Pre-house move planning – PART 2

house-move-part-2

 

Pre-house move planning – PART 2

In our first article in this series, we highlighted a few questions you should consider asking your seller… just to make life a little easier once you’re in your new house. This time we’re focusing on the preamble to the dreaded ‘P’ word… Packing. It has to be said, a little pre-packing planning goes a long way.

Top Ten Pre-Pack Planning Tips

Once you’ve poured a glass, cleared your mind of day-to-day concerns, and decided to think about packing, that’s the time to grab a pen and paper and start making the next list. Get the pre-packing planning just half right, and you’ll make the whole process A LOT smoother on the big day. So, what should you be thinking about? Here are some thoughts…

  1. Declutter first – seriously. Yes, it’s a daunting job, but remind yourself that the more you declutter now, the less you’ll have to pack. Imagine how much lighter you’ll feel if you can ditch a quarter of what you currently have. It’s so worth it.
  2. Buy packing boxes in a variety of sizes – And when you do pack, don’t use the big ones for books!
  3. Also buy bubble wrap, strong tape, small bags, marker pens and packing paper (newspaper does an excellent job too) – And buy a bit more of each than you think you’ll need. When you’re in the packing groove, you don’t want anything to break the flow.
  4. Check your contents insurance will cover you for loss and breakages whilst you’re on the move – You can tell your insurance company your new address at the same time. Oooh, it’s so nice to tick two boxes at a time, eh?
  5. Pack hazardous and corrosive materials separately – No explanation needed.
  6. Pack an Essentials Box for your first day/night – Think of it as a weekend bag for a house. This will include things like a kettle, coffee, tea etc. Plus plates, cutlery, cleaning cloths and washing up liquid. And don’t forget to pack a spare LOO ROLL!
  7. Pack an overnight bag for everyone else too – You know, washing kit, towels, PJs, fresh clothes etc. Even a hair dryer, if that is an essential.
  8. Consider adding a tool kit, first aid kit, torch and rubbish bags in your essentials box – Or at least make them part of an Essentials Box B.
  9. Make sure your Essentials Box(es) and overnight bag(s) are easily accessible – In fact, we’d recommend you transport them in your own car, rather than the removal van.
  10. Never lose sight of the fact that this is all in aid of something great – Because believe us, at times you’ll lose the will to live. Nothing’s forever, as they say. Hold onto that thought.

Hopefully the above has given you a few ideas, perhaps even prompted you to think about things you hadn’t yet thought about. And, as we said before, if you have any top tips yourselves, please do share them with us. Part 3 – Top Ten Packing-Beware Tips – coming next!

Pre-house move planning

Pre-house move planning

Pre-house move planning – PART 1

You’ll find that the weeks leading up to your big move will mostly consist of lists. Things to do. Things to pack. People to tell. You will become the most expert list maker in the world. So, to get you in the mood, we’ve compiled three top ten lists to kick things off. Here’s Part 1… this stuff is easy to overlook, we hope it helps!

Top Ten Last-Minute Questions to Ask Your Seller

You have a million things to remember, but it will really make your life easier, post-house move, if this information is easily to hand. Check with the agents, therefore, that the sellers are leaving the following details for you.

 

  • Back to basics… where is:

 

  1. a) The main stopcock?
  2. b) The gas meter?
  3. c) The electricity meter?
  4. d) The water meter?
  5. e) The thermostat?

Sometimes these things are obvious, but you really don’t want to be tackling a water leak when you don’t know where the stopcock is. Don’t feel it’s daft to ask. You’ll feel dafter in an emergency if you don’t know.

 

  • Who currently supplies:

 

  1. a) Gas?
  2. b) Electricity?
  3. c) Water?
  4. d) Broadband?
  5. e) Telephone?

A lot of this information is often supplied in the Seller’s Information Form, but if they’ve missed off answering those questions, it’s worth getting the agent to ask for you. You don’t want any of those utilities cutting off because you didn’t know who to pay…

  1. What day are the bins collected? What are the recycling rules? – A bit of forward planning will help with the unpacking mess.
  2. Do any surfaces need special cleaning products, e.g. granite worktops? – Forewarned is forearmed, as they say. You fell in love with the house, and you want to keep it looking sparkly!
  3. Does the seller know where the kitchen and bathroom tiles came from? – If you’re planning on some redecorating, make it easier on yourself.
  4. Does the seller have any old tins of paint in the same colour as the walls? – As per the above point, but definitely with gold baubles on! It will make touching up possible in some rooms if you know the exact colour and brand.
  5. Does the seller have any instruction manuals or warranties on electrical items? – A lot of information is on the internet, but if it’s easily to hand it will save time.
  6. Does the seller know where any fixed furniture came from, e.g., kitchen cabinets? – Again, if you’re planning on some redesign work, it will just make life easier to know.
  7. Where can we buy an emergency pint of milk? – You can never underestimate the usefulness of this information. And there’s no reason why it shouldn’t include a bottle of wine too.
  8. Where can we get our first night takeaway? – This needs no explanation!

And if that hasn’t got you thinking and planning, then we don’t know what will. If you have any top tips yourselves, please do share them with us, though. Who knows, it might just make someone’s next move that little bit smoother. Part 2 – Top Ten Pre-Pack Planning Tips – coming next!

Why should I have an LPA?

What Is Lasting Power of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is “… a way of giving someone you trust the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if you lack mental capacity at some time in the future or no longer wish to make decisions for yourself.” – Age UK. There are two types of LPA, one that covers financial decisions, and one that covers health and welfare decisions. To understand a little more about what an LPA is, please do read our article here.

However, even if you know what an LPA is, you may not be sure if you should bother setting one up just yet. If you’re thinking like that, here’s some food for thought.

  • An LPA is only valid if you had the mental capacity to set it up when it was set up – Once it reaches the point that your mental capacity cannot be verified, it is too late.
  • Mental and physical incapacity can hit at any time – This isn’t written to scare you, it’s just one of those things. Accident or illness can strike without warning. If you do not have either type of LPA in place, your family may struggle to gain access to your bank accounts, pay your bills, or make payments on your behalf for your mortgage, etc.
  • Delays and expense – Without an LPA relatives can face long delays and suffer considerable expense if they have to apply through the Court of Protection to get access and control of your assets and finances. This is likely to be the last thing they want to have to deal with when times are tough.
  • The LPA system makes things easier – LPAs are designed to be recognised by official bodies like care homes, HMRC, banks, local authorities, pension providers etc. Once an LPA has been verified, taking action on your behalf becomes much easier for your attorneys.
  • They are not expensive to set up – A small cost to you now will save your family a lot of money in the long term.
  • A financial LPA enables you to retain a lot of control over your affairs – You can, of course, give your chosen attorney(s) free reign, or you can restrict their decision making capacity by specifying your wishes clearly.
  • You don’t need to be incapacitated for a financial LPA to operate – This can be very useful. For example, if you’re on holiday and something happens to your home, your nominated person can take action on your behalf.
  • A health LPA enables you to retain a lot of control over your welfare – You can be very specific about your care, even on day to day matters. For example, you can set out what your day to day routine should be, what you should be given to eat, and who can visit you.
  • An LPA is a legal document that has to be verified – This will give you peace of mind. They have to be signed by a certificate provider or solicitor, which means they are ‘vetted’ by qualified specialists. Plus LPAs cannot be amended or set up by someone else. You are in control.
  • If you don’t have an LPA in place it is the court that decides for you – A court will follow a set procedure, which may limit the amount of power your relatives have. This can make life difficult for them.
  • A court may insist a solicitor is involved – This can make things very expensive.

For more guidance and information on setting up a lasting power of attorney, please do contact us. It’s worth making an informed decision now.

What is an Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?

Lasting-Power-Of-Attorney

When you hear talk about Wills, you often next hear talk about LPAs as well – Lasting Powers of Attorney. It’s not so much that they go hand in glove, it’s just that the rationale for having a Will actually points towards the need to have LPAs in place too. So we thought it would be a good idea to give you some information on these useful, and very important, legal documents to complement our article on why it’s important to have a Will (read here).

But what is an LPA?

“A lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a way of giving someone you trust the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if you lack mental capacity at some time in the future or no longer wish to make decisions for yourself.” – Age UK

There are actually two types of LPA. Both fulfil different roles and are not interchangeable. They are:

  1. An LPA for financial decisions

This type of Lasting Power of Attorney can be used while you still have mental capacity. An attorney, a person to whom you give permission to make decisions on your behalf, can generally do so on things such as:

  • Buying and selling property
  • Paying the mortgage
  • Investing money
  • Paying bills
  • Arranging repairs to property
  1. An LPA for health and care decisions

A Lasting Power of Attorney for health and care decisions covers healthcare and personal welfare. It’s important to note that it can only be used once a person has lost mental capacity. A nominated attorney can generally make decisions about things such as:

  • Where you should live
  • What medical care you should receive
  • What you should eat
  • Who you should have contact with
  • What kind of social activities you should take part in

What can I specify in an LPA?

An LPA is a powerful document that enables you to retain control over your life. You can specify exactly what decisions your nominated attorney(s) can make. So you can allow them to make all decisions on your behalf, or restrict them to only certain types of decision. Thinking these things through carefully now, therefore, is worth doing before it’s too late.

One thing to bear in mind is that if you are setting up an LPA for financial decisions, the person you nominate must keep accounts. You can request regular reports on expenditure and income. And if you then lose mental capacity, you can specify that these reports are sent to your solicitor or a family member instead. They must also make sure their money is kept separate from your money. So check that this is possible with them in advance.

When is a lasting power of attorney valid?

IMPORTANT NOTE: An LPA is only valid if:

  • You had the mental capacity to set it up when it was set up
  • You were not put under any pressure to create it

To ensure this, the LPA has to be signed by a certificate provider. When a certificate provider signs the document, they are confirming that you understand what the LPA contains and that you haven’t been put under any pressure to sign it. They are typically someone you know well, but can also be a professional person, such as a doctor, social worker or solicitor.

Once these criteria have been met, the LPA must then be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) before it can be used.

A final word…

As you can see, LPAs are important documents that facilitate critical decisions being made on your behalf if you’re no longer to do that for yourself. For more information on why you should have an LPA, please do read our article here or feel free to contact us to discuss your requirements.

The Base rate cut, what does it mean for you?

Base rate cut

Last week’s unanimous decision by the Bank of England (BoE) Monetary Policy Committee to reduce the base rate by 0.25% was the first time we have seen the rate change since 2009.  The move is designed to add extra stimulus to the UK economy whilst it adjusts to the prospect of a future outside the European Union.

The cut in the Bank Rate should lower borrowing costs for households and businesses.  However, as interest rates are close to zero, the BoE has suggested it may be difficult for some banks and building societies to reduce deposit rates much further which, in turn, might limit their ability to cut their lending rates.  That’s why there are a number of additional measures being put in place to help this rate cut get passed on to those already borrowing money or looking to fund future purchases.

So what does it mean for you and your mortgage?

Well, if you are currently on a ‘Tracker’ mortgage which follows the Bank of England Base Rate, you’ll see a fall in your mortgage payment which will most likely be reflected in your September payment or earlier, depending on your direct debit date.  For those on a ‘Fixed’ rate, you won’t see an impact on your monthly payment until you come to the end of the introductory rate, and then your payments will depend on the rate you move to, whether your lender has decided to pass on the rate cut, and that the BoE Base Rate remains at its current record low level.

People on a ‘Standard Variable Rate’ (SVR) will need to look out for news from their lender on whether they will see the rate come down.  Remember a base rate cut does not automatically mean that the lender will give you a reduction in your monthly payment.  Since the lending crisis of 2009, many lenders have removed the link between their SVR and the bank base rate, and now use a separate internal index to set their rates.

If you are on your lender’s SVR, there has never been a better time to have a look at your mortgage payments and see how much money you are losing each month by not reviewing how much you pay against the rates available in the mortgage market today.  It doesn’t take long to see if you can remortgage to a more competitive deal and, with a little help from us, you can start to see your monthly payments reduce, giving you the full benefit of today’s current record low interest rates.

You can contact us at any time if you have any questions on the base rate change, or if you would like an informal conversation about how you can take advantage of the low interest rates available at the moment. We look forward to hearing from you soon.  Remember: if you are on an SVR, chances are you can save money each month and if you are coming to the end of a fixed rate deal then don’t let inactivity push your payments up.

 

Do you need home insurance?

Do you need home insurance?

Regardless of whether you have a mortgage or not, if you own your own home you’ll need some sort of home insurance just in case it gets damaged or needs a repair. If you’re a landlord, it’s important to note that it’s actually your responsibility to have it… not your tenants’.

So, what is home insurance?

The term home insurance is actually a generic term that covers to very different types of insurance. Namely:

Buildings insurance – which covers damage to your building eg. walls, the roof etc, as well as permanent fixtures and fittings in kitchens and bathrooms.

Contents insurance – which covers items in your home, like furniture, electrical goods like fridges and TVs, personal belongings and some types of flooring including carpets

It’s important to note that you can get separate policies from different insurance companies if you wish, but people often actually prefer to take out a joint policy.

So, what does buildings insurance cover?

The purpose of buildings insurance is to provide cover for the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home if it’s damaged. The details will vary from policy to policy, so you do need to read the small print carefully, but on the whole you will be covered in the event your home is damaged by:

  • Storms and floods
  • Fire and smoke damage
  • Explosions
  • Vandalism
  • Subsidence
  • Falling trees
  • Water damage from leaking pipes

If you need cover for your garage, fences and other outside structures, check with your financial adviser which providers offer insurance for this.

But what does buildings insurance not cover?

For a start, general wear and tear is not covered. Depending on the provider, you might find that frost damage and damage from leaking gutters isn’t covered either. Storm damage to fences and gates is often excluded, as are many other things – so check your policy carefully.

It’s also worth noting that many policies will not cover you if the property is left unoccupied for more than 60 days (though that may be as little as 30 days with some providers). If you know there will be periods time when you’ll be away and the property is empty, then it’s worth speaking to your insurance company to see if they do provide separate cover for this.

So, do you need buildings insurance?

If you have a mortgage, your mortgage company will require you to have buildings insurance. If you rent out a property, you will need to have it as it’s your responsibility to maintain the building as a landlord. But it really is sensible to have buildings insurance even if neither of those things apply. Your home is often the biggest investment you make in your life and if it’s not covered by insurance and disaster strikes… you may find yourself facing a big bill.

If you own the leasehold to a flat, you’ll need to check whether the freehold owner has the responsibility to take out cover or not. Your solicitor will be able to advise you on this. If the leaseholders of a block of flats jointly own the freehold too, then buildings insurance will need to be arranged by the group.

If you’re a tenant, you won’t need to worry about buildings insurance, but you may want to consider taking out home contents insurance cover.

What should I watch out for?

As with any insurance policy, take advice from an adviser before taking out home insurance. There may be unusual aspects to your property that need to be treated differently, and with insurers adding more and more exclusions as time goes by you need to make sure you get the right cover.

Excess limits are also something to watch out for. Often subsidence has an excess as high as £1,000. Plus, flooding in the area may have an impact on this too. The key is to take advice before you buy.

One final point… make sure you’re not underinsured. This can be very costly in the event of a disaster. Your adviser is the best person to discuss this with to make sure you have the level of cover you need.

Other types of insurance to consider…

If you’re interested in finding out more about the different types of insurance available to you, click the links below:

Do you need income protection insurance?

Do you need income protection insurance?

You may already have a life insurance policy that provides for your family in the event of your death. However, it’s also worth considering a different scenario to understand if you need income protection too.

Introduction

Imagine if you couldn’t work due to serious illness? Could you and your family make ends meet on just your sick pay and/or savings? If you’re concerned about this, then take advice from your financial adviser. It might be that you should consider income protection insurance.

So, what is income protection insurance?

Put simply, income protection insurance will help you in the event that you are ill or injured and cannot work for a period of time.

What does it do?

  • It will replace a portion of your income if you can’t work due to illness or disability.
  • It will continue to replace this portion of your income until you are able to work again, or until you retire, reach the end of the policy term, or die – whichever is sooner.
  • Be aware, you have to wait a certain length of time before the payments start. For example, payments may start after your sick pay ends.
  • It covers most illnesses that leave you unable to work, either in the short or long term, however this will depend on the policy and the definition of being unable to work. You should discuss this with your financial adviser.
  • You can make more than one claim on a policy. Basically, the cover is there for you for as long as the policy lasts.

So, do you need it?

Income protection insurance can provide peace of mind whether you have a family or not. So, it’s worth considering carefully. If you’re concerned that you won’t be able to pay your bills if you fall sick – you should discuss income protection insurance with a financial adviser.

If you are self-employed, or your employer doesn’t offer you anything other than statutory sick pay if you are ill, then it’s possible that you’re even more likely to need income protection insurance.

However, there are instances when you might not need it. If you’re comfortable at the thought of getting by on just your sick pay or your partner’s pay, government benefits, your savings, or even the prospect of taking early retirement, then you may not need it.

What affects the cost of income protection insurance?

Obviously, every policy has it nuances, but income protection insurance can cover a wide range of illnesses. Factors that affect the monthly cost of your policy, include:

  • Your age
  • Whether you are a smoker
  • Your medical history and current health
  • Your occupation
  • How much of your income you’d like to cover

Things to check…

Different providers and different policies offer different types of cover, so it really is important to consider getting advice from a financial adviser.

You should bear in mind that income protection insurance is not the same as critical illness insurance, which pays out a one-off lump sum if you have a specific serious illness. And it’s also not the same as short-term income protection, which although also pays out a monthly sum will only do so for a limited period of time (normally between two and five years).

Other types of insurance to consider…

If you’re interested in finding out more about the different types of insurance available to you, click the links below:

 

 

How to Boost Your Chances of Getting a Mortgage as a First Time Buyer…

As we have said in another article in this series – How much can I borrow? – getting approval for your mortgage isn’t just about how much you earn; lenders now also focus on affordability, how good your credit score is, and how clear credit history is too.

So, to improve your chances of being accepted for a mortgage, here are a few more things to think about…

Things to think about to improve your credit score…

Electoral roll – make sure you’re registered! The electoral roll is one of the first places a lender will check to validate your residency and identity.

Check your credit history – you can get copies of your credit file from the credit reference agencies. The agencies you need to contact are: Equifax, Experian and/or Callcredit. Check My File provide all of these three reports in one. Once you get sight of your file, check there aren’t any mistakes in the data – it does happen!

Check your current address is showing for all your accounts listed – this is something that is easily missed but it can cause confusion and delay if the address on your file doesn’t tally with the address you’ve given on your application form.

Break from past relationships – if your credit history is shared via an address with an ex-partner, write to the credit reference agencies to get this delinked. If that partner has a bad credit history, it will tar you too…

Rebuild your credit score – admittedly this takes time, but there’s no time like the present to get started again. Just from now on – make sure you pay everything on time!

Get the timing right – applications for other accounts like credit cards etc. stay on your file for a year. You may have to wait out that time for some of these to drop off before you can apply for a mortgage. Too many applications are frowned upon by lenders.

Don’t miss a payment or make a late payment – if you’re worried about slipping up with a credit card payment, perhaps set up a direct debit to ensure the minimum amount is paid every month. That way, you’ll keep your credit history clean.

Keep other applications to a minimum – we’ve already mentioned credit card applications above, but other types of account register too, like mobile phones and car insurance! Keep these down to a minimum.

Try not to withdraw cash on a credit card – this can be viewed as a desperate measure because it’s a very expensive way of getting hold of cash.

Never apply straight after rejection – basically, a rejected application leaves a footprint on your file, even if the rejection was due to an error on your file. So, check your credit history first before making any applications, and save yourself the worry.

Stay out of your overdraft – a lender will be able to see if you’re using your overdraft all the time. If you are, it looks as though you’re living on the edge of your affordability the whole time, and that’s not good.

Avoid payday loans – for the same reason as above. Payday loans do not look good from a money management perspective to a lender.

Close unused cards – if you have lots of credit cards still open but never used… close them down. A lender may worry that you can borrow fairly significant sums in the future without needing approval, and that will cause concern.

Other articles in this series written for first time buyers…

So… what is ‘Help to Buy?’ And… what is ‘Shared Ownership’?

In another article in this series for first time buyers, we have set out the basic types of mortgage available. This includes information on repayment vs interest only mortgages, as well as details on variable and fixed mortgages.

However, there are schemes specifically in place for those who are either struggling to save up for a deposit, though they can afford the monthly payments of a mortgage. Or, can only afford to buy a share of a property.

So, what are these schemes?

What is ‘Help to Buy’?

Help to Buy was introduced by the government to help those who could afford the monthly payments of a mortgage, but just couldn’t save enough for a deposit. It’s effectively a mortgage guarantee scheme that provides insurance to lenders to cover the next 15% of the value of a home if you put down a 5% deposit. In effect, the lender is getting comfort that 20% of the value of the property you are buying is protected, rather than just the 5% of your deposit. It’s not about giving you more comfort, it’s about giving your lender more comfort.

With Help to Buy, you still need to be looking at mortgages for a 95% LTV (loan to value). And it’s worth noting that only certain types of property are available on the scheme too.

Help to Buy, therefore, isn’t about making a mortgage cheaper for a first time buyer, it’s about making a mortgage more available.

If you think that Help to Buy is something you’d like to understand better, it’s best to discuss it with your adviser.

What is ‘Shared Ownership?

As the name suggests, when you buy a home on ‘shared ownership’ you’re not buying it all, only a share of it. The remaining portion is usually owned by a housing association.

A typical shared ownership arrangement would see you owning – and thus taking out a mortgage for – between 25% to 75% of the property, with rent being paid on the rest.

Because shared ownership schemes are usually set up and run by housing associations, each association will have its own way of doing things. There is no one size fits all. However, generally, the rule of thumb is that if you earn too much, you won’t be eligible for a shared ownership scheme. And equally so, if you earn too little the outcome is the same.

It’s important to note that when you come to sell a property in shared ownership, the housing association is likely to want to have a say in who is buying it.

If you think Shared Ownership is something you’d like to investigate further, then mention it to your adviser.

Other articles in this series written for first time buyers…

What is the Process for Getting a Mortgage as a First Time Buyer?

Things are getting exciting now. You’ve found the perfect property. They’ve accepted your offer. It’s all systems go.

So what happens next? You speak to your adviser and get the ball rolling… that’s what!

What will my adviser do first of all?

Having ascertained what your plans are in the short, medium and perhaps even long term, your adviser will be in a good position to start moving you through the mortgage application process.

First off, that will mean gathering some initial supporting information from you. This will include:

  • Last 3 months bank statements
  • Last 3 months payslips
  • Most recent P60
  • Copy of your passport
  • Copy of your driving licence

 

Fact finding…

Their next step will be to sit down with you to complete a ‘fact find’. This will give both you and your adviser a useful picture of your circumstances. Now, be warned, this isn’t a five minute job. There are a lot of questions to go through, and it might feel as though your finances are being inspected under a microscope. However, putting in the detailed work now, will definitely pay off later when your mortgage application is submitted. Your adviser will have identified any weak areas and taken steps to mitigate them. And this will mean you’re hopefully one step closer to that all important – acceptance.

Search the market…

Having gathered a clear picture of your financial situation, an experienced adviser will already have a feel for which lender is best for you. However, they will still research the whole of the market before making their recommendation.

And once you’re happy with their recommendation… then it’s on to the next step.

Decision in Principle…

Your adviser will complete a Decision in Principle application for you. Once submitted, the chosen lender will complete their initial credit underwriting. Three possible decisions can come from this:

  • Accept – which means your adviser can move on to complete a full mortgage application.
  • Refer – which means that some initial data is outside of the lender’s normal lending criteria. However, your application may still be acceptable, it’s just that your case will be reviewed by an underwriter in more detail (which in turn will then lead to an accept or decline decision).
  • Decline – which means you have been turned down for a mortgage in this instance. Your adviser will speak to the lender to understand why, and will explain the reasons to you. Depending on what the issue is, it might be that your adviser will then undertake to do another DiP with another lender.

If, once this process has been completed, you have been accepted in principle, your adviser will look to proceed to a full application.

Moving to full application…

At this point, your adviser will need to know which solicitor you will be using. They will also gather any further information that the lender has requested from the DiP.

 

When armed with everything they need, they will then:

 

  • Complete the full mortgage application
  • Request that you pay any lender fees (eg. application/valuation fees etc.)
  • Forward all the supporting information requested by the lender

 

Valuation…

Things now start to get even more exciting because your lender will instruct a valuation to be carried out. This usually takes place within 10 working days of your application being submitted. If the valuation comes back and the lender is satisfied, they will review your file and hopefully issue their mortgage offer.

 

Mortgage offer…

This will normally be sent out within 10 working days of receipt of the valuation. It will be sent to you, your adviser and your solicitor. And it is at this point that your solicitor’s work begins in earnest. They will carry out the necessary searches and liaise with you and the lender to arrange a completion date.

 

Is that it?

Not quite, though your adviser will possibly take a bit more of back seat at this point. The majority of their work has been done. There is little else that they can do with regard to the actual mortgage application besides push the solicitors and lenders along if things start to drag on.

 

However, a good adviser will be mindful of other financial aspects that you may need to consider. These could include protection requirements as well as general insurance (buildings and contents).

 

How long from start to finish?

The general rule of thumb is that an adviser will aim to have an offer being issued to you within 4 to 6 weeks of making the full mortgage application. From this point solicitors should be able to conclude the process within another 4 to 6 weeks.

 

Other articles in this series written for first time buyers…

  • An introduction to getting a mortgage
  • Do I need an adviser?
  • How much can I borrow?
  • What types of mortgage are there?
  • How to boost your chances of getting a mortgage
  • What is ‘Shared Ownership’? What is ‘Help to Buy’?