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6 Financial Helps from UK Gov. During COVID-19 Crisis

At a time when many people in the Uk, and indeed all around the world, are living with so much uncertainty brought by the coronavirus outbreak, it is reassuring that governments in some countries are stepping up and introducing stimulus packages and financial and tax changes to help relieve the financial pressure.

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5 Important Mortgage Rates Affected by Interest Rate Cuts

The Bank of England recently cut interest rates from 0.75% to 0.25% in an emergency move to boost the economy on the 11 March this year. This cuts will affect borrowers differently depending on the type of mortgage they have.

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Top tips to finding the right property

Purchasing a property is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll likely ever have to make so it is worth putting a lot of effort and time into getting it right. Start the process by making a list of requirements to help with your decision making and remember to update it as you go through your property hunt, as your expectations may need to be altered or you may simply change your requirements once you start seeing viable property options.

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What is a Mortgage Agreement in Principle?

A Mortgage Agreement in Principle (AIP) is a statement from a lender saying that they’ll lend a certain amount to you before you’ve finalised the purchase of your home. An AIP shows sellers that you can afford the property you want to buy and helps them make the decision to accept your offer. It is also particularly helpful to property sellers if they are deciding between more than one offer and it can tip the scales in your favour if you are the buyer who has the AIP.

An AIP also provides the buyer with a clearer idea of how much you can afford to borrow and therefore spend on a property purchase, allowing you to search for properties within your price range. It is also useful if you are thinking of remortgaging and want to find out how much more you could possibly borrow based on the equity you already have in your property.

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Housing and Mortgage Trends for 2020

What does 2020 hold for the housing market? Will mortgage rates remain low in 2020 and will affordable homes remain scarce? Some things will continue from 2019 but there are likely to be some changes.

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What kind of property makes the best investment? House or flat?

When looking to purchase a property as an investment, it is important to weigh up the pros and cons of each type. For some investors, houses may be the preferred option as there is more control and no ground rent and for others, flats are preferred as they have a lower purchase price and less ongoing maintenance.

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5 Things to Check if it’s Time to Remortgage

As the year comes to an end, it’s a time for reflecting and planning for the year ahead. Homeowners may be considering their options with regards to their mortgages and thinking whether to remortgage. Remortgaging means paying off an existing home loan and acquiring a new one. What are the reasons for remortgaging? Maybe your existing arrangement is no longer suiting your needs or your financial situation has changed. When used carefully, remortgaging can be a valuable tool for bringing debt under control.

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7 benefits of owning a holiday home

Buying a holiday home is a big decision to make and potential holiday home buyers are often unsure about whether to make the jump and make this large investment and life decision. There are many positive reasons, both financial and personal, for owning a holiday home which we explore below.

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A checklist for choosing the right property to buy as an investment

Buying a property as an investment is a big decision to make and once you have decided that this is the right investment route to take, you need to start looking for the right property. But where do you start?

Firstly, you need to arrange your finances so that you know how much you are able to spend on a property. Start this process with some free mortgage advice. Once you know how much you will be able to spend, you can start looking for the right property for your investment requirements.

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Facts You Must Know Before You Sell Your House

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 646,000 houses were sold in the U.S. in June 2019, compared to 618,000 in 2018 of the same month. This is very good news for sellers and buyers alike as it indicates future developments and more options.

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Why the lowest mortgage rate is not always the best

House buyers are often surprised to learn that the mortgages with the lowest interest rates aren’t always the best mortgages to choose from. Just like shopping for a new car; you wouldn’t always go for the cheapest car but instead, the one that’s best suited to you and your requirements. When choosing a mortgage, your personal needs need to be taken into consideration otherwise there could be other costs that cost you dearly in the long run.

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Buying a property that needs work versus a property that is ready to move into

Buying a property involves making a series of decisions right the way through the process. One of the first decisions you need to make before you are ready to view potential homes is whether you want to buy a home that needs work and improvement or a home that is already fixed up and ready to move into, with no work to be done.

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Benefits of Probate Cash Advance Inheritance Funding

Probate is the legal process of distributing the estate of a family member who passed away to his heirs in the form of an inheritance. However, this is typically a tedious and lengthy process that may even entail a significant financial burden. There are instances wherein the inheritance may only be sufficient to cover the fees involved in the process.

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Checking your credit report: A quick guide

Ahead of applying for a mortgage or any other type of loan, it is a good idea to check your credit report. In fact, it is advised that you carry out a regular credit report check even if you’re not applying for a loan in the near future, to help spot potential fraud or identity theft.

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Common first-time buyer mistakes and how do you avoid them

Buying a house is likely to be the biggest purchase you make in your lifetime so it can bring with it a rollercoaster of emotions from excitement and elation to stress and anxiety. The process of buying your first property can leave you feeling rather overwhelmed and it’s easy to see why first time buyers often make the same mistakes.

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Effective Ways to Buy a House Within Your Budget

For a couple who just got married and starting a family of their own, buying a house is a big milestone. This is also true for a young professional who saved just enough, but is ready to embark on a new life’s journey. Buying one’s own house entails the need for courage. Nonetheless, there are several ways to ensure that you stay within your budget to guarantee that you will not bite what you can’t chew.

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Understanding the Mortgage Process Thru This Guide

When you want to purchase your first home, or when you need a new car, but you do not have the cold cash for such a purchase, the first thing that comes to mind is to borrow money. There are several ways and means to borrow money and nowadays, borrowing money is no longer limited to bank loans. Nonetheless, lenders need to secure the money they lend, which is why there is a need for a mortgage.

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FAQs about shared ownership schemes

Shared ownership is a housing scheme that offers first-time buyers the opportunity to buy a share of a property and pay rent to a housing association at a reduced rate on the remaining share.

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A guide for landlords: Understanding your responsibilities

Whether you’ve made the decision to invest in a rental property and become a landlord or have become an ‘accidental landlord’ and now need to rent out your home, being a landlord means there are lots of rules and regulations to adhere to.

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How to find the right lender for you

The mortgage process can be daunting, especially for first-time buyers but even so for well-seasoned mortgage applicants who might find the playing field has changed significantly since the last time they applied for a mortgage.

There are a host of lenders to choose from and deciding which lender to go with can be hard. Each lender can differ greatly with regards to their terms and conditions, interest rates, repayment schedule and lending fees.

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Tips for buying a property in the summer

Although spring is typically the best home buying season, summer has become more popular in recent years with the weather representing a prominent factor. Sunny weather shows a house in its best light including its curb appeal and outdoor living potential.

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Frequently asked questions about mortgages

When applying for a mortgage, there are many unknowns and grey areas. It helps to be as well informed as possible before you start the application process so that you can start off in the right direction.

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The advantages of buying a home over renting

Buying a home is probably the biggest financial transaction an individual makes in their lifetime and for many people, it is a commitment worth making. A home offers so much more than just four walls and a roof. It provides a sense of security, it can offer comfort and to some it is a status symbol that shows accomplishment.

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City life versus rural life: What to consider before you decide

Are you considering selling your city property to move to the countryside? After living in the city for many years, it is quite common to eventually want to move out to quieter, more rural areas of the UK. The quiet life is not for everyone however, and it can be a hard decision to make with many pros and cons to weigh up.

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Moving to Toronto? Here's Some Tips You Should Know

Nowadays, more people are moving from remote areas and small towns to big cities like Toronto. There are numerous reasons behind this, but the main ones include the availability of better infrastructure and social amenities in such cities.

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Tips to get a mortgage offer in a stricter market

Times have changed in recent years and it isn’t as easy to get a mortgage as it used to be. Lending criteria has gradually become stricter and lenders are more cautious. However, it is not all doom and gloom as there are now more mortgage lenders than ever before. Mortgage applicants just need to be very well prepared and also informed about the current state of the market.

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What do estate agents consider when valuing your property?

When choosing an estate agent, it is important to pick one that has made a realistic valuation of your property. It is natural to want to go with the estate agent who made the highest valuation but consider whether it is a realistic valuation by comparing it with other similar properties on the market in the same area. Estate agents use various factors when making a valuation. Familiarise yourself with these factors ahead of speaking with prospective estate agents so that you can ask the right questions when discussing their valuation and to help you assess how realistic it is.

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Getting your finances ready before buying your first home

Buying your first home is an exciting time but it can also be stressful with so much to prepare ahead of taking that first step onto the ladder. Securing a mortgage for the first time requires good knowledge of what’s available and what’s required to present to potential mortgage lenders.

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10 upgrades that have the biggest effect on property value

Moving house is costly and with so much uncertainty in the market at the moment, there is a growing trend for homeowners to improve their current properties rather than moving. Home improvements are not just a short term solution however, because making improvements now to your home adds value to your property in the long run. So should you choose to move in the future, you will reap the rewards of any work that has gone into making your home better over the years that you have lived there.

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Defects to look out for when buying a property

Whether you’re a first time buyer or an experienced property investor, a property purchase needs careful consideration and there are a range of potential defects that you need to be mindful of. It is important to look past the cosmetics of the property to see any underlying issues that may be present.

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Thinking of becoming a landlord? What you need to consider

If you’re looking into buying a new property to let it out, or you are thinking of letting out an existing property you already own, there are several things you need to consider and look into before you take the leap as a landlord.

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What you need to know when buying property at auctions

Buying a property at auction can be quicker, easier and significantly cheaper than when buying a property through a regular sales process. Buyers do need to be aware however, that the property is theirs as soon as the hammer comes down so it is essential to be well informed about the process and have everything in order beforehand.

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The benefits of putting your house on the market in the Spring

While there are obviously no guarantees that selling your house at a particular time of year will be successful, some months do tend to be better than others in the UK. Easter time and spring, in general, have traditionally proven to be a good time of year for successful house selling and buying.

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Simple home improvement projects to add value to your property

Are you wanting to add value to your home but don’t have a large budget to fully renovate? Even if you aren’t planning on selling your property in the near future, it is advisable to keep your home up to date and maintained so it doesn’t catch up with you all of a sudden when it is time to sell. And if you’re planning on staying put for a while, these small improvements will make your home more comfortable and appealing. You can read more in our guide to how much your house is worth.

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What you need to know when buying a property

Whether you’re a first-time buyer starting out on your property buying journey or looking to move up the property ladder after many years of owning a property, it is good to know or have a reminder of the ins and outs of buying a home.

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Top tips when considering a mortgage offer

Buying a property is probably the largest purchase most people ever make so it requires careful consideration and decision making. Getting the right mortgage to fund the purchase is as equally important and forms a vital element of the property buying decision-making process.

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Top tips on getting a mortgage when you’re self-employed

There is a common misconception that it is now very hard to get a mortgage in the UK if you are self-employed. It is true that self-certification mortgages are no longer available due to them being banned in 2011 after wide misuse by lenders and borrowers. These mortgages were previously very popular with self-employed people and quite easy to get, but in their absence, there are still other options on the market for self-employed borrowers.

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Top tips for remortgaging your property

Remortgaging entails changing your mortgage to a different deal. It can be with the same lender or with a new lender. People remortgage to get a better interest rate, to reduce monthly payments or to shorten the time it will take to pay back the loan. Remortgaging is also a way to borrow additional money for home improvements or to pay off other debts.

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Key issues buy-to-let landlords should be aware of in 2019

It’s a turbulent time for landlords in the UK with tax changes, new regulations on fees and licensing as well as the uncertainty of Brexit all affecting the buy to let market. If you’re a landlord feeling overwhelmed by what is happening in the sector, we’ve summarised the key issues you need to know about in 2019 and beyond.

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Be prepared ahead of putting your home on the market

If you’ve made the decision to move house then you will no doubt already be looking at potential new properties to buy. Ahead of putting your existing property on the market, it is a good idea to be prepared to help you sell efficiently and quickly so that you don’t lose out on that dream property you want to buy next.

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Is Let to Buy still an option in 2019?

When buying a house, the ideal scenario is that you sell your existing property at asking price, find your dream house and move in. Unfortunately, this is not always the scenario that takes place in the complicated property world and people often find themselves unable to sell their existing property for the price they want and/or in time to buy their dream property.

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What you need to know about divorce and your mortgage

When getting divorced or splitting up with your partner, it is important to consider what to do about your joint mortgage. It is already a stressful time with many decisions to make but to avoid unnecessary costs and complications, deciding what to do about the mortgage should be high on the list of priorities.

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Tips to help you save for a mortgage deposit

For many people, a deposit for a property purchase is likely to be the largest amount of money they will ever need to spend in one go. Mortgages today require a larger deposit than in years gone by and 100% mortgages are a thing of the past.

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Unpopular property types with lenders

Whether you’re looking to buy your first house or to move up the property ladder, it is helpful to know the types of properties that lenders are more reluctant to lend for. Some properties are seen as being a bit riskier than others due to a range of reasons such as location, security issues, the requirement for repairs and the type of deal needed to enter into an agreement to buy.

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What does 2019 look like for the UK property market?

With a great deal of political and economic uncertainty continuing in the UK, alongside high stamp duty and general lack of affordability; the property market in 2019 is certainly facing further challenges and turbulent times.

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Common home buying myths

Buying a house is both exciting and stressful at the same time and whether you are a first time buyer or climbing the property ladder, you are guaranteed to receive lots of advice throughout your house buying journey. Now some of this advice will be helpful of course, however, some advice although given with best intentions intended, may not be so helpful.

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The pros and cons of buying an older property

Early on in your property search or even before you start your search, you are likely to have a preference for either new properties or older properties. Or maybe you’re still not sure and are open to both options.

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Stay at the Hotel of Mum and Dad to help secure a first time mortgage

Parents in the UK are saving their children thousands of pounds a year by allowing them to live at home with them well into their 30s. With property prices so high in some areas of the UK, young adults are reluctant or simply unable to get a mortgage and onto the property ladder. And with rental costs also high across the country, many are opting to live at home with Mum and Dad.

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Finding the right house at the right price

Finding the right house to purchase can take a lot of time and effort. There is often a long list of requirements a property needs to meet for it to be the right one and for some people, their decision may be based on a positive or negative feeling they get about a property. Often it is a combination of both. Once you have found the right house, you then need to secure it at the price you want to pay.

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Bank of England raises UK interest rates

The Bank of England has raised the interest rate for only the second time in a decade.

The rate has risen by a quarter of a percentage point, from 0.5% to 0.75% - the highest level since March 2009.

While the decision means that the 3.5 million people with variable or tracker mortgages will pay more, the rise will be welcomed by savers.

Mark Carney, the Bank's governor, said there would be further "gradual" and "limited" rate rises to come.

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Lincoln third cheapest city for graduates

Lincoln is the cheapest university city to live in for graduates after Liverpool and Stoke-on-Trent, according to new research.

New figures analysed by Propillo found that Lincoln is the one of the most affordable university cities to live in, with the average rental price at £540 per month.

Taking the average cost of rental accommodation and cost of living into account, Lincoln leaves graduates with around £162.93 of disposable income each month.

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Workers after graduating can only afford to live in 39% of England

One year after graduation, the average graduate salary of £18,244 means the next generation of workers are limited to living in just 39.2% of England when the cost of living and rental prices are taken into account.

Online mortgage advice service, Propillo found out of 352 local authorities in England there are only 138 areas that will leave graduates with a surplus each month – the lowest of which being the Ribble Valley.

After paying rent and the cost of living, graduates living in this part of England will only have £1.10p left to save each month.

The most affordable location to live is Hartlepool in the North East. With an average rental cost of £446 per month and the cost of living being £647 per month, graduates earning £18,244 per annum will have £314.93 per month left as savings- which is £3,779.20 per year.

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'Brexit the bogeyman' NOT to blame for fall in UK house prices

BREXIT is not to blame for falling house prices in the UK, experts have declared amid signs Britain's property market is beginning to slow.

Earlier this week Halifax said UK house prices fell by 0.6 per cent in December and added prices only rose by 2.7 per cent during 2017, with the quarterly growth rate slowing to 1.3 per cent in October to December.

Critics suggested Britain's impending exit from the European Union has contributed to the fall in house prices.

But experts told first-time buyers and limited housing stock is to blame.

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Stamp duty changes for first-time buyers: what you need to know

As part of a raft of measures to boost home-building the Chancellor has announced - as hinted - a cut in stamp duty for those buying a home for the first time.

Stamp duty has been blamed for the sluggishness of the housing market both for the younger and older generations. Experts say the chunky tax bill puts off young buyers and prevents older buyers from downsizing.

Philip Hammond's announcement, that most first-time buyers will pay no stamp duty at all, will be welcomed by many. The Conservatives will hope the policy will win back many of the young voters who abandoned the party and voted for Labour and Jeremy Corbyn in this year's election.

Unveiling the policy, Mr Hammond said that an anticipated "stamp duty holiday" for first-time buyers didn't go far enough and "would do nothing to help those who still have to save for years".

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Era of super-cheap 1pc mortgage deals is over

An era of super-cheap 1 per cent mortgage deals has ended after just 18 months. Following the Bank of England's base rate rise earlier this month lenders have pulled all sub 1 per cent deals from the market, according to finance website

The cheapest-ever mortgages were first introduced in 2016 amid falling interest rates.

In September HSBC and Skipton Building Society both had a 0.99 per cent 2-year base rate tracker but they have now risen to 1.24 per cent, in line with base rate.

And until October Yorkshire Building Society had a two year fixed deal, however it was withdrawn in anticipation of a rate rise.

Now the lowest two year fixed mortgage deal available is at 1.09 per cent from Santander.

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First interest rate rise in 10 years adds to UK mortgage burden

Millions of homeowners face higher mortgage payments after the Bank of England said it could no longer tolerate the inflation level and announced the first increase in interest rates in more than 10 years.

Despite weak growth and mounting uncertainty over the terms of Britain's exit from the EU, Threadneedle Street increased interest rates to 0.5% from 0.25% on Thursday, reversing emergency action taken immediately after the Brexit vote.

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First interest rate rise in 10 years adds to UK mortgage burden

Could Britain become one of those countries where property is so expensive that the only route to home ownership is to take out a mortgage that will never be fully paid off?

The City watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority, has just taken us a step in that direction. It is consulting about allowing interest-only mortgages (where the capital debt is not reduced) to make a comeback. And it would potentially allow these loans to be advanced to borrowers in later life.

This would help a particular group of borrowers, now mostly in their 60s, who have existing interest-only mortgages and no means of repaying the capital. They could simply continue on the same basis.

But the move could have far greater ramifications. Britain could become more like Sweden, Switzerland or Japan, where rising property prices have resulted in mortgages that are not repaid within one borrower's lifetime. The benefits?

It means more people are able to own a part, if not the whole, of a property - and thus benefit from any increase in its value. The downside, though, is that paying interest on a loan for life is not unlike paying rent.

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Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage
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