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9 Questions to Ask When Buying A House in Sunderland

First Time Buyer Mortgage Advice in Sunderland

When you’re an inexperienced First-Time Buyer in Sunderland who has never bought a property before, the process can be quite a stressful one. Fortunately for you, the home buyer, it doesn’t have to be that way.

To help you make the most of your next house viewing and be as prepared as possible, we’ve put together a helpful and comprehensive list of questions that you could ask when buying a house as a first-time buyer in Sunderland.

The 9 most common questions:

1. How much interest has there been in the property/development?

You may want to have time to sit around and have a good long think about whether or not you want to buy a property before you fully commit to making a purchase. This is something that we completely understand, as it is one of, if not the biggest financial commitments you will ever make.

By finding out the amount of people that have asked questions about or have gone to see the house, you’ll be able to more accurately gain an idea of how much time you have to think, before you make any concrete choices.

Bearing this information in mind, if the property is regularly receiving interest from viewers, you need to be prepared to give an answer to the seller as soon as you can.

2. Is there a property chain?

If the property you’re looking at purchasing is a part of a chain, this can also have an impact on your mortgage process.

Without an onward chain, something that could arise from either a new home, bereavement or emigration, chances are you’ll be able to move quicker, especially if you’re not a part of that chain yourself.

You’ll give yourself a lot more leverage as a buyer if you’re not a part of any chain, as you seller will recognise that you aren’t going to hold up the home buying process.

Make sure that you utilise this during property price negotiations to give yourself the advantage.

3. What’s included in the sale?

If you’re not going to be purchasing a new build property, you might find that the previous owner has left some appliances or “white goods” behind for you to make use of.

White goods is a term that generally includes things like washing machines, fridges or a freezer. Sometimes a previous homeowner may leave something like a shed behind.

This works out fantastically for buyers as it can save them a lot of time and money, though if you don’t want or need these items, you will have to figure out a way to get rid of them yourself.

If you are looking to purchase a new build property, there might be some additional features that you could have the option of adding into your property ahead of moving in.

4. What are the neighbours like?

When moving into an area that you don’t particularly know that well, it would be worth your time finding out what the neighbours are like.

We often find that a good or bad neighbour experience can oftentimes be a crucial part of whether or not you enjoy living in your new home.

On the flip side, if you instead are looking to move into a new home development, you and your neighbours will be the ones that create this new community.

Initially this can be prove to be quite a risky endeavour, as you’re putting all your faith in someone you’re yet to meet and get to know.

5. How much does it cost to run?

Depending on the location you’re moving to and the type of property you are in, running costs can differ greatly. It is recommended that you conduct some research ahead of time and ask plenty of questions prior to the purchase.

Look up council tax costs, along with how much you’ll potentially have to spend on average for utilities. You ca do this by checking online or speaking to the seller. You will need all of this information in order to correctly budget.

6. Which way does the house face?

The direction that the house is facing will make a very big difference for a lot of people, depending on if you like to relax in your garden late on a summers evening or prefer to maybe read a good book in natural light.

If you’ve been looking at a few different properties, you may have noticed that houses with a south-facing property often come with a more premium price pay a sizable, more premium price, thanks in part to the property receiving a lot of sunlight throughout the day.

7. How much work will be required after moving in?

Once again you’ll find that this can also have quite the impact on your budget for purchasing a home. Some key things worth looking into for more information on include;

  • Improving energy efficiency
  • Changing the décor
  • Addressing damp problems

8. Are you open to offers?

At some point during the home buying process, you’re going to have to start making negotiations with the seller. With this in mind, it’s important to ensure that you are as prepared as possible for making an offer on your desired property.

You will be able to find a lot more information about the topic of making an offer in our How to Make an Offer article. Once you’ve gotten yourself in a position where you are ready, you’ll be able to go ahead and make some offers.

It will also definitely be worth your time to have a chat with the seller or estate agent in order for you to determine what the seller may consider to be an offer that is too high or too low.

You should check whether or not any other offers have been made, so you know how popular the property is and how much time you have to work something out with the seller.

9. When can we move in?

By setting aside a specific date on your calendar, you can plan ahead for various other jobs in advance, such as instructing a conveyancing solicitor, packing up your furniture and belongings for moving, and arranging a removal van that can move everything into your new home.

Moving Home Mortgage Advice in Sunderland

Help to Buy Mortgage Schemes

Help to Buy Mortgage Advice in Sunderland

In the aftermath of the credit crunch back in 2008, the government decided to bring in a back-up, in a bid to try and give a boost to the mortgage market once again.

They introduced new methods of helping first time buyers find their footing on the property ladder, with these being called Help to Buy Mortgage Schemes.

There are a wide variety of different Help to Buy Schemes available. Some of those you may match up with, whilst others may not be right for you.

Here we have compiled a list of the Help to Buy Schemes available, with a few more government schemes that could be useful for you.

Help to Buy Equity Loan

The Help to Buy Equity Loan is the most commonly heard of and by far the most popular of the schemes. If you are an inexperienced first time buyer in Sunderland and are looking for a boost to get the ball rolling on your mortgage process, this could be the mortgage scheme for you.

Help to Buy Equity Loan Mortgage Advice UK | MoneymanTV

Let’s look at the facts. First of all, to access this scheme, you have to be first time buyer and be buying a new-build property, not an older property. You will also be required to have a minimum of a 5% deposit.

For this scheme to work, you’ll have to put down that 5% deposit you have saved up, potentially more if you have the ability to do so. From that point, the government will provide you with a loan of up to 20%, giving a total of a 25% deposit.

This always works within the 25% total, so if you have put down a 5% deposit, you will receive a loan of 20%. If you are able to save more and put down a 10% deposit, they will loan you an additional 15%. It depends on the amount you’re putting down up front.

Overall you’ll be left with a 75% mortgage to pay off, as well as the government equity loan to pay off as well. You’ll get a maximum of 5 years to pay off this equity loan without any added interest.

If you aren’t able to pay it off by the 5-year cut off point, interest will start building up on the amount of the loan that is left for you to pay off. This interest rate will start at 1.75%.

As a trusted and knowledgeable mortgage broker in Sunderland, we know that balancing between your mortgage payments and the equity loan payments can be quite a difficult task.

There are ways that you can get around this. As an example of this, sometimes you may be able to remortgage as a means of raising capital for this loan, however, this will also increase your monthly mortgage payments.

Help to Buy Shared Ownership Scheme

The Help to Buy Shared Ownership Scheme was introduced as a means of allowing applicants to purchase a percentage of a property they’ve had their eyes on and then pay back the rest as monthly rent payments.

Help to Buy Shared Ownership Mortgage Advice UK | MoneymanTV

The percentage amount of the property that you will generally own has to be between 25-75%, though on some properties this can potentially be 10%.

The remaining percentage will probably be owned by the local council or housing association. When you have more disposable income, you may be able to increase the amount you own at a later date.

The way that your payments work is that you be paying a monthly rental cost alongside your mortgage. So you’ll basically be paying 100% of the ground rent and service charges that are on the property. This will still apply, even if your share is the minimum amount.

Help to Buy Armed Forces Scheme

The Armed Forces Help to Buy Scheme was brought into the mortgage world back in 2014, hot on the heels of the Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme.

This scheme had a similar concept, though was focused on one target market, that being members of the armed forces looking for assistance in obtaining a mortgage.

Help to Buy Armed Forces Mortgage Advice | MoneymanTV

If you happen to be a right fit for the criteria of this scheme, then it could be a great option for you. The government has now extended the deadline/review date of the Armed Forces Help to Buy Scheme all the way back to December 2022.

We are really hoping that it stays around, as the scheme is a such a helpful tool for existing armed forces members who need that extra financial boost to find their footing on the property ladder.

Bonus: Lifetime ISA

The Lifetime ISA is often a scheme that people leave out of the conversation. Whilst granted, it’s not a go-to scheme for everyone, it’s still very useful to have some initial knowledge on it as it could be a difference maker in helping you secure a property as a first time buyer in Sunderland.

Lifetime ISA Mortgage Advice UK | MoneymanTV

A Lifetime ISA is pretty much a savings account where your money can grow tax-free. The government will also give a top-up to your savings by an additional 25%. This means that if you meet the £4,000 maximum amount, you will find yourself with a nice £1,000 bonus.

You will have to pass certain criteria in order to be able to utilise the Lifetime ISA Scheme. All the necessary information can be found on the government Lifetime ISA website.

The Pros & Cons Of Using A Mortgage Broker In Sunderland

If you’ve been thinking about taking that step onto the property ladder, you may be wondering whether or not to use the assistance of a mortgage broker in Sunderland. We of course believe that our service is incredibly beneficial, especially for first-time buyers in Sunderland.

Despite this, we felt it appropriate to give a balanced overview of the pros and cons of coming to a mortgage broker in Sunderland, compared to direct to a mortgage lender.

What are the pros & cons of using a mortgage broker?

People tend to think that they are more likely to save money by not using the services of a mortgage broker. It can seem a lot more cost-effective to just do everything by yourself.

With that in mind, you may be one of those who prefer going directly to the high street mortgage lender. Another reason why people used to prefer going to the bank directly, was that people felt their bank manager knew their finances inside and out, although this changed when credit scoring was brought into the mix.

There is also truth to the claim that some lenders have additional exclusive mortgage products only for the people who directly obtain a mortgage. The main intention behind such ideas is to attract customers away from the services of a mortgage broker.

Ultimately, it is a good way for them to spread the business. The interesting part is that it is arguably just as enticing to speak with a mortgage broker in Sunderland as well. You’ll find that some mortgage offers can only be obtained through a mortgage broker.

From 2014 onward, lenders were no longer able to sell mortgages to anyone on a non-advised basis. At that time, it was a common occurrence for non-advisors to forcefully advise their bank customers, meaning they’ll have had no benefits from consumer protection. Speaking to a professional mortgage advisor in Sunderland will allow those benefits.

It is also important to remember that taking an appointment with a bank can sometimes take months to try and get yourself booked in for. A mortgage broker in Sunderland is often able to get you booked in within the same week, usually within that same day.

These kinds of issues is why the importance of mortgage brokers has grown and changed the public perception over time. More and more applicants rely on the mortgage brokers than before for help with their mortgage process.

There is now a lot more trust for the mortgage brokers in Sunderland, who are typically able to offer their mortgage advice services within the same day. Our dedicated team are always ready to help you, so Get in Touch and we will put you with an experienced mortgage advisor in Sunderland, as soon as possible.

Handling Difficult Cases

You might be wondering what exactly causes some of the mortgage applications to be more difficult than many applicants expect them to be. Here are some of examples of this: 

  • The deposit source is mixed that contains both gifts as well as the savings 
  • Zero hours contracts of the contract workers
  • They want to keep their current house and want to buy another 
  • They are self-employed and the income is not fixed 
  • The applicant has a poor credit history
  • And the most important is affordability 

In years gone by, it was a lot easier for mortgage lenders to get ahead of their other competitors by laying out more enticing offers than the others have. Times have changed and it’s now more than the deals, it’s the criteria, that differentiates between the lenders.

To make everything easier for you, you should speak with an experienced mortgage broker in Sunderland and see if they have come across a similar situation in the past or not, as they may be able to utilise their knowledge from that to help you through yours.

After undertaking lots research and working very hard, a dedicated mortgage broker will hopefully be able to guide you through your journey and be able to recommend the most suitable mortgage for your personal circumstances.

Even if your mortgage application seems rather simple, it may still be beneficial to use the services of an experienced and knowledgeable mortgage broker, as we will work hard to get the best deal we can for you.

We have a professional and trusted mortgage advice team that will be able to provide guidance on other services such as solicitors. By getting in touch with us, you will also be updated you about the surveys and protection information that will be available to you.

Responsive Service

A key feature of our service that we love to shout about, is how we’re more quicker and responsive compared to the other mortgage brokers.

One of the biggest reasons why customers tend to require help, is that everyone nowadays is very busy and needs someone to take the weight off their shoulders, doing the hard work for them.

Our dedicated and loyal mortgage advisors in Sunderland will do everything they can to make sure the process goes smoothly for you.

If you are ready to chat with a dedicated advisor about your mortgage plans, please Get in Touch with a mortgage broker in Sunderland. We are available from early until late, all throughout the week, to help you find the perfect mortgage deal.

Obtaining an Up-to-Date Credit Report in Sunderland

Credit report mortgage advice in Sunderland

Why get a credit report for my mortgage advisor in Sunderland?

To be able to recommend the most appropriate mortgage for you based on the circumstances you’re currently in, it is of vital importance that our mortgage advisors gain a complete understanding of your financial situation. As a mortgage broker in Sunderland, the primary way we believe this can be achieved is by obtaining an up to date copy of your credit report.

We personally would highly recommend using Check My File to do this, as they are able to bring in your data from 4 different credit reference agencies, giving you a more accurate and detailed look at your personal credit profile. It’s especially handy, as in some instances, the data that is held by one agency, may differ to the data from another.

How to get your up to date credit report:

  • Follow the link and use Check My File. In doing so, you will receive a free 30-day trial to use their service, which you can cancel at any time. If you do not cancel in that time period, you will be charged £14.99 per month.
  • Once you have followed the link to their website, you will be greeted with a button that says ‘see your multi-agency credit report for free’. Proceed to click this button, enter relevant information and answer some security questions.
  • After you have logged in and are on your credit report, scroll down towards the bottom of the page where you will be given the option to ‘Download Printable Version’. This will then download a local copy of your credit report to the device that you are using to access their service, i.e., your mobile phone storage.
  • Your downloadable PDF will have tightened security, being password protected by your 6-figure date of birth ‘DDMMYY’.
  • Now that you have downloaded this, please send the credit report to enquiries@ukmoneyman.com, along with your date of birth and it will be reviewed by one of our mortgage advisors in Sunderland.
Credit Report Sunderland

What happens when I send my credit report to a mortgage broker in Sunderland?

When it comes to sending your credit report by email, the steps necessary will be a bit different depending on what device and email client you are using, e.g., Android, iPhone or Desktop & Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo, etc.

A member of our dedicated mortgage advice team in Sunderland will review your credit report, before they give you a call to discuss your mortgage plans in further detail.

As a mortgage broker in Sunderland with lots of experience across the industry, we have in-depth knowledge of lenders various criteria. Some of the lenders we work with are specialist lenders. Please take a look at our specialist mortgage advice in Sunderland page for more information on complex cases.

No matter if you are a first time buyer in Sunderland or looking to move home in Sunderland, we will use our knowledge and the information displayed in your credit report to work hard in finding the most appropriate mortgage deal for needs and personal circumstances.  

How much deposit do I need to buy a house in Sunderland?

How Much Deposit Do I Need To Buy A Home? | MoneymanTV

100-125% mortgages are a thing of the past now. The country seems to be in a more stable, secure financial state post-Credit Crunch and the property market is back in full swing.

With many more rules and regulations set in stone, mortgage lenders are now more confident when it comes to offering 95% mortgages.

95% deals aren’t the only ones available though, it can. The more deposit you have available to put towards a property, the less you have to pay back, and you open yourself up to more competitive interest rates.

Deposits also act as a safety net for mortgage lenders. The reality is, they need to be confident you can make your monthly repayments. If you don’t, they’re at a financial disadvantage. With a large enough deposit, lenders are able to retain some of their finances should difficulties arise.

Saving for a deposit is hard for a lot of people, we know this. The leap from renting to becoming a first-time buyer in Sunderland can be a tricky one to navigate. This is especially the case if you are already renting or have a family, as any potential savings would already be split amongst various home essentials.

As an experienced and knowledgeable mortgage broker in Sunderland, we regularly find many deposit related questions being asked. Here we answer these as best we can, in the hopes you will gain a better understanding of how deposits work regarding the home buying process.

Is it better to put down more than 5% deposit for a mortgage?

Yes, it is! Larger deposits allow for improved interest rates. From here you possibly open yourself up to lower mortgage repayments per month, as you will also be borrowing less for your new home.

As touched on in the previous section, higher deposits put you at a lower risk the lender should things not go as planned, which really does work to your advantage. Products are offered in bands of 5%, with the highest and most expensive being 95%.

Can I take out a personal loan for the deposit?

Though it doesn’t happen often, it has been known to crop up from time to time. However, this is considered by the lender as an additional credit commitment. Because of this, the lender will grant you a smaller mortgage than the one you might have initially planned for.

The majority of lenders would really rather you refrain from this option though, especially if you are looking to borrow 100% of the purchase price.

Do lenders accept gifted deposits for a mortgage?

The majority of lenders, at least the ones we have worked with, have no problem at all with members of your family and sometimes friends too, gifting your deposit.

The one who is gifting must be able to confirm that it is 100% a gift and not something you’re required to pay back to them over time. For the purposes of anti-money laundering, they may also need to provide them with identification and proof of your funds.

Given the term “The Bank of Mum & Dad” amongst home buyers and lenders alike, gifted deposits are seen a true lifeline for those struggling to get onto the property ladder. In truth, the market would look completely different if it were not an option!

Evidencing the deposit

For Anti-Money Laundering purposes, all applicants are required to fully evidence their funds by providing bank statements to the lender. They like to take a look at how exactly additional funds have been obtained too. Recent large cash deposits in your account can sometimes be an issue for lenders.

If you have made a large sale lately, like sell your car, you will need to provide a receipt and be able to prove that the amount it sold for matches the deposit made in your bank account.

The longer these funds sit in your account, the less hassle this is for both you and the lender. Providing an audit trail for your deposit source can often be quite difficult for home buyers undergoing the mortgage process.

If you are planning to fund your deposit by selling your current, then your proof of deposit will be the Memorandum of Sale provided to you by the estate agent. These are documents that record the buyers’ interest in your property and the terms of sale you have both agreed on.

Help to buy equity loan and new build mortgages

If you fall in the bracket for the government Help to Buy Scheme, you are still only required to have a minimum of 5% deposit. With 20% from the government equity loan, this will give a much needed boost to your deposit, taking it up to 25%. This allows you to access a lower rate mortgage.

It is important to remember though, that this is a loan, not a gift and you will need to pay it back whilst you are paying off your mortgage. Also, it is worth noting as well, is that this is interest-free for the first 5 years, after which the government will start adding interest to if not paid.

Buying as a sitting tenant or buying from a family member – Do I need a deposit?

This all depends on personal circumstance, but no, you don’t necessarily need one. If the house has been genuinely discounted by the previous home owner, your lender may accept the discount as a means of deposit.

For example, if the property is worth £150,000 and you have been offered it for £130,000, they will take the £20,000 discount as a deposit. This works hand in hand with a Right to Buy from the local authority or private landlord.

Please note that the above information is for reference purposes only and should not be taken as personal financial or mortgage advice to an individual.

Gifted Deposits More Popular Than Ever in Sunderland

Research gathered from Legal & general

parents are gifting deposits for their children now more than ever before. The gift so much now that it the “Bank of Mum & Dad” was a bank it would be in the top 10 biggest lenders in the UK.

The average parental gifted deposit in the UK is now up to £24,000. Gifts also come from other family members, like grandparents, as their wealth sometimes skips a generation.

Thousands of homebuyers every year are reliant on their families to either get onto the housing ladder in the first place or upgrade to a larger, more beneficial home.

Gifts are vital to the workings of the market and make a significant difference. If they were not accessible; the property market could be very different from how we know it and not for the better.

According to Legal & General, about 20% of parents who helped their children buy, did so because they felt it was duty-bound as a parent.

Property price rises have outstripped wage increases over the years, putting purchasing a first home out of reach for many, especially if there is only one income bringing in a level of financial stability into the household.

It can be a challenge saving for a deposit and having to cover the costs of bills and rent. Some end up moving back in with their parents for a while in the run-up to moving to help with savings.

Of the back of the survey, Legal and General warned that parents’ generosity could impact their standard of living in retirement.

Based on their survey of 1600 parents who had helped their children, most were gifting from their savings. Slightly more worrying, though was that many were withdrawing from their pension schemes or their equity.

Effectively this is them “fast-forwarding” their child’s inheritance.

Gifted Deposits are mostly beneficial for a First Time buyers or a Home Mover in Sunderland. It can also be a handy tool to use in conjunction with the Help to Buy Scheme in Sunderland, as depending on the lender, the required 5% deposit can be paid via Gifted Deposit.

Mortgage Advice in Sunderland

Leasehold Houses in Sunderland

What is a leasehold house?

Off the back of Help to Buy in Sunderland, many builders started selling houses on a leasehold basis when traditionally homes had always been freehold. Over time this became a debatable topic at which the Government felt the need to step in.  

Some of the country’s housebuilders got pointed the finger of putting profits before their social conscience while they are aware that they need to build homes for families they also have shareholders to answer.

Land Banking

The media had made it publicly known that there was a situation with land banking.

Land banking is a real estate investment scheme that involves buying large blocks of undeveloped land with a view to selling the land at a profit when it has been approved for development.

Thanks to consolidation, some builders have inherited land into their organisations which is on a leasehold basis.

It’s a debatable topic that they offer both leasehold and freehold properties for sale so that buyers can make an informed choice.

What About the People?

Many people had felt that the market had swayed much too far towards leasehold when it came to light how much profit the Builders had been making off the back of the leases.

Things came to a head when the Chief Executive of one of the UK’s most prominent Builders received a bonus of over £100m. At the time, this was one of the most substantial bonuses paid in corporate history.

Some Leasehold Homeowners were shocked when they were being quoted thousands of pounds in fees when they sought permission to make alterations to their homes. The fees were being charged by their Leasehold Management Companies.

Some of the annual ground rents were to double every ten years and owners could see that selling their home in the future once these increases have kicked in would be more difficult.

In Parliament

After notifying their MP’s and getting the subject debated in Parliament, the Government agreed that if you were buying a house (not a flat or apartment), then it is reasonable that you should own the freehold.

What can you do?

If you are in the situation of owning one of these houses and you didn’t realise if it was leasehold, then you should have been made aware. If you feel that the Solicitor acting for you did not give you the full facts about the lease you signed, you should re-contact them immediately to investigate why.

You can contact the freeholder at any time if you are interested in buying the freehold from them.

In addition to leaseholds, there is the issue of service charges.

When Councils grant permission for Housebuilders to build on the land, they don’t always agree to adopt the common areas (such as grass verges) and roads.

That means that the upkeep of these areas needs to be outsourced, usually to a private company. The owners in the area then make a financial contribution to this maintenance work on top of their council tax. By the way, this can happen whether the house is leasehold or freehold.

Service Charges

The costs of the service charges can go up, which infuriates homeowners who are affected. Sometimes the residents in the area get together to form an association which might allow them to choose a different service provider.

If you are considering buying a leasehold property, take advice from your Solicitor regarding the lease. It’s straightforward to get carried away with the excitement of purchasing a home, but you also need to realise it’s a significant investment decision that you need to think about carefully.

Sunderlandmoneyman.com & Sunderlandmoneyman are trading styles of UK Moneyman Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
UK Moneyman Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
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