Buying a house is likely to be the biggest decision many of us will make in our lives. So much depends on us making the right choice – from how financially secure we are, to our children’s futures – so having everything in place before we commit to anything is crucial. But where to start? With so many providers on the market offering widely varying mortgage products and rates, even beginning the thought process of buying a house can seem insurmountable. Luckily, we are here to help. Here are three things you need to do before booking at house viewings:
CHECK YOUR CREDIT RATING
Before you log on to Propertynews.com or Propertypal.com and fall in love with a house you like the look of, it’s crucial that you know what your credit score is. A high credit score will open doors for you in terms of securing the best mortgage deals. A low credit score might affect your ability to procure a mortgage at all, as lenders will see the risk of lending you money as too great an investment. There are plenty of online credit agencies, like Experian, where you can check your score at the click of a button. Just make sure that you keep applications for new credit to a minimum before buying a house, as unpaid credit card bills and payday loans can skew the results of your score in a way which might take time to recover from. However it also helps to have a healthy credit record of transactions, if you need advice or help with this our advisors can help.
ASSESS WHAT’S AFFORDABLE FOR YOU
There is no point in coveting the dream house in your dream location if you are not currently in a financial position to buy it. Take stock of your income versus your outgoings, assess where savings can be made, and take an honest look at whether you can afford the 5-10% upfront deposit. It is always a good idea to save slightly more so that you have some wiggle room for unforeseen circumstances. You also need to consider, going forward, whether you’ll be able to afford the monthly mortgage repayments in any sort of sustainable way. There is also stamp duty to consider (on properties over £125,000). If you feel comfortable with this, then you’re ready for the next step.
TALK TO A MORTGAGE ADVISOR
It is crucial that you seek mortgage advice before committing to anything, and an independent mortgage advisor is best placed to source the right repayment rate for you. They’ll tell you exactly which financial institutions you should be approaching based on your income, debts, assets, and day-to-day spending. Seeking mortgage advice also acts as a shield later should any complaints arise, as you can point to exactly what terms you were expecting and what you received in return. Choosing a mortgage without taking advice is known in the business as an ‘execution-only’ application, and this leaves you vulnerable to being rejected by your chosen lender, not to mention the risk later of not being able to meet payments. We will also discuss and advice how important it is that you protect your mortgage in the event of serious illness or death, this is a vital part of the process that you must factor into your monthly costs but we will explain everything in detail.
SOME FINAL THOUGHTS
At Michael Chandler, we offer bespoke, independent mortgage advice and our advisors are some of the most knowledgeable in the business. Unlike some other mortgage advice businesses on the market, Michael Chandler Mortgage advisors are not tied to specific lenders and can check across the whole market to ensure that we find the best mortgage for you.
We use a discreet system to check your finances which is designed specifically to ascertain whether you can afford a mortgage in the first place. Our experienced staff can handle the complex paperwork, so that your application gets processed faster. And we will only ever recommend a mortgage which is suitable for you, taking all costs and features into account as well as advising you on interest rates and how best to negotiate the market so that you can buy at the right time for you.