Fun Facts About Mortgages

If you’re looking to get on the property ladder for the first time, there’s a lot to know about mortgages. Buying a property nowadays is decidedly more complex than it was two decades ago, not to mention the fact that it is also much more expensive as well. However, it’s not all doom and gloom, as buying your first property will likely be one of the best investments that you could ever wish for. Today we’re not going to talk to you about numbers, we’re instead going to take a more light-hearted look at mortgages and will be sharing some interesting and fun facts about mortgages that you may not have been aware of.

It is possible to purchase a house without a deposit

Decades ago, buying a property without a deposit/down payment was surprisingly easy. These days however, it’s the deposit that most people struggle with. Generally, it’s around 10%, which is a lot of money to save up. Despite this however, it is still possible to purchase a house without a deposit, although it is very rare.

First time buyers are quite rare

Given the state of the economy and the market, this probably won’t come as that much of a surprise, but either way, here it is. Nowadays there are far fewer first time buyers than in the past. Typically, you’ll find that first time buyers make up roughly 40% of the housing market. Lately however, that number has dropped. It might not sound like much, but by 2013, first time buyers made up just 38%. This 2% drop may not sound like much, but in the grand scheme of things it’s quite significant. It’s estimated that that number could now actually be even lower still.

Mortgage debt is quite high

For the purpose of transparency, we need to tell you that by ‘quite high’ what we actually-mean is ‘astronomically high’. At the end of the final financial quarter of 2013, in the US alone, mortgage debts totalled $13 Trillion.

The word ‘mortgage’ is quite solemn

The word mortgage is derived from the French word ‘Morgage’ which was sometimes spelled ‘Mort Gaige’. This literally translated to ‘dead pledge’ in French. The meaning behind this was that, once you pay the mortgage off or fail to make payments, the mortgage dies.

Most people don’t understand mortgages

Mortgages are incredibly complex, and buying a property is certainly not simple or easy. According to market research however, around 33% of people admittedly do not understand the basic fundamentals of mortgages. There are of course, mortgage advisors and other property and lending experts you can talk to who can help, and they’re certainly well worth speaking to, especially if you’re looking to get on the property ladder for the first time.

Bizarre Mortgage Application Questions Revealed

People are quick to chastise millennials as being ‘self-righteous’ and ‘overly-sensitive’ with a false sense of entitlement, but when it comes to buying a property, especially for the first time, people in this day and age are right to feel hard done by. Their parents likely purchased their first property for less money than is now required purely to put down a deposit on a house. Ever since the credit crunch and the global financial crisis where the banks needed to be bailed out, lenders have really clamped down on their lending policies. It is now harder than ever to get a mortgage, though there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Lenders are becoming slightly less-strict nowadays, and there are plenty of resources and schemes available to help buyers get on the property ladder for the first time. Mortgage lenders do of course need to be cautious with whom they lend their money to, but some of the questions being asked are downright bizarre. If you’re thinking of applying for a mortgage, here’s a look at some bizarre questions you may find yourself being asked during the application process.

What do your children receive for pocket money?

If the person/persons applying for a mortgage happens to have children, this is indeed a genuine question. Yes, really. Now, bear in mind that the average price for a semi-detached property in Ireland is currently €271’000, it’s pretty safe to assume that the average child in Ireland will not be receiving anything close to that in weekly pocket money. If they were, the parents probably wouldn’t need to apply for a mortgage in the first place. Are the lenders really that strict that they’re genuinely worried about how much money a child is getting in pocket money each week?

How often do you eat steak per week?

This is another common question asked by mortgage lenders, and we can only assume it’s because they consider steak to be a luxurious and highly expensive food. In reality, steak prices nowadays are very reasonable, especially if you go for the less expensive cuts like rump. The lenders obviously want to figure out whether their mortgage repayments would be safe or whether or not the recipients would be out squandering their mortgage payments on Ribeye and sirloin steak instead. This question is flawed for many reasons.

To begin with, not everybody eats the same meals every single day, so some people have no idea when they’ll eat steak next. Then of course, there’s the fact that the recipients could simply lie. We’re fairly sure the mortgage police won’t be round every week to inspect the contents of their fridge.

How much do you spend on your pets?

Okay, there are some people out there that spend an astonishing amount of money on their pets, especially if their pets happen to be horses. Generally speaking, however, most people purchase the bare essentials needed to keep their fur-babies happy, clean, healthy, and fed and so we aren’t talking life-changing amounts of money.

Do you plan to have any more children?

This is a very personal question and it’s not really anybody else’s place to ask it, but some lenders do. Bear in mind that a mortgage is a long-term commitment that normally lasts decades, how can anybody give an answer for a future scenario? A couple may not be ready for kids when they apply for a mortgage, but three years down the line, perhaps they will be? You can’t expect them to tell the lenders that they want kids in three years because at the time of applying they may not have done.

Mortgages – Tips to Sell Your Home

Mortgages – Tips to Sell Your Home

Okay, after many happy years, and countless memories along the way, the time has now come for you to sell your home. Before you start looking into mortgages for your next property, that is indeed, if you require one, there is first the matter of selling the home you currently reside in. Selling a house isn’t like listing something second-hand on the internet, with a ‘buy it now’ option. Selling a house can be a stressful, complex, time-consuming, and even expensive process. That’s right, before you can sell your home there is a good chance that you will have to part with money yourself. Needless to say, not only do you want to get the best price, but you will also want to get the sale done and dusted as quickly as possible. That’s why for today’s topic, we’re looking at mortgagesas we list a series of tips to help you sell your home quicker.

Spruce it up

If you’re looking at selling up, comparing mortgages on a new property, and moving on, the last thing on your mind will be redecoration until you’ve purchased somewhere new. However, as the saying goes ‘you have to spend money to make money’. Unless you can honestly say that your house is immaculate, it is well worth spending some money and redecorating the house, or at the very least, giving the walls a neat new coat of paint. The nicer the house looks, the more likely it will be to sell. This also means tidying up the garden, cutting the grass, removing the weeds, and perhaps even painting the exterior. The nicer the property looks, both on picture, and in person, the easier you should find it to sell.

List on a Friday

Okay, this may sound like superstitious nonsense, but there is some truth to it. You see, according to recent statistics, the best day to list your property for sale if you want rid of it quickly is on a Friday. This is because people are generally happier on a Friday as it’s the weekend and it gives them time to relax and have fun. It also means that people will likely be free over the weekend to come and view, plus they may even have had a drink or two, which always lifts the spirits.

Cover all bases

Remember, when people are looking to buy a new home, they want as close to perfection as you can get. Although you might have been happy to live with that blown lightbulb in the corner, or that annoying paint chip on the wall, a prospective buyer won’t. All of those tedious maintenance jobs that you have been putting off for months, even years, will unfortunately need to be taken care of if you want to increase your chances of a quick sale. Basically, put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and ask yourself if you’d be happy to buy the property in its current state.

Mortgages and fintech – a match made in heaven?

Mortgages and fintech – a match made in heaven?

Applying for a Mortgage can be hell! There are few things that are worse than going through the process of meeting with mortgage brokers to trawl through every inch of your financial information, as well as your lifestyle and commitments, not to mention all of the documentation and identification that you have to sift through and file for an application. The process can be lengthy, frustrating and in many cases, cost a lot of money before you are even accepted for a mortgage.

For something that most every people have to do, you would have thought someone would have created a much more efficient and less stressful way of applying for a mortgage a long time ago.

The mortgage market seems to have remained in the dark ages whilst other consumer facing markets have been booming with the help of new technologies. Banks have invested in Fintech in order to make controlling your money possible at the touch of a button through online apps etc, but mortgages seem to have been forgotten about. The Guardian state that new wave of Fintech Mortgage businesses who have launched in the last couple of years, are using cutting-edge technology in order to make finding and applying for a mortgage quicker and slicker. In fact most of these businesses are offering these services for free to their customers. Some would say that with this in mind, mortgages and fintech are a match made in heaven.

There are several key ways that Fintech Mortgage platforms work in order to make the process for consumers through their end to end platforms.

Online mortgage lenders offer an end to end fully automated service which can make decisions on mortgage lending based on your application without the need of information being reviewed by a human. Forbes recently interviewed Francesca Carlesi CEO of mortgage broker service Molo, who explained that their service offer mortgages that are fully underwritten online. Their business is not just an online distribution model but also leverages automated decisions and real time data validation in the back end in order to offer customers quick answers and decisions on mortgage lending.  This makes the process much quicker as applications do not have to be checked and underwritten manually by humans.

Another key way in which Fintech companies improve the mortgage process is by automating the document collection process. The Times discuss how Fintech mortgage service Dashly, enable customers to scan and upload their current mortgage documents at the touch of a button. An automated system then works out where the customer lives, their mortgage rates and term before scanning the system for proposed better mortgage options. All of this information is collected by uploading one document, making the document collection process much easier and in secured in one place.

With Fintech businesses such as Dashly and Molo working to make the mortgage process easier for consumers to handle at the touch of a button, it is clear to see how mortgages and fintech are a match made made in heaven.

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.

Decorate

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.