Are You Thinking of Improving Your Home?

Home improvements can add substantial value to your home. According to Barclays an average of £14,000 return on investment can be made by building a 30 square metre extension in the UK. If you were to do this in London, this would be a staggering average return investment of £156,000.

So, what can you do to improve your home?

Working on the inside of your home can increase the appeal to potential buyers whilst also making it a better space to live in if you aren’t considering moving. A good place to start may be to upgrade your bathroom or kitchen. It is possible to do this in small steps, for example, you could change the taps, add in a heated towel rail or update the appliances. Buyers are likely to pay more for a property that is complete with a modern kitchen and bathroom, as it saves them the expense and hassle of upgrading the home themselves.

Another way you could improve your home is by creating extra space. This has the potential to increase the value of your home and is a great way to create more room for a growing family without the stress and cost of moving. A great option is to extend out by building a decent sized room that fits the style of the current house. Another option to consider is extending up by converting the loft in to an extra bedroom. You could even update the layout of your home by moving walls, for example, making your kitchen and living area open plan to give the property a modern appeal.

As we all know first impressions are extremely important, so improving the outside of your home could be a major selling point. Research by Barclays shows that a well looked after garden is one of the most desirable outdoor features. Small investments such as decking or outdoor lighting will also increase the appeal of your garden.

If you have a garage and don’t use it to park your car in, you could enhance your home by converting it in to an extra living space. Great options to consider are a games room, a children’s play room, an office or even a gym.

Remember if you are planning a conversion or extension it is important to consult with your home insurer and to explore if you will need to attain planning permission.

I can’t afford to make any home improvements, what are my options?

There may be the option for you to remortgage in order to borrow money for home improvements. You will probably be required to outline why you are applying for the additional funds when applying for a further advance. It is also easy to slowly make small changes at a low cost, such as painting rooms, to considerably increase the value of your home over time.

What can you do now you’ve made your home improvements?

Selling your newly improved home may be an attractive option if the value has increased significantly, allowing you to move to a bigger house or a better area. If you have made major home improvements, it is likely that the value of your home will have increased. This means it is a great time to remortgage to get a better mortgage deal that could reduce your monthly mortgage payments.


5 Reasons Single People Need Life Insurance

You are young and healthy
The premium you pay each month for life insurance is highly dependent on your age and your health, the younger and healthier you are the less you will pay. For example, if you were to take out a £400,000 life insurance policy at the age of 30 and have a non-smoker status with no health complications, it could cost as little as £11.24 a month (L&G March 2017). By waiting to take out a policy later in life you run the risk of it being a much greater cost, especially if any health issues arise.

You are living with your partner
If you own or rent a home with your partner you will usually have shared financial responsibility. If one of you were to die, would the other still be able to afford to live in the same place? Most mortgage terms are based on joint affordability when buying a home together, meaning it is unlikely you would be able to meet the payments on your own. Life insurance would ensure you had adequate money to meet your mortgage payments and maybe even help you pay off the mortgage entirely.

You plan to have children in the future
If you have children it is always a good idea to have life insurance to ensure everything is taken care of financially should the worst happen to you. Even if you don’t have children yet but are considering having them in the future, it’s always worth future proofing your life cover when it’s more affordable and less likely to be impacted by age.

You want to help cover the cost of your funeral
Funerals can be extremely expensive, figures from Royal London show that in 2016 the average cost of a funeral was £3675. Most people wouldn’t want to leave their family with the stress of such expense whilst also having to deal with grief. By taking out a life insurance policy your family may receive an advance payment to help cover this cost. For example, many providers such as Royal London have a fast track process. In 2016, 60% of Royal London’s claims were fast-tracked and on average claims were paid out within three days. You may have to take care of family members in the future If you plan on supporting your aging parents or maybe even a disabled sibling in the future, what would happen if you were no longer around to offer this support? By having a life insurance policy arranged you can make sure there is money in place to help support your family as planned.


Could you be saving money on your mortgage?

If your mortgage is on a standard variable rate then you may be missing out on an opportunity to save money on your mortgage payments. So why not shop around for your mortgage as you would with your other monthly outgoings, it might even be the biggest saving you make.

Data from Virgin Money has stated that as many as 70% of homeowners could reduce their monthly outgoings by transferring from a standard variable rate product to a fixed rate mortgage*. This is due to the attractive low mortgage rates the market is experiencing currently.

Depending on your needs and mortgage requirements, reviewing your finances and remortgaging could also give you extra flexibility on your mortgage term and how you pay your mortgage. As an intermediary we offer advice on a variety of remortgage options, so you can receive the right product for you in what may seem like a mortgage maze.

So what are the main reasons to consider a remortgage?

  • Reduced monthly repayments
  • Extra flexibility on your mortgage term
  • So you can borrow more money, possibly for home improvements or to pay off other debts
  • Your current deal is about to end
  • The value of your home has increased substantially
  • Ensure your mortgage meets your personal and financial needs

Throughout our lives our circumstances often change which means that the level and type of insurance you need may need to be reviewed. Therefore, whilst considering your mortgage options it is always worth discussing your protection needs to make sure they match your requirements.

Speak to our advisor today to find out more about remortgaging and how we can help you protect your home and lifestyle.

*Based on Virgin Money assumptions as to the new business interest rates available to, and savings achievable by, borrowers remortgaging away from a standard variable rate. This uses stock residential mortgage data from the CACI mortgage market database, 31 January 2017.