How to get a mortgage

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Nervous first timer? Consult a mortgage advisor before trudging the streets to find your new home

  • Skilled at making a somewhat dull subject sound even slightly interesting, advisors will assess your income, outgoings and any debts you might have, and work out a personalised package (taking into account a selection of lenders) to suit your needs. We asked Craig Taggart at independent financial consultants Baigrie Davies (www.baigriedavies.co.uk) his top tips.

    ‘It’s more important than ever to have a deposit,’ says Taggart. ‘ Due to the current credit environment, it’s very difficult to secure a 100 per cent mortgage at the moment, and virtually impossible to borrow anything more. If you haven’t got any savings, you’re options are limited. ‘There’s a trend of first time buyers’ families "gifting" them the money,’ says Taggart. Let’s hope you’ve been nice to your parents, then. ‘In short, the bigger your deposit, the more options you have.’

    Still, it’s not just the deposit you have to prepare for, it’s the costs. The Government charges stamp duty on properties that cost in excess of £125,000, but charges aren’t tiered and apply to the whole purchase price. ‘Buying a property for about £300,000 means that, with a deposit, duty, solicitors and valuation fees,’ says Taggart, ‘ you could be paying out about £26,000 before you even walk through the door.’

    An independent consultant like Taggart is duty-bound to source the entire market for the best deal, but that’s not to say you can’t do your own research, too. However, if you go direct to just one lender, they’re not obligated to tell you about a better deal with a competitor, and applying for lots of different deals could damage your credit rating. ‘It may sound obvious,’ says Taggart, ‘but, as long as your mortgage is affordable, you’ll be okay.’

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