With everyone talking about the arrival of Princess Charlotte or the General Election, I feel compelled to mention both this week.
There’s no denying that the public enjoy a Royal baby! Not that William or Kate will need to, but for most, an expanding family normally leads to an increase in requirement for space. Many may have upsized beforehand and bought a bigger property. Or they will be looking to increase space, either via extending the existing property or maybe a loft conversion. Either way, there are a variety of ways this might happen and, if it is you, then your first port of call should be to your current lender to see if they will increase your current borrowing. Or shop around and see if other lenders might offer you a better alternative. Depending on the size of the funding required, a secured second charge may be more suitable. This might be a shorter term deal and means that you can keep your current mortgage untouched, especially if you already have a superb interest rate. As always, do your homework and speak to an independent adviser!
By the time you read this, the Election will be over and results well on the way. Many people have asked me if things will change depending on the results. Quite simply, whatever happens and whoever is in power, they will be under extreme pressure from the housing market. The target number of new houses are not being built, a generation of mortgage holders have never had an interest rate rise and some are saying that over 1m people are paying their current mortgage by credit card! That is all on top of a buoyant housing market; rates still at their lowest for some time; the need to be able to maintain a healthy flow of first time buyers and with the European Mortgage Credit Directive (tougher affordability checks) less than a year away! These all combine to suggest a difficult task for whoever holds the balance of power!
However, for those able to review their mortgage requirements today, there is huge competition for customers in the fixed rate arena. With both three and five year fixed rates now sub 2% and even Martin Lewis (Money Saving Expert) saying last week ‘Remortgage ASAP or lose your chance?’, the onus is on you to make sure you know your current rate, when is it up for renewal and making sure you change. A huge number of people simply don’t and might be paying more than they need to!