here is a list of the Help to Buy Schemes available to home buyers and a bonus scheme that might be useful.
The Help to Buy Equity Loan is the most popular of the schemes available to customers. If you are a first time buyer in Durham and are looking to get started on your mortgage journey, this could very well be the scheme for you.
First of all, you must be first time buyer to be able to qualify for this scheme. You must also be purchasing a new-build property too, as this scheme does not apply to regular properties. You will be required to have a minimum of a 5% deposit.
The way this scheme works, is that you will put down a 5% deposit (or more if you can, that usually works out better for home buyers) and then the government will provide you with a loan to make up a total of a 25% deposit. This changes depending on how much you put down, i.e., if you then put down a 10% deposit, they’ll loan you 15%.
Overall, this will leave you with a 75% mortgage and the loan provided by the government to pay off. You get 5 years interest-free to pay back your loan. If you are unable to pay this back within the 5 years, you will start gaining interest on the amount of the loan that is left to pay off, starting at a rate of 1.75%.
As a trusted mortgage broker in Durham, we know that balancing your mortgage payments and the equity loan repayment at the same time can be quite a difficult task. There are many different ways around this, for example, some customers look to remortgage to raise capital for this loan, however, this route will increase your monthly mortgage payments.
The Help to Buy Shared Ownership scheme was introduced as a means of allowing applicants to purchase a percentage of a property and then pay back the remaining amount as rent.
You will usually have to own between 25-75% of the property in question. The remaining percentage will be owned by an outside party, namely the local housing association or council. This share can possibly be increased further down the line, if you happen to find yourself in possession of some more money.
The way that your payments work is that you will be paying back your monthly mortgage payments, but also a monthly rental cost. This basically means you are paying 100% of the ground rent and service charge on your new home. This will still apply, even if your share is the minimum amount.
The Armed Forces Help to Buy scheme was introduced in 2014 after the roaring the success of the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme. This scheme aimed to utilise the same basic concept as the one that came before it, however, this one was focused in on members of the armed forces.
If you do fit into the criteria of the scheme, this is something that could provide a real advantage to you when trying to get onto the property ladder. The government has now extended the deadline/review date of the scheme to December 2022 and we have high hopes that it stays around, as the scheme is incredibly helpful to existing armed forces members who are in need of the extra help.
The Lifetime ISA is often a scheme that people forget. It’s not everyone’s immediate go-to scheme, however, it’s still useful to have some knowledge of it, as it could be the scheme that helps you secure a property as a first time buyer in Durham.
A Lifetime ISA is more or less a savings account where your money grows, completely free of tax. The government will also provide you with a top-up to your savings with an extra 25%. This means that if you meet the £4,000 maximum amount, you will receive a rather welcomed £1,000 bonus to your savings.
You have to pass specific mortgage criteria in order to gain access to this mortgage scheme. All of these details are readily available on the Lifetime ISA website.
In order to understand what happened with the 2007/08 “Credit Crunch”, we need to take a look back on the years that lead up to it. If a First-Time Buyer in Durham took out a mortgage to buy a home back in the 1970s and ’80s, it’s very likely that this process was undertaken through a building society. It may be hard to believe, but your high street bank did not always offer their customers mortgages!
To find out whether you qualified for a mortgage or not, you’d have made an appointment with the building society manager and spoke with them. Customers would be encouraged to take out savings accounts with the building society and then the building society would use those people’s savings to lend to their other customers. Interest-rates would also be higher to borrowers than the rate they were paying to savers, in order for them to turn a profit.
Once the banks started to get involved with mortgage lending, they moved away from that older model. Instead, they opted to “buy” the money from markets, in order to accelerate the rate in which they could lend money to their customers.
If we move ahead of time and into the mid-2000s, there were plenty of new specialist lenders working within the mortgage market. Most of these originated from North America. Their way of handling business was to sell their book of mortgage customers, allowing them to raise new funds and continue the cycle of lending.
This method of practice was labelled Securitisation. The investors that bought these books were larger financial institutions such as pension funds and other High Street Banks.
The market was booming and these mortgage lenders were making a great deal of money. The newer lenders seized an opportunity by introducing more relaxed lending criteria. Poor credit history? Don’t worry about it. Wanting to self-certify? Go for it! These sorts of things were no issue for their businesses, or so they thought at the time…
As anyone with an inkling of common sense might have anticipated, these mortgages began to default. Major banks lost their confidence in each other, due to the uncertainty of how exposed they were in the very quickly falling apart subprime mortgage market.
In very quick fashion, the once sustainable banks’ share prices had completely dropped. A select few were bailed out by the UK Government (or more accurately, the taxpayer) in order to stop them going under altogether, whilst many failed to stay afloat.
Over the course of “The Great Recession”, a total of almost 80 different banks, building societies and lenders around the world, across 20 different countries, filed for bankruptcy or were acquired.
Because of this utter economic disaster, lending quickly dried up. Property prices dropped by a large amount and everyone lost confidence in the UK economy. It took almost a decade for the market to safely get back to a point where it could function sustainably once again.
Nobody wanted this to happen again, especially the UK Government, so investigations took place that aimed to look into what exactly happened and where it all went wrong. These studies led to the carefully thought out “Mortgage Market Review of 2014” that led the charge forward.
Self-cert mortgages had already been completely banned by then, but the biggest change to come out of this was that lenders themselves were now solely responsible for ensuring that the customer could in fact afford their mortgage payments.
The lenders were now responsible for digging deeper into customers incomes and outgoings with more precise lending criteria. They were paying more attention to credit commitments, childcare and other outgoings, so they could ensure customers were definitely able to afford their mortgage repayments on a consistent basis.
We have no doubts that it has now become a lot harder to get a mortgage than it was back in the day, though this is absolutely for the betterment of the industry, the economy and homeowners nationwide. Customers need to be a lot more organised with paperwork in order to prove their finances and be taken seriously by lenders and home sellers alike.
So many mistakes were made in the period running up to the Credit Crunch, but we hope that the industry learned a lesson this time and has lowered its chances of ever falling into a rut like this again.
A 95% mortgage is as simple as the name would suggest; you are borrowing against 95% of the price of a property, and then you are covering the remaining 5% with your deposit. An example of this is if you looked at buying a property that was worth £150,000 with a 95% mortgage, you would be putting down £7,500 as your deposit and borrow the remaining £142,500 from the lender.
Off the back of the March 2021 Budget, Boris Johnson announced a Mortgage Guarantee Scheme for mortgage lenders, making 95% mortgages more readily available from the bigger high street banks.
This is fantastic news for First-Time Buyers and Home Movers alike, as this scheme will continue running until December 2022. Certain terms and conditions will apply though, which is something your Mortgage Advisor in Durham will be able to look at, to see if you qualify.
All our customers who opt to Get in Touch will receive a free, no-obligation mortgage consultation where one of our dedicated mortgage advisors will be able to make a recommendation on the best possible route for you to take.
95% mortgages are usually accessible by both First-Time Buyers in Durham & those who are Moving Home in Durham. Whilst saving for a 5% deposit sounds like a pretty straightforward concept, you’ll still need to have an acceptable credit score and prove that you are able to afford your monthly mortgage repayments, in order to access a 95% mortgage.
A good credit score is essential in the process of obtaining any mortgage, especially a 95% mortgage. Things like paying any current credit commitments on time, ensuring your addresses are updated and checking that you’re on the voters roll, can all help with your credit score.
Affordability is another one that is important to take note of. By giving the lender details of your income and monthly outgoings (things like your bank statements will be necessary for this) and any pre-existing credit commitments, your lender will be able to get a general overview of whether or not you are able to afford this type of mortgage.
Nowadays we see lots of family members helping each other get onto the property ladder, especially parents looking to further their children’s lives. The way this usually happens is by gifting the person looking to find their home, the deposit required. Known through the industry as the “Bank of Mum & Dad, Gifted Deposits are only intended to be a gift, and not as a loan. The lender will need proof that this has been agreed, before it can be used towards your mortgage.
When looking for a 95% mortgage, you want to make sure you have the right type of mortgage. Each mortgage type works differently, with that choice allowing you to find one that is most appropriate for your personal and financial situation.
Some homeowners and home buyers prefer Fixed Rate or Tracker Mortgages, mortgage types which mean you either keep interest rates at a set amount for the term given or have your interest rates tracking the Bank of England base rates.
Alternatively, you might find that Interest-Only or a Repayment Mortgages are more your style. Interest-Only allows cheaper payments until you need to pay a lump sum at the end (mostly now used for Buy-to-Lets), whereas a Repayment mortgage (a normal mortgage if you’d like) means you’ll be paying interest and capital combined per month.
Seeing as a mortgage is such a large financial outgoing, you need to be prepared and need to be aware. You might find things like higher interest rates, remortgaging difficulties due to less equity and then negative equity all cropping up if you’re not.
There is no need to worry though, as all these can be avoided if you’re savvy enough with your process to begin with. The more deposit you put down for a property, the less risk the lender will see you as.
A larger deposit, of say 10-15%, would not only reduce the rates of interest by a noticeable amount, but would also give the property more equity and reduce the risk of negative equity, thanks in part to you borrowing less against the property.
So, whilst the risks may seem intimidating, planning ahead and saving for a bigger deposit to access something like a 90% or even an 85% mortgage will be a massive help in your mortgage journey and something you’ll be able to reap the rewards from in the future.
Rishi Sunak’s second Budget as Chancellor brought two pieces of welcome news for the property sector as the Government attempts to transform “Generation Rent” into “Generation Buy” to help stimulate the UK economy, namely the new 95% Mortgage Guarantee and an extension of the Stamp Duty Holiday.
The name of this scheme is misleading as not everyone that applies is guaranteed to be offered a mortgage, it is still subject to affordability and credit score. The “guarantee” itself is that the Government will ensure Lenders don’t stand a loss if they grant a 95% mortgage to a customer who then subsequently falls into arrears and is repossessed leaving behind negative equity.
This scheme should in theory give Lenders more confidence to lend even though the applicant only has a smaller deposit to put down. Of course, Lenders never want to repossess someone’s home unless it is the last resort, but if that happens then the new scheme would cover any shortfall.
Lenders have been worried about the prospect of home values decreasing so this measure should alleviate that concern although of course, the chances of negative equity occurring will naturally reduce should property prices increase as a result of these announcements!
The scheme is available to both 1st Time Buyers and Home Movers, it’s available on any property (not just new build) and will run until December 2022. Some major High Street Banks have already signed up to the scheme and it’s likely more will follow later on. It’s still a big challenge for Lenders to cope with the demand they are getting for mortgages due to the difficulties training and supervising staff working from home but they will want to offer as many of these mortgages as they can.
When the Stamp Duty Holiday was launched last year we all hoped life would be very much back to normal by the cut-off date of 31st March 2021 but things didn’t pan out that way as we know. Solicitors are struggling to keep up with the workload and if lots of chains had collapsed then it would have partly defeated the object of the exercise.
Therefore it was good to hear the scheme has been extended to 30th June for purchases up to £500,000 and 30th September for purchases up to £250,000.
The Government certainly sees the property sector as an area that can play a big part in our economic recovery and if you are looking to buy a home or remortgage this year please reach out and we will be happy to advise you.
If you are a Durham resident, then you must be aware that moving to a new house in Durham is not always easy. Moving to a new house can often be the root cause of financial or personal stress and yet despite this, people still move to a new house in Durham. Many possible reasons are behind this move. Maybe some of them need extra space, while some move due to a new job.
No matter the reason, people in Durham prefer to purchase a new home rather than rent these days. Especially those who have found a place where their monthly installments are lower than their monthly rent. If someone is emotionally attached to a place, then it will be tough for them to move to a new house.
People have memories attached to their homes and some feelings make it difficult for them to move. Depending on the current situation and people’s personal preferences, the pros and cons of moving can vary.
Our mortgage advisors will guide you and help you by comparing the total cost. They will help you analyse the costs of improving your home, compared to moving to a new home.
If you think you need their help calculating the approximate maximum borrowing capacity, they are able to help with that too. They will also give you a full breakdown of your monthly payment cost so you can think about what your next step should be.
If you are looking for the best option for either moving to a new or remortgaging for home improvements, Get in Touch with our dedicated and passionate mortgage advice team for free initial mortgage advice.
At the start of the Covid pandemic, the Government promised that all borrowers would be allowed a three-month mortgage payment holiday if they needed it. Most lenders followed the Government’s guidelines and did their best to help their borrowers during these hard few months.
We feel that it is best to create a summary of what mortgage payment holidays are, what lenders are doing and who can provide you with help and guidance through the coming months.
On that note, we feel like this is a good time to talk about what mortgage holiday payments are and how they can help you with your mortgage payments.
They are quite simple. A mortgage payment holiday is a set-period, agreed upon between you and your lender, bank or building society, where your mortgage payments are deferred. In this situation, the set period should be around three months.
You will still have to pay back these payments. Over the period, you will receive interest which will be added onto your loan at the end of the payment holiday whilst your capital balance will not decrease. So, your overall mortgage loan will slightly increase. So you save money in the short term but in the long term, it may prove expensive.
Once you feel like you are ready to start paying back your monthly mortgage payments, either your monthly mortgage payments will be recalculated at a higher level or your mortgage term could be increased. Lenders prefer to not increase your mortgage term as it could put you past their standard retirement ages.
You may even be allowed to pay off a lump sum later on in the year to get your monthly mortgage payments back on track to how they were prior to your payment holiday.
Mortgage payment holidays are available for borrowers with both residential or Buy to Let Mortgages in Durham. This really helps out landlords as they now have help if rental payments are affected.
Here is the Government’s proposal following the COVID-19 outbreak:
Even if you had a mortgage payment holiday before, we always recommend speaking to your Mortgage Advisor in Durham. They will sort out everything out for you and work out whether you actually need to take a mortgage payment holiday. You can also go directly to your mortgage lender and enquire about taking one but this may not benefit you as you may not even need one. The main thing is not to panic and explore all of your options before rushing into anything.
Here are the steps you need to take if you won’t meet/aren’t meeting your monthly mortgage payments and have been directly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak:
For more useful information on how the coronavirus could affect your mortgage click here.
In most cases yes, they can give a negative effect to your credit score. However, you are taking one because of a virus so lenders shouldn’t let it damage your score.
To ensure that this is the case, before taking out a mortgage payment holiday, you must contact them. You need to record their answer as well as the date, time and the name of the person that you spoke with. This will avoid any confusion down the line if anything changes. It all depends on your lender, there is no guarantee that every lender will say the same thing.
You would’ve thought that everything would continue as normal, however, all lenders are now avoiding all remortgages and product transfers during a mortgage payment holiday.
This will affect borrowers approaching the end of their existing product as they may be forced to move on to a higher lenders variable rate. This could mean that borrowers who act too early and jump into a mortgage payment holiday deal straight away could end up accruing interest on a costly variable rate.
This is another reason why we say don’t rush into anything! Take it slow and evaluate your options with an expert Mortgage Advisor in Durham first, they will make sure that you actually need to take out a payment holiday first before diving in headfirst. There are lots of mortgage options out there so have a look first with your mortgage Broker in Durham.
Some lenders could offer you a temporary switch over to interest-only in order to reduce your monthly payments but not to add any more to the loan amount by still servicing the interest payments each month.
You don’t need to put all of your mortgages onto interest-only, but doing so could help you out financially.
If you have savings, remortgaging onto an offset basis could really help you out, you will be cutting down on monthly payments massively. For example, if you have a £250,000 loan and £50,000 in your savings, you would only pay interest on £200,000.
This may all may seem a bit stressful and it this may have come around faster than expected, however, you should try to take it slow and calm down. As your Mortgage Broker in Durham, we are still here to help and relieve you of all of that stress. Remember, we are still open as usual operating 7 days a week. Receive a free mortgage consultation with a Mortgage Advisor in Durham today, we hope that we can help you out!
Many people are will experience some level of being in debt at some point in their lives. Sometimes due to personal circumstances, this can spiral very quickly out of control from a situation that would’ve been manageable, into something that is not.
When this happens, it can feel that once you have paid all your bills at the start of the month, there is little or no disposable income left for you to enjoy.
One route out of this for some applicants is to consider a debt consolidation remortgage in Durham, as we will take a look at here in this case study.
You should think carefully before securing other debts against your home. By adding your unsecured debts to your mortgage, which is secured on your home, you are potentially putting your home at risk if you cannot make the required repayments.
Although the total monthly cost of servicing your debt may have reduced, the total cost of repayment may still have risen as the term of your mortgage is longer than it may have taken to repay the debts originally.
Layla was a divorcee living on her own after her children had moved out. Her debt had started to accumulate with legal bills after her divorce and increased gradually over the years, having to live on one income with unreliable maintenance from her ex.
Finally, her daughter became pregnant quite young, and as any mum would, she tried to help her out financially, although arguably, she couldn’t afford to do so.
Luckily Layla had paid her mortgage off years prior, so that asset was there for her to potentially borrow against. Her take-home pay was around £1100 per month, and her credit commitments were taking up the majority of this.
She was not missing any of her payments on credit commitments, but she didn’t have an emergency fund to rely on. Furthermore, whilst Layla’s credit score wasn’t actually that bad, she was no longer able to obtain new 0% credit cards to transfer her balances.
She was recommended to me to see if there were any options at her disposal in order to improve the quality of her financial and in turn, personal life.
When I met, Layla was feeling quite down about herself. She had cut back on all luxury spending, and it was evident that she was desperate to take the steps necessary to finally control her financial situation, before it got worse.
We explored the possibility of Layla taking out a personal loan, but her debts had mounted far too high for that to be a plausible solution.
Layla had no family members who were able to lend a helping hand, and downsizing was not an option. We agreed that the right way forward would be to remortgage her home in order to pay off the debts and reduce her outgoings.
We managed to find a lender to meet Layla’s requirements. Although it has to be said that due to her low income, it was hard to find a lender who was willing to lend the right amount.
We managed to get her an Agreement in Principle, but regrettably, when we submitted the formal mortgage application, it was declined.
The reason the case was declined was that the Underwriter, who assessed the situation, noticed that Layla had been using cards to pay off other cards and then not closing down the cards she had paid off.
They felt that because she had transferred balances, there was a high risk that she should re-offend and rack up debts again. Layla was noticeably and understandably devastated.
She understood the concerns, but in her eyes, she had accepted she had a problem, and by engaging us had taken a positive step to remedy her position.
To her, their risk was minimal – the loan to value was under 40%, she had never missed any payments, and if the remortgage was successful, she could be a very large £500pm better off.
All the above was of course correct, she did have a point, but clients don’t always appreciate that taking a property into possession is the last thing a lender wants or needs. Doing so reflects poorly on the numbers they are required to report each year.
In the event of repossession, they have the considerable hassle of securing the property, ensuring it, marketing it, selling it, and paying the surplus of equity (if any) back to the previous owner.
As such, if there is reasonable doubt, then an Underwriter has the discretion to decline an application, even if it is within their published lending criteria.
We pride ourselves on getting our recommendation right the first time, but this one didn’t work out that way due to the Underwriter’s adverse comments at the full application stage.
That being said, we knew this remortgage wasn’t as risky as the lender had made out, and it ought to be the right outcome for her, if we could find the right place to go with it.
Layla perhaps felt like she wanted to give up, but we went back to the drawing board to find a different mortgage lender. Sure enough, we found a new one who was willing to help.
Armed with the information we had from the previous lender, we were able to provide better supporting comments for the second roll of the dice, and luckily this time, it was successful.
Layla didn’t take this step lightly. She has now secured debt that was previously unsecured and may end up paying back more interest overall, depending on how quickly she can get the mortgage paid off.
Fortunately for Layla, in the short term, this has worked out pretty well. She now has had the burden of debt relieved from her shoulders, her credit score has improved, and she can save a little each month.
The savings we were able to help her make amounted to over 50% of her net take-home pay monthly and it has changed her life.
Upon completion of the remortgage, Layla cut up all her credit cards except one to use in emergencies only, and she has now got her financial life back on track.
If you are like Layla struggling with debt but are a homeowner with equity, please call us to discuss your options, ideally before the situation gets out of hand.
The earlier you take back control of your finances the better you will feel about things. We offer debt consolidation Remortgage Advice in Durham & surrounding areas.