Most parents will tell you that you never stop worrying about your children, even after they’ve long flown the nest. Given how difficult it can be to get started on the property ladder for most people in their 20s or 30s, the Bank of Mum and Dad are increasingly getting involved to give their children the best possible chance of buying that important first home. But with the average deposit for a house in Britain currently standing at a dizzying £51,000, parents need to simultaneously make sure that they protect themselves financially before committing their own futures for the sake of their offspring. With that in mind, here are our top tips for helping your kids to get onto the property ladder:
Bring your children back home (briefly!)
It can be very difficult to save up enough cash for that first home when living in a rented property, purely because the cost of living in Britain can be difficult to manage even if you’re a couple who are both in full-time work. One easy way to help your child and their partner to save some money is to welcome them home for a period. Of course, we can’t help you draw up a washing-up rota, but taking away big costs such as rent, bills and even food expenditure will instantly help them start putting away the money required to get them started.
Gifting our lending them the money
If you’re able to, the benefits of gifting or lending your children money can be huge, as a large sum of money could mean the difference between being able to secure deals with lower interest rates.
However, this option can be potentially difficult to navigate on a personal level, and comes with a strong recommendation of confirming your agreement with your children and their partner prior to any money changing hands. Make sure you confirm that you’re either gifting or lending them the money beforehand, and if it’s the latter, then set up a repayment plan for your own piece of mind.
A Declaration of Trust document is a good way of confirming this, and it can clearly state who owns what part of the property in the event that your child separates from their partner and the home is sold.
Buy the home with your child
If you’re concerned about the long-term implications of giving your child a lump sum, or are unable to make that sort of financial commitment, then a joint mortgage is a good way of sharing the responsibility. In this case, you and your child are both liable for paying for the loan made to purchase your home, and you can come up with a financial plan for repayment that suits you.
Remortgage your own home
This is another option open to you in order to provide you with a lump sum of cash, which can be a huge help when it comes to putting down that all-important deposit. Again, it’s one that comes with strings attached, given that you will have an increased number of payments to consider, including arrangement fees and interest on a higher mortgage rate.
Whichever route you choose when trying to help your children get onto the property ladder, gaining independent financial advice is strongly advised to make sure that you’re making the correct decision for everyone. Helping your children to buy their first home is an important, personal experience, and one that deserves to be as stress-free as possible.
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DIY, decoration and renovation comes hand in hand with owning a home, for some it’s a joy, for others it’s a hassle, but home upgrades are inevitable.
There are many ways to improve a home, from the simple task of changing a room’s colour scheme to fitting an entirely new kitchen, but which improvements are the most popular?
A recent survey looked into the work carried out by UK homeowners across the last 5 years and revealed which projects are the most common.
According to GoCompare Home Insurance, the majority of work carried out in UK homes are cosmetic upgrades (68%) while just over a third of work carried out on a home (38%) falls into the category of essential maintenance.
Following this, it is no surprise that the number one job that has been undertaken by 50% of homeowners across the last 5 years is interior decoration and it’s clear that a new lick of paint can go a long way.
Taking 2nd place in the top 10 with 31% is the task of replacing the flooring with new carpet or hardwood flooring. An upgrade that is somewhat expected as another survey recently revealed that worn flooring can be one of the biggest put-offs for a buyer when viewing a property
The 3rd most common improvement is arguably the most expensive of the bunch, with 29% choosing to install a new bathroom.
Other upgrades that were quite popular included tasks such as a garden makeover, fitting a new kitchen and installing a new boiler or central heating system, all of which were chosen by 25% of survey participants.
Moving towards the bottom of the table and chosen by 21% of homeowners was new windows/double glazing, an upgrade that not only improves the aesthetics of a home but also can help with energy efficiency.
The final 3 to make the list were installing a new shed or garden building (16%), Exterior redecoration (13%) and Improving the insulation (13%).
So, what does this top 10 list reveal? Well, it shows a clear desire for both style and efficiency, while most upgrades are down to homeowners wanting to add their own personal flair to a home, there is a good number of upgrades that ensure the property isn’t wasteful when it comes to heating.
This survey also shows that as a nation we aren’t afraid to get stuck into the bigger projects and renovate a property to make feel more like a home.
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Property is always in high demand and consistently outpaces supply, this has been especially true of the past two years with market activity taking a fall due to reluctant homeowners.
While the summer may not have been as lively as some had hoped, new research that looked into activity during September has shown substantial growth in sellers coming to the market.
The property supply index from House Simple looked into the number of new properties being listed by estate agents in 100 major UK towns and cities.
The latest index showed that across the UK, not only did the number of new properties listed for sale rise by 18.1% in the month of September but when compared to the same month in 2017, it was up by 6.2%.
These figures are a welcome sign and it appears that now the summer holidays are out of the way, many homeowners seem to have turned their focus to finding a new home.
When taking a closer look at some of the figures, it was found that London saw the largest rise in new sellers with an increase in 45.5% during the month of September, reaching a 3-year peak.
Other areas throughout the country that saw considerable rises were Cambridge (36.2%), Salisbury (34.1%), Salford (33.8%), Winchester (32.5%) and Poole (31.7%) all recording growth of over 30% within the month and suggesting that market activity is greater towards the South.
There were some areas that saw a fall in supply such as Lichfield, where supply fell by 37.1% along with Lancaster and Loughborough, where supply dropped by 31.6% and 29.1% respectively.
Some experts would suggest that this sudden surge in supply indicates that homeowners are looking to wrap up a property transaction before Brexit hits, however, CEO of the company that conducted this research – Sam Mitchell – believes this isn’t the case.
“It’s not so much a case of beating the Brexit rush for the door, but more life has to go on. People will always need to move whatever is happening in the housing market and the wider economy. And there seems to be more of an acceptance now amongst sellers that they need to price more realistically to attract a buyer. This sensible and measured view is helping to push through more sales which wasn’t the case before the summer,” said Mitchell.
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