Tuesday, 16 April 2019


Where the problem is insufficient income to meet the lenders’ requirements there are now a
number of Lifetime Mortgage options where the borrowing is dependent on age and property value only.

The minimum age is 55 but where one spouse or partner is over 55 but the other is not, there still can be options. Many Lifetime Mortgage providers also can ignore credit problems such as arrears or defaults and even sometimes CCJs or even a historical bankruptcy. A survey carried out at the end of 2018 saw people using Lifetime Mortgages to raise funds for many different purposes including the following: 66% - home improvements; 34% - to go on holiday; 30% - to pay off debts; 27% -gifting to family or friends; 21% to clear an outstanding mortgage; 12% to help with regular bills.

Lifetime Mortgages now also allow monthly interest payments for some or all of the interest being charged so the interest does not have to be left to build up. The other alternative is to be able to make lump sum payments during the year without penalty – usually up to about 10% of the amount borrowed. The interest rates vary from provider to provider but generally depend on how much is being borrowed and the loan to value ratio. The best rates start at about 3.2% going up to about 6.0% for maximum borrowing. Here are some examples of how much could be borrowed:

(Note: These are approximate figures and assume a property value of £300,000)

Age 75 - £141,000 (47% of property value)
Age 70 - £135,000 (45% of property value)
Age 65 - £120,000 (40% of property value)
Age 60 - £98,800 (33% of property value)
Age 55 - £73,500 (25% of property value)

Taking all of these points into account, the bottom line is that if you are over 55, you may be able to borrow for any legal reason on an interest-only basis without having to meet any affordability requirements and regardless of credit difficulties. If you would like to find out what your options might be, just give us a ring.

Tuesday, 2 April 2019


The last several years has seen the arrival of many new options for those who had not been able to obtain a mortgage due to their age. Standard residential mortgage lenders generally now allow borrowing up to age 70 for those who are relying on earned income – whether employed or self-employed. For those who have guaranteed income into retirement such as pensions and investment or rental income, it is possible to borrow up to age 85 or even 90.

Thursday, 28 February 2019


We do seek to use our experience and expertise to help our clients achieve their objectives and enjoy financial security. Here are what a few clients have written to us recently regarding their experiences with us: “I must place on record my sincere appreciation of the kindness and the thoroughness of your preparation of the proposed mortgage.” Mr RJ of Burgess Hill

Monday, 18 February 2019


Those who are very forward thinking will have worked out their Christmas budget and earned the money well in advance. They then have no surprise credit card bills greeting them in the New Year. There are many, however who are not so well organised and credit card bills will be an unwelcome visitor in their households in January and February. Credit cards are a useful way to shop and pay and are valuable – providing that the balance is paid in full when it comes due. If you have had to use credit cards and do not have money to pay them off in full, we would advise that you take out a loan to pay them off. In this way you know they will eventually be paid off in full and end up costing you much less overall.

Monday, 11 February 2019


It happens. A useful checklist for putting matters in order when dealing with someone who is getting old (even yourself!) could be as follows:

1. Get a Will made. Dying without a Will leaves a problem for those left behind.

2. Get a Lasting Power of Attorney made. Most people have had the experience with a family member or friend where they reached a point where the friend or family member could no longer deal confidently with key decisions regarding their health or finances and would benefit from help from someone they can trust. The Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) puts an arrangement in place so that the named person or persons can act on behalf of their friend or family member.

3. Make a plan regarding any Inheritance Tax that might have to be paid when you die. For those who
add up the value of their estate including property value and find it is less than £325,000, a simple note showing what you added up – the items and their values, would probably be enough of a plan.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019


For the last few years those with personal pensions have found that they have a wide freedom of choice as to how they can take their pension benefits from age 55.
The new Flexi-Drawdown Pension arrangement allows you to keep your pension fund invested indefinitely and still have the option of taking out money from the pension at any time – whether that means taking it all at once, or monthly, or annually, or just bit by bit as needed. By leaving it invested in this way there is a chance of making a good return on your pension investment so that it lasts longer (although the value of the fund can go down as well as up, so it could also shorten the time the pension fund lasts).

The traditional way of taking pension income – the Lifetime Annuity, is also still available. In this way you can secure an income for life by exchanging some or all of your pension fund for a guaranteed income for life with a fixed rate of return. This provides the certainty of income for those who need that sort of certainty, but does mean that the lump sum used to “buy” the annuity is gone forever. There is a middle road option which not everyone is aware of. This is the “Fixed Term Annuity”.

This arrangement guarantees an income for a period of time – usually 5 years – with a guaranteed lump sum at the end of the fixed term. This provides the certainty of income for the fixed period which, for example, might be needed to cover a shortfall of income until one’s State Pension comes into payment. Additionally it guarantees a fixed lump sum on maturity. At that point you have the chance of making your choice all over again – whether that choice is to put the lump sum in a Flexi-Drawdown pension or purchase a Lifetime Annuity, or even purchase another Fixed Term Annuity. So this middle way provides some of each – guaranteed (!) – some income and some lump sum.

All of these choices have their advantages and disadvantages and so it is important to choose the one that best matches your income and investment needs. We can assist you to choose the option that best suits your situation.

Monday, 28 January 2019


The Government does seem to be making it as difficult as possible for those seeking to rent out residential properties. The latest hurdle are the new rules governing houses in multiple occupation (HMO) which came into force on 1 October 2019. These rules affect any property which is occupied by five or more people, forming two or more separate households. The landlord must obtain a licence from the local authority which will include meeting the rules regarding minimum bedroom sizes.