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Showing posts from July, 2013

Beware of the Help to Buy Scheme

The Help to Buy shared equity scheme designed to get people onto the housing ladder has its benefits but those who may be enticed by developers to make use of the ‘leg up’ must exercise some caution.
There are clearly signs that the property market is recovering, with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors reporting that demand rose to its highest level for more than three years after the April launch of Help to Buy. New buyer inquiries were at their highest level for more than three years, and the scheme was starting to make an impact, the institute said.
However some of the methods developers are using to market their properties to first-time buyers who might be eligible for the Help to Buy shared-equity programme are being called into question.
What is the Scheme?
Under the scheme, which is expected to trigger 74,000 sales, the taxpayer provides an interest-free loan of 20pc of the purchase price for five years, to enable a borrower to buy a newly built property. Home buyers stil…

Do not purchase a New Build Property without first reading this....

Buying a property which has yet to be built, or which is newly constructed should be approached with care and here are some tips which will help:
Remember those friendly and helpful people within the sales offices are sales people and are no different from those people who you would find in car and double-glazing showrooms.  They are paid on results and work under the pressure of targets.   Once they have you signed up they will be your best friend and be in regular, sometimes daily, contact until they have collected all of you money.   There are many instances when this shadowing could be conceived as harassment.At the outset you will be asked about whether you have a mortgage and a solicitor to undertake the legal work.   You will be steered towards making use of the developers preferred brokers and solicitors.  These are ‘partners’ who have been chosen to work with the developer as the developer expects those partners to report to them regularly and to do all they can to ensure the …

Beware of the Green Deal - it could all go Pete Tong!

Homeowners will be besieged with offers of energy efficient improvements to their home with the headline of ‘no up-front’ costs but as with most deals which appear to good to be true, there are pitfalls.
The reality is that Green Deal providers foot the bill with the homeowner repaying the debt over time via a charge on their energy bills.  Sounds simple.
The arrangement is essentially a loan and therefore protection is provided under the Consumer Credit Act. This means the provider is obliged by law to provide certain information, such as the total charge for credit, any APR, how repayments are calculated, information about cancellation rights etc.  That’s the good news.
The bad news is that, like anything bought on credit, improvement works will cost significantly more than they would if paid for up front.  As to whether the hem owner will be advised of cheaper alternatives will remain to be seen.
There is a sort of a safeguard through what is known as a "Golden Rule" – that t…