The Numbers – You know that budget? Double it!

6 Years ago we bought our first property. It was so long ago that I feel like I had a little process amnesia.

Being a first time buyer was soooo much easier than being a home mover. The extra baggage creeps up on you and you don’t realise that you’ve accumulated so much stuff!

Let’s get down to the numbers.

My husband is a numbers man. He wants it all to be accounted for on the spreadsheet and adds a £200 buffer to absolutely everything! It really annoys me because I’m all up for rounding up to the nearest 10, but £200? He takes it too far!

Well, it seems as if Mr Charm was on to something.

The costly thing isn’t in things you accounted for costing a little more than expected, but it’s in the things that you had no intention of spending money on requiring money to be spent!

To give you an idea, we always knew that we had to give the house some make up. Lick of paint, furniture, art etc. We accounted for painting all the rooms and a newly fitted kitchen/bathroom for personal reasons, not really a super necessity.

As time progressed so did the need for that budget to be stretched.

Natural floorboards meant the risk of worms, stray bits and with a young child, anything that is a risk to master charm will be seen to. We had to get the floors sanded, treated and polished.

There’s also the other unaccounted area – the garden! We hadn’t had a garden for so long that upkeep and the importance of a sturdy fence was not at the forefront of our minds.

Limp water. Nothing boils my blood more than a limp shower. Power shower or nothing! That’s what we were dealing with. The bathroom was due a facelift, but lead times were a nightmare and was we really going to live with limp water for that long? I think not.

It turns out that all of those £200 add ons were welcomed and helped us in some stretched situations.

Lesson learnt? Double that budget & don’t be a home Reno snob. Another added learn for me was to let my husband get involved, two heads are better than one and after all, this is OUR home not mine!

A buyers Market, not a sellers…

It’s no secret that Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the entire world.

Millions have lost their jobs. Off of the back of this, many will have to take payment holidays on their mortgages, some may eventually fall behind on mortgage payments and some may even lose their homes due to repossession. 

What does this mean for the market?

I’m going to focus on 2 things today.

  1. It will be a buyers market, not a sellers 
  2. Lenders will have to recover a lot of unpaid debt and be a lot more frugal with who they lend to

What does this mean for you? 

The person with a home to sell…

  • Now is the time! Sell as soon as possible and sit on the funds. Move in with family, think about short term renting and sit on the proceeds of the sale as in a few months, you will be able to buy a bigger house for a lot less.
  • Fast forward a few months… If you take too long to take the leap to put your property up for sale, you may need to take an Offer much less than what you wished for.

Are you in a chain? There’ll be more about what can do next week… 

 The person with a home to buy…

  • Hold your horses. There are going to be many houses to choose from and many people desperate to sell them so this may work in your favour when it comes to negotiating on price. 
  • You may need to front more deposit than you may have initially planned due to Mortgage products being quite unstable. 90% Mortgages which require a 10% deposit have been pulled and reintroduced week by week. Lenders may also be a lot more picky with who they lend to, request much more information and be much quicker to decline applicants who don’t fit within their risk appetite 

Key take aways

Home Sellers

  • The time is now!

Home Buyers

  • Be patient. Fix your credit & save save save!

All information on my blog is opinion driven based on market trends, statistics and forecasts regarding the current situation. 

*Photo Source https://www.standard.co.uk/news/estate-agents-face-ban-on-for-sale-signs-6781275.html

Does having bad credit mean that I can’t get a Mortgage to assist in the purchase of a property?

No.

Great news. Bad credit doesn’t mean that you can’t obtain a mortgage, nor does it mean that you won’t be accepted for a loan or credit card. 

However, what it does mean is that you will be hit by higher interest rates and less favourable products. 

What is a product and an interest rate?

Interest rate – this is the rate a bank or other lender charges to borrow its money. The current Bank of England base rate is 0.75%

The Bank of England base rate is the UK’s most influential interest rate and its official borrowing rate. It is currently 0.75% – a historically low figure. The base rate impacts all other interest rates. When the rate is low, it costs you less to borrow money, however lenders are free to make their rates as high or low (no lower than 0.75% otherwise they will not make profit – just break even) as they see fit.

Product – lenders bundle their interest rates and incentives in to something called a product. For example a product for a first time buyer with Halifax could mean a 1.68% interest rate over a 2 year fixed period with a 2% early repayment charge and £500 cash back to assist with legal fees. Products vary and can be packaged with multiple or no incentives.

Expanding on the above example, this means that over the 2 year fixed period, your monthly payments will reflect the 1.68% interest rate. If you decide to Remortgage or sell your property earlier than when the 2 year fixed period ends, you will have to pay a 1%+ fee (% depends on the terms) of your remaining mortgage to do so. 

Interest Rates & Products – These are things you need to take in to consideration. Some people would rather go with a lender that has a product with a slightly higher interest rate which allows them to exit the deal early without a penalty. 

These kind of products are good for those that are Remortgaging due to their current product expiring, but wanting to keep their options open and not be fixed in to a lengthy deal as they have the intentions of selling/moving in the near future – within the year or so. 

Does having bad credit mean that I can’t get a Mortgage to assist in the purchase of a property?

No.

Having good credit means that your options are limitless. You can get favourable deals from high street lenders with low interest rates and great package deals.

Having bad credit, defaults and missed payments means your options are limited. You are limited to specialist lenders who lend to people with a less favourable credit file. Due to this, the interest rates are high, come with a product fee and little, but mostly, no incentives. An example of this kind of Lender is Pepper Money.

Someone with “bad credit” will be offered a Mortgage with a 5% interest rate at a specialist lender opposed to someone with “good credit” who has more options and can get a Mortgage from a high street lender with an interest rate as low as 1.42%.

Why do specialist lenders have such high interest rates?

This is because they’re offering something that you can’t get anywhere else – they can take advantage. Having “Bad credit”, you are also a liability. How do they know you are going to pay? How do they know that you aren’t going to continue with the same behaviour pattern seen on your credit file? Interest rates that are 3x higher than their high street competitors mean that a specialist lender reclaims like for like funds 3x quicker than said high street lender. Remember the Bank of Englands base rate is 0.75%. Most lenders have accounts with the Bank of England so benefit from a low base rate whilst also benefiting from the profits of a high interest rate when lending to others.

Bad Credit: County Court Judgement, missed payment, default, settlement of unpaid debt within the last 6 years etc.

Good Credit: Active credit card with less than 20% limit in use, none of the above.

Exception: Sometimes a high street lender will want an explanation for a negative marker on your credit file.

For example, “Why did Mr X miss a payment on his mobile phone bill 2 years ago twice?”

Reasonable explanation would be: There was confusion with the Direct Debit dates and account the funds should be retrieved from. This was resolved with the mobile phone company and won’t happen again.

Be responsible with your credit. Your future house buying self will thank you.