Mortgage advice with Lisa Burns Kent

Mortgage advice with Lisa Burns Kent

Navigating the world of mortgages can be tricky - especially if you’re getting ready to buy your first home.

Don’t worry if you’re feeling a little lost. We sat down with Mortgage Adviser Lisa Burns Kent, of Meridian Mortgages, to pick her brains on some of our most frequently asked questions.

What is the current mortgage landscape like in light of the Covid-19 pandemic?

There is no doubt that Coronavirus has altered the mortgage landscape. Lenders have had to focus on existing borrowers, which encompasses bereavement, payment holidays and working from home. However, at present, lending availability is good, interest rates are competitive, and the availability of most mortgages is high.

What are my options for getting a mortgage on a new build property?

New build mortgages have a different set of criteria than that of the second hand market.

Lenders are becoming more innovative with ideas, offering arrangements such as guarantor mortgages (a home loan where a parent or close family member takes on some of the risk of the mortgage by acting as a guarantor), 95% mortgages and family deposit mortgages.

It’s always best to speak to a specialised broker when weighing up your mortgage options.

How much of a deposit do I need to put down if I’m purchasing using the Help to Buy scheme?

Government rules stipulate you must put down a 5% contribution of the value of the property. This 5% can be made of a gift from your parents or a close relative, or from your own funds, such as a savings account or Help to Buy Isa.

As a first time buyer with limited credit history, can I get a mortgage?

Having a low credit score, or a limited credit history, can impact you negatively when applying for a mortgage.

Be careful with what you are spending, and specifically what you are spending your money on. Consider taking out a credit card and paying off the balance monthly. This will give you a good start at building a credit score.

Companies such as Experian can give you a full rundown of your credit history and current credit score. Lenders use this information when considering accepting your mortgage application, so it’s best to be knowledgeable on where your score sits beforehand.

I’m a second time buyer. Can I still use the Help to Buy scheme?

The rules of the Help to Buy scheme are due to change on the 31st March 2021.

Currently, second time buyers will have access to the scheme on homes that will be complete before 31st March 2021.

After 31st March 2021, second time buyers will not have access to the Help to Buy Scheme.

If the property developer includes incentives on the home I’m interested in purchasing, will it affect my mortgage offer?

The short answer is no, although different lenders have different rules around builder incentives.

If you are buying with the assistance of the Help to Buy scheme, the maximum incentives that the Government will allow is 5%. If you are buying property outright on a standard residential mortgage, then you are able to take more incentives so long as it fits within the lender’s criteria.

Again, it’s always best to seek the advice of a new build specialist broker as they’ll be able to advise on which lenders will accept the incentives alongside a mortgage offer.

We hope this has been useful to those who are looking to apply for a mortgage. If you have any questions that were not covered relating specifically a Miller Homes property, please feel free to check out the FAQ section of our website or give one of our team members a call.