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Government set to announce 95% LTV mortgage guarantee scheme


The government is set to announce a new mortgage guarantee scheme during Wednesday’s Budget.

The scheme will offer incentives to lenders which have “virtually disappeared” during the pandemic, the Treasury said.

The scheme is set to launch to lenders from April and will allow both first-time buyers and current homeowners to purchase properties up to £600,000 with a 5% deposit.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Owning a home is a dream for millions across the UK and we want to help as many people as possible. Saving up for a big deposit can often be difficult, and the pandemic has meant there are fewer low deposit mortgages available.”

The government first announced plans for a new scheme to increase the number of 95% LTV mortgages last October. Boris Johnson reportedly asked ministers to design the plan, which he said would involve removing stress tests for mortgage applicants, instead extending “a form of state guarantee” to lenders to de-risk the loans.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, commented:“Turning ‘generation rent’ into ‘generation buy’ has been a focus for Boris Johnson for a while so the return of 95% LTV mortgages for first-time buyers doesn’t come as a complete surprise. This, coupled with the extension of the stamp duty holiday, will result in a Budget which is a real boost for buyers.

“It is positive news for first-time buyers, particularly as it is not restricted to new homes, although critics may argue that it will only aid house price inflation. But without such a scheme would developers be so keen to put spades in the ground? The supply of new housing is nowhere near where it needs to be to satisfy demand.

‘”For those with little in the way of deposit, finding a 95% LTV mortgage has been pretty much impossible in recent months. The odd building society here and there has offered them, with Saffron building society launching at 95% in June but it only lasted a matter of days. Furness BS also has a selection of 95% products but these are restricted to certain postcodes.

“The only other current option to obtain a mortgage at this level is to call upon a third party, typically a parent, to provide extra security in the way of deposits or equity within the ‘guarantor’ property. Not everyone is in a fortunate position to do so.

“The last time there was a mortgage guarantee treasury scheme was via Help to Buy. The mortgage guarantee offering closed to new loans on 31st December 2016 (the equity loan continues, albeit in a revised form today) but by then, many of the high-street names had removed themselves from the scheme and ‘self-insuring’ their 95% offerings.”

Mark Hayward, chief policy adviser at NAEA Propertymark, added: “A government backed mortgage guarantee scheme will help first -ime buyers get on the housing ladder at a time when for many owning a home seems an impossible dream. Alongside the potential extension of the stamp duty holiday that we have been calling for, this new scheme will go some way in giving some hope to first-time buyers at a time when the size of deposits required means they fall at the first hurdle.”

Original Article from Financial Reporter 01/03/2021

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6 Budget Planning Tips for First Time Buyers in Chelmsford


Working to get your foot on the property ladder in Chelmsford is no easy task, but with a market that has seen a slow down, now could be the perfect time to buy your first home. There’s a lot to consider, like which area to choose and what type of property to buy, but above all else, your budget should be your top consideration. The last thing you want to do is to purchase something beyond your means and end up in a financial crisis. 

If you’ve seriously started considering buying your first property, you should also be considering how you can afford it, so here are the best six budget planning tips for first-time buyers from Essex Homes And Lettings. 

1. Stop renting

Paying rent every month is almost equal to paying monthly mortgage fees except you’re not gaining anything! It can be especially difficult to save a deposit for your new home if you’re paying so much each month in rent. If you are willing to give up your own space for roughly six to 12 months whilst you save your money, you are then likely to have enough for a deposit and be a homeowner much sooner than if you were trying to save money and pay rent. Moving back home with family may sound like a last resort, but you will be able to save a lot more. 

If moving in with family is not an option and you must rent, there are ways to work around this so you can still pocket some money for a deposit. You can always find a cheaper place to live, but bear in mind that this may mean a smaller property. You could also consider opting for a house share rather than renting a property of your own to help lower the cost of your rent, giving you extra money to put away for a deposit. 

2. Put your savings to work

Why have money just sitting in an account when you could be earning money on that savings? If you have a decent interest rate, you can reach your savings goal faster, but picking the right account is dependent on how you’re saving. If you have money to put aside each month and want to set up regular payments, a regular savings account might be your best bet. If you need more flexibility with the amount you put away, for example, if you save in lump sums whenever you can rather than on a fixed schedule, an instant access savings account might be the better option for you. 

3. Research areas and locations

As a first time buyer, deciding where to buy your first home is just as important as saving for your deposit. If you haven’t picked the area you want to purchase your new home in yet, do some research to find out what you can afford and if the area fits your lifestyle and needs. You can speak to our expert team here at Essex Homes And Lettings to help guide your choice, but ultimately you will need to determine which areas are good for your budget before anything else. Be sure to check out what the prices are for the type of property you want to buy, as well as council taxes and any other costs that need to be factored in such as travel or parking fees for example. Once you have an idea of what the cost of your property will be, both when purchasing and when actually living there, you can start to properly budget to save for a specific goal.

4. Budget for your monthly mortgage payments

Getting a mortgage means you will be required to pay a monthly amount to your lender to cover the amount you have borrowed, so it’s vital you speak to a lender or financial adviser to ensure affordability. Here at Essex Homes And Lettings we will be delighted to assist or recommend a financial services professional – simply ask us for details.

5. Budget for other home-buying costs

There are more costs to consider once you’ve bought your home, so you should make sure your budgeting plan includes enough to take care of these after you’ve completed on your first property. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you’re strapped for cash and are barely making your mortgage payments. These other costs can include:

  • Solicitor fees
  • Survey costs
  • Mortgage arrangement costs
  • Estate agent fees
  • Buildings and contents insurance 
  • Furniture and decorating requirements
  • Necessary renovations or maintenance 

6. Take advantage of the Help to Buy scheme

The government offers a Help to Buy equity loan scheme to first time buyers in England on properties that are new builds worth up to £600,000. It’s great for first time buyers who only have a 5% deposit saved up because it gives you an equity loan that can be used towards purchasing a house on a repayment basis, rather than on an interest only basis. The repayment plan is interest-free for five years, giving you time to save more money. You can apply if you’re over the age of 18, and the equity loan you receive depends on where you live, so do check with your lender for more information.

We hope you find these six first time buyer budgeting tips helpful. For further no-obligation expert advice please contact the team at Essex Homes And Lettings on 01245398466 and we will be delighted to assist you.

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Good news for first time buyers as lenders allow smaller deposits

First time buyers with just a 10 per cent deposit – for long almost excluded from the mortgage market – now find many more lenders competing for their business.

Independent mortgage market monitor Moneyfacts says the number of mortgages overall available at 90 per cent Loan To Value  has risen by 29 in the first two weeks of February alone. This follows 88 additional products coming on to the market in January. 

The current total is 277 and while a long way off the 776 deals available a year ago, it’s well above the low of 44 deals offered in early September when worries about the pandemic caused lenders to tighten their belts.

The number of different lenders who offer 90 per cent LTV mortgages overall has also risen – by five since the start of this month, and by 15 since the beginning of January.

First time buyers with a 10 per cent deposit will also find more cashback offers on the market today, rising from 50 to 83 over the past month.

Eleanor Williams, spokesperson for Moneyfacts, says: “As the stamp duty holiday deadline approaches, RICS latest research indicates that January has seen the first fall in residential activity in seven months.

“First time buyers who found themselves unable to proceed last year, and who may not be impacted by the end of the stamp duty holiday if they are purchasing below a property value of £300,000, could buck this trend, as there may be good news for those ready to take their first step on the property ladder.

“While average rates – historically often higher than those available in lower LTV brackets due to risk – are above where they were a year ago, those for whom the longer-term stability of a five-year fixed may suit their circumstances may be pleased to note this rate has reduced 0.04 per cent since the start of this month alone.

“There are of course still hurdles for these borrowers to overcome; house prices inflated quite significantly last year – although early indications are this may be slowing in 2021 – and savings rates have continued to descend to rock bottom lows, making building a larger deposit difficult, as have high rental payments. But their options have been steadily increasing.”

Original Article from Estate Agent Today 18/02/2021

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Good news for first time buyers as 10% deposits make a return


HSBC UK is re-introducing its 90 per cent Loan To Value mortgages from next week – a possible lifeline for first time buyers scrabbling to save a deposit. 

Many lenders withdrew low-deposit mortgage deals last year, as worries over the housing market’s response to the Coronavirus led to lenders becoming more cautious. 

The Yorkshire Building Society and TSB have made tentative moves back towards low-deposit mortgages, but HSBC is seen as a symbolic ‘big player’ making such a move.

The bank has confirmed that it will offer a range of two and five-year fixed rate options up to 35 year terms. Mortgage rates will be announced on January 12.

Michelle Andrews, HSBC UK’s head of buying a home, says: “These mortgages build on our significant support for brokers and mortgage customers throughout 2020 and will be available across the board – for home purchases, first-time buyers and to those remortgaging – all up to a maximum of 35 years.

“The new lockdown will undoubtedly present challenges, but the experience of overcoming numerous difficulties during the original lockdown, for example making more use of automated valuations, will be invaluable. 

“We are all seeking a return to normal, although for many it will feel like we may not see that for a while. With us returning to the higher LTV space, hopefully that is a little bit of welcome normality.”

Original Article from Estate Agent Today 08/01/2021

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New Year…New Agent?


We’ve noticed a trend recently. You love your home, you love Chelmsford, but you’ve also realised that you need somewhere new. Perhaps somewhere larger, somewhere with a bigger garden, somewhere closer to the countryside, or even somewhere a little smaller.

Yes, it appears you’ve got a dose of ‘ready to move’, and what better time than the New Year – a time often linked with new beginnings and fresh starts.

So, how do you find the best estate agent?

What questions should you ask?

As property experts in the Chelmsford area, we at Essex Homes And Lettings thought we’d give you our seven tips so that you can choose the best estate agent for you.

Phone a Friend

Ask for recommendations. Friends and family can point you in the right direction and equally they can steer you away from the agents to avoid! Ask them if they’ve had a great experience with a particular estate agent, and enquire about how communicative, knowledgeable and friendly the agent was. Did the agent get the job done – and achieve the asking price or above?

Tip: Social media is your friend! If you’re a member of a Facebook community group in a particular area, post your questions in that group. And while you’re there check out local estate agents’ profiles to discover more about their local area knowledge and understand how they interact with the local community.

Read Reviews

Check out estate agents reviews online. Facebook reviews, Google reviews and reviews on Feefo can all give you an insight into other customers experiences. Have a read through to get a good idea as to whether or not an agent is worth shortlisting.

Tip: Always have an open mind when reading reviews, because while most will be genuine, some negative ones (and some positive ones) may not be.

Check the Agents Website

If you have a couple of shortlisted estate agents, check out their websites. Compare and contrast the services they offer and the fees they charge. Research where they market their properties and check out their social media feeds.

Tip: If you’re comparing and contrasting, you need to ensure you know what you want your chosen estate agent to do for you. Write a wish list of your requirements.

Check Fees and T&Cs

When it comes to estate agents, each will offer a slightly different service, and each will have a different way of operating. You have high street offices, internet-based offices, and hybrid agencies that blend traditional with the internet. Each has its advantages and disadvantages depending on your individual requirements, but always check the small print and look at the overall service.

Tip: Do some research and decide whether you want a sole agency agreement, or if you would like multiple agents to market your property. It’s important to read the contractual obligations if you choose the latter.

Review your Agent’s Performance

Remember, your estate agent will be working for you, to get your house marketed and sold. But it’s actually a two-way thing and you will need to do what you can to help them do their job too. Your agent should be prepared to communicate with you if they think things should change, like a review of the price for example. And you should feel confident enough to ask about performance and see results or otherwise.

Tip: Have a clear understanding of your expectations and what you will want to review. Is it the number of people shown your property, or is it the number of hits on property websites? Is it about proactive calls made to prospective buyers, or is it to get an offer within a certain timeframe?

Same Difference

When you are narrowing down your shortlist, have a look at the properties that the agent sells.

  • Are they similar to your house?
  • Do they have any experience selling homes similar to your property?
  • Can they talk with good knowledge about the local area?
  • How accurate are their valuations?

All of these are a must because you need to know that your agent knows what they are doing and can convey that to a prospective buyer.

Tip: If you want to know how much similar properties have sold for have a look online so that you are fully informed.

Trust your Gut Instinct

There’s a lot to be said for getting a feel for whether you have picked the right agent to market your property. Something may simply click into place when you’re having a conversation, or you may know immediately that the agent is for you. Trust your instinct as it may well be right.

Tip: While we say trust your instinct, make sure you also carry out the checks and reviews as well!

For no-obligation advice on selling your Chelmsford home, please contact our expert property team at Essex Homes And Lettings on 01245398466.

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How to find your perfect home in Chelmsford

find your home

It’s exciting preparing to find a new home and embarking on the next stage of your property journey, but of course, there are many factors that must be considered along the way as you find your perfect home in Chelmsford.

It’s likely you will view many different properties before finally settling on the right one for you. It’s also likely that you will have certain criteria to fulfil and plenty of boxes to be ticked. These might include the need for your chosen property to be situated in a location of your choosing and its ability to meet the demands of your lifestyle, whether that be in close proximity to good schools, shopping facilities, or if you are a social butterfly, close to cafe culture and a vibrant nightlife.

At Essex Homes And Lettings our aim is to help you make the correct choices and best decisions when it comes to finding your perfect home in Chelmsford so to make the experience straight-forward and stress free, we have compiled our top tips to ensure you make the right decision.

Research is the key to the door

What type of property do you require? It’s important to scope out the local area so that you can judge what type of properties are available in which locations and at what cost. For example, Victorian properties may be located at one end of a town, whilst new builds are predominantly at the other end! With this in mind, if you are searching for a large Victorian property in location A, your research may indicate that you may only be able to secure that particular type of property in location B. So, the question is, will you be happy to compromise?

This is the reason it’s vital you research the market thoroughly so that you not only have realistic expectations but are aware that you may need to adjust those expectations in order to find your perfect home in Chelmsford.

Top Tip: Think about what you truly need from your home rather than extras you simply desire, and be honest about it! For example, if you work from home, an office will be a need. If you have children, a garden will be a need. If you have a large family, multiple bathrooms will be a need. Whereas a desire could be a log burning stove, a decked area in the garden, solid wood floors or a conservatory. All of the latter can of course be added to a property with good planning and little hassle.

Location, location, location

Do you need to be close to your place of work, your children’s school or your extended family? Or are you willing to compromise on proximity in order to purchase your dream home in Chelmsford? Think about whether you are prepared to make concessions on some of your specifics, perhaps with a trade-off being a slightly longer commute, living closer to a busy road or a little further from amenities. These factors matter and it’s important you are clear about what is imperative to your happiness in your new home.

Top Tip: The right location is often more important than the right house. You can always alter a house and turn it into your home – however, you cannot change its location. Consider this when seeking compromises!

Enlist the help of an expert local estate agent

Finding your perfect home can be challenging so please don’t attempt to do so alone. Your local estate agent will be able to help you scope the area, arrange viewings of properties that match your criteria, shortlist the properties you love, offer expert advice regarding local schools and businesses in the area and of course assist you through making an offer and negotiating the best price on your dream home.

Essex Homes And Lettings are here to help you

By registering with us and letting us know your preferred location and the type of property in Chelmsford you are looking for, you’ll receive updates as soon as properties matching your criteria become available and you will never need to worry that you’ll miss out on your dream home.

At Essex Homes And Lettings we take on new properties in Chelmsford and the surrounding areas daily, so register with us today and let us assist you in finding your dream home in Chelmsford.

We are ready to help you start the process of finding your perfect home and look forward to welcoming you to our office. Simply call us on 01245398466 to arrange an appointment or drop in and speak with a member of our friendly team. We look forward to seeing you soon.

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Government says it ‘does not plan to extend’ stamp duty holiday


The government has confirmed that it “does not plan” to extend the temporary relief offered to property buyers via the stamp duty holiday.

Estate agents, surveyors and solicitors were among those hoping that the chancellor Rishi Sunak would extend the deadline beyond 31 March to help stimulate the housing market next year.

But the Treasury has opted not to extend the stamp duty holiday for property buyers beyond March next year, and it is now feared that this could result in the collapse of almost a quarter of a million property sales, as buyers struggle to beat the deadline, owed in part to delays in the conveyancing process.

More than 23,000 people have signed a petition calling for the stamp duty holiday to be extended for six months after 31 March 2021.

As it received over 10,000 signatures, the government was required to respond.

A spokesperson for HM Treasury said: “The SDLT holiday was designed to be a temporary relief to stimulate market activity and support jobs that rely on the property market. The government does not plan to extend this temporary relief.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown caused uncertainty for those buying and selling residential property and property transactions fell by as much as 50% during the first national lockdown.

“To stimulate immediate momentum in the property market and to support the jobs of people whose employment relied on custom from the property industry, the Government decided to introduce a temporary Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) relief. This relief increased the starting threshold of residential SDLT from £125,000 to £500,000 from the 8 July 2020 until 31 March 2021.

“Since the relief was introduced, transactions have increased and seasonally adjusted data shows that in October 2020, transactions were 8% higher than October 2019.

“As the relief was to provide an immediate stimulus to the property market, the Government does not plan to extend this relief. SDLT is an important source of government revenue, raising several billion pounds each year to help pay for the essential services the Government provides.

“The Government is committed to supporting home ownership and helping people get on and move up the housing ladder. When the SDLT Holiday ends, the Government will maintain a SDLT relief for first time buyers which increases the starting threshold of residential SDLT to £300,000 for first-time buyers that purchase a property below £500,000. In addition, a new Help to Buy scheme will be introduced from 1 April 2021. This scheme will run until March 2023.

“All tax policy is kept under review and the Government considers the views it receives carefully as part of that process.”

At 100,000 signatures, the petition to extend the stamp duty holiday will be considered for debate in Parliament.

Original Article from Property Industry Eye 17/12/2020

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How to Update Your Home in Chelmsford on a Budget


When you want to update your home, you might assume it’s going to cost you a lot of money. However, there are a number of ways you can give your home a makeover that won’t cost you the earth. If you’re on a tight budget, simply follow these tips.

Make your kitchen look like new

When it comes to decorating your house, the kitchen is usually the most expensive room to upgrade because there are so many fittings and appliances. However, you can give your kitchen a makeover while on a tight budget by:

  • Covering the kitchen doors in vinyl or repainting them in chalk paint
  • Covering old flooring with vinyl tiles
  • Adding a new splashback or painting tiles
  • Adding a small kitchen island
  • Replacing door and drawer handles
  • Replacing small appliances such as kettles and toasters

While you may not be able to afford a full kitchen renovation, just carrying out these jobs won’t take much time or money and can make a huge difference. 

Bring your bathroom up to date

A dated bathroom can ruin the look of a house, and whilst an entirely new one might be out of your price range, there are ways to refresh your bathroom on a budget. If you have an old suite that really needs replacing, you can often buy one cheaply in a trade store, then get a plumber to fit it in a day or two. Most people can learn to tile, and there are plenty of tutorials online, while floors can be easily covered with vinyl or similar to make them look fresh and new. If you’re painting your bathroom, always use specialist bathroom paint that can stand up to steam and humidity, otherwise it will soon start to peel. 

Open up and light the space

A home that’s full of dusty items and clutter will soon feel dated and depressing. Spend some time decluttering, and you’ll soon see a big improvement to your home. Many people complain that their homes are too small, but a bit of re-organisation and tidying up can give the feeling of space.

Once the space is opened up, make sure you have adequate lighting. Rooms look smaller if they have dim corners, and ceilings can appear lower if they aren’t lit. Add some corner lamps and your home will look lighter and more contemporary. 

Find second-hand supplies and furniture

Look on Facebook marketplace and you’ll find lots of local people selling DIY bits and pieces they no longer need, or have changed their minds over. You can easily buy paint, wallpaper and second-hand tools for just a few pounds, so there’s no need to put off certain projects.

Second-hand furniture is also easy to find online, and if you rent a van for a weekend, you can fill your home with new furniture for much less than the retail price. Many people sell sofas, dining sets and beds that have barely been used, as they get bored with them or decide to go for a different look. Some of the bigger charity shops also sell furniture, and while some of it might be a little dated, it can easily be revived with some chalk paint or varnish to make it appear more modern.

Some people don’t like the idea of second-hand furniture as they’re worried it might be dirty. It’s easy to rent an upholstery cleaner and get a sofa looking like new, or you can use antibacterial kitchen sprays on most surfaces.

Change your colour scheme without redecorating

If your room is a little dated, but you don’t have the time or money to redecorate, then simply switching some of your décor can work well. For example, try covering old flooring with a rug, or adding splashes of colour with vases, plant pots, ottomans or other accessories. While it’s not quite the same as a full makeover, it can help refresh the space for now.

Painting or wallpapering a feature wall can also change the look of a room without needing to completely redecorate. It also means that if you go off a colour, or it goes out of fashion in a few months, it’s easy to change it again.

Your home is your castle, but there’s no point in maxing out your credit card just to give it a makeover. There are plenty of ways you can get the look you want without spending a fortune, whether it’s hunting for vintage finds or using some of your DIY skills and before you know it your home will be ready to place on the market and welcome viewers. 

For no-obligation advice on buying or selling a home in Chelmsford please contact our expert property team at Essex Homes And Lettings on 01245398466 or call in and see us. We look forward to seeing you.

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Zoopla unveils first-time buyer hotspots

pin a map

Zoopla has revealed what it sees as the top 20 hotspots for first-time buyers in England, Scotland, and Wales.

Luton, Bedfordshire, is the most popular town in the country for first-time buyers, with a typical deposit of £37,500 required to purchase a home.

Wolverhampton comes in second place, with its West Midlands counterparts Sandwell, Coventry and South Staffordshire all featuring in the top 20.

Locations in London occupy ten of the top 20 most popular areas, with Barking and Dagenham identified as the capital’s first-time buyer hotspot,

Gráinne Gilmore, Head of Research at Zoopla comments: “Activity levels in the housing market have been building across the country in recent months following sharp increases in buyer demand. First-time buyers remain one of the largest cohorts of purchasers across the country.”

“Activity levels will remain elevated into next year, and first-time buyers in many of these hotspots will still be able to secure a home with no stamp duty to pay or a reduced bill even after the end of the stamp duty holiday. The stamp duty exemption for first-time buyers on homes worth up to £300,000, which applies to homes worth up to £500,000, will remain in place after the stamp duty holiday ends on March 31st.”

Top 20 first time buyer hotspots 

RankRegionLocal AuthorityTypical first-time buyers’ house price*Deposit required (15%)Household Income required**Most popular property type for first-time buyers’
1East of EnglandLuton£ 250,000£ 37,500£ 47,0003-bed terraced
2West MidlandsWolverhampton£ 145,000£ 21,750£ 27,0003-bed semi-detached
3LondonBarking and Dagenham£ 325,000£ 48,750£ 61,0003-bed terraced
£ 445,000£ 66,750£ 84,0002-bed flat
5East of EnglandHarlow£ 275,000£ 41,250£ 52,0003-bed terraced
6LondonHackney£ 475,000£ 71,250£ 90,0002-bed flat
7LondonNewham£ 350,000£ 52,500£ 66,0002-bed flat
8West MidlandsSandwell£ 160,000£ 24,000£ 30,0003-bed semi-detached
9LondonIslington£ 525,000£ 78,750£ 99,0002-bed flat
10LondonGreenwich£ 350,000£ 52,500£ 66,0002-bed flat
11East of EnglandThurrock£ 285,000£ 42,750£ 54,0003-bed terraced
£ 400,000£ 60,000£ 76,0002-bed flat
13East of EnglandBasildon£ 270,000£ 40,500£ 51,0003-bed terraced
14LondonSouthwark£ 450,000£ 67,500£ 85,0002-bed flat
15West MidlandsCoventry£ 170,000£ 25,500£ 32,0003-bed terraced
16LondonLewisham£ 375,000£ 56,250£ 71,0002-bed flat
17West MidlandsSouth Staffordshire£ 150,000£ 22,500£ 28,0003-bed semi-detached
18LondonHounslow£ 400,000£ 60,000£ 76,0002-bed flat
19South EastSlough£ 345,000£ 51,750£ 65,0003-bed terraced
20South EastReading£ 260,000£ 39,000£ 49,0002-bed flat

Original Article from Property Industry Eye 02/12/2020

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7 Easy Ways to Save a Deposit For Your First Home in Chelmsford


Lots of people dream of no longer living with their parents or throwing money at their landlord every month and instead buying their own home in Chelmsford. However, one of the things that often stands in the way of first time buyers is raising a deposit. The average house price in the UK is just over £234k, and nearly all mortgages require a 5% deposit, so that’s a large amount to save. 

With this in mind, here are some ways you can raise the cash to get on the property ladder. 

1. Look carefully at your outgoings

While you may think you’re living quite frugally, most people have some areas where they can cut back a little. For example, if you buy a £2.75 takeaway coffee every working day, that works out at £55 a month or a whopping £3,300 over five years. Even chipping away at these small expenses can improve your finances, and when it comes to applying for a mortgage, you can show that you have a pattern of sensible spending.

One big outgoing that non-homeowners have to deal with is rent. While it’s not the most fun solution, if you can move back with your parents for a year, then you could put away a lot more cash. The loss of freedom may be worth it if it means you aren’t stuck in rented accommodation for years to come.

2. Get a side hustle

Many millennials now have a full-time job and a side hustle, which is basically something they do in their spare time for a little extra cash. Side hustles are often something that’s creative or a little more interesting than your day-to-day job, from selling handmade items on sales platforms like Etsy to creative writing, but if you don’t have a particular skill in these areas, then you could always consider selling things on eBay, evening bar work, or anything that fits in with your work schedule. 

3. Ask for family help

Around 23% of first-time buyers admit that they got help from their parents for their deposit. If you parents have the savings and are willing to give you money towards your deposit, then you will no doubt be pleased to take it. However, you need to consider the impact on your mortgage application. Mortgage lenders will still want to know that you can afford the mortgage repayments and will need a signed declaration from your parents that the money is a gift, and you aren’t going to be paying them back.

If your parents don’t have the savings to help you with cash, they may still be able to give you a helping hand onto the property ladder. For example, some banks do offer 100% mortgages that are secured against your parent’s home. However, it’s important that you all do your research before you take out this sort of product as it is a huge commitment.

4. Take money out of your account at payday

Many people wait until the end of the month, see what’s left over in their account (if anything), then transfer that into their savings account. However, a better way to save is to work out what you need to live on for the month, with a little cushion for emergencies, then set up a payment for anything left over on payday. This means you’re more likely to live frugally throughout the month.

5. Move to a cheaper area

If rent, travel and other outgoings are wiping out your income each month, a solution may be to move to a cheaper area whilst you save for your deposit. You certainly wouldn’t be alone, last year over 300,000 people moved out of London, many of them families with young children, while cities such as Bristol and Manchester saw influxes of ex-Londoners. 

It can be difficult to leave a location you love, so think about the things you like most about it, then try and find similar aspects in a cheaper location.

6. Lock away your savings

When interest rates are low, it’s worth considering taking out an ISA (Individual Savings Account). These products allow you to save tax-free, and if you choose an ISA where your money is locked away, with penalties for early withdrawals, you’ll usually get a far better interest rate. This can also stop you dipping into your savings.

7. Buy with a friend

Getting on the property ladder can be tough if you’re single. It’s slightly easier if you’re a couple with two incomes, as you can both save and the mortgage will take both incomes into account, but you don’t have to be romantically involved to share a mortgage! Ideally, it should be someone you’ve lived with before, perhaps a long-term roommate, and someone who is financially responsible and you’re happy to live with potentially for years.

If you want to get on the property ladder, there are many ways that you can do so. Whether you make small or large lifestyle changes to get there, it will be worth it in the end.

For impartial first time buyer advice contact our expert team at Essex Homes And Lettings on 01245398466 and we will be delighted to assist.