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Forces Help to Buy Scheme (FHTB) in Cardiff Explained

Forces Help to Buy Mortgage Advice in Cardiff

The scheme originally came into the world way back in 2014, with the £200 million scheme being put out with the aim to provide a boost to anyone who is a member of the forces and is in need of help buying their own property.

Though created for great reasons, the project was not created to be around for a long though, originally slated to end in December 2019.

As opposed to just bringing it to an end though, to give out a thank you to the forces’ commitment to their Queen and country, the UK government made the decision to make this an enduring policy.

Who can apply for Forces Help to Buy Scheme?

If you have served in the military at some point in the past and you are able to meet the right criteria, you will be able to utilise this government scheme, which will allow you to borrow a deposit that is up to half your annual salary (with a maximum of £25,000), without additional interest on top.

You will be able to use this scheme as a way of buying your first home or to cover the costs of a new property to move into. You could argue that the most appealing aspect of this, is that you are not required to have any current savings in order to make the leap onto the property ladder.

The funds that you will be able to use is raised from the Forces Help to Buy loan and you are able to use it for pretty much anything, from your deposit on a property, to any other costs that come up.

These costs may potentially include, but are not limited to, the costs of stamp duty, estate agent fees or even the costs of locating a suitable solicitor.

This government scheme is considered to be a little more relaxed than the other schemes available to home buyers, as the Forces Help to Buy loan can be taken out and paid back over a 10 year term. This allows you to breathe and not feel like your impending payments are breathing down your neck every month.

Once again, remember that you will still have to qualify for eligibility, the terms of which are based on if you have served your country and are able to meet the necessary criteria (length served, service term left and medical categories).

Click here to read further details on this helpful scheme from the government.

How a Mortgage Advisor in Cardiff May Be Able to Help

By enlisting the help of a dedicated team of mortgage advisors in Cardiff, your journey to mortgage success may go quicker and smoother than it otherwise could have done.

Your assigned advisor will guide you throughout every part of the process, ensuring you are taken care of and well informed.

From the beginning of your journey, until your mortgage completes and beyond, your trusted mortgage advisor in Cardiff will be by your side, hopefully allowing you to end up with a favourable outcome.

We’re proud of the reliable and efficient customer service we provide, always working hard to reduce customer stress and most importantly, show love and respect to our nations forces.

Book your free Help to Buy mortgage appointment online today and we will see how we can help.

How to Make an Offer on a Property in Cardiff

Getting Prepared to Make an Offer

If you have your heart set on a property and are ready to make an offer to purchase it, you may be left scratching your head, unsure of what exactly you should do next.

It’s not as simple as just approaching a seller and asking to buy the property, there is a lot you need to do ahead of time in order to prepare for this step.

Tips For Making an Offer on a Property

Get a Mortgage Agreement in Principle

Obtaining an Agreement in Principle is a key part in the process of buying a home. It is a written statement of approval from the mortgage lender that confirms that in principle, they are willing to lend you the desired amount to purchase the property, subject to further checks.

It’s for this reason why you will need to make sure that you have one to hand, as a home seller or estate agent will want to know that you actually have the funds to proceed, avoiding any possible wasted time on both their end and yours.

During the COVID-19 lockdown periods in 2020, you even needed an Agreement in Principle to view a property, let alone buy it. This was to limit the viewings only to people who could proceed there and then if they wanted to make a purchase.

As an experienced mortgage broker in Cardiff, we always recommend preparing ahead of time and putting yourself in a better position than other buyers, by obtaining an Agreement in Principle as early as you can.

In most cases, you will never be able to compete with a cash buyer of a property. Lenders love it when someone can make a payment on the spot, without having to wait for a mortgage to complete.

That being said, by obtaining your AIP, you may be able to increase your odds against cash buyers and even other possible home buyers.

If you have an Agreement in Principle to hand, you are demonstrating to the seller that you are very serious and do have the funds to proceed.

It also puts you in a higher position than other buyers who maybe do have the funds, but haven’t gotten an AIP of their own.

This is one of the benefits of getting in touch with a dedicated mortgage broker in Cardiff. Our dedicated mortgage advisors in Cardiff will be able to obtain one of these within 24 hours of your initial free mortgage appointment.

Be Prepared to Negotiate with The Seller

Buying a property is all a matter of negotiation. If the offer that you put forward to the seller is rejected, you will be asked about potentially increasing your offer.

If you believe that the property is indeed worth the increase and you want it, you may have to be prepared to spend a little more than you had planned.

Don’t be worried though if your first offer is declined, this has happened to lots of First Time Buyers in Cardiff in the past and they are still able to secure a property down the line at some point.

If your second offer is also declined, you possibly have to be prepared to pay the asking price. This is where it pays to make sure that you have done plenty of research ahead of time.

Before you make any offers, you should always have a look at the other properties in the local area and see what they are selling for on sites like Zoopla or Rightmove. This may give you a general idea of what to offer the property seller.

You should also look for how long the property has been on the open market. If it is a new listing, the seller may want the asking price, whereas if it’s a long-time listing, the seller may accept a lower offer just to have it taken off their hands.

If you come across houses that have gone for amounts that are less than they are worth, there is usually a very good reason for it. It may have possibly been repossessed, sold to at a discounted price to a residing tenant or an inter-family sale.

Speak to a Mortgage Advisor in Cardiff today

For any mortgage advice relating to this specialist subject, feel free to contact our expert mortgage advisors in Cardiff today.

If you are in need of any help with making an offer as a First Time Buyer in Cardiff or perhaps just want a mortgage advisor in Cardiff to walk you through it and get a great deal, we’ll always be on hand to guide you throughout the process.

Our team of mortgage advisors in Cardiff are available all throughout the week, so book your free mortgage appointment online and get your journey started today.

Shared Ownership in Cardiff – What is it? How does it work?

The Shared Ownership Scheme is a government-initiated mortgage programme in the United Kingdom, designed to facilitate individuals in their pursuit of homeownership.

This scheme is open to permanent UK residents, encompassing both first time buyers in Cardiff and former homeowners who may be facing challenges in acquiring a new residence.

To be eligible, your household income must not exceed £80,000, and the property you intend to purchase is typically a leasehold. In a leasehold arrangement, you acquire the property for a predetermined period.

Participating in a Shared Ownership in Cardiff allows you to buy your home through a combination of a mortgage (usually covering a portion ranging from 25-75% of the property) and rental payments.

The rent, which may encompass service charges and ground rent, is generally set at a more affordable rate compared to market prices and is paid to a housing association.

Updates to The Shared Ownership Mortgage Scheme

From April 2021 onwards, the Shared Ownership Scheme underwent significant updates as part of the government’s Affordable Homes Programme. These modifications introduced several notable changes.

Firstly, the minimum requirement for property share purchases, previously set at 25%, has been revised. In certain cases, it can now be as low as 10%.

Additionally, when acquiring additional shares, the previous requirement of 5-10% minimum shares has been replaced, and individuals can now purchase them in 1% increments. Furthermore, the fees associated with buying these additional shares have seen a reduction.

Notably, the responsibility for maintenance and repair costs, which were previously borne by the homeowner, has shifted. Your landlord will now cover these expenses for the initial 10 years of ownership.

If you secured a Shared Ownership Mortgage in Cardiff before this timeframe, these new regulations may potentially apply to your situation moving forward. However, it’s advisable to confirm these specifics with your provider, as the applicability could be determined on a case-by-case basis.

How do I apply for Shared Ownership in Cardiff?

Before delving into the mortgage aspect of the process, your initial step involves confirming your eligibility for Shared Ownership in Cardiff. To accomplish this, your first point of contact should be your local Help to Buy agent in the area where you intend to make your purchase.

During this conversation, you will typically be required to furnish specific details, including your income, available budget, preferred location, and your credit history. Once your eligibility is established, you can proceed with the mortgage application.

Engaging the services of a mortgage broker is highly recommended in this phase, as not all mortgage lenders extend their services to individuals seeking Shared Ownership in Cardiff.

The amount you can borrow will typically be determined by various factors, including your income and additional costs such as rent.

Pros & Cons of Shared Ownership in Cardiff

When considering a Shared Ownership Mortgage in Cardiff, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons. It’s important to note that, as previously mentioned, not all mortgage lenders extend their services to applicants using the Shared Ownership Scheme.

However, there are numerous mortgage lenders, including those within our panel, who do offer these types of mortgages. Additionally, Shared Ownership Mortgages in Cardiff can provide a sense of long-term stability, as you become both an owner and occupier simultaneously.

Deposits can be a stumbling block for many homebuyers, given the challenge of saving a substantial sum. Fortunately, Shared Ownership Mortgages typically require lower deposits compared to open-market purchases. This accessibility aspect makes mortgages more attainable for individuals with modest incomes.

While these advantages are notable, it’s important to keep in mind that you are responsible for 100% of the ground rent and service charges on your property, regardless of the share you have purchased. A feature called “staircasing” typically allows you to gradually acquire more shares over time, ultimately reaching 100%.

Upon achieving full ownership, you will no longer be obligated to pay rent, but your mortgage, ground rent, and service charges will persist. However, when your owned share surpasses 80%, you may be subject to Stamp Duty on the entire property value. It’s worth noting that this land tax might not apply in the case of a first-time purchase.

Despite potential Stamp Duty costs, monthly mortgage payments are often more affordable than traditional mortgages, and in some cases, even cheaper than private rent.

Additionally, Shared Ownership offers tenure security, ensuring you can remain in your home for the duration of your lease, which typically spans between 99 and 125 years.

As your home is jointly owned, you will need permission from the housing provider before making any structural alterations. This requirement may affect the sense of autonomy you would have if you owned the property outright.

Can I sell my home if I have a Shared Ownership Mortgage in Cardiff?

Should you decide that homeownership is no longer the right fit for you and you wish to sell your property in order to relocate, the process differs somewhat with a Shared Ownership Mortgage in Cardiff.

While selling a property with most other mortgage types is typically straightforward, provided your fixed period has concluded, Shared Ownership entails a unique approach.

The feasibility of selling your property with a Shared Ownership Mortgage in Cardiff hinges on the proportion of the property you own in shares. Generally, you will need to possess 100% ownership of the property before considering a sale.

It is important to understand that the housing association typically holds ‘first refusal’ rights for the initial 21 years following your property purchase. This legal provision grants them the prerogative to make an offer to acquire the property themselves before you proceed to place it on the open market.

If you do not hold 100% ownership of the property, the initial step would be to explore the acquisition of the remaining shares of the property, subsequently allowing you to contemplate its sale.

Is Shared Ownership in Cardiff right for me?

Shared Ownership in Cardiff offers a promising opportunity for first-time buyers with aspirations of stepping onto the property ladder, particularly when their deposit may be on the smaller side. This mortgage scheme can serve as a valuable tool in realising your homeownership goals.

However, it’s important to acknowledge that embarking on a Shared Ownership Mortgage journey can be intricate, involving various fees and contractual nuances. To ensure you’re adequately prepared and well-versed in the contractual particulars, it’s essential to be thorough and well-informed.

Ultimately, the decision revolves around personal preference and your specific circumstances. By scheduling a complimentary mortgage appointment with a reputable mortgage broker in Cardiff, you can engage with a trusted mortgage advisor and adequately prepare if you’re contemplating this route.

For an in-depth understanding of the Shared Ownership Mortgage Scheme, you can explore further information on the government’s OwnYourHome website. & Cardiffmoneyman are trading styles of UK Moneyman Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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