Vacancy: IFA Administrator

This position has now been filled. Thank you for your interest.

Saving for your first home? Find out how to get an extra £3,000 with the Help to Buy: ISA

Help To Buy ISA

Help to Buy ISA’s are a tax free account, designed to help First Time Buyer’s save a deposit for their first home. You can pay in up to £1,200 in the first month, followed by £200 per month thereafter. Once you have saved a minimum of £1,600, you are then eligible for a bonus from the government of 25% of your savings. This means that for every £200 you pay in, the government will add £50 to the deposit.

This bonus is capped at a maximum of £3,000 per person, however if 2 people are buying together, they can both open their own ISA’s and so benefit from two bonuses.

To get the full £3,000 bonus, you would need to pay in a total of £12,000 across 5 years. When you are ready to buy the property, the solicitor will request the bonus from the government, to add to the savings you already have.

No deposit? We could still help.

Picture1If you only have a small deposit, or do not have one at all, it may still be possible for you to obtain a mortgage.

There is a lender who will allow you to take out a personal loan to use as your deposit.

You need to pass the lenders affordability to show that you can afford the mortgage payments as well as the loan repayments. You will also need to meet the rest of the lending criteria.

However, this is ideal for someone with sufficient income but a low amount of savings.

 

Help to Buy Show – Hatherley Manor

HtBS_flyer_A5_Spring16_GloucOn Saturday 12th March 2016 we will be attending the Help to Buy Homes Show at Hatherley Manor, Gloucester.

We will be providing face to face, free financial advice for anyone considering the Help to Buy Shared Ownership or Shared Equity schemes.

Experts from various Housing Associations will also be there to discuss the different renting options and to give information on what properties are available.

The show runs from 10am to 3pm and entry is free. Tickets can be downloaded here.

5 Tips to Prepare your Credit Report for a Mortgage Application

BanksPicture1 and credit card companies use a variety of different information to give you a credit score, which determines whether they will lend to you and at what interest rate. 

1. Check your credit report to make sure everything is accurate and up to date. Some credit referencing agencies, such as Noddle, will allow you to do this for free, or for a charge of £2. If any of the information is incorrect tell them as soon as possible to have it investigated.

2. Try to avoid applying for credit in the six months prior to making a mortgage application. It could look like you are struggling financially and can have a negative impact on your credit score.

3. Since the new mortgage affordability rules in April 2014, there has been closer scrutiny on not only your credit history but also your budgeting and financial planning. It’s worth trying to save a little every month and finish every month with a surplus.

4. Lenders can take into account your available credit limits, and are likely to view low ‘utilisation’ as an indication of low risk. So try to keep the balances on your card accounts as low as possible.

5. It is vitally important to meet any agreed current repayments you have and paying a little more than your agreed minimum card repayments will not only reduce your balance more quickly but will also be a positive factor on your credit report.

Bad News for Landlords who are Higher Rate Tax Payers

calcFrom April 2017 the amount that some landlords can claim in tax relief on their finance costs (such as mortgage interest payments, interest on loans to buy furnishings and fees incurred on taking out and repaying mortgages) is being gradually reduced over 4 years.

When the new restrictions are fully in force from the beginning of the 2020/21 tax year, landlords will be only be able to claim tax relief at the basic tax rate of 20%, instead of 40% or 45% for those in higher or top rate income tax brackets respectively

As limited companies are not affected by the tax relief changes, it may be financially beneficial for some landlords to consider creating a Special Purpose Vehicle Limited Company. Of course, it will depend on individual circumstances and landlords considering this option should contact us beforehand.

Vacancy: Paraplanner and Senior Administrator

 

This position has now been filled. Thank you for your interest.

ISA’s: Annual Subscription Limits

SavingsThe government will be maintaining the ISA, Junior ISA and Child Trust Fund annual subscription limits at their current level for 2016-17.

The ISA annual allowance will be kept at £15,240. The Junior ISA and Child Trust Fund allowances will be kept at £4,080.

Bank of England Adviser Says Low Rates are Here to Stay

interest-rateIn his first public speech since joining the Monetary Policy Committee, Gertjan Vlieghe has said that he is prepared  to be “patient” before voting for an increase in interest rates. He has warned that we must “be prepared for the possibility that real interest rates will remain well below their historical average for a very long time”.

The rate setter has said that he needs to see inflation in a medium term upward trend before he would reconsider.

As of March, the the Base Rate will have remained at 0.5% for a total of seven years. Since then, only one member has voted for an increase during one of their meetings.

Time is Running Out for the New Stamp Duty Changes.

BTL Stamp DutyFrom April 2016, buyers of Buy-To-Let properties and second homes will have to pay an extra 3% stamp duty on each of the bands. There will also be an additional band of £0-£40,000 introduced with 0% stamp duty to pay.

Any buyers who complete their purchase before the 1st April 2016 will still fall under the current stamp duty rates.