Posts tagged ‘homeowner’

Halifax Help to Buy mortgage rates unveiled

Britain’s biggest lender is expected to announce the interest rates on its Help to Buy mortgage rates next week.

House For sale

Halifax will offer rates under 5 per cent and accept applications by the end of the year, according to industry sources.

It will be welcome news to first-time buyers and homeowners who are looking to move with just a five per cent deposit.

As Zoopla revealed yesterday, borrowers can not only now apply for a mortgage using the new Help to Buy guarantees following the Government’s announcement at the beginning of this week, but they can also receive the mortgage money before the guarantees cut in on January 2.

It is impossible to default on the mortgage in the time between now and when the guarantees begin, so lenders are agreeing to hand over the cash before the deadline. If borrowers default after January 2, the lender will be covered by the mortgage guarantee.

A source told Zoopla: “We expect the rates to come in below 5 per cent and we expect applications to be accepted by Halifax before the end of next week.”

Under the new mortgage guarantee scheme, the buyer would only need a 5 per cent deposit.

The Government and the bank then jointly guarantees up to the next 15 per cent of the property’s value, in return for a fee paid for by the lender.

It follows the introduction of the first phase of Help to Buy – equity loans – earlier this year. Under this phase, the Government provides a loan of up to 20 per cent of the price of a property, with the borrowers providing a 5 per cent deposit and a mortgage of 75 per cent.

The scheme is proving popular with buyers as figures show registrations for new homes are up 25 per cent in a year.

Registrations for new homes climbed to almost 91,000 during the first eight months of this year, up from less than 73,000 during the same period a year earlier.

In particular, the three months from June this year – just two months after the scheme was introduced – saw a sharp increase compared to the previous year, up 15 per cent, according to insurers NHBC.

The latest news about Halifax comes as another high street lender reveals research about the biggest barriers to getting onto the housing ladder.

The survey by Santander suggested 16 per cent cite the most significant obstacle being not having enough money for a deposit.

October 4, 2013 at 10:06 AM Leave a comment

Guest Blog: Top tips for selling your home

With daily talk of a potential recovery and more properties coming on to the market, we asked North West London estate agent Greene & Co. to give us their top tips on what to do in order to get your house ready for the market.


1. Keep it clean – You need to take this seriously!

  • No amount of smooth talking from the agent is going to help sell your house if the place is a tip.
  • Even if you are the cleanest, tidiest person in town, the reality is that you are probably going to need to do at least a few things to spruce up your home.
  • Make your home really sparkle – especially on the day the photographer turns up. Get the carpets, sofa covers, oven and windows cleaned and pay special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms, which need to be inviting and hygienic.
  • Start with fresh folded towels and a few strategically placed plants.

2. De-clutter – Clutter will shrink your home!

  • Even if arranged neatly it will make your home not only appear smaller and messier, but can distract your prospective buyers, so they won’t notice all the positive qualities your property has to offer.
  • The most effective action of all is to clear clutter away.
  • To make some space, move unnecessary furniture into the attic, basement or garage.
  • Better still, get it off the property altogether.
  • Remember that homebuyers will open everything.
  • If your cupboards look jammed full and buyers are hit by falling shoes when they open the doors, their lasting impression will be one of a lack of storage space.
  • Self-storage depots are an invaluable tool for the house mover. They’re inexpensive and convenient.

3. Freshen up – Flowers can make a difference

  • A fresh coat of neutral paint or new tiling can do wonders to smarten a tired looking property, as will putting in matching chrome fittings, a freshly painted door, ironed bed linen in the bedroom and brightening the living room with subtle lighting.
  • Strategically placed flowers throughout a home can really make a difference too.
  • A little time and effort in preparing your home for selling will help the process be faster and more successful.

4. Make your home “anonymous” – Don’t distract potential buyers

  • Whilst we understand that selling your home is a stressful time, it is important to remove emotion from the equation by putting away any personal and symbolic items, such as family photo’s and souvenirs. This allows potential buyers the opportunity to see the property as their potential home, not yours.
  • It also helps them concentrate on the aspects that they should be looking at; your desirable home – not being distracted by your amazing paraphernalia.

5. The exterior – First impressions count

  • Do as much as you can to ensure that the outside of your property looks clean and tidy.
  • Take bins away, tidy up communal areas and if you have a garden, your lawn should be freshly cut and cleared of loose leaves and grass cuttings.
  • Remember that your front door may start to colour a potential buyer’s initial impression before it is even opened!

6. The facts – You need to be honest too!

  • You stand a much better chance of selling your property if you have acknowledged any problems and reflected them in the asking price.
  • Forearmed is forewarned – up front honesty about your property from your first negotiation with a buyer will mean that they will have less reason to reduce their offer price or change their mind later in the proceedings.
  • We would also recommend that you ask your agent to give you an honest opinion of anything about your home which is likely to affect its sale.
  • You may even find this hurtful initially and you may not agree (perhaps you spent hours painting that hallway bright green!) – but our team are experts who want to make it as easy as possible for you to sell your home.
  • Their honest advice is always given with your best interests firmly at heart.
  • When your agent does complete the particulars, make sure you see them and check them carefully.
  • Have they missed anything?
  • Does the description accurately reflect the character of your home?
  • Do the photographs show the property to its best advantage?
  • Once you’ve agreed on the particulars, make sure you have copies to hand all the time – just in case a would-be purchaser arrives without their copy.

If you’d like to guest post on the Zoopla! Blog we’d love to hear from you.

Leave a comment below or get in contact with us at

September 9, 2009 at 9:16 AM 1 comment

Five homeowner tips to beat a recession

Our top tips on how to manage your finances to survive and thrive, even in a property market downturn.

1. Get on top of your mortgage payments

  • With interest rates at historical lows, check that you are on the best deal.
  • If your current deal is up, remortgage at a good rate. Get a free mortgage quote.
  • If you get behind with payments, speak to your bank immediately.

2. Review your monthly expenses

  • Do you really need that 3 pound gourmet coffee every morning?
  • Eat in more often – and have fun and get healthy from cooking from scratch.
  • Get a better deal on your home insurance by shopping around? Get quote.
  • Reduce monthly electricity and gas bills by switching providers.  Save money.

3. Consolidate or sort out your debts

  • Try to create and stick to a schedule so you can pay debts off little and often.
  • Avoid credit card – it’s usually very expensive compared with a bank loan.
  • Consider an IVA or Debt management solution.  Get free, no obligation advice.

4. Consider downsizing or equity release

  • You could reduce your mortgage by selling and moving to a smaller home.
  • Relocate to a great value area like Shropshire, Dorset or Norfolk.
  • Consider releasing equity in your home through a secured loan.  Get loan quote.

5. Be smart about renting or buying

  • Rental activity has grown recently as people fear losing capital as prices fall.
  • However, buying at the bottom, if you can time it right, can make you money.
  • If buying in a down market, look for price reductions and don’t overpay.
  • Search thousands of Zoopla homes to rent in England, Scotland or Wales.

April 22, 2009 at 2:08 PM Leave a comment

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The Zoopla property blog is maintained and edited by the Web Content Editor @ Zoopla Property Group Ltd Myra Butterworth.


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