Six top tips on equity release mortgages

Wednesday, 20th March, 2019
Equity Release Mortgages

If you’re considering going down the equity release mortgage route, then you’re probably aware of the overall concept behind them, how they work and the benefits of releasing equity from your home – particularly if you’re 55 years old and above and looking to free up capital.

If that’s not the case, then read our ‘Are equity release mortgages good or bad?’ article, which provides a quick and easy guide to equity release.

However, if you are further down the line and are now thinking about the wider implications, then these six tips may be of interest.

1. Consider the alternatives

Equity release mortgages are effective and their growing popularity reflects this, however it’s always good to know your options. When it comes to alternatives, then the most cost effective way of raising capital is to downsize. However, if space is important to you and you want to stay in your home and have more money at your disposal, then applying for an equity release mortgage could be a more suitable route.

2. Keep your family in the loop

Equity release is a big decision and one with a number of potential repercussions for children and family members later on down the line. Our advice, when it comes to equity release mortgages, is to make your intentions clear to all those who may be affected by an equity release contract in the future.

3. Big decisions require good mortgage brokers

As a Guildford mortgage broker, we’ve seen – and helped people through – the effects of poor equity release decisions made on the back of bad advice. Getting an equity release mortgage is a significant decision and one that needs to be backed up by sound advice. Make sure that choosing a good mortgage broker is on your list of priorities before committing yourself to anything.

4. Know the numbers

Fees and compound interest form part of equity release mortgage deals. It’s no different from any other mortgage agreement in that regard, however this may have more implications on those who, as they get older, are likely to work and earn less. Know where you stand and how much it’s going to cost you before you sign the paperwork.

5. Equity release is convenient…

…but it can also be an expensive way to borrow. If, after getting good advice from a mortgage broker, you decide to apply for an equity release mortgage, then make sure you don’t take out more than you need, as any excess money will be accruing interest up until the point that your property is sold.

6. Lowest isn’t always the best

Choosing a mortgage with the lowest possible rate is pretty much a priority for everyone. However, when it comes to equity release, lowest isn’t necessarily the best. Equity release mortgage deals often include special features, such as offering the borrower the ability to make monthly repayments to avoid interest rolling up. Whilst the premium for this may be a slightly higher interest rate, it may work out more beneficial on a long-term basis and provide a greater degree of flexibility.

Still unsure about equity release mortgages? Contact one of our equity release mortgage specialists on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk to find out more. Remember, we’re not just specialists in equity release mortgages but also first time buyer mortgages, buy to let mortgages and commercial mortgages, too.

By Mark Lucas, Equity Release Specialist at Complete Mortgages


A boost for first time buyer mortgage seekers

Saturday, 20th October, 2018
first time buyer

Interest rates have gone up, but so too have the chances of first time buyers getting a mortgage with a small deposit.

Data from Moneyfacts has revealed that the average rates for 95% loan to value mortgages – mortgages for those with only 5% deposit to put down on a property – for two and five-year fixed rate terms have reached the lowest levels on record.

Whilst the period of recorded data only dates back to 2007, when Moneyfacts began recording it, 11 years is still a long time and this newfound accessibility for hopeful homeowners with a small mortgage deposit is significant.

Two-year fixed rate mortgages, for example, have fallen from an average of 4.16% in September 2017 to 3.73% today. Likewise, five year fixed rate mortgages have dropped from 4.57% in 2016 to 4.08% today.

You may think that this is at odds with the two recent interest rate rises, and to a degree you’d be right. However, there is speculation that lenders are keen to keep the first time buyer close so that they become the go-to lender at latter stages in the applicant’s property ownership lifecycle.

You could liken this to the motor industry, whereby those buying a car at the lower end of the manufacturer’s price range are nurtured as years go by in the hope that they stay loyal and buy something requiring a bigger budget as they progress in life.

Of course it’s all relative, and we shouldn’t forget that in today’s market, where there is a huge swathe of competitive mortgage deals on offer, 3.73% and 4.08% is still significantly higher than the ‘standard’ mortgage. That said, if you’re someone who’s looking to enter the property market and you only have five% to put down, then at least there are now more attractive first time buyer mortgage deals to get you on the property ladder.

As a mortgage broker in Guildford that specialises in first time buyer mortgages – including some of the more specialist mortgages such as mortgages for teachers and mortgages for self-employed people – Complete Mortgages is here to help.

If you have a 5% deposit then contact a member of the team on 01483 238280 to discuss your options and find out how you, too, can get two feet on the property ladder. Alternatively, email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.


How to increase your chances of getting a mortgage – part 2

Friday, 10th August, 2018
mortgage broker

Following on from part one, which you can read here, part two continues with some of the more standard tips and pitfalls to be aware of – as well as presenting some of the mistakes which have had negative consequences for those applying for a mortgage in the past.

1. Bad form is to not correctly fill in your form

If you’re using a mortgage broker, then this is less relevant as they should be handling – and checking – the paperwork on your behalf. However, if you do decide to go it alone with your mortgage application, fill everything out in full – including your entire name. Don’t round up income figures, do make sure that your address history is accurate and always give honest answers about your spending habits. More importantly, declare any debts; not doing so could lead to being instantly declined for a mortgage.

2. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do NOW!

When it comes to gathering paperwork, we’re all guilty of a bit of procrastination and hoping that the omission of the odd document here and there won’t be a problem. However, when it comes to getting a mortgage, getting the application right first time is well worth the effort. Our advice is to get everything you need together in one go. Examples include: bank statements for the last three months; last three months’ pay slips, latest P60, any evidence of bonuses, and, if you’re self employed, your last three years’ worth of accounts and tax returns.

3. Stay out of your overdraft

Being in the red creates a black mark – on your credit rating. It also implies that you’re unable to manage your own money and spending. Make every effort to stay within the confines of your own budget and give the lender fewer reasons to say ‘no’ to granting a mortgage.

4. Light-hearted bank statement pranks may lead to heavy consequences

As tempting it as might be when paying a friend back for a set of concert tickets they bought to leave something cheeky or crude in the ‘reference’ field, think twice before you do it. Whilst it may be funny in the heat of the moment, it leaves a record that might not have the same impact on the lender reviewing your case. As funny as it might be at the time, out advice is to save the gags for the pub.

5. Don’t take a gamble on your mortgage

This one probably should be obvious – but it’s often overlooked. A regular transaction made at high street or online gambling companies doesn’t look particularly good and sends alarm bells ringing. Our advice, given how we’re not betting people, would be to put any money you were going to gamble towards a deposit on your property.

6. Big cash deposits can lead to big problems

The odd irregular cash deposit from or to a friend isn’t a problem, however if these payments regularly appear on your statement then it could be flagged and questioned by the lender. If the topic of money laundering isn’t called into question then any payments may be viewed as financial commitments. Either have explanations for each and every significant payment, or try to reduce the amount of irregular payments you either make or receive.

For many, getting a mortgage is a minefield. Why not let Complete Mortgages, a mortgage broker in Guildford, do it on your behalf? From first time buyer mortgages and buy to let mortgages, to commercial mortgages and more specialist mortgages, we can help. Call us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk to find out how we can help you.


Second Countrywide broker joins Complete Mortgages

Monday, 6th August, 2018
Mortgage Broker Knaphill

Guildford mortgage broker, Complete Mortgages, has lured yet another high-flying mortgage specialist from the UK’s largest single mortgage brokerage, Countrywide, as part of its continued growth plan and following a series of national mortgage industry award wins.

Sam Man, who takes the Complete Mortgages team to 14 people, spent one-and-a-half years at Countrywide after taking over the role of mortgage and protection consultant from Lee Cousens when he left the firm to join Complete Mortgages in 2017.

Prior to working at Countrywide, Sam established his career as a senior banker and protection consultant at Lloyds TSB and Natwest.

Building on Complete Mortgages’ relationship with Surrey’s network of 17 independent estate agents, Seymours, which has seen senior Complete Mortgages brokers permanently located in the estate agent’s offices, Sam will operate out of Seymours’ Knaphill office from August 2018.

On joining the team, Sam comments: “Complete Mortgages is a Guildford Mortgage Brokerage with a national reach and a growing reputation for securing great mortgage deals for its clients. This, combined with its award-winning service levels, makes Complete Mortgages a great company to work for and an opportunity that I’m looking forward to develop as I make it the ‘go-to’ mortgage broker in Knaphill.”

Complete Mortgages has grown significantly since it was established in 2005 and become nationally renowned for providing access to a diverse range of mortgage products, from first time buyer mortgages and buy to let mortgages to adverse credit mortgages and equity release mortgages. It also continues to win prominent Mortgage Intelligence Awards year after year.

Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages, adds: “We’re delighted to have once again appointed a high-profile broker from a high-profile brokerage and we now look forward to building on our success, growing our client base and continuing to deliver an award-winning mortgage broker service.”

If you are looking to arrange a mortgage in Knaphill contact Sam via sam@complete-mortgages.co.uk or call 01483 238280.

 


How to increase your chances of getting a mortgage

Saturday, 28th July, 2018
guildford mortgage broker

Firstly, this isn’t a cheat or a piece that advocates – or even encourages – you to try and pull the wool over a mortgage lender or broker’s eyes, and that’s for the very simple reason that it’s impossible and won’t work.

You will not be able to trick a lender into giving you a mortgage or awarding you with the best mortgage deal.

However, just as an athlete prepares for an event, there are a number of things that you can do to help get you mortgage fit. Here are a few pointers to get you started.

1. Score points with your credit score

One way a lender can check if you have what it takes to repay your mortgage and honour your commitment is to check if you have good credit history.

In general, your credit report is what it is and made up of a number of sources including credit card history, loans taken and overdrafts used.

Before you apply for a mortgage it’s worth checking to make sure it’s a) up to date and b) correct.

If you spot anything glaringly inaccurate then at least you have the opportunity to fix it in the short term before it scuppers your chances long-term.

2. No vote, no chance

If you’re not registered to vote than you’re unlikely to get a mortgage. This one’s really easy to prepare for, too. If you’re going to fall down at one of the hurdles then don’t let it be this one. Click here to register to vote.

3. Don’t let the past affect your future

Joint current accounts, loans and other commitments carry joint responsibility. If you’re linked to any of these via an ex-partner – and the ex-partner has defaulted on a payment or done something that would have a negative consequence – then you’re going to be affected, too.

The best way forward in this instance is to check if you’re still linked in any way and, if you are, get yourself disassociated.

4. Be careful with your credit

Just because you have a credit limit of £12,000 doesn’t mean you need to spend £12,000 on credit. At least that’s the view of lenders, who would typically prefer your overall credit card debt to be no more than 50 per cent of the amount available (the lower the better).

When it comes to credit card debt, then it’s better to pay it off – however don’t leave yourself with zero debt and huge credit limits; lenders worry that you may one day go one a huge spending spree!

5. Be diligent with your admin

We’ve all had accounts that we don’t use and rather than close them down, we’ve simply cut the associated cards up and thought that that was it.

Having multiple bank accounts open with nothing in them isn’t advisable, especially if the details attributable to those accounts are out of date and could be disadvantageous to you.

6. Don’t apply for credit just before you apply for a mortgage

The more credit searches you have on your file in a short space of time, the more chance a lender has of thinking you’re in desperate need of credit – even if you’re not.

We would advise that you get a mortgage before you get the new car!

7. Bills don’t pay themselves

So make sure you pay yours – on time.

Not paying a bill on time stays on your records for six years, so don’t let an innocently missed payment result in a missed mortgage offer.

8. Use a mortgage broker

This one really is simple.

As a Guildford mortgage broker, we see people battling with mortgage applications on their own day in, day out, all when they could let us do the legwork on their behalf. As mortgage brokers do this every day and know what’s required (and, importantly, what’s not) they can simply fast-track the process.

Why waste your time when you can hand it over to a professional!

If you’re thinking of applying for a mortgage, or if you’ve been struggling to get a mortgage, contact the Complete Mortgages team on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk. We can help with first time buyer mortgages, buy to let mortgages, commercial mortgages and adverse credit mortgages.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


Mortgage wars: a battle that shouldn’t be fought on price alone

Wednesday, 13th September, 2017

The Telegraph recently published a story that focused on the ‘battle for mortgage customers’ and the intensification of a war that is seeing lenders cut both their rates and penalty fees.

As a Guildford mortgage broker, Complete Mortgages feels and acts on the launch of each and every new mortgage product and the fluctuation of rates associated with those that already exist on a daily basis; indeed, it is our job to do so.

However, our view on the language used by the national media that places home buying in the context of a war – and the portrayal that the mortgage market is an arena in which only the cheapest product and lender will win – is bad not only for the mortgage industry, but also those applying for a mortgage.

Firstly, it’s important to highlight that the cheapest mortgage isn’t necessarily the best mortgage.

Evidence suggests that the average rate of two and five-year fixed mortgages has significantly decreased over the last seven years, and that’s undoubtedly a good thing. The more competitive lenders are, the more attractive their mortgage products become.

However – and this is very important – not everyone’s circumstances are the same. So, whilst a five-year fixed mortgage may be ideal for candidate A, it may not be so effective for candidate B.

Simply distilling mortgages and the mortgage application process down to a price war – something more akin to inexpensive consumer products such as bread and milk – doesn’t take into account the nuances surrounding each individual’s lifestyle and financial position.

It could also panic those looking for a mortgage into running headlong into a mortgage deal that may not necessarily suit their needs in the long (or even short) term.

The same Telegraph article suggests that lenders are already braced for a surge in new applications as a wave of existing fixed-term deals come to an end this autumn.

If this surge of applications originates from mortgage applicants who are well informed then we fully support that – but finding a mortgage broker who can guide you through the process and establish the right mortgage for you before you commit to anything should be your first port of call.

As an award-winning mortgage broker, our recommendation to those looking to secure a mortgage – or remortgage – is to seek professional mortgage advice; advice that treats a mortgage for what it is, which is a long-term commitment and not a simple day-to-day purchase.

If you’re looking at getting a mortgage – or remortgaging – this autumn then don’t get caught up in the bottleneck. From specialist self-employed mortgages and commercial mortgages through to first time buyer mortgages and adverse credit mortgages, Complete Mortgages can recommend a mortgage to match your own personal circumstances.

Contact us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk for an insightful, thoughtful and expert view on the current mortgage market – and a professional opinion on where you might fit within it.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


Revisit, remortgage and save money

Thursday, 29th June, 2017

It’s funny. Everyone is always looking for a deal (myself included) and yet sometimes, even when the deal is right in front of him or her, they just can’t see it.

What’s even more ironic is that people can expend huge amounts of energy collecting loyalty points here and ‘50p off your next box of tea bags’ vouchers there, all the while missing out on the most important deal – and one that could save them hundreds of pounds each month.

The deal I’m referring to in this case is the often-overlooked remortgage.

As a Guildford mortgage broker I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ve seen as many instances where there is such a gulf between the mortgage our clients signed up for (call it point A) and the mortgage that they could have now, even with the same lender (call it point B).

Naturally, it is the Complete Mortgages team’s job to make our clients aware of how they could save money on a mortgage – or, to put it another way, how much they are overpaying on a mortgage. And that’s what we’re in the process of doing right now, much to our clients’ delight.

However, for many people – namely those who either don’t use a mortgage broker or don’t have a proactive mortgage broker, they might never know.

Whilst there’s lots to be said for the proverb ‘ignorance is bliss’, or ‘what you don’t know can’t hurt you’, I’m pretty sure that people would rather have the opportunity to change mortgage – or at least be alerted to the prospect of changing their mortgage – and that’s the purpose of this article.

If you’re one of those people who applied for a mortgage two or three years ago, when deals were great and seemed as though they couldn’t get any better, then this is for you.

Essentially, mortgage deals have got better and you could quite easily be saving hundreds of pounds each month as a result.

In some cases you could simply switch your mortgage to a different deal on offer through the same lender. Not only can we handle ALL the paperwork and application process on your behalf, but also our service is completely FREE for you.

Our usual fee is £399 however in the case of a simple mortgage switch with your existing lender, we wouldn’t charge you a penny.

Even in cases where a fee may be chargeable, the process of remortgaging could still work out financially beneficial for you in the long run.

Our advice is to contact a trusted mortgage broker to explore your options and discover how easy it is to save money on your mortgage. You may or may not want to use Complete Mortgages – or even a mortgage broker in general – but at least you can’t say that we never told you.

Are you looking to remortgage? Interested in finding out of you could save money on your mortgage by making a simple change to your current mortgage? If so, contact us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk. Remember, we’re also specialists in buy to let mortgages, adverse credit mortgages, limited company buy to let mortgages and first time buyer mortgages.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


Robo-mortgage advisers… whatever next?

Thursday, 8th June, 2017

Now, before reading any further I should point out that, like most people, I too use a series of apps to help make my life that little bit easier. From monitoring how active I am to listening to music, apps are now an essential part of my everyday life.

However, on reading a piece in the Telegraph recently with the headline ‘New app promises to sort your mortgage by iPhone as home buying goes digital’*, I have to say that I experienced the first pang of ‘app cynicism’ I’ve felt since I began using them.

Not because, as a mortgage broker, I felt in any way threatened by the advent of digitised mortgage applications, but because my first thought was that some things should genuinely be left alone. Applying for a mortgage, in the context of apps, is one of those things.

Admittedly, claims of being able to complete a mortgage in 15 minutes or begin the mortgage – or remortgaging – process through a mobile app sounds fantastic. However, having been a Guildford mortgage broker for almost two decades, I know that the reality of carrying out a successful mortgage application relies less on software and more on relationships and a personal touch.

Buying a house is, for the majority of people, the biggest financial decision that they will ever make. Now, relying on software to order your coffee so that it’s served to coincide with your arrival, count how many steps you’ve taken in any given day, or alert you when it’s time to drink more water is one thing. But do you really want to place one of life’s larger purchases in the hands of a faceless app?

Not only that but who do you contact when things go wrong or don’t go quite according to plan?

The mortgage application process can be complicated, resource intensive and is often affected by a number of variables and external organisations. Whilst it’s okay to seek a simplified one-button solution to some of the more mundane aspects of modern life, a one-button solution to mortgage applications is, in my view, a false economy.

In fact, let’s compare it now. Complete Mortgages typically spends 15 – 20 minutes to carry out a factfind, which is similar to what some ‘robo-advisers’ claim to take, and from that point onwards everything is handled personally by a dedicated account handler who is able to fast-track the process, carry out those sometimes-sensitive chase up calls with the lender or provide feedback to the estate agent from which the mortgage applicant originated.

We’re proud, for instance, of our high customer service ratings as showcased on our website – all of which are the direct result of real actions of real people, who not only help people secure mortgages day in, day out, but who also do so after having built a strong rapport with the customer.

Yes, there are many services and experiences that have improved through automation, however these are typically services and experiences that are black and white, that have a simple beginning and end point, and that aren’t always reliant on multiple processes in order to reach a successful conclusion. Getting a mortgage isn’t one of them.

That said, I wish those who have launched – or are in the process of launching – automated mortgage apps the very best and I will watch with interest.

In the meantime, I must go. I’m being told that I have a meeting and that I need to purchase a gift online in the next five minutes to make tomorrow’s post – all by my apps, of course.

If you need to apply for a mortgage and would like to speak to a real person, then contact Complete Mortgages on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk. We specialise in first time buyer mortgages, commercial mortgages, buy to let mortgages, adverse credit mortgages – and providing first-class customer service. 

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages

*http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/04/18/new-app-promises-sort-mortgage-iphone-home-buying-goes-digital


Guildford mortgage lending is on the up… but so are its property prices

Thursday, 1st June, 2017
Guildford mortgage

Let’s start with the universally good news – mortgage lending to homebuyers increased by 27% in March.

The figures, as released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), suggests that even first time buyer mortgages were on the up across the UK, with 31,500 loans granted in March 2017 compared with 28,100 in March 2016.

As a Guildford mortgage broker, Complete Mortgages’ March was particularly busy; so busy in fact that it bucked the national trend by being a staggering 82% up on March 2016.

As a local mortgage broker this is, of course, good news. However, it’s also good news because it highlights that the Guildford mortgage market continues to move apace and suggests that we can expect this trend to continue as we head into summer (a period when home moving and home buying activity typically tends to slow down).

On the flipside, there is the issue of Guildford’s rapidly increasing property prices. And whilst this isn’t bad news for those who already own a home, it is unlikely to be met with positivity by those itching to get their feet on the property ladder.

Research by online estate agents House Simple has shown that outside of London, the UK’s least affordable areas include Bath, Brighton, Crawley, Tunbridge Wells and, of course, Guildford. In fact, less than 7% of Guildford properties are priced lower than the national average.

So, what does this tell us? Well, it confirms what we already know; Guildford is an expensive and desirable place to live. It’s also likely to be met with concern by first time buyers whose chances of buying a property in Guildford are arguably much slimmer than this month’s national averages from the CML would suggest.

However, what Guildford first time buyers must remember is that there are hugely competitive first time buyer mortgage deals entering the market all the time. And with 85% loan to value mortgages on 4.5 x earnings now available, the Guildford first time buyer is now able to enter the market without having to rely solely on putting down an astronomical deposit.

Are you a first time buyer? If so, then our advice is to contact the Complete Mortgages team, which specialises in first time buyer mortgages, to discuss how we can help move you towards homeownership.

Just remember that as Guildford property prices increase, the relative value of your deposit decreases, so taking action sooner rather than later is advised before homeownership really does become out of reach.

Contact Complete Mortgages on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk to discuss our services, from first time buyer mortgages and commercial mortgages to buy to let mortgages and limited company buy to let mortgages.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


Calling all Bournemouth first time buyers

Thursday, 25th May, 2017

It’s great to see how the UK mortgage market is still proving to be buoyant, with research by the Council of Mortgage Lenders showing that there was a 27% increase in the number of mortgages granted in March.

However the Bournemouth property market, particularly for first time buyers, has become a bit of a game of cat and mouse.

No sooner have would-be homeowners saved a deposit (the chase) does the property (the mouse) escape – usually in the form of escalating property prices which, similar to the effects of inflation, chips away at the relative value of the savings pot.

Let’s not forget that back in January the Bournemouth Echo reported how Bournemouth had joined the ranks of Hong Kong, Sydney and San Francisco as one of the least affordable places to live.

Great news if you already own a home. Not so great if you’re one of the many still holding out hope of home ownership. After all, if you’re a Bournemouth resident shouldn’t buying a property in Bournemouth be a right and not a privilege?

The story*, which was based on an annual survey by Demographica, revealed that the price of a home in Bournemouth is 8.9 times higher than the median annual household income of the area.

Given the scale of this imbalance it’s highly likely that the CML’s recent figures, which illustrated how UK first time buyer mortgages granted in March 2017 stood at 31,500 compared with 28,100 in March 2016, doesn’t reflect Bournemouth’s first time buyer demographic.

The question now, therefore, is what do we do about this gulf between property prices and what most people – first time buyers in particular – can afford?

The good news for those looking for a first time buyer mortgage in Bournemouth is that as property prices increase, so too does the competitive nature of the mortgage market.

There are currently 85% loan to value mortgages on 4.5 x earnings now available, which will provide the Bournemouth first time buyer with a better chance of accessing the property market without having to place all their hope in saving a sizeable deposit.

If you’re a first time buyer in Bournemouth, simply get in touch to discuss how we can help you get on the property ladder. It may not be Sydney or San Francisco, but if your home is Bournemouth then you should be able to buy a property in Bournemouth.

Contact Complete Mortgages on 01202 049661 or email jo@complete-mortgages.co.uk to discuss our services, from first time buyer mortgages and commercial mortgages to buy to let mortgages and limited company buy to let mortgages.

*Daily Echo

By Jo Frankowski, Complete Mortgages