Free sense check on the rate your existing lender just offered you.

Had a new rate offer from your existing Lender?

If you have just asked your existing lender for a new rate and now have this, what you need to know is – but is that any good?

With an increasing number of lenders using algorithms to decide what to offer their existing clients and different clients getting different rates we have launched a sense check service to make sure you get the rates you deserve.

Call us on 01313392281 or click the LiveChat and tell us value, balance and rate type offered and we will tell you what the wider market has. You might just save yourself more money than you thought.

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3 ways landlords can help their tenants during hard times

tenant sitting among boxes

Last month, you read about the important pros and cons of maintaining your buy-to-let business in the wake of the pandemic, and while inflation continues to rise.

Now, a survey by Nationwide Building Society claims 74% of UK landlords “feel a sense of duty to support tenants during the cost of living crisis”. Indeed, as a landlord, you may feel responsible for your tenants’ wellbeing as they are hit by high inflation.

However, while you want to help, you may also be concerned about the viability of your business this year. It can be difficult to strike the balance between making ends meet and empathising with your tenants, too.

So, here are three ways landlords can help tenants this year while staying sensible about your own financial viability.

1. Consider freezing rents while the cost of living crisis continues

According to the Nationwide survey, 44% of landlords have supported tenants financially in the last 12 months.

Supporting tenants financially can take many forms, but one common way landlords can help tenants is freezing rents for a fixed term while they shoulder the cost of living crisis.

The survey claims 38% of landlords aim to keep rents the same for the next year, despite the financial challenges this might pose.

Freezing rents may lower your profit margins, but it could have long-term benefits. For example, tenants could be more likely to remain loyal and stay in your property if you have offered a helping hand during a difficult time.

2. Open up the conversation if tenants fail to pay on time

If your tenants can’t pay some of what they owe, this might be understandable in these difficult times. However, it could also pose a risk to your financial viability, especially if you have a mortgage on the property in question.

In this instance, it can be tempting to clamp down on tenants straight away, threatening action if they do not pay. However, it could be constructive to open up the conversation – perhaps through an agent, if necessary – and hear their explanation.

It could be that a payment plan, for example, may be arranged, so tenants can repay their arrears without having to go through the lengthy and emotionally strenuous eviction process.

3. Contribute to rising energy costs

In April 2022, energy regulator Ofgem raised its price cap by 54%. What’s more, Ofgem is forecast to increase it by a further 42% in October.

If your tenants are struggling to meet energy bill requirements, you could offer a helping hand.

As the homeowner, you could help tenants by providing cash loans for energy bills, or by installing energy-efficient tech, such as a smart meter, which will help tenants see how much they might be charged in real time.

Get in touch

For guidance on how to maintain the financial viability of your buy-to-let business, email [email protected] or call 0131 339 2281 to speak to us.

Please note

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or other loans secured on it.

Buy-to-let (pure) and commercial mortgages are not regulated by the FCA.

Think carefully before securing other debts against your home.

 

Posted in Edinburgh Mortgage Advice | Leave a comment

3 ways to enjoy the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in style

Edinburgh Fringe Festival bannerBetween 5 and 22 August 2022, the city of Edinburgh will be transformed into a theatrical haven full of artistic delights.

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the 75-year old arts festival taking place in the city centre, attracts theatre, music, and nightlife lovers from around the world each summer, with approximately 3 million tickets sold each year.

This year, the Fringe is back with a bang. After its cancellation in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and a reduced event in 2021, the full-scale festival returns this August, bringing with it incredible artists ready to delight audiences.

If you are looking to celebrate the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in style, here are three ways to kick back and relax in Scotland’s capital city this August.

1. Grab your ticket for 100 Songs In An Hour at the Hill Street Theatre

Award-winning musical comedian David Hoare returns to the Fringe this year with an epic attempt: to perform 100 songs in an hour with just his piano.

Performed at Hill Street Theatre at 1.40 on selected afternoons between August 5 and 28, 100 Songs In An Hour will leave you tickled and amazed. Hoare is known for his wit and charm as a performer, as well as being an impressively precise musician with stamina to boot.

You can buy tickets for 100 Songs In An Hour on the Edinburgh Fringe website today.

2. Dine in style at The Perch Restaurant on Hanover Street

Whether you are local to Edinburgh or not, The Perch is an unmissable eatery that could make all the difference to your Fringe experience.

Known for serving fine Scottish cuisine, as well as traditional British and vegetarian dishes, The Perch combines a relaxed dining experience with finely presented plates and hand-picked wine.

If you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or another special occasion while at the Fringe – or you simply fancy a lovely meal out with friends – visit The Perch for an unforgettable evening of culinary magic.

3. Explore your inner vaudeville star at Cabaret Voltaire

One of Edinburgh’s most iconic nightlife venues, located in the underground vault systems, Cabaret Voltaire is a must-visit club for dancing and debauchery while at the Fringe.

Whether you like techno, big-name DJs or just want to visit for the incredible atmosphere, Cabaret Voltaire will certainly provide a nightlife experience you won’t forget. Visit the club after seeing a show at the Fringe, or after a dinner at one of Edinburgh’s best restaurants.

Cabaret Voltaire is located on Blair Street, and opens nightly from 7pm.

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What the Bank of England’s scrapping of affordability requirements might mean for you

mortgage broker with client

If you are applying for a mortgage this year, it is important to understand how the landscape is changing, and how you might need to prepare.

For example, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the UK’s cost of living crisis sent inflation to 9.4% in June 2022. You could be finding that you are struggling to hit your deposit savings targets, for example, as the price of goods and services increases.

Conversely, in their latest move, the Bank of England (BoE) has rescinded their former requirement that mortgage lenders check borrowers can afford potentially higher interest rates.

This may mean that borrowers could borrow the amount they need for their dream home.

Read on to find out how this rule change might affect you, and how working with a mortgage expert can bring you the peace of mind you need.

The Bank of England recently raised the base rate to 1.25%

In its fifth consecutive rise since December 2021, the BoE raised the base rate to 1.25% in June 2022. 12 months earlier, in June 2021, the base rate stood at 0.1%.

This means that, if you were to take out a mortgage now, you may pay a higher interest rate than you would if you’d bought a home last year.

Of course, budgeting for this increased liability is important. While the base rate may reduce again, your mortgage repayments may not decrease in line with it, so you could be paying higher interest for the years to come.

If you are concerned about affording your mortgage in light of the base rate rise, it could be constructive to speak to an expert. We can talk you through options that might help, including remortgaging, or budgeting options to afford higher repayments.

In June 2022, the Bank of England removed affordability criteria for interest rises

Mortgage affordability is a particularly important subject at the moment, because in a surprise move, the BoE has scrapped affordability criteria for interest rate rises.

A Guardian report claims that “lenders will no longer have to check whether homeowners could afford mortgage payments at higher interest rates”.

Before this, in the wake of the 2008 financial crash, the BoE introduced a rule stipulating that mortgage lenders must run affordability checks for higher interest rates when considering a borrower’s application. This move aimed to prevent homebuyers from taking out mortgages they could not afford – an issue that led, in part, to the previous economic crisis.

Now, however, this rule has been removed, perhaps enabling you to borrow what you need for the home you want. Moreover, you could find it easier to secure a mortgage this year, despite other circumstances like the cost of living crisis.

This move, proposed in February 2022 and confirmed in June by the Financial Policy Committee (FCP), will come into effect on 1 August. Although affordability checks on interest rates will no longer be required, the BoE remains certain that other assessments conducted by lenders will be sufficient.

Even so, it could be extremely beneficial to work with an expert if you’re applying for a mortgage this year. We can help you determine if you can afford your move, enabling you to make an informed decision when taking out a loan.

Working with a professional can help ensure you don’t borrow more than you can afford

It is always constructive to work with a professional when applying for a mortgage. Getting an expert opinion on your choices might make all the difference, especially as you may be paying your mortgage for 30 years or more.

In the cost of living crisis, you might feel it especially important to seek professional guidance when taking out a large loan. That’s where your broker comes in: we can assess your financial circumstances, and the mortgage you want to take out, and offer bespoke guidance that can help you understand your affordability status a little better.

What’s more, we can help connect you with a range of lenders who could offer an array of options for you to choose from. By working with us, you can gain the invaluable peace of mind you may need before taking out a large loan on a home.

Get in touch

For guidance on mortgage affordability, or any other queries, email [email protected] or call 0131 339 2281 to speak to us.

Please note

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or other loans secured on it.

Buy-to-let (pure) and commercial mortgages are not regulated by the FCA.

Think carefully before securing other debts against your home.

 

 

Posted in Edinburgh Mortgage Advice | Leave a comment

The one unusual method UK residents are using to save money on energy, and how it might work for you

person holding thermal imaging camera up to homeAs the UK’s cost of living crisis continues to put pressure on homeowners, you might be searching for ways to make your home more energy-efficient before the autumn.

Indeed, the rate of inflation rose to 9.1% in the year to May 2022, signifying an unprecedented increase in the cost of everyday goods around the UK.

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Everything you need to know about how a 1.25% base rate may affect your mortgage

woman sitting with laptop, papers everywhere, and a catIn December 2021, the Bank of England (BoE) raised the base rate from a historically low 0.1% to 0.25%.

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The important pros and cons of maintaining a buy-to-let business this year

For many people, a buy-to-let business is a worthwhile investment that may have earned you a considerable income in recent years.

You might have spent a number of years building up your property portfolio and earning the trust of your tenants. Or, you could just be starting your buy-to-let venture, exploring property prospects in your local area.

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3 delicious meat-free recipes to learn in National Vegetarian Week

table of vegetarian foods

National Vegetarian Week has fallen on 16 – 22 May. All around the country, people were inspired to spend the week meat-free, trying out new foods and recipes in the process.

According to The Mayo Clinic, a vegetarian diet could reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

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4 unmissable dos and don’ts of converting your loft this year

man climbing into loft via ladder

Usually, homeowners invest in a loft conversion for one of two reasons: to use the space themselves or to add value to their home before selling.

If you wish to convert your loft into a functional room for yourself, it could be used as:

  • An additional bedroom
  • A home office
  • A workout, arts, or play space for yourself or your children.

If you are converting your loft to sell your home, this could also be a positive move. A study by Nationwide, published by On The Market, claims that loft conversions can add up to 21% to your home’s value when you decide to sell.

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5 things to consider if you’re self-employed and buying a home

woman at desk

No matter who you are, buying a home in 2022 may come with some challenges.

For example, according to government data, Scottish house prices rose by 10.8% in the year to January 2022. So, it could be that your dream home may cost more than you had originally thought.

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