9 February 2018

Winter Home Checklist

This time of the year, it’s worth doing a few simple checks around your property to make sure it’s prepared for what winter might bring, so that any period of prolonged bad weather doesn’t take its toll. EXTERNAL CHECKS Winter wind and rain can cause severe damage, so check that your roof is in good […]

8 January 2018

Interest rate rise– the aftermath

The increase in the Bank of England’s base rate from 0.25% to 0.5% at the beginning of November represented the first rise in rates in over a decade. Most lenders swiftly announced that they would be passing on the full increase to their variable rate mortgage borrowers. Low interest rates have been a major characteristic […]

8 January 2018

Buy-to-let landlords raising rents as tax changes bite – tenants beware

The last few years have been a boom time for buy-to-let landlords, with rental properties in high demand. However, in 2015 the then Chancellor, George Osborne, introduced measures that he hoped would ‘level the playing field’. To deter more buy-to-let landlords from entering the market and encourage some to sell their properties, he restricted the […]

15 December 2017

Insuring Musical Instruments

For many people, enjoying music is an important part of their lives. Owning a musical instrument or other related equipment like DJ gear can be a significant investment. Theft, loss or damage can often be a musician’s worst nightmare. Whatever type of musical instrument you own, from a grand piano to a classic electric guitar, […]

8 December 2017

Property market overview

Over the last ten years, the average UK house price has risen 10% from August 2007, to £219,266 in July 2017. The average deposit has increased too, from £68,663 in 2012 to £96,109 in 2017. However, after several years of continued growth, the UK property market is now showing signs of slowing down. The housing […]

29 November 2017

What does it cost to move?

Moving can be an exciting but expensive time. Drawing up a budget will help you work out how much cash you will need for the fees you can expect to pay. The exact figure will depend on which rung of the housing ladder you’re on, whether you’re buying and selling, and which part of the […]

21 November 2017

Long or short-term income protection – which is right for you?

Experts have long expressed their concerns for those who don’t have protection policies, fearing that millions of households could face real financial hardship if the main breadwinner was unable to work due to a serious illness, accident or unemployment. For those new to insurance, short-term policies can be a cost-effective way to get some cover […]

16 November 2017

Mortgages – bank of england tightens the rules

In a move that demonstrates the Bank of England’s determination to prevent lenders getting too complacent about current low interest rates, strict new rules on mortgage affordability have been announced. New tests to be applied The rules, often referred to as “stress tests”, were set out in the Bank’s Financial Stability Report. Lenders will be […]

8 November 2017

Setting up companies leaves landlords out of pocket

In 2015, then Chancellor George Osborne announced measures that he hoped would ‘level the playing field’ for first-time buyers by reducing the many tax concessions available to buy-to-let landlords, deterring more from entering that market and encouraging some to sell their rental properties. Landlords accustomed to claiming relief worth 40% or 45% will find their […]

24 October 2017

Is being loyal to your mortgage lender costing you money?

With interest rates at their lowest levels for some years, borrowers are often content to stick with their existing mortgage deal. However, new research from Citizens Advice reveals that being a long-standing loyal customer of your mortgage provider might be costing you money. What’s more, they calculated that 1.2m mortgage holders could be better off […]