First and foremost, one of the key factors that people look to when considering moving in or to Halifax in search of their dream home, is the location.
Often though it’s about more than just where, but also what is there and what you look to prioritise when deciding on what may be the perfect home.
To help you in your quest, we have put together a comprehensive list of the things many home buyers consider when looking to decide where to live.
It is important to figure out the type of setting you would like to live in, as this is somewhere you are going to live for at least a good few years, potentially even starting a family there.
If you’re the sort who likes thriving urban settings, the city life is definitely for you. If you prefer peace & quiet, being out of the way of others, you may be better suited for country life.
There are pros and cons to either of these options, so it is worth carefully thinking about before you get your heart set on a home in an area you perhaps won’t enjoy.
Transport links are a very important factor to many. Make sure whether it’s for hanging out with friends/family, your chosen profession, shopping and other general leisure activities, that your home has the appropriate transport.
Also make a note of how much these modes of transport are going to cost. If you are a driver, how long is it going to take you to travel to your different destinations? What will fuel costs be and do you have nearby stations to refill at.
For those of you who are parents, definitely check what schools are in the area. Research what the local catchment areas are for the homes you looking at, so you can see what the schools are like. School league tables are a good source of information for this.
For those of you who may not have any children now, whether you have a plan to have kids or not, it’s best to at least have a look to future proof yourself.
You may have a couple of different ideal nearby facilities in mind when planning for where to live. A helpful tip would be to make a note of which ones are necessary and which ones are just your preference.
For example, you may really want to have a gym nearby but also need a shop nearby for all your general needs. If you’re debating two areas and each only have one of those facilities, you’ll probably lean more towards the one with the shop.
For a lot of those looking to find their new home, having friends and family nearby can be an important factor. This is generally preferred as they can live comfortably knowing they have a support network close to them.
On the other hand, some prefer a solitary life, prioritising peace and quiet over regular social activity.
Finding that property that you feel is worth the money you’ll be paying for it can be dependent on the area that you are looking to buy in.
You ideally want to make the most out of your property purchase, so it may be worth your while finding somewhere cheaper as a starting property, though this might mean compromising features and facilities you may have wanted initially.
The local community can have an impact of your experience living in your home. You might prefer the quiet life, with a selection of residents who keep to themselves, or you may prefer a thriving busy community where everyone knows each other.
Speak to the estate agent and find out what it is like around that area. Community Facebook pages or locally run websites are common occurrences, so they’re worth looking up to get a general feel for what it may be like.
You may be moving home due to a new job or to kickstart a career. This is a huge factor we have heard from many customers in the past. It’s important to take a look at the distance between your new workplace and your new home.
If you’re going to be mostly working from home, is a longer commute for the few times you do go into the workplace something you’d be okay with, can you live further out? What about the space inside the property, will there be room for a home office?
For those who are looking at job hunting, do some research on the types of companies within the area and make a list of who all the top employers are.
In terms of the types of property available, home buyers will find a good selection on the open market to choose from. Some prefer end-terrace properties that have a nice garden, some prefer modern apartments within the city limits.
Check out all the options available to you, undertake some viewings and get a good feel for the type of property you are after.
Any potential investment that has been proposed within the local area can be handy information to get ahold of, especially if you’re looking to live there for a while and settle down.
Online research will serve you well here when looking to find any future investments in the local area. It’s important to consider if these will be beneficial to you and your lifestyle.
For example, those who would prefer to have a quiet life in the countryside might find their ideal living situation being impacted by a potential nearby housing development being planned.
By now you’ll hopefully have a good list of factors to look out for in the quest for finding your perfect home location. When the time comes for making offers and obtaining a mortgage, feel free to get in touch to book a free mortgage appointment.
Our dedicated mortgage advice team are here from morning until late evening, seven days a week, subject to availability. Whether you’re in need of help with a first time buyer mortgage in Halifax or are moving home in Halifax, we’d love to get the ball rolling on your mortgage process.
A gifted deposit is the name given if someone were to bequeath unto you either a portion of or the full amount of the deposit. This has to come with an agreement between the two parties that this is not to be paid back as a loan.
Gifted deposits are very beneficial for instances where perhaps you are financially capable enough to afford your monthly mortgage repayments but are struggling to find the means to afford the initial deposit, be that because of a lower salary or otherwise.
Depending on the amount you are gifted, you may open yourself up to potential better rates from the mortgage lenders, as the more that goes down initially, the less you’re having to pay back overall.
For the most part we find that it is an applicants’ parents who are able to gift you the deposit. This applies to both natural-born and adopted parents, being referred to across the mortgage world as the “Bank of Mum & Dad”.
Depending on the lender that you go with, you may also be able to receive a gifted deposit from another family member, maybe even from a friend. Finding the right lender who would accept this would require care and is where a mortgage advisor can help.
Sometimes, if the person helping you is aged 55 or over, they may have the potential option of gifting you a deposit by utilising Equity Release in Halifax.
It often becomes apparent that customers don’t always realise that their parents have the ability to help with their mortgage. In other cases they may not believe that their parents would be willing to help, so don’t ask them.
What we actually find, is that the majority of parents are always willing to provide their children with financial support if they can, wanting to help them find a means of owning their dream home that they one day might start their own family in.
Taking out a mortgage, to many people, is a much preferred option to living in a rental property. This is because you may potentially be able to pay less money to your mortgage than you would’ve with rent.
With this comes a point mentioned earlier, wherein the more you are gifted, the less you are borrowing and the less you have to pay back overall. If you’re paying less back over a longer term, your monthly payments will be greatly reduced.
The deposit that you are gifted can sometimes come from inheritance, although there have been instances where parents have gifted it to their children earlier on in life, especially if they have already saved enough or have released any equity.
Pretty much all lenders won’t accept a loan as a way for you to pay off your deposit. This is because they won’t have the confidence that you would be able to afford payments for both the loan and the mortgage at the same time.
You are not limited in the amount that someone will be able to gift you, though there are some lenders out there that insist on applicants having at least 5% from their own funds.
The types of applicants who benefit the most from having a gifted deposit are First Time Buyers in Halifax and Home Movers in Halifax.
Gifted deposits can also be incredibly helpful when used alongside the Help to Buy Scheme, as depending on the lender, the 5% required deposit for the scheme can be paid via gift.
As a rule, all lenders will require you to fill out a gifted deposit form. Some lenders will also want you to provide additional proof and ID (things like donor ID or bank statements).
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 Halifax 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 Halifax & those who are Moving Home in Halifax. 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.
Over time, the inflation of property prices has far outweighed the increase in wages. People nowadays are looking to build their own house rather than stay at rent somewhere and spend much money on paying rentals. The move from renter to homeowner needs proper planning and takes time. Therefore, many people, especially first time buyers in Halifax due to their low affordability levels, plan to buy a property with a friend or a partner. This is because the dual-income sources lead to a sufficient pool of income that convinces a lender to offer a higher mortgage amount.
When you jointly pool in your income, you decide mutually to divide the cost between the two, thereby making it more affordable. However, this is a Specialist Mortgage and comes with some risk. This article will answer some questions we often receive and shed some clarity on buying a property with a friend or partner in Halifax.
Owning a property involves a lot of regulations and technicalities. This is even more apparent in joint properties as one owner might want to sell the property, whereas the others do not. However, in Halifax, lenders allow up to four people to co-own a property at one time. If anyone owner stops contributing to the monthly mortgage payments, the other owners still have a right by law to stay in the property unless the court states otherwise. With this in mind, you need to be cautious with whom you choose to buy a property.
Any plans to increase the Mortgage down the line, require consent from all involved. With this in mind, it is also essential to discuss long term plans for owning your property if someone opts for a different route or situation change.
This concept is associated with couples who are married or are in a civil partnership. Such people are usually involved in joint tenancy. In case any one of the applicants pass away, the ownership will already be transferred to the other owner. This is where mortgage life insurance comes in handy, as at that point, the Mortgage would be repaid. However, you’ll require consent from other applicants if you want to sell or remortgage the property in the future.
Tenants in Common is usually chosen by the likes of relatives or friends buying a property together. This option allows you to own the property jointly, but it does not need equal shares. If one party is making more money than the other is, this works out well.
You can also act individually if you are a Tenant in Common, so you could realistically sell or give away your share, without the other person losing their stake in the property.
All parties involved in joint ownership or have relevant shares in the property are liable for the mortgage repayments. Generally, if one member fails to make the payments, the other covers the cost to prevent any debt from building up.
Any arrears made on a mortgage may stop you from getting one in the future. An ideal way to think of joint mortgages is that you don’t own 50% of a property, you own 100% of it conjointly.
Removing someone from Mortgage can be challenging as lenders need to do a vigilant check on your affordability level to confirm that you can pay the Mortgage all by yourself.
None who has applied for a mortgage together ever thought of separation in the longer run, but unfortunately, time does not always stay the same. Therefore, it is vital to remember how big a financial commitment to getting a mortgage is and how challenging it gets when all of a sudden, you decide to make changes. So it’s always recommended to assess your personal life thoroughly before agreeing to something big.
Handling over the evidence to a lender that you have been managing mortgage payments since your ex moved out, does not qualify the fact that you alone can make it a sole name mortgage.
Lenders would much rather there be a second income if one person is unable to afford their half. The process of removing someone involves a brand new affordability assessment, much like they would when you first applied for a mortgage.
If your lender declines your request to do so, you should get in touch with your mortgage advisor in Halifax to see if any other lenders would agree to let you transfer into your name.
It may also be worth your time to see if any family members can help you out with this. They can often gift a lump sum amount to reduce the amount owed or even replacing your ex-partner on your Mortgage.
Even if you and your partner are set apart, and you end up moving home in Halifax, you are still responsible for repayments. Even if you agree with your ex that they will pay the payments responsibly, there might be a time when your ex cannot pay thereby making you liable for costs.
If you promise to send them money every month, you need to be watchful of your credit report because if he defaults, it will negatively affect your credit score.
Being tied up to an older mortgage also limits your ability to borrow for any new homes you might be looking to buy, as the lender will take your current repayments into account, seeing them as existing credit commitments.
Lenders might not always agree to your demand, because rendering such a vast amount comes with a risk. So always plan carefully whom you need to get into agreement with. It is better to agree on a plan in advance, to avoid difficulty if things ever go wrong in the future.
When it comes to applying for a mortgage and your credit score, the fewer addresses you have on your record the better, however it seems that people are becoming savvier and aware of this.
We are now seeing more and more applicants who have moved out of their parents address into rented accommodation but think that it is a good idea to leave their bank statements, credit card and Electoral Roll information registered at their previous address.
There are good reasons why people do this, however, I’m afraid this is now a flawed strategy. Almost without fail, if you have moved to a new address, there will be some record of this on your credit report. This could be from a delivery address when you have ordered something online or a car/home insurance search and many more.
By far a better strategy for you if you are thinking about taking out a mortgage is to get all of your accounts (credit cards / current accounts) and electoral roll changed over to your new address. When updating your address on your credit file and electoral roll ensure you double check the date in and date out. If you do make a mistake with these dates it can appear that you are living in two places at the same time. This is a more open and honest way of trying to apply for a mortgage.
Speaking to a Specialist Mortgage Advisor in Halifax would benefit you in many ways. Firstly, a Mortgage Broker like Halifaxmoneyman will tell you exactly how to improve your chances in getting accepted for a mortgage and help you complete these simple steps if you need guidance. They will go above and beyond for you, trying to find you that perfect mortgage deal that best suits you and your personal and financial situation.
Here at Halifaxmoneyman, we also offer a free mortgage consultation and you can get in touch with us 7 days a week! We work for you, trying to provide the best mortgage experience we can; we hope that we hear from you soon!
So, you’ve saved up for your deposit (or got the green light from “Bank of Mum and Dad”) and made the decision to move home. What’s the next step? Put simply, and in the best boy scout traditions, it’s time to get prepared.
We’d recommend speaking to an experienced Mortgage Broker in Halifax as early on in the process as possible, so you know how much you can borrow for a mortgage and how much it will all cost. Obtaining an up to date credit report should also be at the top of your list, you don’t want a meaningless squabble with your mobile phone provider holding you back from buying a home. Taking the above two steps will give you a meaningful expectation of how possible this is going to be and what your budget is.
Your Mortgage Broker in Halifax will obtain a fully credit-checked Agreement in Principle on your behalf but you’ll have to prove who you are, where you live and how much you earn. There really is loads of paperwork for you to get together so it’s a good idea to open a file for yourself and start collecting everything in advance.
In terms of proving who you are you’ll need to produce some photo ID such as a Driving license or passport, if you’re a non-UK national working over here on a Visa you’ll need that too.
In addition to the above, you’ll need to prove where you live. You’ll need to produce a utility bill or original bank statement dated within the last 3 months.
The analysis of your spending habits has become one of the most important determining factors in whether you’ll qualify for a mortgage or not. Your bank statements should evidence your income and regular expenditures. Lenders will not be happy to see gambling transactions on your account. Nor will they like it if you go over an agreed overdraft limit or if your direct debits bounce regularly.
You will have to prove you have the funds in place for the deposit and also evidence this for anti-money laundering purposes. Try not to move monies around your various accounts too much as it will make evidencing the audit trail more difficult. Lenders like to see your savings building up so you’ll need to account for any large credits into your accounts.
Quite often money for deposits has been gifted by family members. These funds need to be evidenced also and the “donor” will need to sign a letter. This is to confirm it’s a non-refundable gift, not a loan.
In terms of affordability, the most important thing is to be able to prove your income. If you are employed this tends to be by way of your last 3 months’ payslips and most recent P60. Lenders can take into account regular overtime, commission, shift allowance and bonus.
If you are Self Employed then you’ll need your Accountant’s help. This will be to request your tax year overview.
It’s a good idea to do your homework. Write down an estimate of your anticipated 1outgoings after you move house. You can work out an idea of how much the council tax and utility bills will be. In addition to that, you can work out your regular expenditures, such as food and drink. This will demonstrate how much disposable income you have available to pay your mortgage from.
As you can see from the above, it’s a real paper trail when you are applying for a mortgage but if you want your application to run like clockwork you’ll need to put the time aside to get everything together.
My own view is that it’s better to get all this at the outset and collate everything that the lender could possibly ask for. As this saves time and frustration later down the line if you’re subsequently asked for paperwork you could have had ready at the outset.
Whilst it is widely accepted that there is a national housing shortage, the Government has launched several schemes over the years. These have been under the “Help to Buy” banner, designed to get people onto the property ladder.
Unfortunately calling all the schemes Help to Buy has caused confusion amongst consumers! Here’s my take on what’s out there right now.
This is the most popular scheme and is available on new build properties only. The government will lend you up to 20% of the purchase price. Usually, my customers put down a 5% deposit and take out a 75% mortgage for the rest. Remember, it’s a loan not a gift and the government have a stake in your new home until you pay them back.
If you’re in the armed forces, you can borrow up to 50% of your salary, up to a maximum of £25,000 interest-free towards a new home.
There are lots of options available to you. It’s a good idea to speak to your Accountant and also speak to a mortgage broker for advice.
Yes and no, the Help to Buy Equity Loan is for new build properties only. The Forces Help to Buy can be on new or old.
There may be options available to you even if you have a poor credit score. Mortgage lenders are becoming increasingly competitive on criteria and many challenger banks are entering the market. Again, please seek mortgage advice from a local expert!
A minimum of 5% as a rule.
Yes, family members and sometimes friends can gift (not a loan). This is a popular way for First Time Buyers to get on the property ladder. In a recent government survey, 27% of such buyers relied on family and friends to help with a deposit.
Yes, with the Help to Buy Equity Scheme the Government loan is interest-free for 5 years. After this, you’ll pay fees. Hopefully, the property will have increased in value and you can potentially remortgage the property at any time. This likely would be to raise funds to increase your share. Remember, the government will also receive their share of any profit made.
The Help to Buy Equity Loan is only available for First Time Buyers, however, the Forces Help to Buy can be accessed by both First Time Buyers and Home Movers.
The first stage would be to have a free mortgage consultation. This is to work out your maximum borrowing and also to get a mortgage agreement in principle certificate. This puts you in a strong position to make an offer. Once you have this in place you’ll be a “qualified buyer”, the next step is to go and view houses!
For more information and further terms and conditions about any of the above schemes please refer to the ownyourhome.gov.uk website.
When you start out looking for a mortgage you will soon realise that there are lots of different options available. If you are a First Time Buyer in Halifax, you will probably be shocked to how many there are.
Below you will see a list of the most popular types of mortgages available on the market and hopefully. If you have any questions regarding any of the below mortgage options, then please do not hesitate to contact us.
A fixed rate mortgage means that your mortgage payments are going to stay the same for a set period of time. You can set the length of which you want to fix your payments for, typically this being 2, 3 or 5 years or longer. No matter what happens to inflation, interest rates or the economy you know that your mortgage payment, usually your biggest outgoing, will not change.
A tracker mortgage means that your interest rate will track the Bank of England’s base rate. So in other words, the lender that you are with does not actually set the rate themselves. You will be paying a percentage above the Bank of England base rate. In an example, if the base rate is 1% and you are tracking at 1% above base rate, that means you will be paying a rate of 2%.
When you take out a repayment mortgage this means that each month you are paying capital and interest combined. So as long as you keep your payments going for the full length of the mortgage term, the mortgage balance is guaranteed to be paid off at the end and the property becomes yours.
This is the most risk-free way to pay your capital back to the lender, in the early years it is mainly the interest that you are paying and your balance will reduce very slowly especially if you have taken out a 25, 30 or 35-year term. This situation switches in the last ten years or so of your mortgage, where your payments are paying off more capital than interest and the balance will come down much faster.
Whilst many buy to let mortgages are set up on an interest-only basis, it is much more difficult to get a residential property on an interest-only basis.
It is much less likely for lenders to offer an interest only product now. However, there are certain circumstances where this can be an option. These include downsizing when you are older or have other investments what you will use to pay the capital back. Lenders are very strict when it comes to offering these products now and the loan to values are a lot lower than back in the day.
With an offset mortgage, the lender will set you up a savings account to go alongside your mortgage account. How this works is that let’s say you have a mortgage balance of £100,000 and £20,000 is deposited into your savings account, you only pay interest on the difference, so in this case £80,000. This can be a very efficient way of managing your money, especially if you are a higher rate taxpayer.
Whether you are a First Time Buyer actively viewing properties or a home mover with your house on the market, you may have noticed that some of the larger estate agents and builders are very keen for you to use their in-house mortgage advisor and conveyancing services.
Being part of a stand-alone mortgage business we receive lots of feedback as to what sales tactics can be used, examples of this are:
“Keeping everything under one roof is easier with one point of contact”
“If you use our services it will give the vendor peace of mind that everything will go through smoothly”
“You need to come in and see our mortgage advisor for your offer to be qualified”
“Your offer is more likely to be accepted if you use our mortgage advisor”
“We get better deals than most brokers”
“Everything is likely to go through quicker if you use us”
“We will do all of the chasing of the solicitors for you and they’ll be more responsive to us due to the amount of work we send them”
“We’ll give you a free carpet/washing machine if you use our (extortionately priced) recommended conveyancing service”
Remember, when negotiating a purchase price, do you really want the seller of your property having access to your personal financial situation and potentially knowing your maximum borrowing?