Find The Best Mortgage Deals

Finding The Best Mortgage Deals : Your Comprehensive Guide

When looking for an appropriate lender, start off with the following to options:

•    Visit your bank or building society and see what offers are available; this is particularly useful if you have an existing mortgage with the same bank. Use comparison information available and express an interest in finding out more about their mortgage services.
•    Make an appointment with a whole of market  mortgage broker (see section on brokers) and listen to his or her recommendations – make sure give all relevant details in order that your entire circumstances can be used to find the best offer

A whole of market mortgage broker will search the whole of the market for the best deal for your circumstances. Banks and buildings societies will offer you only their own services and they may have a market beating offer which they do not make available to mortgage brokers, however your circumstances may not fit the offers criteria. That’s why it’s essential to shop around and compare quotes from other providers as well as with a mortgage broker.

Mortgage Comparison Tables

Be sure to view a few mortgage comparison tables during your search – never focus solely on interest rates. A mortgage includes a variety of other services and costs that are worth due consideration. Below is a selection of considerations beyond interest rates:

•    APR (Annual Percentage Rate) – this accounts for the level of fees plus your quoted interest rate. To demonstrate, you may be charged arrangement and booking, plus fees for an evaluation. In practice it’s not easy to come up with an entirely accurate measure of APR. Remember that APR does not cover the price of any insurance that you hold separately. APR is still a generally good aid in comparing deals.
•    How long is the deal contractual? Bear in mind there will be charges if you leave the contract prior to this date
•    Is interest accrued daily, monthly, yearly?
•    What will the rate be when the opening rate stops?
•    How flexible is the service when it comes to overpayments, are there are fees?
•    Is it portable?
•    What is the highest loan to value (LTV) – this being the top percentage level of the house’s value that the provider will offer. The lower your deposit, the higher a loan you’ll need. For example, if you can offer only 20% as starting equity, you require a mortgage at or above 80%.

Choosing a Lender

With the huge number of mortgages available, it’s worth looking into a whole of market mortgage broker who is registered by the Financial Conduct Authority as well as going to your existing and high street lenders.

The terms ‘adviser’ and ‘broker’, by and large, refer to the same people – a consultant who can help you choose the correct mortgage for your circumstances.



With mortgages there are almost always some additional fees involved – often to the tune of thousands. For example, valuation of your home and solicitor’s fees. Some lenders will take on some or all of these costs as part of their offer in order to attract your business.

Your mortgage provider may charge a fee for their product which will generally be added to the mortgage loan amount. They must be up front on costs, but, always read the final agreement carefully to make sure there aren’t any unseen charges.

You may also have to pay a charge for early repayment, if you settle part of the loan early. These charges can be very high if you have a fixed rate or discounted mortgage.


Putting down a deposit means a proportion of the property’s value will be paid upfront. Deposits are usually upwards of 10% on the property’s value although some properties demand a higher deposit.

The amount of your deposit, in most circumstances, does not dictate the size of your loan but it often affects the interest rate. A higher deposit reduces your LTV. This is the amount of the loan as a percentage of the property’s total value.

High LTVs for the most part mean high interest rates, since they are less assured from the lender’s perspective. The level of property that you’ve paid using your deposit is known as the “equity”.



ISA (independent Savings Account) mortgages are a clever and legal route to save capital without interference from the tax man. The successor to the PEP (Personal Equity Plan), there are two options with ISAs: Maxi and Mini – either choice lets you set aside a maximum of £7000 tax-free annually. You are allowed one Maxi type ISA or a maximum of two Minis via separate providers. Investment in ISA accounts can come in the form of money or shares. The Maxi option is used more commonly with mortgages as it consists of stocks and shares and makes for a good repayment vehicle. Into the bargain comes the option with an ISA to terminate payments at any time. That being said, it is still an investment, and gives no guarantee that it will cover your capital as payments are entirely down to you.




Types of mortgage

Don’t forget to calculate your budget

The two most common options for repayment are repayment mortgages and interest-only mortgages.

However there are other types of property loan available, depending on how much you need and what you need it for.

Bridging Loans are short term loans you can take out to cover you between property sales, for example if you buy a new property before you have sold your current one. Bridging loans are also used in the construction and property development industry to top up budgets of projects that have gone over budget or to keep the build on schedule. Rates tend to be higher than usual making this an expensive way of borrowing money.

Property Development Finance is available from private lenders specifically for new builds and development projects. The terms are different to taking out a mortgage or re-mortgage so check whether you are eligible here – standard lending criteria.

Repayment mortgages

On a repayment mortgage, also known as ‘capital and interest repayment’, each month you will repay the capital (the loan amount) and the interest thereon. This is a favored mortgage option since it assures that when the repayment period is over, the property is entirely paid and the lender is owed nothing further. Talk to a broker.

The repayment method also ensures that you needn’t depend upon a linked investment vehicle to create the wealth needed to repay the capital required at the end of the mortgage period. This option does allow you the security of knowing the lender is being paid the correct amount every month but the monthly repayments are higher than interest only as you will be paying back both the capital and interest in each payment. How much will the bank lend you?

Interest-only mortgages

If you choose the interest-only plan, your monthly repayments will only go towards paying the interest on the loan amount. The monthly payments will be less but the capital itself is not being repaid.

You must therefore have in place an independent investment vehicle that will generate the capital needed to pay off the capital at the end of the mortgage term. Apply online today.

House prices have increased significantly recently and this has prompted more people to settle for an interest-only plan as a means of getting the property but then have not set up a repayment method that can create the required end of term capital. This is not advisable and it can leave borrowers vulnerable later in, therefore anyone thinking of doing so should first consult a mortgage adviser.

If you decide on the interest-only option, make appropriations for repaying the capital and decide which vehicle is suitable in your specific situation. An Independent Financial Adviser will be able to suggest possible capital generating options.

Endowments mortgages

Endowments used to be a widely used way of ensuring borrowers could pay their mortgage off completely. The borrower would pay the interest amount to the provider, as with interest-only, but also pay into an endowment. This is not only a method whereby the mortgage holder can save, but there is a life insurance aspect to an endowment plan that takes care of the mortgage in the event that the holder should die.

Endowment mortgages have decreased in popularity since many with this option in the 1980’s saw the stark reality of what can happen through investments being connected to the stock-market. Specifically, endowment holders had to look somewhere else for capital since slumps in the economy saw their investments decreased below the level of required capital.

Lenders have stringent criteria in place for this type of mortgage. Find a mortgage broker.

Get in touch for free financial advice

How to Choose Your Estate Agent

How to Choose Your Estate Agent

Speak to friends and family for recommendations and check for sold signs in your area, which agent has the most sold signs up. Ask each agent for a written quote of their fees and be very clear on the type of agreement that the fee structure covers. Remember that the estate agents commission (usually a percentage of the sales price) will be subject to VAT at the prevailing rate, currently 20%.

There are three basic types of agency arrangement to instruct your agent.

A “sole agency contract” means you instruct only one agency to sell your house. As they are then the only agent who can market your property, they will charge you a lower rate of commission. With a sole agency agreement, check the period of time you will be tied in for.

A “joint sole agency” arrangement may be preferable if you live on the borders of two different towns – both for which may have agents that cover your area. By instructing agencies in each town, you cover all your options. Joint agency fees are generally higher than in sole agency, however you will only pay one fee and the agents will split this between them, again check the period you will be tied into this agreement for.

Finally there’s the “multiple agency” option, where you appoint as many agents as you wish to market your property. Here you will find fees are at their highest. A multiple agency arrangement can sometimes lead to over-exposure, with your home appearing several times on the same property website – a turn-off for some buyers.

Another option is to sell your property yourself with a considerable saving. Check on line for web based own sell portals where you upload the details of your property for a fee , chose a website which will in turn upload your home to the property portals such as Right Move and Zoopla to ensure maximum exposure .

Remember that you will have to make appointments and viewings and progress the sale of your property yourself and you will not have the comfort of knowing anything about potential buyers so find out as much as possible about their circumstances before making appointments to view . Ensure that you do not do viewings of your home alone.

As you can see, there are pros and cons in each case. The best option depends on your circumstances but you could try looking for a single agent with offices in more than one town, or a group of independent agents working in partnership. This could mean the widest possible coverage but for a sole agency fee.

Mortgage repayment cover

Mortgage repayment cover

The purpose of MPPI is to indemnify borrowers for mortgage repayments if they enter into financial difficulty due to ill-health, an accident, or loss of employment. For a monthly fee – known as a premium – MPPI will provide a monthly sum for mortgage payments, thereby preventing the policy holder from falling behind. MPPI cover most commonly lasts for either 12 or 24 months.

Since MPPI covers you only for a certain period and it mightn’t always be the ideal cover for your circumstances. Many are better suited to what is known as ‘income protection’. Speak to an adviser or broker regarding what form of cover best accommodates your needs and circumstances.

On choosing a policy for MPPI, it’s your decision in choosing the amount paid monthly to cover your repayments.

The majority of MPPI services allow a top benefit of around £3,000, however your income can affected to maximum amount to which you are entitled. Be aware that some policies are not transferable, meaning you will not be able to apply an existing policy to a different mortgage.

A notable difficulty with MPPI is how the policies are underwritten. Whereas income protection is underwritten entirely on medical grounds, MPPI, for the most part, undertakes medical examinations only at point of claim. This means there’s no guarantee you will be insured for a pre-existing illness until you submit the claim itself.

A few words on MPPI waiting periods. This is how soon you’ll receive your payments following a claim application. Waiting times are generally anywhere between 30 and 180 days, depending on your own specific policy. It’s a good idea to ask your cover provider about waiting periods in order to make plans in covering repayments during that time.

A longer period between claim and payment, for the most part, means a less expensive policy. A good tip is to try and synchronise the end of the waiting period with the end of any employer sick pay to which you may be entitled. This way you can use your sick pay as a temporary means of repayment coverage until your MPPI kicks in.

Further information on mortgage cover is available from advisers and brokers. Always remember that you needn’t accept any offer given to you in the course of a consultation and that, although recommended to many, one needn’t take out any cover at all.

Work with an excellent broker or adviser, chose a mortgage that suits your needs, and read the small-print. Sign nothing until you’re completely satisfied, and reserve your right to walk, if you don’t like the talk. Get advice as soon as possible if your circumstances change. Know your stuff, know your rights, and know that with good preparation and insight you can look forward to a less stressful transition into your new home.

Finding a mortgage broker

The role of a mortgage broker

As experts in the field of lending, a broker can advise buyers who require a mortgage for a property they would like. Make sure you chose a whole of market broker who is regulated by the Financial Conducts Authority (previously the FSA) A broker will explain the numerous mortgage types and various services and give relevant economic advice and answers on interest rates and property prices.  The broker will search the whole of the market to find you the mortgage which is best suited to your needs and requirements.

Some brokers will charge a fee for their services when the mortgage is arranged, so check this in advance.

Finding a mortgage broker

The advice of those whose word you trust is very helpful in finding a reliable broker. If you think it might be tough getting a mortgage for a certain property, (for example, if the property is located in a commercial building), lenders may be wary.
Look in the local press or ask friends and family to recommend one to you.

When should I contact a mortgage broker?

Once you’ve viewed various properties in the area and decided upon one for purchase, it’s necessary to work out whether it’s possible to get a large enough mortgage to make it yours – this is the most suitable point to contact a mortgage broker. You may however wish to consider an appointment with a broker prior to house hunting to give you a general picture of how much you would most likely be able to borrow given your resources.

Edinburgh Hotel Recommendations

Edinburgh Hotel Recommendations

2018 looks set to be a busy year for accommodation providers in Edinburgh. With the Giant Pandas in their new home, Olympic spectators sprinting up for a visit, and families in the UK looking for an affordable ‘staycation’, more and more visitors will be checking out Edinburgh as a travel destination. Below, in Edinburgh make their accommodation Predictions and Recommendations for 2018.

• Staycations Are On The Up. Scotland is the number 2 destination for UK’s ‘staycationers’ (people staying in the UK for their vacation). Edinburgh has always been a family-friendly destination and we will see even more families stay in the city looking for family-sized rooms.

• Look To The East. Check out the accommodation in the East End of Edinburgh. Some cool new hotels and apartments are opening on York Place. Plus, this location is ideal for the new National Portrait Gallery, Broughton Street (recently chosen as the UK’s hippest street), the ever-entertaining Playhouse Theatre, the views from Calton Hill, international cuisines, and much more.

• Budget Boutique. Life’s going be financially tough for a lot of people in 2018 but why compromise on style? Budget Boutique hotels offer designer accommodation at very affordable rates. Edinburgh will see Budget boutique hotels opening all over the city in 2018.

• Corporate Belt Buckling. As companies further tighten accommodation budgets there will be a greater demand for standard single-occupancy budget bedrooms in Edinburgh throughout 2018.

• Panda-monium. Hotels in the west of Edinburgh will benefit from the Giant Pandas arriving at Edinburgh Zoo. There are some great hotels nearby Edinburgh Zoo but don’t forget to check out the unique and friendly guest houses only a lion’s roar away. TIP: If you are coming to visit the Giant Pandas make sure you book your tickets online BEFORE you arrive at the Zoo.

• Go In Groups. UK based visitors are increasingly clubbing together and we are seeing some huge discounts on accommodation. Edinburgh hotels need to be able to provide triple, quad and plus-sized rooms in 2018.

• Go Solo. Increased numbers of young international travellers are going it alone, as friends can’t afford to travel with them. Recently we at in Edinburgh are seeing more enquiries for basic rooms from solo travellers, we predict this will continue in 2012.

Moving day checklist

Let’s go through the main points you should consider when organising your moving day:

•    You needn’t necessarily use the services of a removal company: If you’re moving a relatively short distance and have a vehicle suitable for your goods then it will be less costly to do it yourself. Exercise caution with valuable items as you will not be covered for dropping them. There may be some larger goods that do require the help of a removal team, but doing most of the job yourself can save you a pretty penny.

•    Arrange to switch over services immediately: We’re talking here about phone companies, internet service providers, your doctor and dentist, the local council, and any other organisation that must be aware of your address for essential correspondence. Given that it can take a few weeks to switch over telephone and broadband services, it’s worthwhile telephoning these firms one or two weeks in advance to inform them of your forthcoming move.

•    Where are the keys? Make sure you know where the keys for the new property will be on the day you move. They are most commonly available from your agent or solicitor but the date can vary. Seek clarification on when the keys will be yours and exactly who will be handing them to you.

•    Logistic concerns: If you’ve booked a lorry for the move, take a look at your new property using an online map and pinpoint entrances to the premises for large vehicles. You do not want to find that the removal truck cannot get through the small, rustic gate at the bottom of your new, picturesque, but very narrow country lane. Additionally, check that any vehicles involved in the move won’t be blocking access to next door’s drive-way or sitting on street-level disabled markings.
•    Pack properly: This is a bigger clean up than the last time you invited everyone back to yours for a house-party – but it has to be done. Don’t pack on the basis of which goods will fit inside the boxes you have available, instead think about where the items are going – that way you’re not going to end up with a tumble dryer far away from the kitchen and needing pushed into its new place.

•    Take essential supplies: You’re moving in to a new house amidst a sea of boxes and, for some readers, the tantrums of young children. You would be forgiven for not being able to find the kettle, the cutlery, or a baby’s milk bottle amongst years of collected items. Rather than rushing out to buy these items again, have a pre-packed essentials box with food, drinks, phone chargers, children’s toys, and anything else needed for the days during which the move from ‘property’ to ‘home’ isn’t quite complete.

So remember, moving house is about planning and foresight. Keep your wits about you, talk regularly to all parties involved, read all small-print, move property in an organised way, and look forward to a smooth transition into your new home.

Appointing a Solicitor or Conveyancer

Appointing a Solicitor or Conveyancer

The legal work involved in buying and selling homes is called “Conveyancing”. You can either chose a solicitor for this work or a licensed conveyancer who must be licensed by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers. Your estate agent will no doubt refer you to their “chosen “  solicitor to use (they will be passed a “referral” fee from the solicitor for doing this!) but of course recommendation from friends and family who have used their services is likely to be the best guide, alternatively consult the Law Society and local publications. Whoever you chose will be able progress both the sale of your old and purchase of your new home.

Always obtain written quotes for both the sale and purchase before instructing the work you will feel most confident with a fixed fee, and if available, on a no-move-no-fee basis – this makes budgeting easier for you and means the solicitor is motivated to complete the sale.

There are three stages in the Conveyancing process;

•    Draft contract stage, you are not obligated at this point and negotiations still continue. Either party can terminate procedures at any time before the signing the contracts.

•    Exchange of contracts, at this point the negotiations is complete and the contracts are signed, your buyer will hand over their non refundable deposit and given the mortgage deed to sign. Once contracts are signed and exchanged both parties are legally bound to complete the transaction when are contracts actually exchanged? Most commonly in the month prior to finalising the deal. It is known to happen on the day of transaction but you don’t want the other party making additional, last-minute demands that could see the whole affair go sour. Completion day contracts can be done and can be successful but bear in mind that if anything does go wrong you have little-to-no time to remedy the situation.

•    Completion, your solicitor will notify you upon receipt of funds and the sale of your home is finished. Time to move out  taking all your possessions with you and leave your keys with the estate agent

Negative equity

Negative equity

Negative equity means the value of a mortgage being higher than the value of the house.

This will happen when mortgages with high loan to value ratios enter a period of time when house prices slump. This is a difficult situation since it’s not possible to sell the property to settle the mortgage. The owner is stuck with the property and can only vacate when it’s been paid or bankruptcy has been declared.

The idea of “portable” negative equity has been floated by the government as a way to help avoid this situation. The owners can still move elsewhere but will still be in a state of negative equity in their new home. The way out of negative equity can only be to wait for house prices to rise. This is a very frustrating experience meaning its imperative before taking out a loan to make sure that your circumstances match that of your mortgage commitment.

Get Your Home Ready to Sell

Get Your Home Ready to Sell

Your estate agent will help you here, ask them for their advice in how to stage your home for sale, don’t take offence at their suggestions, you don’t want to live in your home anymore so detach yourself from it!
•    Tidy up , de- clutter  and remove excess furniture so your home looks more spacious
•    Clean up and always ensure that bathrooms , kitchens and windows  are sparkling
•    Get rid of rubbish
•    Repair all those little things that you have got used to but prospective buyers will notice immediately
•    Define space, make sure the dining area is obvious, same with study areas, and ensure that all bedrooms have a bed so the buyer can clearly see it will hold a bed.
•    Buy new bedding , ( white is best) which you can take to your new home and stage your bed with an accent colour throw
•    Decide whether a coat of paint will enhance your home particularly if you have strong colours , make your home a blank canvas so buyers can emotionally move in
•    Pay attention to the outside both front and back. Make sure you have kerbside appeal you don’t want buyers to take a look from the outside and decide not to even come in. Mow the grass clear the rubbish plant some tubs and make sure the front door is freshly painted and that the doorbell works
•    Define a dining area in the garden with a table, chairs and a barbeque , so buyers can imagine themselves lounging on a summers evening with chilled wine
•    Keep a check on animals and children  , don’t let their toys spread out while you are trying to sell
•    Be sure to know the catchments areas of local schools, even if you’ve no children, since the next family may have and it’s a consideration sure to be on their mind. Be ready to give information on local transport links and the benefits of local shops and other important amenities
•    Make sure your home smells super fresh , use the age old trick of putting a loaf of bread in the oven when visitors call