Mortgages & home


How do I buy a property abroad and what are the pitfalls to avoid?

Buying a property overseas is a life-long dream for many people looking for sun, relaxation - and perhaps a place to retire. Some will plan on basing themselves abroad for a few months of the year while others will want to relocate permanently. Many will pick spots on the Continent though some will venture further afield. Whatever you decide, unless you plan carefully those dreams of owning a place in the sun could soon turn into a nightmare. Here are some of the potential problems and pitfalls you need to be aware of.

Dwindling pension pots mean the number of retirees tapping their properties for income is expected to rise by nearly 50 per cent over the next decade.

Jason Indranie, a local estate agent from Yopa, says there isn't a day that goes by without a vendor asking this question.

Research reveals residential property has not given the best returns over the past 23 years - the average time over-65s have been in their homes - but it isn't far behind the leaders.

Out of 100,000 recent property sales in line to benefit from stamp duty relief, according to L&C;'s calculations 30,000 will drop out of the bracket in the next decade.

Where the Bank of Mum and Dad pays out the most

Parents helping their children onto the housing ladder are forking out an average of £18,000. But figures from L&G; and the CEBR highlight the big discrepancy in handouts across the country - triggered by major differences in house prices.Sums range from an average £10,800 in Scotland and £12,000 in the North East, to £21,700 in the South East and £30,600 in London

Low mortgage rates and strong employment are propping up house prices, Britain's biggest mortgage lender said, but annual property inflation slipped back again to just 1.9 per cent, in May.

Fastest places to sell a £1m home: Property millionaires in Cambridge sell in the shortest

Cambridge is home to the fastest moving property market in the country when it comes to properties on sale for £1million or more, new findings reveal. With buyers facing hefty asking prices, stamp duty charges and other taxes and fees, shifting a home for £1million or more can be tough. But in areas like Cambridge, Edinburgh and Bristol, sellers face less of an uphill struggle.

The latest company to come under This is Money's Startup Spotlight, brix, thinks its loyalty reward scheme could help millennials save up for a house deposit with everyday spending.

Durham-based Atom bank has launched a range of first-time buyer products and extended its existing range by adding 95 per cent loan-to-value mortgages across all of its existing products.

Property market continues to lose steam as average UK house price falls 0.2% in May, says

The modest monthly drop is the third fall in four months, with the average home now valued at £213,618, according to the latest index by Nationwide. The headline figure is actually a bit higher than April's £213,000, but Nationwide uses seasonal adjustments to calculate the monthly rise or fall.

New research shows the cost of a property sale breaking down has now reached a whopping £2,727 spent on pointless legal costs and associated fees for marketing your home.

After years of penalising older borrowers, now banks launch mortgages you can take to the

Older borrowers are for the first time being offered mortgages that they can take to the grave. In a move to help retired people stay in their homes, Hodge Lifetime has launched a new interest-only loan for over 55s which lets them keep borrowing until they die. Nationwide, Britain's biggest lender, has also revealed plans to launch an interest-only mortgage that will allow homeowners to borrow into later life - and experts say that more firms will soon follow suit.

The average price of newly-listed properties jumped £2,343 in the month to mid-May, despite estate agents reporting that sales are falling, property website Rightmove said.

Annually the value of homes was still growing however, with  an increase of 4.2 per cent on March 2017 taking the average price up to £224,000.

Whatever your credit score, follow our reassuring guide through the mortgage minefield

With mortgage rates still at an all-time low, securing an affordable home loan should be easy. But many borrowers still face obstacles - from the self-employed, those with poor credit records to first-time buyers. Black marks on a credit record caused by ill health or job loss can also scupper a mortgage application. This prospect faced 43-year-old Louise Forshaw (pictured with husband Gavin Naylor) from Preston, Lancashire. She was diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago which meant Gavin temporarily gave up work as a joiner to care for her.

UK Finance said four in five of those who had started to talk to their lender had a repayment strategy, but 20 per cent still had no clear idea of how they could clear their interest-only mortgage.

Borrowers who left their mortgage renewal too late paid an average penalty of £371 each after ending up on their lender's standard variable rate, according to research.

Beware the red danger signs for house prices

Lee McIntosh's North London flat was valued at £290,000 in 2015 by Halifax, and in theory since then prices are up 15%. But when he went to remortgage, the bank said it was only worth £278,000. He is one of the increasing number suffering down valuations and as asking prices are cut and big mortgages return are there red lights flashing for the property market?

Brix customers earn reward points every time they spend money at one of 225 partner retailers and restaurants. Every £20 spent earns them one point, and each Brix point is converted into £1.

The catch is the deal only pays out if the policyholder dies during the first 12 months. The payout is low and for most families, wouldn't be enough to cover the mortgage or other bills for long.

Aldermore offers lifeline mortgage to pensioners with interest-only debt

Challenger bank Aldermore has launched the first deal allowing retired borrowers to remortgage their interest-only loan when it comes to an end. Borrowers aged between 55 and 85 can now apply for an interest-only mortgage - either to release a bit of equity from their property to pass on to kids or grandchildren or, uniquely, to remortgage an existing interest-only debt.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said homes in the middle to high-end tiers of the market are causing the most problems when it comes to sluggish house price growth.

Should you buy a home with a small deposit rather than pay rent? With a 5% mortgage, first-time buyers could get on the property ladder with £10,000 or less - we explain what they must consider.

How to find the best mortgage rate for you:  Five steps to save money on your home loan

Hundreds of thousands of mortgage borrowers are throwing away £1.15 billion a year because they unwittingly sign up for the wrong deals, a major report has revealed. Some of these homeowners are even shopping around using an independent broker or price comparison website - but still fail to find the cheapest mortgage.

New parents Anne and Carl Winter thought their bank, Santander, would have no problem allowing them to transfer their home loan to the new house, as it would free up more disposable income.

One in four borrowers who take out an equity release deal are now handing some of the money to their offspring, according to equity release firm Key Retirement.

Couple who never missed mortgage payment taken to court by Santander

The Fitzgeralds, both 76, have invested many hours redecorating and improving their two-bedroom property to turn it into a quiet retirement haven for themselves and their beloved dog, Millie. But now the couple, who have never missed a mortgage payment, are being taken to court for an eviction hearing by their bank, Santander.

Such mortgages would help those unable to clear interest-only debts, needing to take out mortgages to move in retirement, or even wanting to pass on an early inheritance.

Building more homes is often claimed to be part of the answer to culling Britain's high house prices, but new research reveals they would need to stop carrying a premium price.

ONS report reveals how house prices compare to local wages

House prices rising faster than wages meant 'housing affordability significantly worsened' in England last year, the ONS said today. The figures emerged in a report that laid bare the effect of two decades of house price inflation on workers' ability to buy a home. An interactive map using house price and local wage data since 1997 allows people to look up what has happened near them.

Interest-only mortgages to let pensioners cash in or help kids

A loosening of the rules to allow interest-only mortgage lending into retirement will make it easier to tap into a home's value. On one hand it's another element of the disturbing financialisation of our homes, but who would deny someone a more enjoyable retirement, or the chance to help their children buy homes while they can still come round for dinner?

The development in Eastleigh, Hampshire, would see a motorway link road straight through the middle of beautiful woodland and 5,200 new homes on the surrounding greenfield land.

I'm moving in with my boyfriend and want to rent out my flat

Three years ago I bought my first flat which is a one-bedroom in zone 4 in London. I have just decided to move in with my boyfriend in his flat but want to keep hold of mine. I took a five-year fixed rate when I bought the flat so I have two years left to go. I think I am allowed to get permission from my lender to rent it out though? How do I do this and are there any risks I need to consider?

When the base rate rises it will inevitably push up home loan costs for homeowners who have variable rate mortgages. Jamie and Helen Bradford (pictured) like the security of a five-year fix

Our son is at university and is renting a three-bed flat with two of his friends. There is a flat next door that has come on the market that we would like to buy. Can we get an interest-only mortgage?

How to remortgage your Help to Buy

While there were 23 lenders willing to provide a mortgage to those buying with the aid of a Help to Buy equity loan five years ago, just 10 lenders are prepared to accept a remortgage application from borrowers looking to switch from another lender today. According to research by mortgage broker RateSwitch, this includes major institutions such as Lloyds Bank, Nationwide, NatWest and Santander.

An entrepreneur has tapped into the growing trend for raffling homes by launching a platform that allows owners to sell tickets instead of their property - and first up is a £650,000 London flat.

House sellers across the UK get about £10,000 less than their final asking price, new figures show, with a third having already had their original listing price cut.

How to beat mortgage rate hikes: 7 tricks to stop your repayments rocketing

The clock is ticking for homeowners. The Bank of England is expected to hike base rate from 0.5 per cent to 1 per cent by December. You can be sure that banks will do everything in their power to pass on these increases to customers who have a mortgage. Here's how to beat them,

The market has taken a turn for the worse and your main tasks when selling will be getting your house in tip-top shape and then setting the right price.

For many Britons the idea of investing in property still appeals, as they trust bricks and mortar and may feel that they can add value to a property. Read our top ten buy-to-let tips

This type of loan was popular in the early Noughties, as they kept monthly repayments low. Unlike a traditional repayment mortgage, you have only to pay the interest each month.

Life has got much tougher for landlords, with a series of tax grabs and tougher mortgage rules hitting. So does buy-to-let still stack up as a way to build your wealth?

What next for mortgage rates?

Lenders have started to withdraw their cheapest mortgage deals from the market in the past week as expectations of a rise in the base rate grow. It coincides with fresh warnings from the Bank of England that it's set to hike the base rate again, possibly in May, which is pushing market rates up now.

For many buy-to-let looks an attractive income investment in a time of low rates and stock market volatility. Read our top ten buy-to-let tips

By using an online estate agents instead of a traditional high street option, sellers can save thousands of pounds, while also getting their home marketed professionally.

A Reuters poll shows that 32 out of 57 economists tipped Bank Rate to rise in May following the more hawkish tone in last week's Inflation Report and rate decision commentary.

Unless you are very wealthy, you are unlikely to be able to buy a home outright. Instead, you can use a mortgage to fund the bulk of the purchase. We explain how they work.

Most first-time buyers for 20 years

'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.' Depending on the evidence you choose, life is either good or bad for Britain's first-time buyers right now.

Rightmove said the market remained resilient, although this rate of growth was 'well below' the 1.6 per cent monthly average at this time of year over the last ten years.

House prices have increased seven times faster in real terms than the average annual salary of a young worker, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.




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