How to Avoid Mortgage Stress 

Whether you’re a first-time buyer, a second-stepper or further up the housing ladder, buying a home is always a big move that can be a bit like a roller coaster ride. With 41% of buyers interviewed for a recent survey reporting that they found the mortgage process stressful, here are some tips that can help you navigate the process as smoothly as possible. 
Get help from a mortgage adviser 
Taking advice from a qualified mortgage adviser will save you time, money and stress. We are on your side, have access to a wide range of mortgage deals, know the industry and the most appropriate lenders for the type of mortgage you are looking for, and can offer useful advice on all aspects of the house buying process. We’ll be able to help you get an in-principle decision from a lender, which will give a seller the confidence that you are a serious purchaser. 
We can help you familiarise yourself with all the stages involved in getting a mortgage. We’ll explain important things like how affordability checks work, what paperwork you’ll need to provide to a lender in support of your application, and what costs and fees you should budget for. You will need to have cash saved for a deposit, and in most cases the bigger the deposit you can put down, the lower your interest rate is likely to be. 
Checkout your finances in advance 
Start by taking a long hard look at your income and outgoings; any lender considering your mortgage application will expect you to be on top of all your bills and comfortably able to afford your monthly mortgage payments. It makes sense to cut back on things like subscriptions you don’t use anymore, and watch how much you spend on things like eating out. 
Lenders will want to see a healthy credit score. A higher score usually means you are a lower risk; the more points you score the better the chances that you’ll be offered better interest rates. Being under time pressure can increase your stress levels, so it pays to have your finances in order before you start looking for a property and a mortgage. 
Work with a good estate agent 
It’s worth taking the time to get to know a reputable estate agent. Explain your circumstances to them so that they can pass on relevant information to sellers. First-time buyers with mortgage offers in place are in a strong position as they can proceed more quickly than another buyer who has yet to sell their property. 
Don’t forget to get a survey done 
Having a survey carried out on a property before you commit to buying it makes good sense. It can save you thousands of pounds in repair bills and a lot of stress in the future. There are various options available, and we will be able to offer help and advice on choosing the type that meets your needs. 
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. 

Think About your Family's Future 

Parents appoint relations and close friends who would act as the guardians of their children in the event of their deaths. Those nominated to fulfil this important role would be gratified to be thought of as worthy for the job, but it’s important to remember that the financial implications can be overwhelming. 
If family members had to step in and look after the children, they would need to have sufficient financial provision in place. If, for instance, a guardian lives in a different part of the country, they might have to move house and job to look after the children’s needs. 

Life Cover 

This is where life cover comes in. It can provide the funds necessary to ensure that a family’s needs are protected, and they can enjoy the sort of lifestyle you would have provided had you still been around. Life cover provides a pay out on death that can ensure that families don’t face financial burdens at a difficult time.  
Critical illness cover provides funds if you are diagnosed with a serious illness, and income protection can enable you to pay off loans and maintain your standard of living if you have an accident or illness that means you can’t work. We know the life insurance market and can save you hours of searching. 
As with all insurance policies, conditions and exclusions will apply. 


Over the last few years, low wage growth has meant that many people can find it hard to save a large deposit. So it’s good news for would-be buyers with smaller savings that there are lenders in the market prepared to offer 95% loan-to-value mortgages. 
Whilst the lowest mortgage interest rates are still usually reserved for borrowers who can put down larger deposits, there are a number of competitive deals on offer for buyers who have saved enough for a 5% deposit. As a mortgage is often the biggest financial commitment any of us make, it pays to take professional advice. If you’re looking for a 95% mortgage, we can review the market on your behalf and recommend a deal that would be right for your circumstances. 
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. 


Everyone should plan for their financial future. One of the most important elements is insurance protection. It can help you and your family survive financially if one of life’s curve balls comes your way. 
If another person depends on you financially, and if you have school-age children and a mortgage, then you really should think about the benefits of taking out a policy. 
Life policies provide a tax-free cash lump sum for those you leave behind in the event of your death. If you have a mortgage it’s a big financial responsibility and no-one would want to leave their family with money worries at a difficult time. 
There are other types of plan that protect growing families, such as critical illness which means that if you are diagnosed with a serious illness as defined in your policy, there’s a cash payout to help alleviate financial worries. Income protection policies provide an income should you suffer an accident or illness, leaving you unable to work. Accident, sickness and unemployment policies provide a monthly payout that would help pay your mortgage and living costs in the event of an accident, sickness or involuntary unemployment. We can help you choose the right type of policy for your specific needs. 
As with all insurance policies, conditions and exclusions will apply. 


Shared ownership has become more mainstream and accounts for an increasing proportion of new-build affordable housing. 
A cross between buying and renting, schemes are mainly aimed at first-time buyers. They provide a win-win situation for those priced out of the property market. 
Shared ownership involves purchasing a share of a home (typically between 25-75%) whilst a housing provider – usually a housing association – retains ownership of the remaining share. Buyers usually obtain a mortgage to purchase the share they buy, and pay rent on the share they don’t own at a reduced rate. The option exists to buy a bigger share in the property at a later date, a process known as ‘staircasing’. 
You should be eligible to buy a home through a shared ownership scheme if your household income is less than £80,000 a year outside of London and less than £90,000 a year in London. Those with long-term disabilities or aged over 55 are also eligible, although with Older People’s Shared Ownership, you can only buy 75% of your home, but once you own 75% you won’t pay rent on the remaining share. Many lenders now offer shared ownership mortgages, typically with a 5% deposit, rather than the 10-20% required for most mortgages. 
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage 


Although buy-to-let landlords have had much to contend with, the signs are that the market remains alive and kicking. Despite the imposition of an extra 3% Stamp Duty in April 2016, the toughening of mortgage affordability checks and the introduction in April 2017 of new tax rules on the treatment of mortgage interest, landlords are still active in this sector of the property market. 
Although some landlords have decided that the time has come to sell their properties after a profitable run, many professional buy-to-let landlords are now choosing to buy through limited companies in order to lower their tax bill. 
Despite the government’s drive to build a million homes, we currently have a housing shortage, which means that demand in the UK rental sector remains buoyant. Landlords are actively seeking out property hotspots in suburbs with good transport links to towns and cities as these continue to be in high demand. So too do houses of multiple occupation where rooms are rented to individual tenants. 
Although landlords may face lower returns than they once did, they are still achieving comparatively good levels of return on their investment. Lenders are still offering landlords competitive mortgage deals. 
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage 


In July the country was gripped with football fever as England made it to the World Cup semi-finals. Many older people found themselves looking back to the famous victory in 1966. It’s not just football that’s changed over the years, the UK’s housing market has undergone highs and lows too. 
Housing growth over the decades 
Back in the 1960s, houses were usually thought of as homes rather than investments. Following the boom in council house building that started after the Second World War, private and local authority house building ran at a rate of around 400,000 homes a year. By contrast, the current government is targeting the building of around 250,000 new homes a year, hoping to have built more than one million new homes by 2020. 
Back in 1966, the average house price was £3,586 compared with around £211,000 today. Having a home, whether rented or owned, was almost a given for any young couple, and getting onto the housing ladder was a goal that many would easily reach. It wasn’t until the 1970s that house price inflation began to emerge in a form we’d recognise today; at it’s peak it reached 36%. 
Right to Buy 
The 1980s saw the biggest sell-off of council houses this country had ever seen. Tenants who took advantage of their right to buy option were onto a winner, and quickly saw the value of their property rise by as much as 16% in 1987 and a further 25% in 1988. However, as is often the case with any market boom, it was abruptly followed by a prolonged economic downturn. 
Those who were repaying mortgages watched with dismay as their interest rates climbed to 15%. House prices fell. Some people found they could no longer afford their repayments, and repossessions reached record numbers. Negative equity became a reality for many, and resulted in the housing market stagnating. It wasn’t until the later part of the 1990s that markets staged a recovery. 
The new millennium 
Whilst the first few years were characterised by a period of steady economic growth, this was to end with the crash of 2007. The average house price more than doubled from just over £80,000 in 2000 to just over £170,000 in 2007. As has happened during previous UK downturns, house building ground to a virtual halt, reaching its lowest peacetime level since the 1930s. 
Where we are today 
The housing shortage continues to keep prices high. Prices have continued to grow despite factors such as stagnant wages, increased taxes on buy-to-lets and second homes and Brexit uncertainty. Figures show that in June prices grew by 1.9%, the slowest rate in five years, with the London market remaining weak. Today’s average house price of around £211,000 is almost eight times the national average wage of £26,500. In 1966, the average property was £3,586, around four and half times the average wage of £798. 
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. 
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