Whether you are a First-Time Buyer, a Home Mover seeking to refinance by re-Mortgaging or planning on building your own home, you will need the right products at the right price. For that you also need the right advice. LEA FS is an independent, unbiased company, authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority to advise on and arrange regulated Mortgages. Where a Mortgage is not available or the most suitable product for your needs, we may still be able to help.
First Time Buyers
Because of limited funds from the banks, it is now harder than ever for first time buyers to get on the property ladder. Despite house prices staying low, raising a deposit is the main stumbling block and, as a result, the average age of a first time buyer is now well into the thirties.
There are a number of ways in which you can get that first step. One of the favourites is what is referred to as “The Bank of Mum and Dad”; that is a gifted deposit from your parents. We are also seeing these gifted deposits being made by grandparents.
Other options, or even combined with a gifted deposit, include Shared Ownership, which I will describe later, or The Home Buy Initiative, again described later.
If you are contemplating buying your first home and would like to explore your options, give us a call.
It’s time to move home. The one you have is too small or too big, too far from where you want to be or you are simply tired of it.
You cannot move without a mortgage but you don’t know what is best for your needs. Can you 'port' the one you have? Are there any penalties when you repay? Should you fix the rate? Can you afford it?
Give us a call, let’s go through your choices.
You are considering re-mortgaging.
Is it because you have come to end of your current deal and/or your lender has advised that your interest rate is about to go up? Is it because you are looking for a better rate now as your circumstances have improved?
Is it because you have 'acquired' some unsecured borrowing and the repayments are weighing you down? Is it because you want to release equity in your home to fund a purchase, make a gifted deposit to a family member, make a deposit on a buy to let, invest in your business, etc?
Is a re-mortgage your best option? There may be penalties to pay and you may not be able to get a better interest rate, especially if you are a base rate tracker and have been for several years.
Whatever it is you are seeking to do, it would make sense to give us a call so we can go through your circumstances and needs and advise you on your most appropriate option.
There is a lot to be said for building your own home. The total cost can be significantly less than if you bought one of similar specifications from a developer. Also, within limits, you can build to meet your exact requirements. The Government is very keen on promoting self-build and they see it as one way of tackling the short-fall in housing numbers
There are also co-operative groups whereby people share their skills in helping each other to build their homes.
This is all very positive but you will still need to find the land, meet the cost of its purchase and fund the construction.
LEA FS has connections with all the lenders who will provide funding for self-build projects. So, if this is something you would like to pursue, talk to us so we can advise on the right route for you.
Why would you want to buy a brand new house from a developer? Clearly, there are many reasons.
Firstly, you will be the first occupant of this house and you won’t have to clear out the previous owners’ left-overs. You won’t be distracted by their decorative taste and, in all likelihood, before you move in, the developer will have fitted built-in furniture and possibly white goods to your specifications. And, of course, the house comes with guarantees.
On the other hand, New Builds often suffer from “settling” in their early years. Doors sometimes don’t fit; plumbing leaks and the garden, if you are lucky enough to have one, will probably have lots of rubble in it.
Another issue that has become more concerning, recently, is that lenders often feel that New Builds are over-priced and, for this reason, are not prepared to lend as much as they would for an older property.
If you are contemplating buying a New Build, house or flat, why not give us a call so we can advise you on the most suitable mortgage for you and just how much deposit you will need.
The Shared Ownership Scheme can be a very useful method in helping first time buyers. In the Scheme, a Housing Association sells you a proportion of the property and retains the rest. You take out a mortgage to buy your share and pay rent on the other share.
Because you are not paying full price, the deposit you require will be less. But because you have your foot on the ladder, you will be permitted to buy further shares in the future.
There are a number of schemes available from various lenders, so why not call us to find out what is best for you.
If you are a first-time buyer who can’t afford to buy a home, you may be able to get help through an ‘equity loan’ scheme – FirstBuy or HomeBuy Direct – to purchase a new-build home.
Whatever your situation, give us a call so we can advise what is best for you.
Equity loans are available on certain newly built homes on specific housing developments across England.
The loans are provided through ‘HomeBuy agents’, who will decide if you can buy a home this way. HomeBuy agents are housing associations that have been authorised to run schemes for people who have difficulty buying a home.
You can only buy a home through an equity loan scheme if:
. your household earns £60,000 a year or less
. you can’t otherwise afford to buy a home in your area
Equity loans are open to:
. people who rent council or housing association properties
. first-time buyers (you are a first-time buyer if you haven’t owned a home before)
You can also get help through an equity loan if you used to own a home, but can't afford to buy one now.
Talk to us so we can guide you on the best way forward.
Right To Buy
If you are a tenant of a Local Authority, you may have acquired the right to buy that property from the Local Authority.
The incentives being offered under a new Government Initiative provide for significant discounts and, for residents in Plymouth, can make it now possible to get on the housing ladder.
We have many years of experience advising on and arranging mortgages for Right to Buy purchases
Give us a call so we can find the right deal for you.
Basically, this means using a portion of the value of your home that is greater than the value of your mortgage in order to access some capital.
For example, your home is worth £150,000 and your mortgage balance is £70,000, you will have equity of £80,000. You may be able to draw on this equity by increasing your mortgage balance through re-mortgaging or taking a further advance from your current lender.
An alternative may be a secured loan or Second Charge mortgage.
Your reasons for releasing equity could be to consolidate debts; to provide a deposit for another property; to provide a Gifted deposit for a child or to make a capital injection into a business.
Whatever your reasons, you will need to be certain that this is the right way to proceed and that you have the best product to meet that need.
Call LEA FS to discuss your options.
If you have a significant number of unsecured debts, especially credit card debt, on which you are making the minimum payments, it may be sensible to consider consolidating those debts into a First or Second Charge mortgage.
There are many things to consider here, such as extending the term over which you would be repaying and the reduction in the equity in your home.
Nevertheless, this strategy might be the best solution and we recommend that you call us to discuss your situation, your concerns and what you are trying to achieve so that we can advise you appropriately.
When should you consider a Second Charge or Secured Loan?
Firstly, you would be seeking to draw down on the equity on your home for one of the reasons described before, for example debt consolidation.
If, however, your First Charge is on a very low interest rate or you have incurred some adverse credit history since taking out that mortgage, it may not be wise or even possible to remortgage.
In that event, the additional required borrowing could be taken as a Secured Loan leaving the existing mortgage in place.
The amount that you can borrow will still be determined using the Second Charge lender’s affordability and status criteria.
Call us to explore the options available to you if you think a Second Charge is appropriate.
The days when all lenders used “income multiples” when assessing how much they could lend have mostly passed.
Nowadays, the majority of lenders use an “affordability model”.
In essence, lenders look at the NET income you receive and deduct from that your living costs and the costs of servicing on-going debts. What remains needs to be sufficient to service their loan, leaving a margin for safety.
Different lenders use different models and Second Charge lenders tend to be “more generous” in their calculations. Having said that though, just because a lender might be prepared to offer a specific amount, you still need to be sure that you can afford the repayments.
If you would like to know how much you could or should borrow, then talk to us because we have access to the models from all the lenders.
Status actually covers more than one issue. It is how a lender sees “the risk” of lending to you.
For example, if you are an employee, in full time employment and have been with the same employer for several years, lenders will tend to favour you.
If, however, you have a large number of credit commitments; or you have defaulted on loans; have had County Court Judgements against you; have been repossessed; have been subject to an I.V.A. or bankruptcy, lenders will perceive you as a “high risk”
Self-employed people with several years of trading history will be perceived using the same criteria. However if they are newly self-employed, most lenders will categorise them as “higher risk”
Whatever your circumstances, it would be a good idea to get an up-to-date copy of your Credit Report and then talk to us about your “risk status” and what options are available to you.