‘Generation Rent’ Must Protect Its Belongings Too

Compared to 10 years ago the number of young people (aged between 24 and 34) renting homes has shot up. In 2004, almost 60% owned their own home. These days, it’s just 36%.

Rises in house prices are the main culprit in causing this trend, with nearly half of this age group, known as ‘generation rent’, renting from private landlords.

Although I’m sure many of these renters would prefer to own their own place, they still need to treat their accommodation like any other long-term abode.

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Posted in General Insurance, Insurance

Watercourses, Insurance & Avoiding Higher Costs

Recently I’ve had to help clients who both live next to watercourses. That in itself isn’t a major issue, but the conversations reminded me that people can get caught out when it comes to home insurance.

If for some reason the watercourse isn’t included on an insurance application, it can lead to problems come renewal time. Whether it’s intentional or genuine error, if you fail to mention this vital detail on your application, the insurer will deem it to be non-disclosure.

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Posted in General Insurance, Insurance

Want to Port or Remortgage? Lenders May Block Your Request

We’re noticing that more and more people are being turned down for mortgages when they decide to port or remortgage because of tightened affordability criteria.

The stricter rules seem to be having the expected effect of protecting borrowers from unaffordable loans. But people with years of borrowing under their belt are falling victim to the rigorous assessment when they apply for new mortgages to downsize or a lower rate product. They even want to pay less. Really, they shouldn’t have an issue finding an affordable mortgage.

When the new affordability criteria came in, transitional arrangements were put in place to protect existing borrowers who aren’t adding to their loan or extending the term. So, in theory, these borrowers should not have to deal with multiple rejections, which is what is happening.

Also, if a borrower’s new terms are likely to exceed state retirement age, lenders won’t let them remortgage unless they sign up to shorter lending period, potentially making the loan unaffordable. This is leaving experienced borrowers with nowhere to go.

What should be a relatively straight forward process has turned into a labyrinth of dead ends for many people.

It seems lenders aren’t going to clear up this matter any time soon. So, if you want to port or remortgage, you’re better off talking to brokers. Our advice could prevent you wasting precious time and energy dealing with a system that’s not quite behaving as it should.

Posted in First Time Buyers, Mortgages, Next Time Buyers, Remortgaging

Record-breaking 10-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage & New B2L Lender Opens Shop

Last November we blogged about the pros and cons of long term fixed rate mortgages, which are attracting borrowers who want the more predictability of payments for longer periods of time.

And just a few days into 2015, the market has been given a serious stir by Barclays.  The bank is beating off competition with the UK’s lowest ever 10-year fixed rate mortgage. Customers with 40% deposit can take advantage of Barclays’ offer of just 2.99% including a £999 fee. The product was previously available at 3.45%.

Good news for homebuyers who have the savings, and who seek long-term financial lockdown.

The choice is broadening for borrowers as lenders battle it out for their custom, thanks to a general market slow down. Also, with the Bank of England base rate rise not expected until early 2016, now is the time to shop about for some the suitable deals.

Keep an eye on the consumer financial press to find out who’s offering what deals at the moment. But we’re eager to see which lender will take even bolder steps.

As always, be aware of charges for early payment or borrowing more money. If you have any doubt that you’ll stay put for the next decade, you may face hefty fees if you can’t port (or transfer) your mortgage to a new property.

In the meantime, the buy-to-let market is also getting an injection of competition, with buy-to-let lender Fleet Mortgages releasing a product range including a two-year fixed rate at 2.79% on up to 65% LTV and 1% fee.

As well as selling products through its distribution channels (Business Mortgage Company, The Buy to Let Business, L&G Mortgage Club, Mortgages for Business, The Mortgage Trading Centre, Professional & Commercial and Solent Mortgage Services), the specialist lender will also work with the brokers.

Also, The Mortgage Works (TMW), Nationwide’s lending arm, has just announced a 10-year fixed rate mortgage for landlords, up to 75% LTV at 4.99% and a fee of £995.



Posted in Buy-to-let, First Time Buyers, Mortgages, Next Time Buyers, Remortgaging

Check Your Contents Insurance Covers Christmas Valuables

Imagine the scene…Your Christmas tree is looking resplendent; lights blink and tinsel glistens. The presents have been lovingly positioned under the pine branches look tempting. And they happen to be in full view of passersby. Including those looking for opportunities to break in and undo all of Santa’s hard work (not to mention hard-earned cash).

Perhaps now’s the time to look at updating your contents insurance for the festive season. If you’re buying expensive presents that’ll be in your home until you give them to the lucky recipients, or you’re expecting to receive a gift of value, check what’s covered by your policy.

Some insurers will automatically increase the value of your premium for a temporary period by around 10%. If there’s a ‘special event’ clause in the paperwork, you should be covered at no extra cost. With other insurers you’ll need to get in touch to extend the policy so the premium covers the extra value of goods at home.

Even if you think your property is burglar-proof, you need to take into account other risks such as accidental breakages, burst pipes in freezing weather, and other nasty things we’d rather not think about as we tuck into the first mince pies of the season.

And whatever you do, never leave presents in your car, keep receipts somewhere secure (and not with the presents), and break down boxes and hide them among the recycling to prevent giving possible burglars clues as to what’s in your home.

Make sure Christmas Day TV is the only bad thing this festive season – take steps now to prevent other disasters! Start by giving us a call.

Posted in General Insurance, Insurance