If you are interested in knowing more about how the Help to Buy scheme works and are considering applying, there is some basic information you should know in order to get started. First of all, find out which house builders/developers are offering the scheme. If you are successful in your application, you can pay off the 20 per cent equity loan of the current value of your home at any time. If you still own the house after five years, you will start paying an annual fee of 1.75 per cent of the value of the equity loan. There is no interest to pay on the loan.
Selling your home is probably the single most important financial transaction you will ever undertake in your life. It’s important to get it right when it comes to the legalities, therefore. Always make sure you read the contract and ask questions – if you don’t understand, don’t sign.
Some of the most frequently asked questions that agents find come up again and again are:
What do you do if you are unhappy with the agent’s fees?
What happens if you find a buyer for your house
Poor credit rating and identity fraud - moving house can expose you to risk.
If you move house, you could well be picking up a bad credit rating from the previous owners or tenants as the address could be black-listed. It’s hard to check this sort of detail, but ask the letting agent or conduct your own checks using credit scoring agencies where you can. Look at any post that arrives for the occupier or any bills that are clearly demands and see if you can contact the supplier to let them know that this is nothing to do with you and get them to take you off their records.
Often a house move is triggered by a change in family circumstances; apart from a job move, the next biggest factor is children departing for university. Either parents decide it’s also time to downsize, or they decide it will help raise some useful cash, too, to help the children get through university or college.
Apart from tuition fees, the cost of student accommodation is the next single biggest expense, so how do you make sure you make the right choice?
What do you want to spend money on when considering alterations to your new home? More space? An extra room? Or better sound insulation if you are in an apartment or a semi-detached house? What makes sense to you and what do you think would improve your life and make you happier?
Most people, when tested, said that more space would make them happier in their home; yet, when measured against a Wellbeing score, this was not so important as noisy neighbours when it came to being happy in your own home.
While house prices are rising, there is still a big difference in prices between North and South and, overall, a lack of supply to fulfill the rising demand. Trawling through the property listings and comparing data, it would be easy to get confused. According to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) the market is dead-locked with no new instructions. Buyer interest is hotting up, yet the flow of properties onto the market is not coming through. It also believes that the Government’s Help-to-Buy scheme has had an impact on the rental market, slowing it down.
With buy to let interest rates at historic lows and rents at historic highs and, as property ownership goes into decline, there is a new generation of landlords making a killing from “Generation Rent”. Former Council homes are rich pickings in particular, with over a third now in private hands.
South Wales based Kevin Green is vying for the title of Britain’s biggest buy-to-let landlord, aiming to take his total up to 1000 from 67 and challenging Fergus Wilson in Kent as Britain's biggest buy-to-let landlord.
Some changes can lessen the value of your home so, whether it is for your own enjoyment or, if you are considering putting the house on the market at some stage in the future, think carefully before you redecorate or carry out home improvements as you may well end up having to rip them out and it could cost you a lot of money, whereas a little consideration and planning means you can make the desired changes but not waste the money when you come to sell.
It seems many householders still are, despite the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development doubling its forecast for growth for 2013 from 0.8 to 1.5 per cent.