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20/20
MONEY MATTERS
I’d like to buy a
house next year...
by Helen Cooke,
MORTGAGE SPECIALIST, BUT AM WORRIED ABOUT GETTING A MORTGAGE,
Hepburns
WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?
It really is no surprise that you’re worried. With the That way you will know that when you do find
state of the world economy and so many conflicting something you’ll be in a stronger negotiating position
reports in the press about how this is affecting our and feel more comfortable making an offer.
personal finances, and loans in particular, it is hard to
know what to believe. • Keep your existing finances clear and simple.
However straightforward you think your finances are
Firstly may I assure you that in many ways it is they are probably not as easy to follow as you think.
business as usual. You can still get a mortgage and it is If you have more than one bank account make sure
even still possible to borrow up to 95% of the property you only use each account for the purpose it was
value if you need to. However, the qualifying conditions intended, try to avoid too many transfers between the
have become much stricter so it is generally taking a bit accounts and combine your savings into one account.
longer to have a mortgage agreed than it used to and Most of all, tidy up your paperwork at home as you’ll
the banks are not being quite so generous. You will also need your payslips and bank statements when
find that in the current market you will have fewer applying for the loan.
options, especially if you don’t have at least 10%
deposit or if you have specialised borrowing needs. • Get your debts under control.
If you have existing debts, overdrafts or credit card
Jersey has always had a restricted range of mortgage balances these will stand against you when you apply
and loan providers and has never had the more quirky for a mortgage. These commitments will not prevent
products that were on offer in the UK – and which have you from obtaining a loan but they will reduce the
proved to be the most risky. We have therefore been a amount you can borrow so work hard to clear as
little sheltered from the effects of the banking crisis so much of the debt as possible well before you apply
far with only one lender really getting into trouble. for the mortgage.
Jersey Home Loans were a major player from the
moment they arrived in Jersey and in a short space of • Organise your savings.
time gathered a significant number of clients because of Above all, you need to make sure you have enough
their competitive rates and straightforward lending money set aside to cover at least a 5% deposit for
criteria. Their departure, and the manner in which it the property, plus your legal fees. However, bear in
happened, was therefore disappointing to say the least. mind that the vast majority of Jersey lenders will
currently require at least a 10% deposit so it is worth
So it is true that Jersey house buyers do have a aiming for 10% as an absolute minimum.
restricted choice when financing the purchase of a
home, but this really is nothing new. It is however more • Work out your budget.
important than ever to do your research and make sure Try to put together a simple budget planner. This is
that you are as ready as possible, well in advance of quite simply a list of all the money you pay out each
finding a property. I recommend that you keep the month on all your regular payments as well as the
following tips in mind; variable amounts such as your food or utility bills.
Work with your independent mortgage adviser to
• Be prepared. establish the monthly costs associated with the
It doesn’t make any difference if you have bought purchase and include any payments that go hand in
property before or not - start early and do your hand with home ownership such as your life
research well before you begin looking at properties. insurance, critical illness cover or property insurance.
20/20 fifty
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