Latest news & advice


What is a Mortgage Prisoner?

26 May 2023

Mortgage Prisoners are people who are unable to switch mortgages to a better deal, despite being up-to-date with their mortgage payments.

About Interest Only Mortgages

19 May 2023

An interest only mortgage will allow you to make monthly payments just to cover the interest on the money you have borrowed. Unlike a traditional repayment mortgage where payments consist of both capital and interest, with an interest-only mortgage, you will only pay the interest and the balance of the loan will therefore not decrease.

Ten Top Tips for Selling your House

17 May 2023

Selling your house can be a stressful time, there are several key tips you can do to help maximise your chances of selling successfully.

Eight Tips for Saving During the Cost of Living Crisis

24 Apr 2023

The team at Mortgage Required have come up with some tips to help you save a few pennies during these tough times.

Volunteering at Foodshare Maidenhead

The team at Mortgage Required regularly volunteer at Foodshare Maidenhead. We are proud to support such an amazing organisation, especially in these difficult times. 

Mortgage Tips to Help with Higher House Prices

10 Mar 2023

Although house prices have been on the rise, purchasing a property is still cheaper in the long run than renting and it’s always worthwhile trying to get on the housing ladder.

Maidenhead & Windsor Business and Community Awards

2 Mar 2023

Tickets are now on sale for the upcoming Maidenhead & Windsor Business & Community Awards.

The awards aim to bring together the business community to celebrate outstanding talent and effort from both businesses and the community.

What Does The SDLT Reduction Mean For Homeowners?

Here we have looked into SDLT in more detail and explored how the recent tax reduction can help people who want to buy a new home.

Why It’s Important To Use A Whole Of Market Mortgage Adviser

Whether you’re buying a home or remortgaging, taking out a new mortgage is a big responsibility and it’s crucial to ensure you’re choosing the right mortgage deal

What has caused Mortgage Rates to rise?

24 Nov 2022

To assist anyone who is about to remortgage or buy a new home, we have attempted to answer some of the questions we are frequently being asked about rising mortgage rates. 

How The Base Rate Rise Will Impact Mortgages | Expert Opinion

28 Sep 2022

Although the reason behind the base rate rise makes sense, it is still understandably concerning for anyone who wants to purchase a new property or remortgage their property in the near future.

How The Base Rate Rise Will Impact Mortgages | Expert Opinion

15 Sep 2022

Although the reason behind the base rate rise makes sense, it is still understandably concerning for anyone who wants to purchase a new property or remortgage their property in the near future.

How The Base Rate Rise Will Impact Mortgages | Expert Opinion

31 Aug 2022

Although the reason behind the base rate rise makes sense, it is still understandably concerning for anyone who wants to purchase a new property or remortgage their property in the near future.

How Will The Proposed EPC Changes Impact Landlords?

22 Aug 2022

If you’re a landlord & you’re unaware of the proposed upcoming legislative changes, see how this new bill could impact the UK rental market.

Navigating Mortgage Interests Rates | The Importance Of Speaking To An Expert

10 Aug 2022

It has always been beneficial to speak to a mortgage advisor when you’re taking out a new mortgage, but this interest rate rise has made it even more important.

How Accurate Are Mortgage Salary Multipliers? | What Factors Affect It?

2 Aug 2022

The term ‘mortgage salary multiplier’ is used when referring to multiplying your income to calculate the maximum amount a mortgage provider would lend to you.

Common Issues Highlighted In A Full Structural Survey

27 Jul 2022

Ultimately, a full structural survey provides you with peace of mind and removes some of the risks associated with buying a property.

How The IPFA’s Whitepaper Could Benefit First-Time Buyers

1 Jul 2022

IPFA stands for ‘Industry Panel for Financial Advice’ and this panel has come together to advocate on behalf of UK financial advisers and all of the customers we serve.

How Does A Mortgage Valuation Report Affect A Mortgage Offer?

22 Jun 2022

Before a mortgage provider agrees to lend you the money you need to purchase a property, they will conduct a mortgage valuation.

Fees To Be Aware Of When Taking Out A Mortgage

9 Jun 2022

If you’re unable to buy a property outright and you need a mortgage to make the purchase, it’s important to be aware there are several fees associated with taking out a mortgage too. I

Useful Tips For Switching Mortgage Providers

25 May 2022

If your current mortgage deal is no longer competitive and you think you could save money by taking out a new mortgage product,

The Basics About Early Redemption Charges

16 May 2022

This fee is also known as an Early Repayment Charge and it is one of the largest fees associated with fixed rate mortgages.

Why Do People Take Out Secured Loans?

3 May 2022

Simply put, secured loans are loans that are secured on your property and they will essentially be a second mortgage.

What You Need To Consider When Comparing Mortgage Products

28 Apr 2022

we have put together a list of important things to consider whenever you’re comparing mortgage products from different lenders.

Top 5 Most Common Reasons Why Mortgage Applications Get Rejected

20 Apr 2022

We have listed some of the most common reasons why people are unable to get the mortgages they’ve applied for

Is Bridging Finance A Good Idea? | FAQ's Answered

12 Apr 2022

To help anyone who is interested in equity release, below we have answered three of the most commonly asked questions.

Commonly Asked Questions About Equity Release In Later Life

4 Apr 2022

To help anyone who is interested in equity release, below we have answered three of the most commonly asked questions.

Using Equity Release To Buy A Second Home | How Much Do You Need?

31 Mar 2022

If you’re over 55 years of age and have considerable equity in your home, you may be wondering; ‘can I use equity release to buy a second home?’.

Common Reasons Why People Consider Equity Release

21 Mar 2022

You may have heard of the term ‘equity release’ and simply put, this is the process of releasing some of the money that is tied up in your home.

5 Common Reasons Why People Consider Equity Release

9 Mar 2022

Purchasing a property and then letting it out to tenants is a great way to earn additional income and the more properties you own, the more you can earn.

Things You Need To Know When Getting A Buy-To-Let Mortgage

4 Mar 2022

Purchasing a property and then letting it out to tenants is a great way to earn additional income and the more properties you own, the more you can earn.

Getting A Mortgage As A First Time Buyer | What You Need To Know

31 Jan 2022

Buying your first home comes with a mixture of emotions. Owning a property is a really exciting prospect, but the practicalities associated with actually buying a property can be quite daunting.

The Basics About Residential Mortgages | Our Top Tips

31 Jan 2022

Although there is a huge range of different types of mortgages on the market, one of the most commonly required is a residential mortgage.

Top Tips For Remortgaging Your Home | Reducing Mortgage Payments

20 Jan 2022

Once you have been living in your home for a few years, you may want to consider remortgaging. Switching mortgage providers is actually quite common and there are a number of different reasons why people choose to remortgage

What Is A Mortgage And How Does It Work? | A Definitive Guide

11 Jan 2022

If you’re still trying to get to grips with what a mortgage is, below we have covered all of the basics you need to know before buying a property. 

What Credit Score Do You Need For A Mortgage? | All You Need To Know

4 Jan 2022

It is important to ensure that you’re aware of your credit score and you’re obtaining a copy of your credit report before applying for a mortgage. 

Can You Get A Mortgage For Land? | All You Need To Know

15 Dec 2021

There are actually lots of different land mortgages available, from self-build mortgages and commercial development mortgages to agricultural mortgages.

What Can Stop You From Getting A Mortgage? | Help & Advice

15 Dec 2021

If you’re wondering what can potentially stop you from getting a good mortgage deal, we have looked into some of the most common factors to be aware of. 

How To Save For A Mortgage | Our 4 Top Tips

1 Dec 2021

Nowadays 100% mortgages, also known as ‘no deposit’ mortgages, are not available and people who are looking to buy a home will require at least a 5% deposit to get a mortgage offer from a lender.

How To Get A Mortgage On A Low Income | Our 5 Top Tips

21 Nov 2021

Getting a foot on the property ladder is becoming more and more difficult for people of all ages. Not only is the price of property in many parts of the UK continuing to rise, but the majority of businesses still only pay their employees minimum wage, so many fear that they will never be able to own their own home. 

What You Need to Know About Remortgaging

8 Nov 2021

The mortgage that you secured when buying your property may not be the best deal after a few years, especially if your home has gone up in value

What is a Property Chain and How Does it Work?

If you’re new to buying a home, you may hear lots of familiar phrases that you don’t fully understand. One of these phrases commonly used is ‘the chain’. If you’re unsure what this is and why it’s talked about so much, we explain here.

How does a Gifted Deposit Affect a Mortgage?

A gifted deposit is a sum of money given to you by someone else, usually a member of your family. The money you are gifted must be given by way of a gift and not a loan.

Tips on Buying a Property with a Tenant in Occupation

There are a few reasons why you might be buying a property with a tenant still in occupation (a sitting tenant).

Help to Get on the Property Ladder in 2021

How does a first-time buyer get onto the housing ladder? Here we make a few suggestions...

Top Tips on Preparing Your Property for Viewing

Here are some other things to consider before placing your house on the market...

How Covid-19 Has Changed What Property Buyers Want

Perhaps an unexpected by-product of Covid is that many people have changed their priorities when it comes to ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’ in their dream new home.

The New 2021 Help to Buy Scheme Explained

The Help to Buy scheme allows first-time buyers to purchase a new-build property with just a 5% deposit.

Can I Remortgage my property to buy a Second Home?

If you increase the loan on your primary home, the mortgage lender will want you to be able to prove that you can afford the larger loan.

What Does Virtual Freehold Mean?

These long leases are sometimes referred to as ‘virtual freeholds’. The owner of such a lease might not own the freehold but he does have most of the rights associated with ownership of the freehold, such as the right to exclusive possession and quiet enjoyment.

The Government's Mortgage Guarantee Scheme Explained

With the new mortgage guarantee scheme, even if you only have 5% deposit, you may be able to obtain a mortgage on the remaining 95% of the purchase price

New Stamp Duty Extension Explained

Rishi Sunak has announced that he is to extend the existing Stamp Duty Holiday until the end of June 2021.

What is a Sinking Fund?

A sinking fund is basically a savings account managed, usually, by the building’s managing agent.

What is a Debt Management Plan (DMP) and How to Get One

A Debt Management Plan is a mechanism by which you can have a third party negotiate with the people to whom you owe money and set out a plan by which you will make a single, affordable monthly payment each month.

Electrical Safety Regulations - An April Deadline for Landlords!

From the 1st of April, Landlords are now obliged to have an electrician undertake an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR).

The Number of Mortgages Available is Now at a 12 Year High!

Moneyfacts, the independent mortgage market monitor of all things ‘mortgage’ has reported that overall mortgage availability rose in January 2021, to 3,215 products!

Lockdown Hero Awards

We wanted to do our bit to both recognise and say thank you to those we know who’ve gone the extra mile during this interminable lockdown. We are calling it the Mortgage Required Lockdown Heroes Awards.

10 Reasons to Invest in UK Property

There are still many reasons why the UK property market could be considered one of the best investment opportunities in the world. Here are ten reasons why.

Questions to Ask During a Property Viewing

The more complete a picture you can build both before and after you make your offer, the better protected you are from the unknowns in the transaction. Don’t be afraid to ask.

Questions to Ask When Choosing a Mortgage Broker

As with all professional services, the level of service will vary and therefore, it’s important that you ask some very specific questions when deciding which mortgage adviser to use.

How to Carry Out a Virtual Property Viewing

Whilst a physical, in-person viewing is going to be necessary at some point, a virtual viewing can be very useful in the early stages and can save you a lot of wasted time.

What is Peppercorn Rent? | Ground Rent and Maintenance Charges in the UK

Many properties are sold leasehold and subject to a ‘peppercorn rent’. This is effectively a notional rent that isn’t demanded or paid. It is purely a legal requirement of any contract.

How to Get a Mortgage with a Low Credit Score

If you feel you may have bad credit, you should obtain a copy of your credit report which will show all your credit, good and bad.

New Help to Buy Scheme Launched

First-time buyers that wish to buy a new-build home will be able to apply for an Equity Loan from the government for up to 20% of the home’s value.

Top 10 Tips for Successfully Letting Your Property

Here we list 10 things you should consider doing to enhance your return on capital.

Top Tips on Making Your Home More Energy Efficient

With energy prices likely to rise in the long term, it makes sense to consider how you can make your home more efficient.

What is a Second Charge Mortgage?

A second mortgage, as the name suggests, is a second loan that is also secured on a property.

What is a TA6 Property Information Form?

The TA6 Property Information Form is a form designed to aid the seller in giving important information on the property being sold, to the buyer.

How to Present Your Home For Sale Over Winter

Selling your home in winter has its challenges. But there are some things working in your favour. Use these to your advantage.

What is a TA10 Fittings and Contents Form?

A TA10 form is one of several forms a seller must complete during the conveyancing process. The TA10 sets out, in detail, what is or is not included in the sale of the property.

What Happens to Mortgage with Negative Interest Rates?

Here we look at what might happen to mortgages if the Bank of England take the unprecedented step of reducing mortgage rates below zero!

What’s So Important About the Bank of England’s Base Rate?

There are largely two main factors that drive interest rates in the UK mortgage market. They are The Bank of England’s Base Rate and LIBOR.

Lease Extension Fees - Don't Get Caught Out

Flats, in particular, are usually owned leasehold because in very simple terms, to own the freehold of a property is basically to own the land below and the air above and, in the case of a flat, clearly this isn’t possible.

Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) Explained

SMI or Support for Mortgage Interest is a loan paid by the government to help you pay all or part of the mortgage interest during times when you are unable to do so.

Can I Get a Mortgage on a Zero Hour Contract?

Whilst a Zero Hours Contract is a more precarious type of employment and does make obtaining a competitive mortgage offer more difficult, it is possible.

The Governments New First Homes Scheme Explained

The Government's New First Homes Scheme is aimed at first-time buyers, key workers and veterans looking to buy a new-build home.

Documents Needed When Selling Your Property

It’s easy to assume that once you’ve agreed to sell your home, it’s just a matter of your solicitor or conveyancer ‘doing the legal stuff’ and that’s that. Unfortunately, your job is still only partly done.

How to Speed Up Your Buy to Let Mortgage Application

The process of obtaining a buy to let loan usually takes between 4 - 6 weeks, although, as with all purchases, there are a variety of steps to the process which will delay or even stall the process.

Can a British Expat Get a Mortgage in the UK?

The benefits for expats retaining property in the UK whilst working abroad can be significant. Especially if you expect to return at some time in the future.

Help to Buy Mortgage Deadline Extended

There is some good news for those keen to use the government’s existing Help to Buy scheme which is due to be replaced by a more restrictive scheme in April 2021.

Can I Remortgage While Furloughed?

Each mortgage lender seems to be approaching this issue in a different manner. Some lenders are taking each case on its own merits.

The Family Springboard Mortgage from Barclays

What is the Family Springboard Mortgage?

Mortgage Payment Holidays Ending Soon

If you have applied previously, but would like to extend the holiday then you may do so but there is no guarantee that an extension to such a holiday will be granted.

Government's New Green Homes Grant

The government's Green Home Grant will allow you to receive up to two-thirds of the costs spent on making your home more energy efficient.

Negotiating Tips When Buying a Property

What can you do to improve your negotiating position? Here are a few simple tips that too many people ignore.

What is an Energy Performance Certificate?

Regularly referred to as an EPC, the Energy Performance Certificate was introduced by the UK government to audit the UK’s built environment and to assess its energy efficiency and nudge/require owners to improve the energy efficiency of their property.

What is the Criteria for a First Time Buyer?

The definition of a first-time buyer has been set out by the government in a guidance note published in 2018. It states the following...

Fixed Rate Mortgages Drop by 0.5%

Recent events have led the Bank of England to drop the Bank of England’s Base Rate twice in a month to an historic all-time low of 0.1%.

New Electrical Safety Standards Guidelines for Landlords.

The regulations apply to new tenancies commencing on or after 1 July 2020 and inspections relating to properties subject to existing tenancies must be undertaken before 1. April 2021.

Stamp Duty Holiday

The chancellor has announced a temporary holiday on stamp duty up to £500,000 as part of a number of measures to help stimulate the economy. We have listed below the key facts following this announcement.

Calling all First Time Buyers

One thing that has come out of lockdown is a steady stream of First Time Buyers ready to get on the housing ladder.

What documents do I need to support my mortgage application & when?

Applying for a mortgage can seem an intimidating and complicated process. Thankfully this is something we do every single day, so we can do much of it for you. Simple.

Where can I get an Energy Performance Certificate?

You must have an Energy Performance Certificate before you start marketing your property. Buildings that don’t need an EPC include...

The Help to Buy Mortgage may be extended after Lockdown

The government had intended to abolish the scheme completely in 2023, but are now being asked to reconsider in the light of current events.

What is a Lifetime ISA (LISA)?

The ‘LISA’ may be opened by anyone between the ages of 18 and 39. As with other ISA’s, the annual investment limit is £20,000 per annum and return on the sum invested is tax-free.

Could Remortgaging Save You Money?

Like every utility bill you pay, it makes perfect sense to regularly check whether you have the right mortgage for you.

90% Mortgages Return to the Market

28 May 2020

HSBC managed to keep their 90% lending going throughout and this week Accord mortgages, Virgin Money and the Clydesdale bank all announced the welcome return of their 90% products.

Mortgage holiday scheme to be extended by three months

Mortgage payment holidays for borrowers struggling as a result of the coronavirus crisis is to be extended by three months under new proposals announced by the government.

New Tax Changes to Mortgage Tax Relief & Capital Gains for Landlords

April 2020 brings with it the end of this phasing. Landlords no longer enjoy tax relief on interest and instead will be faced with a flat tax credit of 20% for mortgage interest.

Is Now a Good Time to Remortgage?

With the Bank of England record low base rate to help protect the economy from the impact of the worldwide pandemic, now is potentially a great time to remortgage!

Self-employed? How to Get an SA302 when making a Mortgage Application

If you are self-employed, a mortgage lender may ask you to provide a copy of your SA302.

The Latest Interest Rate Cut and How it Affects You.

Generally referred to as ‘the base rate’, when it falls it is usually (but not always) an indication that lending rates generally will also fall.

Mortgage Required Launch Video Appointments

If you can’t come to us we can quickly set up a video or phone appointment.

COVID-19 - Mortgage Payment Holiday for Landlords

Whether you are an owner-occupier or a private landlord, the most important thing is not to panic or put your head in the sand.

Mortgages and Coronavirus - Information for Customers

7 Apr 2020

The FCA have issued new guidance on how they expect mortgage lenders and administrators to treat customers fairly during this coronavirus (Covid-19) situation.

COVID-19 Mortgage FAQs

25 Mar 2020

We have put together some key mortgage and protection FAQs from the questions we have been fielding from clients. Please do feel free to call if you have any other questions, we are here to help.

The best books for Buy to Let Landlords & Property Investors

Here we look at just a few of the great books out there that might interest the buy-to-let landlord or property investor.

Information for mortgage holders affected by Coronavirus

Information for mortgage holders affected by Coronavirus from Tracy Gordon, Director of Operations and Compliance.

How can a mortgage broker help a Contractor or Freelancer get the best mortgage possible?

The difficulty many contractors, freelancers and the self-employed find proving their income and illustrating it is predictable and stable.

Tips to Avoid being Gazumped

There are a few ways to help reduce the risks of being gazumped. Here are some ideas...

Top Tips for When Choosing a Conveyancer

When choosing a conveyancer, here are a few top tips to help make sure everything goes smoothly.

What is indemnity insurance?

Indemnity insurance, like all insurances, covers risk. Indemnity insurance ‘indemnifies’ someone against the consequences of a known, but perhaps unquantifiable, risk.

What is a Restrictive Covenant?

A restrictive covenant is an obligation based upon the owner of land to stop him from using that land for a specific purpose.

How to Choose an Estate Agent

Choosing an estate agent should be a relatively straightforward task. There are some simple parameters to consider.

Mortgage Required have been awarded “Best Mortgage Firm”

Maidenhead business Mortgage Required has been awarded “Best Mortgage Firm” by leading Industry body Premier Mortgage Services.

What is a Mortgage Stress Test?

A mortgage ‘stress test’ revolves around predicting future ‘affordability’. It is seen by many borrowers as just another hurdle to overcome, but it’s important to understand why it was introduced and who it is meant to protect.

How to Add Value to Your Property

It’s easy to spend money on your home. But knowing where to spend it to best improve its value is slightly trickier.

How to Make a Complaint to the Financial Ombudsman

The Financial Ombudsman is there to help mediate when a client and a financial services company, such as a bank of IFA, have a difference of opinion that can’t be resolved through other means. The process is relatively straightforward and we have set it out below.

If I was too ill to work how would I pay my bills?

Critical illness cover usually covers against a myriad of critical illnesses including, heart attack, stroke, MS, certain stages of cancer and perhaps even injury incurred as a result of a car accident.

What is a Drawdown Lifetime Mortgage?

Lifetime mortgages are becoming more popular as a generation of people with all or most of their lifetime wealth tied up in their homes.

Video - Should I Buy Mortgage Protection Online?

Here is Maia from our protection team taking about mortgage protection and the different types of insurance and why you should speak to a specialist adviser when buying insurance.

Video - What is a Second Charge?

Here is Katie, senior mortgage adviser taking about a second charge on a property. A second charge can be taken out against a property for a number of reasons and it's important to understand the most cost effective options available to you.

Video - What Mortgage Protection is Best for Me?

Here is Maia from our mortgage protection team discussing the different types of insurance to ensure that you are correctly protected using the most suitable provider.

Video - What is Life Insurance?

Here is Maia, protection adviser here at Mortgage Required talking about the importance of Life Insurance and how your family would cope financially if you were to pass away.

Video - What is the Mortgage Lending Criteria?

The mortgage lending criteria is information used to establish if mortgage lender will lend you the funds and how much they will lend to you.

What is a Retirement Interest Only Mortgage?

Retirement Only mortgages are generally aimed at borrowers who are too old for standard mortgages and too young for Equity Release.

Video - Buying Your Dream Home

Here is Katie, senior mortgage adviser discussing the mortgage process when buying your dream home.

Video - Government Schemes to Help First Time Buyers

Here is Katie, senior mortgage adviser discussing Government schemes available to help first time buyers get onto the property ladder. These include - Help to Buy, Help to Buy ISA, Help to Buy Shared Ownership.

Video - Mortgage Affordability

Here is Katie, senior mortgage adviser discusses mortgage affordability criteria and how a mortgage lender will base the size of your mortgage on your income.

Video - First Time Buyer Frequently Asked Mortgage Questions

Here is Katie, senior mortgage adviser answering frequently asked questions from our first time buyers.

Tips When Buying a Home with a Partner or Friend.

We have recently seen an increase in the number of people buying homes together, even though they are not married. If you are one of these people, here are a few tips to consider.

What You Should do After Receiving Your Mortgage Approval.

After receiving your mortgage offer there are a few things you should do - or rather, not do. They include...

What is the difference between Level Term and Decreasing Term Insurance?

In most cases a mortgage lender will insist of life cover to cover the debt secured on the property. In addition, you might decide that you want to leave a lump sum to cover for expenses in the immediate months or years after your death.

Can I Port an Equity Release Mortgage?

With most Equity Release mortgages it’s likely that the loan is increasing in size as interest on money you have borrowed on the mortgage accrues. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t port your mortgage to another, perhaps smaller, property.

Negotiation Tips When Making an Offer on a Property

Of course, buying your dream home means, by definition, that your heart is driving this at least as much as your head. You need to suppress your desires and keep a cool head. Don’t allow the day dreams and wishes to cloud your judgement.

Should I Use a Mortgage Broker or My Bank?

When shopping for a new mortgage, it might seem sensible to stick with the devil you know - namely, your bank. But is this really the right thing to do?

10 Ways to Minimise the Risk When Investing in Property.

To minimise the risk when investing in property there are a variety of measures you should take and precautions you can make. Here are just a few...

Can I Use Bridging Finance to Pay My Inheritance Tax Liability?

Bridging loans can be taken to meet inheritance tax liabilities, which can become payable on inherited property very quickly.

What is a Home Reversion Plan?

A Home Reversion Plan allows you to access all or part of the value of your property whilst, at the same time, retaining the right to remain in your property, rent free, for the remainder of your life.

What is Repossession and How does it work?

Repossession proceedings are extremely stressful and upsetting. It’s important that you take advice early and keep your head.

Step by Step Guide to Buying Your First Property.

Buying your first property can seem complicated but if you understand the process you can save time and money. Here is a brief guide to the process of buying your new home.

How Often Should You Review Your Mortgage?

As mortgage products become ever more complex and competitive, the market of lenders grows. This is good for borrowers as it increases competition for their business

What is the LIBOR Rate and How is it Calculated?

LIBOR stands for London Interbank Offered Rate. It is the level of interest that banks use when lending to each other and LIBOR is set every day in London by the British Bankers Association.

What's the Difference Between a Help to Buy ISA and Normal ISA?

With an ISA you’ll earn tax-free interest on your savings or a return on your investments. You can only open one ISA per year, but it is possible to transfer to another with another provider.

What is an Income Multiplier? | How Much Can You Lend?

An Income Multiplier is the number by which a mortgage lender will multiply your sole or joint incomes when calculating the maximum amount they are prepared to lend to you.

Critical Tips When Buying a Home with a Partner or Friend.

More of us are buying their first property with one or more friends as a first step onto the property ladder.

Here are a few tips to consider when buying a home;

What is a Guarantor Mortgage and How Does it Work?

A Guarantor Mortgage allows a third party (maybe your parents) to underwrite your mortgage repayments and obligations. But why would you want that?

What does Subject to Status mean? | The Housing Market

Once the lender has evaluated all the information you provide, they may make a mortgage offer which is, at this stage, subject to status.

Supporting the Government’s take 5 to stop fraud campaign

The campaign urges you to stop and consider whether a situation is genuine – and to stop and think if what you’re being told really makes sense.

Who are the Financial Ombudsman?

The Financial Ombudsman is an organization set up by Parliament. It was created to help ‘sort out’ problems and disputes that might arise when using financial services in the UK.

Do I Have to Change My Mortgage to Rent Out My Home?

Almost all, if not all, lenders will either prohibit you from letting your home to a third party or they’ll set restrictions and have formal requirements around notification, etc.

Lifetime ISA's Explained

A Lifetime ISA, like other ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts) is a savings account, the interest on which is shielded from tax.

What is a Mortgage Valuation Report?

The Mortgage lender will require an independent valuation of the property to make a decision to lend.

Can I Borrow Money for a Mortgage Deposit?

The simple answer is yes - you can borrow money for a mortgage deposit. But there are strict rules and good and bad ways to do it. Let’s take a look.

What is an Early Repayment Charge?

An Early Repayment Charge or ERC is a charge made by a mortgage lender when you repay all or part of the loan amount sooner than the agreed redemption date.

Things to Consider When Comparing Mortgages

When considering mortgage alternatives, most people will simply look at the interest rate at the start of the loan and make a decision based on the lowest interest rate. This is understandable - but a big mistake.

Who are the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)?

The UK Government defines the FCA or Financial Conduct Authority as being the body responsible for...

Can I Let My Property Without a Buy to Let Mortgage?

The simple answer is no. At least, you can, but it’s a very bad idea.

What is an RICS Surveyor?

The RICS stands for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Qualified members of the RICS may use the title ‘Chartered Surveyor’ and use the designation MRICS, or FRICS if they have progressed to become a Fellow.

How Much Can I Borrow with an Equity Release Loan?

Equity release is a way to release money by way of a loan secured on your home or through the sale of all or part of your home, subject to certain rights to remain in occupation.

How Much Can I Borrow on a Mortgage?

Most of us need a mortgage to buy our next home so how much you can realistically expect to be able to borrow is critical to the process.

What is the Difference Between Exchange and Completion?

When buying or selling your home, understanding the difference between exchange of contracts and completion will help you to control the process, manage expectations and reduce stress.

How Long does a Mortgage Agreement in Principle (AIP) Last?

A Mortgage Agreement in Principal usually last between 60 days and 90 days so it’s important that you don’t apply too soon - or too late.

Some Certainty in These Uncertain Times

9 Jan 2019

Whatever your politics, headlines warning of the “Unchartered Territory” and predictions on the vote around the “Withdrawal Agreement” mean we are heading into uncertain times.

Mortgages for Self Employed

Due to the more complex nature of the self employed mortgage applicants, different mortgage lenders apply different criteria to assessing their income.

Mortgage Approvals made through Brokers is Increasing!

These figures should encourage first-time buyers looking to obtain a mortgage offer, although it is also worth noting that these figures refer to applications made through an independent intermediary, such as Mortgage Required.

How Does a Mortgage Work?

Mortgages are usually repaid over a considerable period of time, perhaps 15 - 30 years and whilst many mortgages are ‘repayment mortgages’, some are ‘interest-only’.

A snapshot of Our Mortgage Application Process

If you are currently looking at mortgages, no doubt you’re starting to get just a little frustrated by exactly what is available and what is the best choice for you. At Mortgage Required this is what we do.

What Happens When Your Fixed Rate Mortgage Ends?

Unfortunately, fixed interest rates will eventually come to an end and when they do the cost of your mortgage may change - sometimes dramatically.

Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Your New Home.

It can be a mind field when you are buying a new home, especially if it’s in an area you don’t know well. Here is our list of things to consider when buying your next home.

How Does Bridging Finance Work?

Bridging finance is usually used when you want to buy a property before you sell or refinance an existing property.

Typical Reasons For a Mortgage Application to be Turned Down.

Here are a few of the primary reasons most mortgage applications are refused.

How to Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

Paying off your mortgage faster might be desirable for a variety of reasons but whatever your reasons there are a few facts worth considering.

What is a Mortgage Valuation and What Does it Include?

A Mortgage valuation will include summary notes made by the valuer after a short inspection of the property inside and out. It will make recommendations with regard to...

Mortgage Interest Rates are on the Rise.

24 Oct 2018

Over the past two days, both Barclays and Nationwide have notified us that they will be increasing their interest rates for new borrowers.

Top Tips on Saving for a Mortgage Deposit

Most mortgage lenders want to see a deposit of 10% and even after help from the Government, it’s likely that you will need to scrape together yourself a deposit of 5% if you are to borrow at a reasonably competitive rate.

Three Reasons to Remortgage

‘Remortgaging’ is simply when you either change the type of loan you have, or the mortgage lender, or the terms upon which you borrow. There can be many reasons to do this but here are the three main reasons.

What to do If You're Struggling To Pay Your Mortgage.

When struggling to meet mortgage payments it can make for an unhappy and stressful life. It’s important to maintain perspective of course and then decide what you can do to improve matters. Sometimes there will be plenty - usually your options are limited.

What's the difference between a Homebuyer Report and a Structural Survey?

Many buyers are confused by the difference between a Mortgage Valuation, a Homebuyers Report and a Structural Survey. If you don’t work in the industry, it’s understandable, but there’s an easy way to clarify.

Why You Should Use a Mortgage Adviser

Buying your home is probably the most expensive asset you’ll buy in your life. It’s therefore important that you get it right.

Documents to Provide When Applying for a Mortgage

One of the most common reasons for a delay in the mortgage application process is missing information.

What is a Mortgage in Principle?

A mortgage in principle is an initial mortgage offer made by a lender to a borrower. The offer is conditional upon checks and other criteria (including an acceptable mortgage valuation) but it has several benefits for the borrower.

Reasons Why Our Clients use an Equity Release Loan.

In simple terms, Equity Release lending enables you to release and use some of the equity tied up in your home whilst still allowing you to remain living there during your lifetime.

Use the Rental Exchange to Increase your Credit Score While Renting.

The Rental Exchange is primarily a database which aims to better record and score a tenant applying for a mortgage.

What is a Structural Survey? | What Does it Include & Cost?

Some buyers will decide to obtain an RICS Survey Report which generally covers a rudimentary report on the fabric of the property.

How the Interest Rate Rise May Affect You

Those of you that read our weekly articles here at Mortgage Required will recall that we warned of the widely-predicted rise in the Bank of England Base Rate back in the first quarter of 2018. Well, this week it has happened.

How do I Switch Mortgages?

If you think you might want to switch mortgages first you need to establish what it is going to cost.

New Legislation for HMO Landlords

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government have recently introduced new guidelines for HMO landlords.

How First Time Buyer Mortgages Work

When buying a home most of us need to borrow money. This loan is secured on the property you are buying and should you fail to stick to the terms agreed it’s possible that the lender will take possession and then sell the property to pay off what is owed.

How Much Can I Afford to Borrow on a Mortgage?

A mortgage lender will look at several things when deciding how much you can borrow. They are...

Mortgages are now the most affordable they’ve been for a decade!

It’s no surprise to many homeowners that mortgage repayments in the UK are the most affordable they have been for a decade but now Halifax have brought facts to prove it.

How can I be sure a broker will get me the best deal for me?

When using an advisor to find your next mortgage on the best terms - for you - make sure to check that they are whole market advisors.

List of Conveyancers in Maidenhead

We do not recommend any specific conveyancer but here is a list of local conveyancers in Maidenhead.

Tips on Getting a Mortgage When You’re Self-employed.

If you own the business and it is healthy and profitable there should be no problem.

Beat an Interest Rate Rise by Securing a New Mortgage Now.

As with all decisions in life, timing is usually critical. Perhaps now is a good time to re-appraise your own mortgage deal and consider options for the future?

Mortgages are the most Affordable since the 1990s

With interest rates having been at historical lows for over a decade it is, perhaps, unsurprising that a recent report by the Halifax has concluded that the proportion of the average UK homeowner’s income committed to paying the mortgage is currently well below the historical average of the last forty years.

Should I Use A Mortgage Advisor or Find My Own Mortgage?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using an FCA qualified and accredited mortgage broker over, say, doing it yourself?

How to Get a Mortgage For a Property Being Sold at Auction

Buying a property at auction can be fun but you need to know what you are doing if you aren't to make some very costly mistakes.

Will my Mortgage Affect My Credit Score?

Yes. But usually on a good way, in the long term anyway.

Money Saving Tips Before the Next Interest Rate Rise

Whilst predicting the future is a precarious business it is worth noting that The Base Rate has been rumbling along at next to nothing for a decade now and at some point rises are inevitable.

The Interest-Only Mortgage ‘Timebomb’

If you are one of the estimated 2.6 Million people with an interest-only mortgage that expires within the next 10 years, now is the time to at least consider how you are planning to repay it.

Over how many years can I stretch my mortgage?

Mortgage rates remain low but with first-time buyers now regularly in their thirties and older, the monthly cost of borrowing is still sometimes relatively high. This is because most mortgage lenders will not extend a loan past a borrower’s retirement age.

What should I do about my mortgage when I move house?

When moving home most of us will have an existing mortgage to consider and, of course, we have to make provision for the mortgage on our existing home to be cleared before someone else can buy it.

Who are the Equity Release Council

The Equity Release Council is a not-for-profit organisation and is the recognised industry body for the equity release mortgage sector.

Do you have a plan in place for the end of your interest only Mortgage?

For many of us who took out a Mortgage in the 90’s the end of the term is coming. For some, this is a cause for celebration as they will pay their final mortgage payment but for others who took out an interest only mortgage, it can be a worrying time.

Should you fix your mortgage for five years?

With recent rises in The Bank of England base rate and more in the pipeline, many are being tempted by the stability that a five year fix brings.

We're Delighted to Support Maidenhead United.

We have continued our sponsorship of Maidenhead United FC, as they enjoy their first season in the national League.

The FCA are Concerned with Interest Only Mortgages

The FCA has published guidance to help set out what is expected of lenders and brokers when dealing with borrowers that have an interest-only mortgage.

What is a Lifetime Mortgage and How does it Work?

A lifetime mortgage is a loan made to older applicants which is secured on their home. You have the option not to repay it on a monthly basis but, instead, the interest can be rolled-up over the remainder of your life.

Help to Buy Equity Loans are More Popular Than Ever

The Help to Buy Schemes continue to be used by home buyers keen to get into the housing market. 2017 was an busy year with over 32,000 new-build homes purchased.

What is Mortgage Lending Criteria?

Mortgage Lending Criteria vary from lender to lender and they change fairly regularly. Set by the lender’s underwriters, the criteria are decided upon as part of the lender’s risk management of their entire ‘lending book’s’ portfolio.

Three Ways to Get on the Housing Ladder

No matter where you live, property in the UK is now relatively expensive with the average house price having nearly trebled since 1995. So, what can you do to get on the housing ladder? Here are three ideas to consider.

Tips to speed up your Mortgage Application

There is little that can be done to speed up the process and, frankly, you should not want to do so. However, there are some simple things you can do to help smooth the process.

Equity Release Lending Record High 2017

Equity release records broken as unprecedented Q4 activity sees 2017 lending reach £3.06bn with annual growth at a 15-year high.

How to Choose your Conveyancer

The conveyancer that you instruct must be properly qualified and authorised to act as your representative in the conveyancing process.

Our Top Ten Favourite Property Apps

Apps are now playing a greater and more sophisticated role in the life of the homeowner and new home buyer. Here are a few of our favourites UK property apps for your mobile gadgets.

A Guide To Shared Ownership

Shared ownership is nothing new but it is becoming more popular as house prices continue to grow out of the reach of even well paid individuals - especially in the South East of England.

How to Get a Mortgage When You're in the Armed Forces

At Mortgage Required we are authorised Help to Buy agents and also offer a specialist service to members of the armed forces.

Swap SVR

15 Dec 2017

Everyone with a mortgage should check if they are on the SVR now, as the rates will rise from historic lows this month. Everyone with a mortgage should check if they are on the SVR now, as the rates will rise from historic lows this month. 

Stamp Duty Scrapped for First Time Buyers

When most people now buy a new home, the Government recently introduced relief for first time buyers purchasing a home on or after 22 November 2017.

6 Ways to Help Your Child onto the Property Ladder

With property prices in many parts of the UK continuing to rise, many young people could be forgiven for assuming that they will never become a homeowner in their own right. However, this is not necessarily the case. 

What Is A 'Second Charge' In Property?

A mortgage is no more than a secured loan against an asset by way of a lien. A second charge works in exactly the same way. 

Mortgage Required Join the Equity Release Council

We are delighted to be able to announce that Mortgage Required has joined the Equity Release Council.

Bank of England Voted to Raise the Base Rate

16 Nov 2017

On 2nd November, The Bank of England has voted to raise the base rate to 0.5 %, the first increase in more than ten years.

Stamp Duty Refunds for 10,000 People with Second Home Error.

More recently, the UK government introduced a relatively complex scale of tax bands aimed in large part at discouraging the purchase of second homes and property used for buy-to-let investment.

Stamp Duty Changes for Buy to Let Landlords

The UK Government have been keen to discourage the small private buy to let investor. From April 2016, anyone purchasing an additional buy to let property must pay at least an extra 3 per cent in stamp duty land tax.

New Requirements for Portfolio Landlords on Buy to Let Properties

As part of a portfolio of measures aimed at cooling demand from the buy-to-let market, the UK’s Government have recently introduced several fiscal measures aimed at achieving a reduction in those interested in entering the private buy-to-let market.

Landlords - See How the Latest Changes Will Affect You

27 Oct 2017

The Buy to Let landscape is changing. The government fully intends to collect more tax from landlords and the option to buy and rent out property may no longer be open to just anyone who can raise a deposit.

What is a Mortgage Broker and why you should use One.

A mortgage broker is an intermediary whose primary function is to advise his client on the mortgage best suited to his or her individual circumstance and specific needs.

Can I get a Mortgage when I’m on a ‘zero hours’ contract?

If you use an experienced mortgage broker you may find that as long as you have an otherwise good credit history, there is hope. In order to give yourself the best possible chance, you should do some early preparation.

How Long does it take to Get a Mortgage?

The mortgage process is relatively swift these days, but only if you have already spent some time getting together all the information you need. 

Interest rates are on the march…. upwards!

6 Oct 2017

It looks like mortgage rates are on the increase. Scottish Widows, Halifax and NatWest have all announced they are withdrawing rates this week and new products will have higher rates.

Understanding Mortgage Types & Rates

In today’s lending market there are a large variety of mortgage types. For the purposes of this article, we’re looking simply at repayment and interest-only mortgages.

What is the Difference between an Unsecured and Secured Loan?

An unsecured loan is a loan made to a party without any particular asset offered as collateral. A secured loan on the other hand is secured on your property, which has very different implications. 

Next Saturday the Government will help you buy your next home - and here’s how.

For the second time, Mortgage required will be attending the enormously successful Help to Buy Show in Reading.

Afternoon Tea on the Thames

Mortgage Required were delighted to take 50 suffers of Altzeimers and their carers on a fantastic day on the River Thames.

Jack and Joe Join the Team

We are delighted to continue our apprentice programme with the arrival of our latests employees Jack and Joe

2017 ADS Santa Fun Run is Launched

Mortgage Required are once again the title sponsor for the annual ADS Santa Fun Run held at the famous Olympic rowing lake at Dorney.

Life Insurance - The Basics

Many consider life insurance to be a mere ‘bolt-on’ to the mortgage itself but where the life insurance sum is large the selection of the right policy is worth taking some time to consider.

Landlords – Are You up to Speed with the Changes?

29 Aug 2017

There have been so many changes in the Buy to Let sector, that I thought it was time for a general round up.

Energy Performance Certificate rating is changing for landlords

The 1st April 2018 will see any properties rented out in the private rented sector requiring a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). If you don’t have this rating, you are unlikely to be able to legally rent out your property after this date.

Do I Need Mortgage Protection?

There are a variety of different types of protection available to you and if you have a mortgage it’s worth considering which type best suits you and your family.

What Does it Cost to Buy a House?

Here are the costs you may incur when buying a house.

What is a Homebuyer’s Report?

A Homebuyer’s Report is one of several different types of report that can be purchased by the buyer of a property.

The Importance of Mortgage Protection

25 Jul 2017

Around 14.5 million UK adults have a mortgage but only 50% hold any sort of Mortgage Protection, leaving the rest at risk of losing their home if they are affected by unforeseen events…

Do I have to pay Capital Gains Tax when I sell my Home?

If you own more than one property (e.g. a holiday home or buy to let) you must elect one as your primary residence for tax purposes.

Different Types of Mortgage Explained

Most of us need a mortgage to buy our first home and. But the types of loan available to the home buyer are wide and varied.

Specialist Mortgage Broker for the Armed Forces

Whether you serve in the Army, Air Force or Navy, whether in a regular of Territorial capacity, we at Mortgage Required recognise your very particular needs and we’re here to help.

What is a Mortgage Agreement ‘in Principle’ (AIP)?

A Mortgage in Principle is something we recommend. It certainly helps strengthen a buyer’s position when they are making an offer on a property. So what is a Mortgage in Principle? 

What affects my Credit Score and how is it Calculated?

Mortgage lenders have put together a number of criteria by which they can rank their borrowers in terms of potential risk.

What to Consider when Choosing a Mortgage Broker

Securing the right mortgage for you - on the best terms available - can be a complicated business. That is why you should use the best mortgage broker you can find.

Is it possible to ‘Port’ a Mortgage?

There are several reasons why porting your existing mortgage loan might be advantageous, especially if you currently benefit from beneficial loan terms.

10 Top Tips for Moving Home With Pets

Here are 10 top tips to help make moving home with pets as simple as possible.

5 Tips for Buy to Let Investors looking to Reduce their Capital Gains Tax liability.

Capital Gains Tax (CGT), as the name suggests, is charged upon the increase in value of an asset held by an individual. It is payable only when the gain is realised (i.e. a property sold or, in many cases, transferred) by that individual.

How to Prepare Before Making a Mortgage Application

A large part of a mortgage lender’s decision-making now comes from what are known as ‘affordability tests’ or ‘stress tests’. These calculations are based around the lender’s personal circumstances.

Bank of Mum and Dad

More than a third of all first-time buyers now rely on help from “The Bank of Mum and Dad”. According to research, parents now part-fund 34.1% of property purchases, up from 20% seven years ago.

Is Equity Release a Good Idea?

Equity release is a way for pensioners to release money by way of a loan secured on your home or through the sale of all or part of your home.

Do You need a Lawyer to Write a Will?

Contrary to belief, you do not need to use a lawyer in order to write your own will. It must simply be in writing and be properly witnessed by two independent third parties when you sign it.

What are the New PRA Rules for Buy To Let Mortgages

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) is a part of the Bank of England and is responsible for the regulation and supervision of banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers and major investment firms. 

Mortgage Required at Berkshire's Biggest Help to Buy Show!

6 Apr 2017

As one of the area’s largest Independent Mortgage Firms, Mortgage Required are delighted to announce we will be exhibiting at Berkshire’s biggest ‘Help to Buy’ Home Show on Saturday 8 April.

Brexit & Mortgages

6 Apr 2017

Article 50 has been triggered/ sent / delivered and negotiations have begun. If you haven’t taken advantage of the extremely low mortgage rates on offer, now is the time to grab one as Brexit or no Brexit, the only way is up.

What does Exchange of Contracts Mean? | What You Need To Know

When buying your home one of the critical points referred to by everyone is ‘exchange of contracts’. But what is it and why is it important?

How to Choose A Buy to Let Property.

Once you have made the decision to invest in a residential Buy to Let property, it’s worth sticking to a few basic rules. This is likely to make the whole process simpler and easier to manage further down the line.

Help to Buy – A fantastic way to get on the property ladder!

20 Mar 2017

Mortgage Required are approved Help to Buy Mortgage Advisers and have helped lots of clients to buy a home through this government fantastic scheme.

What is the Help to Buy Shared Ownership Scheme?

The scheme works on the basis that rather than having to put together a deposit and mortgage to purchase the whole of the property, a buyer can now purchase part of the property with the other 25 - 75% of the home being owned by a third party under the terms of this scheme.

What is a Help to Buy Equity Loan?

A help to buy equity loan is part of the Government’s initiative to help both existing homeowners looking to move and first-time buyers trying to get onto the housing ladder.

Nationwide’s ‘Mortgage Broker of the Quarter’ awarded to Craig Head.

28 Feb 2017

All of us at Mortgage Required were delighted to receive confirmation earlier this month that our head broker, Craig Head, was nominated by Nationwide’s Business Development Manager.

Borrowing Into Retirement

23 Feb 2017

The Insurance giant Prudential recently carried out research which found that 25% of 2017s retirees will retire in debt. This is at its highest level for seven years.

“Help to Buy” Government Loan Scheme now available at Mortgage Required

The shared ownership and Help to Buy schemes are only available through recognised and authorised agents. Mortgage Required is delighted to announce that we are now able to offer our clients mortgages for both schemes as approved Help to Buy mortgage advisers.

How are Mortgage Affordability Scores Calculated?

Since the introduction of mortgage affordability tests the lender will ask detailed questions about the your income, employment status, age, personal circumstances, other debts and liabilities and lifestyle.

Bad Credit

14 Feb 2017

More and more lenders are agreeing to mortgages where customers have had blips on their credit profile. The main questions are, How big was the blip? How many blips do you have? and How long ago was the blip?!

Why do I Need Critical Illness Cover?

Critical illness insurance usually pays out in the event that you suffer from one of a variety of serious conditions including heart attack, stroke, certain types and stages of cancer, multiple sclerosis, etc or injury

How much does Maidenhead Council Tax cost and how is it calculated?

Maidenhead Council tax is a local tax to help pay for local services. These services include police and fire services, upkeep of local roads and street lighting, drainage, etc

Slim Down Your Mortgage Payments

30 Jan 2017

Most lenders contribute to the re-mortgaging costs and the process is really not as complicated as people think –as long as you have a good broker acting for you.

What is the Mortgage Market Review (MMR)?

Part of the review requires lenders to implement a financial ‘stress test’. This means that lenders will want to make sure that even if (and when) interest rates rise their borrower will still be able to pay the increased mortgage repayments.

Gas Safety Responsibility for Landlords

As Landlord you inherit several responsibilities around the need to secure your tenant’s safety. One of these includes the requirement for an annual Gas Safety Certificate.

What is Income Protection Insurance?

Long-term income protection is an mortgage insurance policy that is designed to cover you if you're unable to work due to injury or illness.

How to Repay Your Interest Only Mortgage

11 Jan 2017

If you are still working, there are plenty of lenders happy to extend terms on a interest only mortgage. 

Top Tips to Getting a Mortgage When You Are Self-Employed

Mortgage lenders are looking for a clear picture of your finances over time. They need to see that you are regularly profitable and that the business is stable.

75% of Borrowers Could be Missing Out on the Opportunity to Pay Less for Their Mortgage!

23 Dec 2016

New research shows that 75% of borrowers could be missing out on the opportunity to pay less for their mortgage.

5 Top Tips for Buy to Let Investors

With banks offering tiny returns on cash savings and ISAs and the fairly recent stock market volatility still fresh in people’s minds, investing in property is still considered by many to be the best way to invest their money.

What is the difference between Terminal and Critical Illness Cover?

Terminal illness cover pays when the policyholder is diagnosed as having an illness which is likely to cause death in the near future. The ‘near future’ can vary but it’s usually either six or twelve months. Many life insurance policies include terminal illness cover for no additional charge.

What You Need to Know About Home Insurance

Most of us have everything we own in our homes and the idea that it could all be lost to fire, theft of some other calamity that could otherwise have been insured is a sobering thought.

Do I Need to Pay Tax When I Sell My House?

As with all tax matters, you should consider your personal tax status and that of your spouse. Whilst you may expect to be liable (or not liable) for tax in certain circumstances, personal tax status and previous behaviour might result in a different outcome.

What would happen to the shares in your business if a director died?

When a company director dies, it is usual for his shares to pass to whomever inherits his shares through his will. The mechanism by which the deceased’s executor might implement this transfer will, unless otherwise stated, be set out in the company’s articles.

Equity Release has never been so popular. What is it?

9 Nov 2016

Equity release is a term given to the mechanism by which a homeowner can raise either a cash lump sum or a regular periodic income in return for either selling or mortgaging all or part of their home. 

Help to Buy Scheme Ending Soon

9 Nov 2016

It looks like the Government’s Help to Buy 2 scheme will come to an end on 1st January 2017 as planned.

What is a Buy to Let Stress Test and Why do Mortgage Companies Use Them?

A stress test is the term given to the process by which lenders assess the sustainable affordability of a loan to a buyer. Required by law to undertake such affordability tests as a result of legislation following the 2008 credit crunch and housing crisis, stress tests are there to protect the borrower (and the lender) for entering into ill-conceived or risky loan arrangements.

What is the difference between Life Assurance and Life Insurance?

Sometimes, the terms life insurance and life assurance are used interchangeably but it is important to realise that they are very different products.

How to Improve your Chances of Getting a Mortgage

Nowadays, obtaining a mortgage is a complicated thing. We all have credit scores, whether we know it or not, and our chances of obtaining a mortgage offer will be largely determined by that score.

Why are landlords setting up a limited company to purchase buy to lets?

18 Oct 2016

The solution for some seems to be to set up a limited company within which to purchase the buy to lets.

What is the Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme?

With ‘Help to Buy’, the Government lends you up to 20% of the cost of your newly built home, so you may only need a 5% cash deposit and a 75% mortgage to make up the rest.  To reflect the current property prices in London, from February 2016 the Government is increasing the upper limit for the equity loan it gives new home-buyers within Greater London from 20% to 40%.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney (POA) or letter of attorney is a written authorization to represent or act on another's behalf in private affairs, business, or some other legal matter, sometimes against the wishes of the other.

Can I Get a Mortgage with a CCJ?

There are a variety of criteria that a mortgage lender will set before they will consider lending. Some lenders will not lend to a borrower with previous CCJs but others will, dependent on the facts. Of course, the riskier a borrower is deemed to be, the more expensive the mortgage is.

Is it Time to Check Your Credit File?

21 Sep 2016

CCJs are a black mark on your credit file and can stop someone getting a mortgage or even qualifying for a mobile phone contract. The main problem with CCJs is that a lot of people simply don’t know they even have them, until they are turned down for credit.

The Lowest Bank of England Interest Rates in History!

August 2016 ushered in the lowest ever Bank of England Base rate at a staggering 0.25%. To put this in perspective, the highest Bank of England Base Rate was set at 15% during the Summer of 1990.  But why is the Bank of England Base Rate relevant to the homeowner?

How to Repay Your Mortgage Faster

It’s perhaps one of life’s ironies that most of us are keen to get on the housing ladder and yet, almost as soon as we get there, we are just as keen to get rid ourselves of the debt burden we were so keen to take on to buy our dream home.

Tax Efficient Life Cover for Small Businesses

One benefit of the current tax regime is that life cover, if taken out by the company, can be treated as an expense for tax purposes and is therefore allowable against corporation tax. 

Why Use an Independent Mortgage Broker?

Our brokers are professionally trained and qualified to offer you the best quality advice. We work on your behalf. You are our client and as such we owe you a legal duty of care to act in your best interests. At Mortgage Required, we are on your side, we know the market and we are here to help!

What is Accident, Sickness and Unemployment (ASU) Insurance?

Both Payment Protection Insurance and Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance are forms of ASU. Accident, Sickness and Unemployment Insurance is usually taken when someone is concerned about how they would meet their obligations were they to be incapacitated by accident, sickness or unemployment.

The Lowest Interest Rate in History

15 Aug 2016

The Bank of England’s Monitory Policy Committee voted unanimously to reduce the Bank of England base rate to 0.25%, in order to stimulate growth in the economy post Brexit. This is the lowest the bank rate has been in its history.

How Do I Switch Mortgage Providers?

Before you change mortgage provider, if it is to obtain a cheaper deal than your existing one, consider asking your provider about their ‘product transfers’ before you commit to moving.

What Happens to My Mortgage if I Lose My Job?

Losing your job or finding yourself ‘between jobs’ is, unsurprisingly, a stressful place to be. Keeping a cool head and taking action is important.

Who Will Look After My Children if I Die Without a Will?

One of the biggest fears of any parent is that they die leaving young children. Of course, we all want to leave our children what we can in financial terms, but if they are under 18 then they will also need a guardian to look after them.

Why does Virgin Money suggest you use a Mortgage Broker?

It has long been recognised that the best way to secure the right mortgage deal is to fully explore the market and what is on offer to whom. As the financial markets have expanded and matured, it has become harder for the layperson to interrogate the market completely and with the level of forensic understanding required if the best informed decision is to be made.

Free Protection Review with Every Mortgage

As a professional, responsible company Mortgage Required believe all clients should be aware of the risks associated with every loan. With this in mind we offer all customers a free protection review.

What Happens if Someone Dies Without a Will?

If you die without a Will in place then you are said to be ‘intestate’ and the laws of the land will decide what happens to your estate.

Mortgages post Brexit

7 Jul 2016

One of the silver linings of Brexit — for now — is that mortgage rates remain very competitive My advice on what to do now is to Remortgage to an excellent deal without delay, in case these deals  are replaced or withdrawn.

Who Would Have Control of My Finances if I was Incapacitated?

Dying without a Will is a very bad idea.. However, what if you don’t die? What if you are simply incapacitated and unable to either work and/or make your wishes known in respect of child care or the management of your assets?

What is a Sealing Fee?

A ‘sealing fee’ is sometimes also referred to as a ‘discharge fee’, ‘redemption fee’ or ‘exit fee’. The fee, when charged, is usually between £100 to £300 and is stated in your mortgage’s terms and conditions.

The main differences between buying a property in England and Scotland

Whilst the legal systems of Scotland and England vary and there are some specific differences with respect to the purchase and sale of property, both systems have advantages and disadvantages.

What happens if I don’t have a Will?

A will is a means by which a person may set out their wishes in respect of their estate in the event of their death. It might detail the deceased’s wishes for funeral arrangements and go into as much or as little detail as required, perhaps even detailing music and a venue for the wake!

What does the Purchase Price of Property include?

To specify exactly what is included in the sale of property in a short blog is impossible. However, for the purposes of this item, we’ll exclude mineral rights and the legal definition of Freehold and Leasehold interests and look at something more basic!

Who Needs a Will?

If you have anything of value to leave when you die, or you have dependents or children that are under the age of majority, then you should have a Will that appoints guardians and allocates your wealth appropriately.

What Does ‘Tie in Period’ Mean?

If you go to an independent mortgage adviser like Mortgage Required who are not restricted to just one lender, then you will see lots of different mortgages, all with different terms.

100% Mortgages

23 May 2016

Barclays have re-launched their ‘Family Spring Board Mortgage’ which effectively allows borrowers access to 100% mortgages.

Should I Overpay My Mortgage?

The term ‘overpaying’ your mortgage refers to the voluntary additional payment of cash into your mortgage account over and above the agreed monthly sum.

Bank of Mum and Dad - BOMAD

12 May 2016

The Bank of Mum and Dad (or as it is affectionately know at Mortgage Required – BOMAD) is now equivalent to one of the UK’s top 10 mortgage lenders and is set part with over £5bn in 2016.

What Does Conveyancing Mean? | Conveyancer Definition

Conveyancing is the name given to the field of law that specialises in the sale and transfer of land and buildings.

Can the seller of a property just pull out if he gets a better offer?

Until such time as all the terms of a legally binding contract have been agreed, recorded in a document and that document has been signed by both parties, then the deal is no more than a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ and has little or no force in law.

How much Deposit do you need for a Buy to Let Mortgage?

Borrowing money for a ‘buy to let’ investment is different to borrowing for your own home. The interest rate is usually higher in comparison and the deposit required is usually between 20% and 40% of the property’s value.

What Credit Checks do Mortgage Companies do?

After the 2008 mortgage bubble and crash, mortgage companies have been under a greater duty to make sure that borrowers are able to pay their monthly payments even if mortgage rates increased significantly.

Legal requirements for Landlords fitting carbon monoxide detectors

From the 1st October 2015 regulations require smoke alarms to be installed in rented residential accommodation and carbon monoxide alarms in rooms with a solid fuel appliance.

What are the new restrictions being imposed on buy to let mortgages?

31 Mar 2016

If you are a buy to let investor, you might be forgiven for feeling just a little bit picked on recently. What with the increases in SDLT (Stamp Duty Land Tax) aimed squarely at you and the upcoming removal of mortgage interest tax relief, the ‘cons’ are starting to outweigh the ‘pros’ for many investors looking for a home for their money, especially highly geared, high rate tax paying Landlords outside London’s ‘magic circle'.

What are the costs of selling a house?

If you are selling a house you will incur significant costs including the procurement of an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate), your estate agent’s disbursements, advertising and marketing costs and their sales commission, your conveyancer’s fees and their disbursements, your removal costs and any additional expenditure that might be incurred including, perhaps, all the other costs incurred by you in the purchase of your new home!

Budget 2016 – Key Points For You

18 Mar 2016

Budget 2016 - Key Points For You:

Insurance Premium Tax, Stamp Duty,  Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Inheritance Tax, Individual Savings Account (ISA).

How do you get George Osborne to pay £32,000 into your savings account?

17 Mar 2016

On the face of it, persuading the Chancellor of the Exchequer to pay a large lump sum into your personal savings account seems like the stuff of fairytales but, after yesterday’s budget announcement, it seems that if you are currently 17 or under and will be 18 in April 2017, you will qualify to open a new ‘Lifetime ISA’ that will accrue up to £32,000 in government contributions up until to your 50th year.

What Property Searches are carried out and Why?

As part of the house buying process, your legal representative will undertake several ‘searches’ on your behalf. The cost of these searches will be charged back to you as expenses (disbursements).

What is a Mortgage Indemnity Guarantee?

A Mortgage Indemnity Guarantee (MIG) is an insurance policy that protects lenders if the mortgage repayments cease for some reason, perhaps due to death or a homeowner being made redundant at work. The MIG is NOT insurance protecting the borrower but is there to reduce the lender’s losses as a result of mortgage default.

How Long does it take to Buy a House?

Rather than try to give you a definitive timeframe to buy a house, it is probably best if we give you an idea of the potential pitfalls you may encounter. This way, you are best prepared to avoid them and speed the process.

Equity Release is More Popular than Ever

25 Feb 2016

There is only one subject for me to write about this week and that’s “Equity Release.” At Mortgage Required, we get all sorts of enquiries, but never before have we had so many enquires of this nature.  It seems that so many retired people are “asset rich/ penny poor” and they are looking for a way to get their hands on some of their equity.

What does ‘Sold Subject to Contract’ mean?

Unless otherwise agreed, either party may withdraw from a transaction at any time before the purchase contract has been signed by both parties (or their authorised representatives) and exchanged. At this point a deposit is normally paid in consideration of the agreement and the deal becomes legally binding on both parties in according with the contract terms.

How is a Completion Date Chosen?

Once a sale has been agreed, specialist legal representatives (conveyancing solicitors or licensed conveyancers) will be instructed by the buyer and seller. It is usual for the seller’s representative to raise a contract for sale of the land, provide answers to what are called ‘pre contract enquiries’, offer proof of title and set out a schedule for what is included in the sale and when the sale will take place.

Help to Buy ISA Savings Account

10 Feb 2016

On the 1st of December 2015, the Help to Buy ISA savings account was launched. Since then, at least 140,000 people have opened one. This is great news for first-time buyers, who can now earn up to 4% tax-free interest on their savings.

Can a ‘Freelancer’ get a Mortgage?

Yes, but unfortunately, because of the various misdeeds and over zealous behaviour of both some borrowers and some lenders in the run up to the Great Credit Crunch of 2008, it is now rather more difficult for freelancers and the self employed to obtain a mortgage offer.

What is the Right to Rent Scheme?

If you are looking to rent out your property in Maidenhead after 1. February 2016 the UK will require Landlords to undertake ‘Right to Rent’ checks on all tenants.

What is an Offset Mortgage?

An Offset Mortgage simply allows you to set the balance of a savings account you might have against the outstanding loan balance when calculating interest charged on your mortgage.

Mortgage Required Challenge | We'll Beat Your Interest Rate Quote

25 Jan 2016

It’s been an interesting month at Mortgage Required, as we launched our 2016 campaign,” Saving Britain, one Mortgage at a time.” As well as making the staff dress up as Superheroes (yes really), we hit the road to take the message round the Thames Valley, that just like any other household bill, homeowners can also save money on their mortgage.

What does Completion mean?

The house buying process can seem very long-winded and complicated but in reality it is just that so many different things need to be checked before the mortgagee will hand over the monies to the buyer’s solicitor and the buyer’s solicitor will hand over the monies to the seller.

What is a Licensed Conveyancer?

In the past, when purchasing a property it was necessary to employ the services of a solicitor. Like many other professions, solicitors may specialise and most people only ever use a solicitor when buying or selling their home or when drafting a Will.

What is Home Insurance and What does it Cover?

Home insurance may cover a variety of ‘risks’. Most standard policies will list the risks covered and crucially which risks are either excluded or treated differently.

What is Gazumping?

‘Gazumping’ normally becomes newsworthy as each property boom gains momentum, as prices start to rise fast. That said, it can happen at any time.

What is Negative Equity?

The equity in a property is best defined as the net surplus value that remains after any secured loans against the property are deducted from the property’s market value. 

What is a Standard Variable Rate (SVR) Mortgage?

The Standard Variable Rate quoted by a lender is the interest rate that a lender chooses to apply to mortgages, typically when a customer’s fixed rate or tracker rate ends. Unlike a tracker, the Bank may choose not to follow the specific indices linked to the tracker mortgage (usually the Bank of England’s Base Rate) when adjusting their Standard Variable rate.

ADS Santa Fun Run 2015

30 Nov 2015

Despite the weather doing its best to disrupt the annual ADS Santa Fun, sponsored by Mortgage Required it was the biggest and best yet.

Help to Buy ISA Scheme

30 Nov 2015

The Government has launched an “Own your Home Campaign,” offering various initiatives to help people onto the property ladder. 1st December 2015 sees the launch of the government’s Help to Buy ISA scheme for first-time buyers.

Buy to Let Stamp Duty Changes

27 Nov 2015

Anyone buying a 2nd property will see an additional 3% on their stamp duty rate from April 2016. This means that tax bill on a buy-to-let property costing £250,000 will jump from £2,500 to £8,800. 

What is Inheritance Tax and How Much is it?

In the UK, at the time of writing, Inheritance Tax may become payable where the value of ‘the estate’ (effectively the net worth) of an individual resident in the UK exceeds £325,000. If IHT is payable, it is usually paid out of the Estate by the Executor of the Estate or the Administrator of the Will.

New Help to Buy ISA Scheme

20 Nov 2015

As part of the Government’s stated policy of helping first time buyers into the housing market, a new initiative is launched at the end of this month.

From December 1st 2015 first time buyers can advantage of the new Help to Buy ISA scheme which gives every individual a cash boost towards the deposit on their first home.

Lending into Retirement

16 Nov 2015

The Building Society Association (BSA) announced that they are reviewing age limits on mortgages as more customers demand longer mortgage terms in order to keep monthly costs down. Older homebuyers may soon find it easier to get a mortgage as many lenders currently insist mortgages are repaid prior to the borower’s planned retirement dates.

What is a Tracker Mortgage?

A tracker mortgage is very much like any other mortgage in most ways. However, whereas the standard variable rate mortgage mortgage interest rate is set by the lender, a tracker mortgage has its interest rate set with reference to in most cases, the Bank of England’s Base Rate.

Do I need Insurance for a Mortgage?

If you have a mortgage, you are required to insure your house against potential damage, subsidence, fire and other risks. You will also want to protect the value of your contents against these risks and theft.

New Buy to Let Mortgages

3 Nov 2015

Interest rates are so low that mortgage lenders can’t really cut them any more in order to win business. Instead of fighting it out in a rate war, providers are looking for new markets or niche areas for lending.

What is a ‘Fixed Rate Mortgage’?

As the name suggest, a ‘fixed rate mortgage’ is a mortgage that has an agreed rate of interest fixed at the start of the loan. It won’t vary in line with the Bank of England Lending Rate, LIBOR or the mortgage company’s Standard Variable Rate (SVR) for the fixed rate period

Interest Rate Drop in Q4

15 Oct 2015

According to the latest credit conditions survey, swap rates (money market rates) are falling, and mortgage lenders therefore expect interest rates to fall in Q4.

Buy-to-let is expected to see even greater falls in pricing in the coming three months, after significant drop in the cost of loans in Q3.

What is the Land Registry? | How Much Do Registration Fees Cost?

Her Majesty’s Land Registry is a non-ministerial Government Department, Executive Agency and Trading Fund according to the Land Registration Act 2002. “So what does it have to do with buying and selling your home”? you might ask.

How much Deposit do I need to buy a House?

How long is a piece of string? There are many variables at play when considering the ideal deposit to make your house purchase, but the primary one is most likely to be “What is the minimum deposit I can get away with to buy this house?”

New Self-Funded 95% Mortgages from Nationwide

30 Sep 2015

This month saw Nationwide Building Society launch a range of self-funded 95% mortgages, its first since 2008.

What is a Self Certified Mortgage?

A self-certified mortgage or ‘self-certification’ was a popular way for the self-employed to obtain a mortgage pre Credit Crunch. The process was generally reliant on an applicant being truthful in their statements in respect of personal income and it was aimed at the self-employed and people with a variable and unpredictable monthly wage packet.

Mortgage Required Partners with Northwood Estate Agents

23 Sep 2015

Mortgage Required are delighted to have partnered with Northwood of Maidenhead, to supply mortgage advice to their clients.

Can I get a Mortgage with a Bad or Poor Credit rating?

Whilst a stable employment history, good salary and large deposit are all good starting points when applying for a mortgage, your application is still likely to be refused by many lenders if you have a poor credit rating.

What is a Mortgage Payment Holiday?

Despite the terms you have agreed, in some cases you might be able to persuade your lender to let you delay or reduce your monthly payments for an agreed period of time. This is generally referred to as a ‘mortgage holiday’.

New Family Mortgages

2 Sep 2015

The Family Building Society is the brain child of the Chairman on the National Counties Building Society, and was set up specifically to “help families who can work together to use their money and their assets more successfully.

What is an Interest Only Mortgage?

As the name suggests, an interest only mortgage requires that you only pay the interest element of your mortgage in your monthly mortgage repayment.

Mortgage Brokers Market Share

27 Aug 2015

Mortgage Brokers’ market share is now at its highest ever level, with adviser-introduced loans accounting for 69 per cent of new mortgages in 2015 year to date, and it’s rising!

What does ‘Whole of Market’ mean?

In the context of mortgage advice, a ‘Whole of Market’ broker is not necessarily able to look at all mortgages available in the UK from UK Lenders, they only need to have a panel of lenders who represent each sector of the mortgage market.

Help to Buy ISA Update

13 Aug 2015

Just as all memories of the “Help to Buy” ISA announced in the last budget were fading, the Treasury has named the first six banks and building societies that will offer first time buyers said “Help to Buy ISA.” The Treasury has confirmed that the list is not intended to be exhaustive and that there is still time for other providers to join the scheme and offer the account to savers.

What is a Bridging Loan?

Bridging loans are a short-term funding option, usually required to 'bridge' a gap between the purchase of one property and the sale of another.

Do You Have Mortgage Protection?

6 Aug 2015

A recent review of Mortgage Required clients revealed that more and more customers are taking up the option of protecting their mortgage.

What is a Transfer Deed?

A transfer deed is a document used in conveyancing in England and Wales to transfer real property from its legal owner to another party, and is the document used when residential property is sold.

What is a Charge Certificate?

Where property is registered with HM Land Registry the Charge Certificate will prove the ownership or transfer of land. This includes Freehold and Leasehold Interests.

Katie Lavender - Passes her Ce-Map 2

29 Jul 2015

Katie Lavender one of our Mortgage Advisors has just passed her Ce-map 2 exam meaning she is only 1 exam away from becoming fully qualified.

When is the best time to sign up for a new mortgage?

28 Jul 2015

Following Mark Carney's comments last week that base rates may rise as early as the end of this year, followed by increased press coverage on the subject, we are receiving calls daily asking "when should I sign up?"

What are Title Deeds? | What Happens Title Deeds On Completion?

Title deeds are paper documents showing the chain of ownership for land and property. They can include: conveyances, contracts for sale, wills, mortgages and leases.

Tim Atkinson sails the Atlantic

24 Jul 2015

Tim Managing Director of Mortgage Required ticked a box in his bucket list in June when with two other sailors on a 42 foot Yacht he crossed the Atlantic.

Mr. Carney's Interest Rate Rise

22 Jul 2015

Earlier this month the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney hinted that interest rates could rise as early as the end of his year.

Debt Consolidation

17 Jul 2015

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have strict rules about consolidating debts into client’s mortgages on the basis that if you default on your car loan, the finance company will come and reposes your car, but default on your mortgage and you may of course lose your home!

Why do people Buy to Let?

Buying property as an investment has proved to be a successful and lucrative investment decision for some and here we will address some of the benefits and pitfalls those new to the market should consider.

2015 Summer Budget

8 Jul 2015

The Chancellor has largely left mortgages alone in recent budgets, but last week he came out fighting.

What is an Early Redemption Charge (ERC)?

These charges can add up to thousands of pounds so make sure you think carefully about how long you tie in for in the first place. We can help you find the right deal for your circumstances.

J.P. Morgan Round the Island Race 2015

1 Jul 2015

We enter a team every year in what is fast becoming a Mortgage Required tradition. The Round the Island Race was first run in 1931 with just 25 entries. It is now a firm part of the British Summer Season and Social Calendar

What is a Remortgage?

A remortgage is the term used when you raise a secured loan (a mortgage) on a property that either is currently free of mortgage or has an existing mortgage and you switch to another lender.

What is a Local Authority Search?

A Local Authority Search is usually submitted by your conveyancer / lawyer. The search will be submitted to the appropriate Local Authority and will ask about any details relating to planned development in the immediate area & disputes and road works that might affect the property.

Why buy a Property at Auction?

By far the most dramatic and exciting way to buy a property is by auction.

What is Guarantor Mortgage?

Offering to be a Guarantor on a mortgage agreement should not be entered into lightly. If the borrower defaults in their payments or otherwise breaches the terms of the mortgage agreement, the lender will soon be looking to the Guarantor to step in and take over the obligations in accordance with the Guarantee Agreement.

What is the difference between Leasehold and Freehold?

When someone says they own their home it usually means they own a Freehold Interest in the land and buildings. Freehold (or Fee Simple Absolute in Possession to give it its proper legal definition) is a fairly extensive ownership and, subject to any restrictions or obligations placed upon your Freehold interest, such as rights of way, you are as close as you will ever get to ‘owning’ your very own ‘castle’.

What does Loan to Value (LTV) mean? | How To Calculate LTV

One of the most important criteria is the lender’s maximum Loan to Value (LTV) ratio. So, what is Loan to Value?

What is a Buy to Let Mortgage?

A Buy to Let mortgage is a loan which, as the name suggests, is lent to the buyer of a residential property for the purposes of investment rather than personal occupation. Both loans are used to buy houses or flats but the Buy to Let mortgage is different in some subtle but important ways.

What is an Independent Mortgage Adviser?

When you are considering buying property, your first call should be to a mortgage adviser. An adviser can guide you through the maze of financial products available to home buyers and ensure that you are best placed to buy the property you want on the best terms available to you.

What is Stamp Duty and how much will it cost?

Stamp Duty is a charge levied in England and Wales by the Government and the cost of Stamp Duty is payable by the purchaser. It is a charge levied on all property transactions over certain transactional values

Mortgage Matters - Post Election

8 May 2015

The results of the election certainly left the mortgage market… well exactly where it was before the election, but with the added bonus that everyone feels we were in a period of stability.

Mortgage Matters - Pre Election

29 Apr 2015

Here at Mortgage Required, we have noticed that uncertainty over the General Election has failed to put a substantial dent in mortgage lending. My guess is that there are a few of good reasons for this.

Help to Buy ISA

3 Mar 2015

The Chancellor took me by surprise last week when he announced the “Help to Buy ISA”in the budget. After the help he’s already given first time buyers when he adjusted the Stamp Duty thresholds last year.

Happy Birthday Help to Buy

2 Mar 2015

Two years ago the Government launched the first phase of it’s "Help to Buy" scheme, which has now seen more than 80,000 borrowers purchase a home.

Through the first phase of Help to Buy, (let’s call it H2B1), the Government provides an equity loan worth up to 20 per cent of the value of a new build home, interest free for the first 5 years, which can be repaid at any time or when the home is sold, with the borrower putting up a 5 per cent deposit.

Ditch the SVR!

16 Feb 2015

Its seems that every time I turn on the TV, there is someone telling me to check I have the best deal on my car insurance / energy tariff / bank account etc etc. Finding a better deal can always save you a bob or two, but the best financial switch anyone can make is the switch from a higher to a lower-rate mortgage.

TSB joins the UK mortgage market.

3 Feb 2015

As an Independent Mortgage Broker, I am a massive fan of new lenders joining the UK mortgage market, it keeps the other banks awake and forces competition.

10 Year Fixed

12 Jan 2015

Last week Barclays lunched the UK’s lowest ever 10 year fixed rate mortgage at 2.99%, available to anyone with a deposit of 40%, for a fee of £999. This is about 1.41% below the average mortgage rate currently being paid in the UK.

Lifetime Mortgages

27 Nov 2014

I think anyone with an interest only mortgage without a repayment vehicle, will by now have a letter from their lender, warning them to make arrangements to repay their capital.
Nowadays, banks and building societies are reluctant to give mortgages to customers unless they pay capital as well as interest, but back in the day, interest only mortgages were as common as muck!

Mortgage Complaints Are Up

3 Nov 2014

Mortgage complaints have increased by 55 % compared with the same period in 2013, data from the Financial Ombudsman Service has revealed.

Tonight Programme

20 Oct 2014

There’s nothing like a TV program on interest rates to get the Mortgage Required Office riled and ITVs Tonight program last week was no exception.  “How prepared are British homeowners for a rise in interest rates?” was the title, which looked at the impact of increased interest rates on 4 very different families.

Fixed Rates Slashed

18 Sep 2014

Competition in the mortgage market intensified this week as a fresh mortgage price war erupted with a string of major lenders slashing their rates. 

Affordability Checks

18 Aug 2014

Anyone in the “mortgage know” will be aware of the new affordability checks which came into effect at the end of April this year.

The changes were brought into effect following the “Mortgage Market Review (MMR), which was ordered by the government to avoid a repeat of the 2008 housing recession.

Magellan Home Loans

8 Jul 2014

It’s been a while since I wrote about a new mortgage lender entering the mix, but the RBS funded Magellan Home Loans gained permission to trade from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in 2013 and crept quietly into the market in August last year.

How to Improve Your Credit Score

23 Jun 2014

A credit score is basically a lender’s way of rating us and trying to determine the likelihood of us paying our mortgage each month. All Mortgage lenders, Finance Houses, Loan Companies and Credit Card Companies share information about our credit histories on the credit register.

Large Loans

8 Jun 2014

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) have introduced tighter restrictions on mortgage lending in an effort to make sure customers can afford their loans.

Well that’s the official line anyway, although personally I think there may be hidden agenda….

Mortgage Rate Rise

15 May 2014

In response to the strength of economic recovery and increasing house prices, Mark Carney, the Bank of England’s Governor, indicated that interest rates may rise sooner than anticipated, but the “action would be gradual and limited.”

Mortgage Market Review or MMR

9 May 2014

We are now well and truly into the Financial Conduct Authority’s new set of mortgage rules (Mortgage Market Review or MMR)– the last few weeks have been interesting but also somewhat frustrating.

Mortgage Market Review

30 Apr 2014

Mortgage lenders will now have to pay closer attention to applicants spending habits and check everyone’s income in 100% of cases. Banks will be responsible for “Stress Testing” applications to make sure repayments can be met if the interest rate rises three or fourfold.

Interest Only Mortgages

27 Mar 2014

Arranging masses of Interest only mortgages seems like a dim and distant memory, but 25 years on from the endowment boom there are still around 4 million of them around.

Interest Rate Rise 6 Fold

12 Mar 2014

The Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has confirmed that although unemployment is fast heading towards its trigger point of 7%, lack of growth in other sectors of the economy means the Bank of England base rate is unlikely to rise when it finally does hit 7%.

Independent Scotland

8 Mar 2014

Scottish homeowners have been warned that a “Yes” vote for independence on September 18th will mean that Scotland would possibly have to create a brand new currency. This would have dramatic consequences for their monthly mortgage repayments.


13 Feb 2014

Thankfully, some banks have announced a range of support for flood victims; Santander said it would offer free overdraft extensions and mortgage payment holidays to customers who have been affected by the flooding

Mortgage Fraud

29 Jan 2014

Reading that the former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson was last week jailed for 18 months for mortgage fraud got me thinking that it’s been a while since I have read a decent mortgage fraud story.

Act Now

20 Jan 2014

I know we have only just welcomed in the New Year, but with so many economic commentators suggesting 2015 as a likely time for an interest rate rise, my top tip is for borrowers to look at their mortgages in 2014, as lenders will no doubt start to eek up their rates this year.

Mortgage Market Round Robin

6 Jan 2014

At the end of each year I ask the Consultants to write a summary of the mortgage market over the past 12 months and predictions for the coming year.  This helps to focus the mind on the various debates / discussions they will be having with clients, who always want to know our opinions on rates and on what they are based.

Interest Only

3 Dec 2013

I understand that many mortgage lenders are in the process of writing to borrowers who are only paying interest on their mortgages and not currently chipping away at the capital.

Accord 95% Mortgages

13 Nov 2013

I was delighted to see that Accord Mortgages have entered the 95% mortgage arena, but fairly gobsmacked to find that the products don't form part of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme or require any family guarantee.

Shared Equity

25 Oct 2013

Back in the day, “Shared Equity” was considered a little down market, perhaps where one might go as a step up from renting – a helping hand onto the housing ladder.

Let to Buy tends to be seen as a Plan B

3 Sep 2013

Let to Buy tends to be seen as a Plan B – a product for reluctant landlords who have entered Buy to Let accidentally, and usually because they could not sell their previous residential property prior to buying another. Let to Buy, the conventional wisdom goes, is what you do with the house you could not sell.

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