How to Improve Your EPC Rating

Wondering how to improve your EPC rating? In 2018 EPC regulations changed, making it a legal requirement for rental properties to meet a certain standard of energy efficiency. Read on to learn more about the changes, and find out how to improve your EPC rating. What is an EPC rating? EPC stands for Energy Performance Certificate. An EPC states the energy efficiency rating of a property, taking into account a number of factors: The size of the property The type of construction The property’s heating system, including the type of boiler and how it’s controlled How the wall and loft/roof More ›

How to Improve Your Credit Score for a Mortgage

Getting a mortgage can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be difficult – especially if you know how to improve your credit score in advance. Your credit score not only affects your chance of being accepted for a mortgage, but may also affect the size of your monthly repayments. Luckily, there are steps you can take to get ahead. In this blog we’ll explain how to improve your credit score in preparation for a mortgage application. How do credit scores work? Your credit score is based on information held in your credit file, or credit report. When you apply More ›

How to avoid a property chain

A property chain is a sequence of linked house purchases, in which transactions are dependent on one another. For example, Adam wants to buy a property from Beth, but Beth needs to buy from Claire, and so on. If an issue arises within the sequence, it can cause troubles for everyone involved. So you might want to avoid a property chain to make your house buying experience as smooth as possible. Luckily, there are options for you. Let’s take a look at some of them. Move in with friends or family A relatively simple way of avoiding a property chain is More ›

Lifetime ISA vs Help to Buy ISA: Which is Right for Me?

Lifetime ISA vs Help to Buy ISA – what’s the difference, and which one is right for you? Both ISAs are attractive prospects for those looking to save for a house, but it’s important to know the pros and cons of each before opening an account. Our guide explains the ins and outs of the two schemes, and what you should consider when deciding which is the best option for you. Lifetime ISA vs Help to Buy ISA: The basics The Help to Buy ISA was introduced in December 2015, and is designed to help first-time buyers save up for More ›

When, Why and How to Remortgage Your Home

Wondering how to remortgage your home? Lots of homeowners choose to remortgage to get a better deal. By remortgaging you could decrease your monthly repayments, release equity in your home or move from a variable rate to a fixed rate. However, there can be drawbacks, so it’s important to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages. Our guide explains when, why and how to remortgage. What is remortgaging? Remortgaging involves taking out a new mortgage on a property you already own – either with the same lender or a different one – either to replace your existing mortgage or borrow More ›

What to Look for When Buying a House

Wondering what to look for when buying a house? It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a house viewing and forget to check all the essential details. But the property you buy could end up being your home for many years – so you need to make sure it’s the right one. Luckily, we’ve put together this handy checklist outlining what to look out for. First of all, here are a few general tips… Take your time Spend a good amount of time looking around the property – at least 30 minutes – so you can make More ›

Investing in Buy-to-Let Property: Advice for Aspiring Landlords

Investing in buy-to-let property is still an attractive prospect for many people, despite recent changes in the way buy-to-let investments are taxed. The changes mean that landlords are no longer able to offset all their mortgage interest against their profits – but investing in buy-to-let can still pay off. However, the changes mean that if you do want to enter the buy-to-let market, you need to do things properly if you want to see a return. Here’s our essential advice for anyone considering investing in buy-to-let property. Research the market and know the pitfalls Before you invest, be sure that More ›

Stamp Duty Changes for First-Time Buyers: What Do They Mean?

Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced the Autumn Budget on 22 November 2017, and one of the most talked-about changes was a cut in stamp duty for first-time buyers. But what do the stamp duty changes mean? Stamp duty changes – the facts As part of a range of measures designed to boost home-building, Hammond abolished stamp duty for first-time buyers on all properties up to £300,000 with immediate effect. For properties costing between £300,000 and £500,000, first-time buyers will pay no stamp duty on the first £300,000, but will pay the standard 5% on the remaining amount. For homes costing more More ›

Survey Advice for Home Buyers: Everything You Need to Know

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned mover, the list of things to do when purchasing a new house can seem endless. One of the many jobs to sort out is the survey – but with so many different options out there, it’s difficult to know what’s best for your needs. Here’s our simple survey advice for home buyers. Don’t be led by cost Although getting a survey might seem like another unnecessary cost at a time when you’re already spending a lot of money, getting the right one can save you thousands of pounds in the long run More ›

Leasehold vs Freehold: Understanding the Differences

When looking for a property to buy, aspiring homeowners may be faced with a choice: leasehold vs freehold. But what are the differences? Leasehold vs freehold: the basics The main difference between leasehold and freehold is that if you buy a leasehold property, you own the property but not the land it stands on. With a freehold property, you own both the building and the land. In England and Wales, the majority of flats are leasehold, while houses are usually sold as freehold properties. Buying a leasehold property With leasehold properties, the land the building stands on is owned by More ›