How to Increase Your Chances of Getting a Mortgage

How to Increase Your Chances of Getting a Mortgage

Let’s face it, we’re currently living in an age in which the ‘millennial’ will find it harder than ever to get onto the property ladder and purchase their very first home. People from a generation or two back may have lived through some tough times, but buying a house back then was much, much, much easier than it is right now. While, thanks to the worldwide global financial crisis of 2009, banks and lenders are far stricter and cautious when it comes to mortgages and loans, if you put in the preparation, do your research, and put in the hard work, it is still more than possible to snag yourself a very reasonable mortgage deal. Here are some tips to help increase your chances of getting a mortgage.

Get a credit score

Sadly, we’re living in a world where we are encouraged to apparently increase our chances of getting into debt. Rather than simply paying for things with cold, hard cash, or with our debit cards, we’re encouraged to take out credit on a variety of things. Why? Because in reality it is crucial that you have a credit score before you approach a bank or lender about a loan or a mortgage. People assume that not using a credit card or not having a credit score is going to be beneficial when in reality the exact opposite is true. Having no credit score is just as bad, if not worse than, having a poor credit score. Mobile phone contracts and credit cards are great ways of building up your score, though you need to be careful. More on that next.

Build your score sensibly

When you get a new credit card it can be tempting to make big and lavish purchases, especially with 0% interest offers and such like. The problem is that eventually this money will need to be paid off. If you miss a payment, this shows potential lenders that you’re not great at managing your finances. If you miss credit card payments, this tells the banks that you may miss mortgage repayments to them. Would you risk lending money to somebody if there was a strong possibility you wouldn’t get it all back? No, and neither will the banks. Make sensible purchases, and the second your credit card is activated, make sure you set up a direct debit to pay off a certain percentage of your card. Most people go with a minimum repayment because the sum is so small that they don’t miss the money, and it still covers their backs. Never miss a repayment and don’t pay off cards too quickly.

Save for a deposit

To buy a house you need a deposit. 10% is the norm, though some go with 5%, while others go with 20%. The bigger the deposit, the better the mortgage deal will likely be. This is because it shows that you are good at saving, and it helps you to get a lower interest rate. If you go with an even bigger deposit, of say, 35% – 40% of the property’s value, you’ll likely be offered some very enticing deals indeed.

Mortgages – 4 Things to Look for When You Are House Hunting

Mortgages – 4 Things to Look for When You Are House Hunting

It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking to get onto the property ladder for the very first time, or if you’re a seasoned property buyer, knowing what to look for when you’re house hunting is absolutely vital. We know that buying a house in this day and age is a heck of a lot more complex and expensive than it was a generation ago, but if you keep your eyes peeled, choose the best mortgages, and know what you’re looking for, buying a property needn’t be as hard as you may have imagined. When buying a property, you need to ensure that your heart doesn’t rule your head, which is why we’ve compiled this article on mortgages and things to look for when house hunting.

Mortgage providers

Okay, now, assuming you have your eye on a property that seems to be ticking all of the right boxes, one of the main things you need to consider is who is providing your mortgage. You can of course speak to a mortgage advisor and speak to various other experts who specialise in the field of mortgages, but ultimately you need to decide who to contact if you are looking to take a mortgage out on a property. Knowing who to speak to will determine what kind of a mortgage deal you get, how much you will be lent, and how much it will cost you each month to pay it back.

The area

When buying a property, one of the most important things to consider is the area. It could be the nicest property in the world, but if the area is not right for you, living in the property itself just won’t feel right. Ask yourself if the area is right for you. Does it have a reputation for crime and/or anti-social behaviour or is it quiet and peaceful? Does it have all of the local amenities you would need to live comfortably? What are the schools like if you have children? Are there good transport links, do you get a good vibe from the area? All of this, and much more besides, will need to be considered when it comes to the area.

The location of the house

Okay, so assuming you like the area the property is located in, what do you think about the location of the house itself? Does it have a nice view if you want one? Is it located on a flat surface or on a hill or steep incline? What’s the garden like? Are you heavily overlooked by your neighbours? Will you be able to park your car/cars? All of this is also very important when you’re searching for your dream home.

Size of the property

If you’re simply buying for yourself, there’s a good chance that you won’t want to purchase an overly-large property with, say, five bedrooms. If however, you have a large family, you’ll need a fairly-large home. People always seem to focus on the bedrooms when buying a home, and while this is important, you also need to remember bathrooms. One bathroom shared between one large, or even average-sized family, is a recipe for disaster. Basically, choose a property that is the right size for you and everybody else who may be living there.

Mortgages – 4 Top Tips for Letting a Property

Mortgages – 4 Top Tips for Letting a Property

With mortgages becoming tougher and tougher to obtain, and with house prices increasing, getting on the property ladder is now a whole lot tougher than it was several decades ago. With that said however, with the right amount of determination, dedication, and hard work, it can certainly be done. Once you have purchased a property, rather than worrying about mortgages and repayments etc, you could actually use the property to earn you some money. How? By letting it out.

Becoming a landlord could earn you some serious money, and it is a great way of making yourself some additional income in the process. Some people rent properties out as a way of earning a little extra cash, whereas other people do so as a full-time job. Whether you wish to become a full-time landlord or simply use a property to make you some extra spending money, here’s a look at our 4 top tips for letting a property.

Get the property ready

First and foremost, when you’re ready to let out a property you need to ensure that it is habitable and ready to be lived in. There are certain rules and regulations that must be adhered to, and different district councils have different rules so it’s well worth knowing the various rules and regulations well in advance. You should also give it a fresh coat of paint, carry out any repairs that need doing, and make it as pleasant as possible to live in.

Don’t try to cut corners

Unless you’re the luckiest landlord in the world, when you have a property you want to let out, it will almost certainly have some problems that you will have to deal with. The last thing you should ever do is try to cut corners and get the issues resolved on the cheap, because ultimately this will come back to bite you in the behind at some point. If there is a damp problem and you can visibly see mould/damp patches on the walls, don’t just paint over them and rent the property as quickly as you can. Instead, find out what’s causing the damp and get that fixed. If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing right, so just bear that in mind.

Do your research

Before you decide whether or not to rent out a property, it’s very important that you do your research and try to find out as much about the area as possible. Don’t just look at transport links and amenities etc, try to look into average rent prices in the area too. It’s very important that you know what to charge your tenants, as the last thing you want is to be under or over-charging them.

Anticipate the worst

In a perfect scenario, you’d rent your property out to a wonderful couple who always pay their rent on time, plan on staying in the property for the foreseeable future and look after it and keep it in pristine condition. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always work like that. Sometimes there will be times when the property is empty, and you aren’t making money on it. There may also be issues with having your rent paid on time, and with problem tenants. Prepare for the worst but know how to react.

4 Reasons to Get a Mortgage and Buy a Property

4 Reasons to Get a Mortgage and Buy a Property

For first-time buyers, getting on the property ladder is one of the most difficult processes in the entire world. As people say however, ‘nothing in life worth having comes easily’ and that is very true when it comes to buying a property.

Once you take the plunge, save up the deposit, wade through various mortgages options and eventually sign on the dotted line and receive the keys to your new home, you’ll be so glad you did it. All of those years of hard graft, saving, stressing, and preparation will have been worthwhile. If you’re still not sure whether or not getting a mortgage could be right for you however, here are 4 reasons to get a mortgage and buy a property for the very first time.

Buying a house is an investment

Most things in life, tend to lose value the second we purchase them, with cars being a prime example (unless it’s a classic). Some purchases however, prove to be fantastic investments. Gold is one, and property is another. When you find yourself wondering whether the numerous mortgages deals you were offered were worth it, just remember that house prices are almost certain to increase with each passing year. Each year house prices will generally increase in value, which means that, when the time does come to sell up, if that’s what you want to do, when you sell up you will receive a very impressive return on your investment.

You’ll have your independence

If you still live at home, or perhaps room share with others, even though you may enjoy yourself, sometimes you will crave your own space and independence. When you decide to get a mortgage and buy a property for the first time, you will find yourself having more independence than you could have ever imagined. You have your own space, you can decorate the way you want to, you can wear what you want, and you can do whatever you want (within reason) as you will be under your very own roof.

You get to put your own unique stamp on the place

If you rent a property, a room, or still live at home, you aren’t the homeowner, so you don’t get to decide how to decorate and furnish the home. That means that, if you do want to decorate, you either have to ask permission first, or you simply know outright that redecorating is not an option. Once you’ve obtained your mortgage and have moved into your new home however, you get to put your own unique stamp on the place and can furnish and decorate it however you like.

You take pride in ownership

Let’s face it, when we eventually obtain a mortgage and buy our very first property, this will be one of the proudest achievements of our lives so far. Buying a home will give you a great sense of achievement, and will give you something to be proud about.

Tips on Saving for a Deposit for a Mortgage

Tips on Saving for a Deposit for a Mortgage

Let’s not beat about the bush here, when it comes to buying a house, people in this generation are in a far, far, far more difficult position than their parents were a generation ago. Mortgages are much tougher to obtain, house prices have increased drastically, and banks and lenders are much stricter with whom they lend to, and the amounts they lend. Perhaps the hardest part of buying a property for the first time however, or any time for that matter, is actually saving up the deposit to buy the house in the first place.

The magic number is generally 10% of the property’s value, so if you’re looking at buying a property for, say, 100,000 Euros, saving up 10,000 Euros while paying your bills and living your life is far from easy. There are, however, a number of things you can do to save for a deposit without living like a hermit for several years. Here are some tips on saving for a house deposit.

Try not to rent

Okay, though none of us would relish the thought of giving up our independence and moving back in with our parents, or a family member, if you are serious about buying a house then you will need to get your deposit together. For many, this means not renting a property and instead moving back home and paying your parents board instead, which will likely be less than a monthly rent. In the past, once children reached 18 and were classed as adults, they moved out into the big wide world, got a job, brought a home, and that was that. Nowadays however, things are very different. If you can’t move back home or don’t want to, consider renting a room rather than a property and put the money you are saving on rent, to one side for your deposit.

Sell old and unwanted items

Yes, we know it’s a bit of a pain in the backside taking photos of items, listing them on auction sites, and selling them when you have a life to lead, but if you want to save money, this is a very viable option. Selling old and unwanted items will generate some extra cash for you, which you will not miss. Put it into a savings account and watch it grow.

Get a lodger

Assuming you are renting, if you do want to save money it could be worth you taking in a lodger. Now, the first thing you need to do here is check with your landlord that they are okay with you doing so. They will probably ask for a higher monthly rent from the pair of you, but this will still mean that you are saving money in the long run and again, when you are saving money, make sure you set it aside.

Get financial assistance

There are various help-to-buy schemes now in place that are designed to help first-time buyers save for a deposit, so it may be worth looking into those. As well as that, you could consider asking for a loan from a family member/close friend.

4 Things New Homeowners Should Do When Buying a House

Broadband – 4 Things New Homeowners Should Do When Buying a House

After the stress and aggravation associated with buying a house, and the finances involved, it’s now time to start thinking positively and focussing on the fact that you have just purchased a new home. After buying a house you will no doubt be eager to get moved in as quickly as possible, which is why you need to start looking at broadband, energy suppliers, and things of that nature.

We are living in a world that is becoming increasingly reliant upon modern technology which is why getting a good broadband deal is so important. As well as sorting all of your appliances out of course, you will also need to ensure that you make the house habitable. To make your move that little bit easier, here’s a look at 4 things new homeowners should do when buying a house.


Unless you opt to buy a new build, there’s a good chance that when you move into a house you have purchased from somebody else, that you will want to decorate and put your own unique stamp on the place. Remember, you’re looking to make this house your home, so decorate the way you want to. We aren’t going to tell you which colours to use, and which accessories to buy because that’s entirely down to you. All we will say is that you need to go with styles that you enjoy, not what somebody else likes.

Sort your broadband

Trust us, when you move into a new home the sooner you can get your broadband sorted out the easier life will be. Many of us rely on the internet for work purposes, so that is reason enough to get it sorted right away. On top of that, having the internet will enable you to communicate with others much easier, plus you can order things for the house, and of course, you can get other issues sorted like utilities.

Find an energy supplier

Once in your home you will of course need gas and electric, or just electric in some cases. These utilities unfortunately do not come for free but if you shop around and look online (another reason to get your broadband installed ASAP) you will find some great deals. It’s a bit of a pain at first, but if you set aside just one or two hours you could potentially save yourself a fortune. There are of course, a number of websites and forums out there created specifically to help people save money on things like this, so just bear that in mind before you begin your search.

Have the boiler serviced

At the hub of all houses is the boiler. If your boiler breaks down you will be without heating and hot water, and you don’t need anybody to tell you how awful that would be, especially in winter. What’s more, boilers are incredibly expensive to replace so the last thing you want is to have to buy a new one after spending who knows what on a new home. Having it serviced will help keep it in full working order for longer.

First Time Buyer Mortgage and Property Tips

Getting on the property ladder for the first time, no matter your age, is one of the most intimidating yet exciting experiences you will ever encounter. Buying a property in this economic climate is probably the hardest it has ever been in recent history, but it can still be done very effectively with the right know-how. Securing a mortgage is tough enough, but once that is done there’s then the matter of making the property liveable, and, you know, actually finding the right property and area to live in.

If you’re looking to become a first-time buyer but aren’t quite sure where to begin, here are a few first-time buyer mortgage and property tips to make the experience that little bit easier.

Consider the area

While finding your dream home is all well and good, for a lot of people it is the area that’s more important than the actual property itself. Before you begin looking for a house you should ideally look at areas you like. Find an area and try to discover as much about it as you can. Look at travel links, amenities, schools, medical care, and average property prices. You also want to find out whether it is a decent area to live. If it’s really cheap, find out why that is. It may be that the area looks nice on paper but has a lot of crime and anti-social behaviour. Needless to say, if that is the case, we’d advise you to keep looking.

Know your budget

Another important thing to consider is what you can afford. We aren’t just talking about the price of the property, we’re also talking about living costs, mortgage repayments, and so on. Work out how much you earn, how much you will need to spend on absolutely everything, and whether or not you can comfortably afford it. Don’t forget to factor in unexpected costs such as home repairs, new vehicles, vehicle repairs, time off from work, and so on. If things are looking tight, either consider somewhere cheaper or look at viable ways of bringing more money in each month, or of cutting back.

Secure yourself a mortgage agreement in principle

After you’ve been offered a loan, the next thing you need to do is secure yourself a mortgage agreement in principle. This is a free document that helps prove to potential lenders that you are a worthy candidate.

After buying, do as much of the work yourself as you can

Once you’ve finally purchased your new property, have got the keys, and are finally able to get inside, it’s worthwhile doing much of the work yourself. Unless you have plenty of disposable income, you’ll probably be looking to keep costs down which is why it pays to do the work yourself. It will almost certainly need decorating, but rather than paying professional decorators, why not buy the paint and decorate yourself. If you are pretty handy, do as much of the work yourself as you can. If you want a new bathroom, if you are able, remove the old one yourself before hiring a builder as you will have saved them a job, so you’ll receive a cheaper quote. The more you can do, legally and safely, the better.

3 Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

For any homeowners out there, one of the biggest goals in life is to be mortgage-free. Once you have paid off your mortgage that’s it, you legally own the house, you no longer have to pay back the mortgage lenders, and you therefore will save a good few hundred Euros every single month. Not only that, but it’s also a great thing to brag to your mates about down at the pub. For some people, paying off the mortgage however, is a mere pipedream. For others, it is a very real possibility. To help show you how real it really is, here’s a look at 3 ways for you to pay off your mortgage faster.

Pay more each month

Let’s face it, with many properties costing more than one-hundred grand on the lower end of the scale, there are few people out there who could realistically afford to buy the house outright, there and then. Instead, they take out a mortgage loan and pay monthly instalments over the course of several decades, until the mortgage has been paid off, including interest. If however, you pay more than the minimum payments required each month, even by just 5o Euros, you’ll find that you have paid off the mortgage much quicker than you could have imagined. Many mortgage deals will allow you to pay extra each month, but if not, you can simply open a savings account, pay into that each month, and use that at the end of your fixed rate.

Cut back on unnecessary luxuries

Another useful tip for when it comes to paying off your mortgage early is to simply cut back on unnecessary luxuries, and instead set the money aside and use it to pay off the mortgage. If for example, you normally treat yourself to a coffee at a coffee shop on your way to work each morning, why not simply have a coffee at home before leaving? A regular coffee once per day may not cost much, but over the course of five days, the weekly cost adds up. Apply this same principle to a month, and even a year, and you could potentially have saved yourself a grand or more, which could be used to pay off the mortgage faster.

Find a better deal

When it comes to mortgages, many lenders out there are very competitive. This means that there are some great deals to be had. How the lenders make their money is by charging interest. The more interest they charge, the more you pay, and vice versa. If your current mortgage deal is at, say 3% interest, why not shop around and consider switching to a lender that charges 2% interest instead. Interest rates change constantly, and if you can find a long-term deal with a mortgage provider offering you a lower interest rate than what you are currently paying you’d be foolish not to go with them.

4 Mistakes for First-Time Buyers to Avoid

When the time comes for you to fly the nest, as exciting as the prospect of buying your very first home can be, there’s also a lot for you to get your head around. First-time buyers in the UK find it much, much harder to buy a property than people born one generation prior. As tough as it is, it’s not all doom and gloom, as you can still purchase your first home relatively easily, if you know what you’re doing. To ensure you don’t fall into the same traps that other first-time buyers tend to fall into, here’s a look at a few common mistakes for first-time buyers to avoid.

Not shopping around for a mortgage

When you commit to making a hefty purchase, it doesn’t matter what it is, ideally you will need to shop around to ensure that you get the best deal possible. Well, the same goes for a mortgage. Not all lenders charge the same fees and have the same rates etc, and if you shop around and compare prices, you will certainly be able to get the best deal possible. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for a one bed studio apartment, or a 3-bedroomed detached property, if you compare mortgage deals, you can save yourself heaps of money.

Blowing everything on the deposit

One of the main reasons why first-time buyers tend to struggle to purchase a house nowadays, is because the properties require so much up front for a deposit. Although you can go lower than 10%, the general consensus is that a minimum of 10% is what is required when buying a new property. Once you have saved up the deposit, experts recommend that you wait even longer, and continue to save. If you blow all of your savings on the deposit, what happens if something goes wrong, or if you need a new bathroom, kitchen, or boiler? No matter how much you have saved, make sure you put a few thousand to the side, just to tide you over until you’re in and settled.

Forgetting about extra expenses

The reason why we told you not to spend all of your savings on the deposit for your new home is because of the fact that you will also now have to pay extra expenses. Yes, your mortgage payments will probably be the highest, but you’ve also got gas, water, electric, council tax, home insurance, and food, drink, and anything else you may spend your money on. With a little planning and organization, you can easily figure out how much you will need to spend each month to live, but just remember that costs can quickly add up, even for something as basic as an online streaming service to watch movies on.

Not seeing the big picture

If realistically, you know that you are going to want to live in your new home for at least 10 years, don’t just settle on a two-bed property if you are planning on starting a family. If you can realistically see yourself starting a family and needing more than two bedrooms, it may be best to hold off on buying the property you’re eying up, and looking at the big picture instead.

4 Surprising Facts About Mortgages

As you are probably aware, getting on the property ladder is one of the most rewarding feelings you will ever experience, and while testing, it is certainly more than manageable if you take the time to familiarize yourself with the process. Now, the mortgage industry and the property market has changed dramatically over the last few decades.

It is tougher for the younger generation to get on the property ladder, there’s no denying that, but there are plenty of options now available. Today however, we’re going to focus on mortgages, but not in the way that you may have thought. Here we’ll be taking a look at a few surprising facts about mortgages.

The word ‘Mortgage’ has dark undertones

Did you know, that the word ‘mortgage’ is actually pretty-macabre? The reason for this is that it is literally related to death. The word has French origins and is derived from the French words ‘mort gaige’ which literally means ‘dead pledge’. The reasoning for this is that, if you fail to pay your mortgage, or if you pay it off, your mortgage dies. How’s that for a nice and cheery way to start your day?

Having no credit score hurts your chances of getting a mortgage

In order to be considered for a mortgage, the lenders first need to have a rough idea of how careful you are with your money, and how well you can manage your finances. This is why they check your credit score. If you have a good credit score, this proves that you can pay your debts on time, and that you can manage your money. A low credit score tells the exact opposite. But did you know that having no credit score is just as bad, if not worse, than a low credit rating? It doesn’t matter how good you are with your money, if the lenders don’t know anything about you, how can they be expected to lend you a sizeable amount of money? The answer is that they can’t.

Red doors aren’t just pretty to look at

In a world where white UPVC doors reign supreme, it’s nice to see a little colour on people’s front doors now and then. If you ever see a red door however, the owner may not simply enjoy the colour. You see, in Scotland, and in many other parts of the UK too, homeowners paint their doors red when they have paid off the mortgage to their home. When buying your first home, rather than champagne, why not celebrate paying off the mortgage by painting your front door red instead?

A lot of people don’t understand mortgages

You’d think that once you bag your first job and legally become classed as an ‘adult’ you would immediately understand how mortgages work, as if by magic, it seems. The reality is that a large percentage of the population do not understand how mortgages work.