• Coastal Living in Northern Ireland: Finding Your Dream Beachfront Property
    Posted on 13 February 2023

    Coastal Living in Northern Ireland: Finding Your Dream Beachfront Property

    Benefits of Coastal Living

    You may be wondering, what are the benefits of moving to the coast? If you love to be outdoors or are looking to increase your activity, the coast is a great place to be. There are tons of activities to explore, walks to discover and views to experience. In addition to this, you will find a stronger sense of community in these towns, usually due to the slower lifestyle that comes with living on the coast.

    Health and wellness benefits

    Living by the coast can have a significant impact on one's health and wellness. Fresh sea air, which is rich in negative ions, can improve air quality and help reduce stress levels. The proximity to the ocean and beach also encourages physical activity, such as walking, swimming, and water sports, leading to a more active lifestyle. Additionally, being surrounded by natural beauty, such as scenic views and wildlife, can have a calming effect on the mind and help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.

    These factors combined can lead to improved physical and mental health, making coastal living an attractive option for those looking to enhance their overall well-being.

    Community benefits

    Coastal communities offer a strong sense of community, with neighbours often bonding over shared experiences and interests. Residents of these communities have access to a variety of local amenities, including recreational activities, shops, and restaurants. This close proximity to essential services can lead to a more convenient and connected lifestyle. Furthermore, coastal communities often have a rich cultural and historical heritage, with festivals and events that bring people together and foster a sense of belonging.

    Whether it's admiring historical landmarks, experiencing the local arts scene, or trying the delicious seafood, coastal living offers a unique and vibrant community experience that can be hard to find elsewhere.

    Economic benefits

    Coastal living can also bring economic benefits, including strong property values. Properties near the coast are often in high demand due to their location and the attractions they offer, leading to a strong real estate market. Furthermore, increased tourism can lead to a boost in local job opportunities, particularly in industries such as hospitality, retail, and recreation. With a thriving local economy, coastal communities offer a solid investment opportunity, providing long-term financial benefits to residents.

    Additionally, owning a beachfront property can also provide rental income opportunities, making it a smart financial choice for those looking to generate passive income. In short, coastal living can be both a lifestyle and financial investment that can offer significant benefits to residents.

    Finding Your Dream Beachfront Property

    You may be wondering what type of property to choose and where you should live, a lot of which may be dictated by your budget. One benefit of Northern Ireland is that many areas are in close proximity to each other and there are great public transport links, so even if your dream location is out of budget then you may be able to find a property close by!

    Location, location, location

    When choosing a location for coastal living in Northern Ireland, it's important to consider factors such as proximity to amenities, access to public transportation, and views. In Northern Ireland, popular coastal towns such as Bangor, Donaghadee, Holywood, and Newtownards offer a range of options for those looking to live by the sea. These towns offer a mix of urban and rural environments, providing access to local shops, restaurants, and recreational activities, as well as breathtaking coastal views. Additionally, good transportation links make it easy to travel to and from these communities, whether it's for work or leisure.

    When considering a location for coastal living in Northern Ireland, these towns offer a great balance of coastal living and urban conveniences, making them an attractive option for those looking to experience the best of both worlds.

    Type of property

    When choosing a coastal home in Northern Ireland, there are a variety of options to choose from. Whether you're looking for a family home, an apartment for holidays or retirement, or a rental property, you'll find a range of options to meet your needs.

    Family homes by the coast offer ample space for growing families and typically come with a range of features such as spacious gardens, sea views, and easy access to local amenities. For those looking for a holiday or retirement home, apartments and smaller properties are a great option. These properties are typically lower maintenance and offer a comfortable, easy-to-manage space for those looking to escape to the coast.

    Finally, for those looking for a rental property, there is a growing demand for rental properties near the coast, making it a smart investment opportunity. No matter what your needs or budget, you'll find a range of coastal homes in Northern Ireland to choose from, making it easier to find your dream beachfront property.

    Budget considerations

    When considering purchasing a coastal home in Northern Ireland, it's important to take budget considerations into account. While owning a beachfront property can be a significant investment, Northern Ireland is an affordable place to buy compared to other coastal areas. However, it's still important to consider the affordability of the property, including the initial purchase price as well as ongoing maintenance costs. Regular maintenance is necessary to keep the property in good condition, especially if it's a coastal property that is exposed to the elements.

    While these costs should be taken into account when budgeting for a coastal home, the long-term benefits, including strong property values, rental income opportunities, and improved quality of life, can make it a smart financial investment. When choosing a coastal home in Northern Ireland, it's important to consider budget considerations carefully, but also to keep in mind the many benefits that come with living by the sea.

    Life by the Sea in Northern Ireland

    Living by the coast has so many benefits and it's the perfect lifestyle for those looking for a slower way of living or if you are looking to retire. But why choose Northern Ireland to buy a coastal property? Along with offering great value for money, Northern Ireland has some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world and an incredible history with many key landmarks still intact.

    Northern Ireland's stunning coastline

    Northern Ireland is home to a stunning coastline, offering a diverse range of beaches and coastal villages that are perfect for those who love the sea. From sandy beaches to breathtaking views, Northern Ireland's coastline has something to offer everyone. Whether you're looking to spend a day on the golden sands, participate in water activities, or simply enjoy the natural beauty and wildlife, the coastline of Northern Ireland is the perfect place to do it. With its picturesque coastal villages, beautiful beaches, and stunning views, Northern Ireland offers a unique and unforgettable coastal experience.
    Whether you're a local or a visitor, the coastline of Northern Ireland is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves the sea and appreciates the beauty of nature.

    A rich cultural and historical heritage

    Northern Ireland's coastal towns not only offer breathtaking views and stunning beaches, but they are also home to a rich history, thriving arts and food scene, and local events.

    The area is home to a variety of historical landmarks and sites, including castles, lighthouses, and monuments that offer a glimpse into the region's rich past. The coastal towns are also renowned for their local events, from festivals and fairs to cultural celebrations and sporting events. The arts and food scene in Northern Ireland's coastal towns are thriving, offering visitors a unique and diverse experience that is second to none. From local pubs and restaurants serving up delicious cuisine, to art galleries and music venues showcasing local talent, Northern Ireland's coastal towns have a lot to offer in terms of arts and culture.

    Whether you're interested in history, culture, or simply want to experience the best that Northern Ireland has to offer, the coastal towns are the perfect place to start your journey.


    Living by the coast in Northern Ireland offers a unique and fulfilling lifestyle that combines stunning natural beauty with a strong sense of community and cultural richness.
    Whether you're looking for a family home, a holiday retreat, or a rental property, Northern Ireland's coastline has something to offer everyone.
    There is a wealth of activities to do, from visiting historical landmarks to partaking in water activities. Northern Ireland's food and drink scene is thriving, and it is no exception by the coast either.
    A few of the benefits include improved health and wellness, a strong sense of community, growing property values, and increased job opportunities.

    What's Next?

    If you are interested in buying a coastal property in Northern Ireland, why not check out some of the current properties for sale? Or, if you have more questions about buying a home by the sea, send us an email or give us a call on 028 9065 3333.
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  • Top 7 Home Decor Trends in 2023
    Posted on 25 January 2023

    Top 7 Home Decor Trends in 2023

    1. Sustainability

    Marri Sofa - Available from NKUKU
    (Image Credit - NKUKU)
    Sustainability is a hot topic in the world of home decor, and it's no surprise that it's stated to be one of the top design trends in 2023.

    As people become more aware of the environmental impact of their choices, they are increasingly looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and make their homes more eco-friendly.

    Not only are these choices better for the planet but they can add character and uniqueness to your home. By making a few simple changes, you can create a beautiful, comfortable and sustainable living space that you can be proud of.

    2. Nostalgic Vintage

    Brighton Classic And Retro Radio - Available from Not on the High Street
    (Image Credit -  notonthehighstreet.com)
    One design trend that is expected to make a comeback in 2023 is nostalgic vintage home decor. This trend combines elements of past decades with modern design to create a unique, retro-inspired look that brings elements of nostalgia to your home.

    Bringing vintage elements into your home decor can add a sense of history and character to your space. Whether it's through furniture, accessories or textiles, there are many ways to embrace the nostalgic vintage trend.

    No matter how you choose to incorporate vintage elements into your home, the key is to have fun and let your personal style shine through.

    3. Artisan Wares

    Waney Oak Chopping Boards - Available from Konk
    (Image Credit - Konk)
    Incorporating artisan wares into your home decor is expected to be popular in 2023.
    These unique, handcrafted pieces add a touch of authenticity and personality to any space in a chic style. Artisan wares can include everything from handmade pottery and artwork to one-of-a-kind furniture and home accessories.

    4. Modern Maximalism

    LSA International Rotunda Vase, H20cm - Available from John Lewis
    (Image Credit - John Lewis)
    The Modern Maximalist trend is all about making a statement with your home decor. It's a playful and expressive style that allows you to mix and match different patterns, textures and colour palettes to create a vibrant and visually stunning space.

    While traditional maximalism can sometimes feel cluttered and chaotic, Modern Maximalism is all about curating a cohesive and intentional look.

    Don't be afraid to mix and match different styles and periods – this is what gives Modern Maximalism its unique and eclectic charm.

    Whether you go bold and bright or opt for a more subdued and sophisticated look, the Modern Maximalism trend is a fun and creative way to make your home stand out.

    5. Transparent Touches

    Nordic Glass Flower Vase, LovelyArtsyDesign - Available from Etsy
    (Image Credit - LovelyArtsyDesign)
    One of the hottest home decor trends for 2023 is the incorporation of transparent elements into the home.

    This can include anything from acrylic decor pieces and glass accents to see-through storage solutions. Transparent touches add a light, airy feel to a space and can help to make small rooms feel larger and more open.

    However, don't be afraid to add pops of colour to this!

    6. Raw and Natural

    Verbier Reclaimed Bed, Rust collection - Available from Wearth London
    (Image Credit - Wearth)
    Embrace the Raw and Natural trend in 2023 by bringing the beauty of the outdoors into your home! This trend is perfect for those who love a rustic, earthy aesthetic.

    Bring the outdoors in with the Raw and Natural trend in home decor! This trend involves incorporating natural materials, such as wood, stone, and plants, into the home to create rustic, earthy tones. Raw and Natural decor is perfect for those who want to bring a touch of the outdoors into their living spaces and create a cosy, welcoming atmosphere.

    7. Statement pieces

    Skyline Console Table - Available from Rockett St George
    (Image Credit - Rockett St George)
    Don't be afraid to take risks with dramatic themes such as statement pieces! These accents are all about making a design impact and expressing your personal style. So why wait?

    The trend towards statement pieces is all about adding a touch of drama to your space with larger-than-life accents. From oversized artwork and chandeliers to bold patterns and colours, statement pieces are a great way to add personality and make a design impact.
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  • How to Invest in Property in 2023
    Posted on 23 January 2023

    How to Invest in Property in 2023

    Why Invest in Property?

    Now is the perfect time to invest in property in the UK. With property prices in many cities still low, property portfolios are a great way to diversify and begin capitalising on the property market for 2023. Choosing the right area for property investing brings a wealth of opportunities, which depend on personal preference, budget and expectations.

    Whether you're looking for rental investment or want to resell for large profits, there's something out there for everyone. No matter what approach you take, it always pays to research relevant property markets thoroughly before committing financially.

    Investing in property is an excellent idea and with some help from knowledgeable professionals, it can help you start building your financial future in 2023.

    Take a Look at your Finance Options

    2023 presents a variety of financial options for investing in property, ranging from traditional methods to more innovative and flexible ways. For those who choose to use more traditional financial products such as a mortgage, it is always advisable to seek financial advice from professional mortgage brokers who can help you find the most suitable mortgage deal relative to your financial situation.

    However, it is important not to forget about the upfront costs associated with securing a mortgage, such as a solicitor and surveyor fees, stamp duty and surveys. With some financial planning and clever budgeting it is still possible to invest in property during 2023 - even if you have a limited budget!

    Understanding the Risks Involved

    Renovating properties has its risks that must be taken into consideration by investors. The purchase price of a property will often reflect the condition and it is important for investors to accurately assess the cost of renovations before purchase.

    This estimate should include labour costs, materials, energy savings and management fees associated with renovating a property. Depending on how much capital growth an investor is expecting from their renovated property, these costs can quickly add up to more than expected.

    Investors need to have a thorough understanding of their investment portfolio when looking to purchase renovations and be aware of potential pitfalls before they purchase new property.

    Investing in buy-to-let property is a popular type of investment for many property investors, but there are certain risks that should be taken into account before taking the plunge. When investing in this type of property, it's important to consider the condition of the building and its location. Unforeseen costs to restore or repair a property can really hit a buy-to-let investor hard, both financially and emotionally.

    It's also important to factor in potential issues such as tenant turnover and rental voids when calculating how profitable an investment will be. Furthermore, if renting out buy-to-let properties, you'll need to weigh up the pros and cons of managing rental finances yourself versus hiring an agent to help you handle tenant relations. Overall, investing in buy-to-let properties has its advantages but also comes with inherent financial risks that must be carefully considered before making any commitments.

    Research Various Options for Property Investment

    2023 presents a variety of financial options for investing in property, ranging from traditional methods to more innovative and flexible ways. For those who choose to use more traditional financial products such as a mortgage, it is always advisable to seek financial advice from professional mortgage brokers who can help you find the most suitable mortgage deal relative to your financial situation.

    However, it is important not to forget about the upfront costs associated with securing a mortgage, such as solicitor and surveyor fees, stamp duty and surveys. With some financial planning and clever budgeting it is still possible to invest in property during 2023 - even if you have a limited budget!

    Property Development

    One popular route is buying properties at auction and refurbishing them or subdividing them into smaller units in order to increase their value. But remember: auctions require quick action - funds must be available immediately in order for the sale to go through. Luckily, bridging loans offer a speedy solution when it comes to financing; although they tend to be more costly than other forms of finance, refinancing after purchase can reduce costs significantly down the line.

    It is crucial to negotiate the purchase price when buying an investment property to gain the maximum return on your investment. If you are looking to refurbish a property and re-sell it once the works have been completed, buying it for the lowest price possible will help to ensure that you make a profit on the investment.

    There can also be a lot of hidden costs involved with buying an investment property. Carry out surveys on the property before you complete the purchase to help to make sure you know exactly what you are investing in, and it helps to eliminate any nasty surprises!

    Investing in Buy-to-Let

    Are you considering investing in property and becoming a landlord?

    Getting your finances organised is the first step - speak to both a financial adviser and mortgage broker so that when you find your ideal investment, you’re ready to go. Generally, you will need a minimum of 25% deposit to buy a rental property. This will need to be factored in, along with other costs such as stamp duty, mortgage fees, solicitors costs and survey fees.

    Then comes finding tenants; an agency could provide hassle-free assistance or if preferred, look around privately for suitable candidates. In addition, insurance should be taken out during this stage: buildings as well as policies protecting against possible injury to renters, accidental damage etc.

    Owning a buy-to-let property will provide you with a steady stream of rental income, and it can be low maintenance if you use a letting agent or an estate agent to manage the property. However, be aware that you will need to account for periods of time that the property is left empty and upkeep costs.

    If you are borrowing money, the lender will also want to ensure that the investment is a viable one. Do your market research and check the supply and demand for the area, along with the projected rental income measured against what the mortgage payments will be on the property.

    Then there is the decision of whether to invest in commercial properties or if you would rather buy a residential property instead. Buying a residential property is usually the preferred choice for new landlords, as it is an area they are more familiar with. After all, most people are aware of the costs involved in running a home. However, don't overlook buying a commercial property, you can ask for a longer tenancy, larger deposits and the tenant to cover upkeep costs. Depending on the area and type of property, it can be a very lucrative investment.

    Investing in Property Overseas

    For investors looking for potential profits from overseas, UK property may not be the only option. Buying a holiday home in another country can offer multiple benefits - you have a getaway of your own to enjoy while simultaneously providing an income stream by renting it out on platforms such as Airbnb. And should fortunate market conditions arise, selling could result in netting even more profit than when originally purchased!

    Some things to consider when buying a property overseas are:
    • How long will it take to travel there?
    • Is it close to transport links and the airport?
    • Are the local amenities good? Think about what shops, restaurants and bars there are in the area.
    • What type of rental will this be?
    • Is this a popular location with holidaymakers?
    • How long is the tourist season? Consider how long the property will be sitting empty for.
    It is worth seeking professional advice before purchasing abroad if you are not familiar with the area and market there. But, if you love to holiday in that region yourself, it could be a good way to make extra income from the property if you're not using the property yourself at that time.

    Steps to Better Investing

    Now you have a clear idea of what type of area you might like to invest in, it's time to think about how to become a better investor. This will help to eliminate many of the risks that come with property investment, and will help to protect you and your finances.

    Research the Market

    Before investing in a new area, it's important to do some research. Analyse the local job market and population profile. Understand which employers are present locally, as well as how available rental space is by industry classification for commercial properties - this will help you understand the strength of potential returns on your investment when comparing rental income with yields calculated from any necessary mortgages.

    If you are renovating a property, take a look at the demand in that area and what the average house price is for that type of home in that area. Then, take into account the fees and costs involved and the timescale that it will take you to complete the work. After these calculations, will the investment still be worth it? If yes, arrange a viewing, but if the answer is no you may want to continue looking or consider it as a rental property instead.

    Negotiate the Lowest Price

    Have you ever heard the saying, "you make money when you buy, not when you sell"? Well, it's true.

    This saying applies to investors who are financially savvy and take property values into account while formulating a property investment strategy. By buying property at a good price and carefully managing its value, property owners can expect to generate a healthy return when they eventually resell the property.

    It is important to remember that the purchase price is the main factor that influences profit later on, so it is crucial to know what you're doing before taking the plunge into property development.

    It is also the one thing that you can control now. Yes, property prices may have risen by the time you come to sell and the property market is looking strong, but that could easily not be the case and you have to prepare for that.

    Exit Strategy

    Property investing can be a great way to increase your wealth, but it always pays to have an exit strategy in mind. Should you find yourself needing liquidity or wanting to diversify investments, options could include selling the property on the market or at auction (with capital gains tax likely applicable), refinancing across all of your holdings, or some combination thereof.

    Planning is key for any successful property investment!

    Key Takeaways

    • Spend time researching different finance options and understand the risks that you will be undertaking by investing in properties.
    • There are various investment options out there - such as buy-to-let, property development and purchasing a property abroad.
    • Make sure you have an exit strategy in place. This will vary depending on the type of investment you choose.
    • Always negotiate the lowest price that you can when buying, this might be the defining factor whether you earn money or lose money!

    What's Next?

    For more investment tips, check out our ultimate guide to investing in Northern Ireland. Or why not take a look at some of the properties for sale at the moment? You may find your next investment property sooner than you think!
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  • What is a Mortgage Offer and How Long Does It Last?
    Posted on 19 January 2023

    What is a Mortgage Offer and How Long Does It Last?

    What is a Mortgage Offer?

    A mortgage offer is a document that outlines the terms and conditions of a mortgage loan that a lender is offering to a borrower. It is an offer from the lender to finance the purchase of a new property.

    The mortgage offer will include details such as the interest rate, the length of the loan, and the monthly payments. It will also provide information about the borrower's credit score, income, and other financial details that the lender has used to determine the terms of the loan.

    If you decide to accept the mortgage offer, you will need to sign a mortgage agreement and complete any other requirements before the loan can be disbursed. It's important to carefully review the mortgage offer to ensure that you understand all of the terms and conditions of the loan, and to ask any questions you may have before accepting the offer.

    It is important to shop around and compare offers from multiple lenders to make sure you are getting the best deal.

    Key terms and conditions of a mortgage offer

    There are several key terms and conditions that are typically included in a mortgage offer. These may include:

    1. 1. Interest rate: This is the percentage of the loan amount that you will be charged in interest each year. The interest rate can have a big impact on your monthly payments and the overall cost of the loan.
    2. 2. Length of the loan: This is the number of years over which you will be repaying the loan.
    3. 3. Monthly payments: The mortgage offer will outline how much you will be required to pay each month to repay the loan. This will include not only the principal (the amount you borrowed) but also the interest and any other fees or charges associated with the loan.
    4. 4. Fees and charges: The mortgage offer may include various fees and expenses, such as arrangement fees, valuation fees, and legal fees. It's essential to understand what these fees are and how much they will cost.
    5. 5. Overpayments: The offer may include details on how much you can overpay your mortgage and early-repayment charges.
    6. 6. Other financial details: The lender may also consider other financial factors when determining the terms of the loan, such as your savings, debts, and assets.

    It's important to carefully review the mortgage offer and to ask any questions you may have about the terms and conditions of the loan before accepting it.

    How long does a mortgage offer last?

    The length of time that a mortgage offer is valid can vary but the offer is typically valid for 3 to 6 months

    The length of time that a formal mortgage offer is valid is typically specified in the offer itself. It's important to carefully review the mortgage offer to determine how long it is valid and to make sure that you are able to complete any required steps (such as signing the mortgage agreement and providing any additional documentation) within that time limit.

    If you are unable to complete the required steps within the specified time frame, you may need to request an extension or reapply for a mortgage. It's always a good idea to communicate with your lender if you are having difficulty meeting the deadline for accepting a mortgage offer.

    Accepting a mortgage offer

    When you decide to accept a mortgage offer, you will be required to sign a mortgage agreement, which is a legal document outlining the terms and conditions of the loan. You will also be required to provide any additional documentation requested by the lender, such as proof of income, employment and that you have undertaken building insurance.

    During the application stage, the lender will then conduct a final review of your loan application, and if approved, will disburse the loan funds. In order to close on the loan and purchase your home, you will need to complete any other steps necessary, such as getting a home appraisal and purchasing homeowners insurance.

    Once these crucial steps have been completed, you can purchase your new home. It's a good idea to keep all of your mortgage documents in a safe place and to reach out to your lender or financial advisor if you have any questions or concerns during the process.

    Things to keep in mind before accepting a mortgage offer

    Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime. A mortgage offer is an important step in the home-buying process, but it's not the final one. Before accepting a mortgage offer, it's crucial to take the time to review and understand the terms and conditions of the loan. Let’s go over some of the crucial things to keep in mind beforehand!

    1. 1. Review the terms and conditions of the loan carefully. Make sure you understand the interest rate, monthly payments, length of the loan, and any fees or charges associated with the loan. Don't be afraid to ask for clarification if there is anything you don't understand.
    2. 2. Consider whether the mortgage offer is the best one available to you. It's always a good idea to shop around and compare offers from multiple lenders before making a decision.
    3. 3. Think carefully about whether you will be able to afford the monthly payments and other costs associated with the loan. Make sure you will be able to make your payments on time and in full each month.
    4. 4. Be aware that accepting a mortgage offer is a significant financial commitment. Make sure you are prepared to take on this responsibility before you sign the mortgage agreement.
    5. 5. Keep in mind that the mortgage process doesn't end once you have accepted the offer and signed the mortgage agreement. You will also need to complete other steps, such as getting a home appraisal and purchasing insurance, before you can complete the process of buying your home.
    6. 6. Make sure you are comfortable with the terms and conditions of the loan. If you have any doubts or reservations about the mortgage offer, it may be best to hold off on accepting it until you have more information or have found a better option.
    7. 7. Consider your long-term financial goals. Whilst a lower interest rate or smaller monthly payments may seem attractive in the short term, they may not be the best choice if they will result in a longer loan term or a higher overall cost.
    8. 8. Take your time and think things over before making a decision. There is no rush to accept a mortgage offer, and it's important to make sure you are comfortable with the terms and conditions of the loan before moving forward.

    By keeping these factors in mind, you can help ensure that you are making an informed and confident decision about your mortgage.

    Understanding the importance of a mortgage offer

    A mortgage offer is the roadmap to your dream home. They outline important details of your mortgage loan, including the interest rate, monthly payments, and any fees or charges. By carefully reviewing these terms and conditions, you can determine if the loan is the right fit for you and your current situation. But don't stop there!

    Make sure to compare offers from multiple lenders to find the one that is the most favourable for your needs. Not only will this help you get the best deal, but it will also give you valuable insights into your creditworthiness and financial situation.

    Once you've accepted a mortgage offer and signed the agreement, you can start your journey towards homeownership by closing on the loan and purchasing your dream home.

    So don't underestimate the importance of a mortgage offer – it's the first exciting step towards a bright future in your new home.

    Key Takeaways

    • A mortgage offer is a document outlining the terms and conditions of a mortgage loan from a lender to a borrower and includes details such as interest rate, length of the loan, and monthly payments.
    • Carefully review the mortgage offer to understand all terms and conditions, and ask any questions before accepting.
    • The length of time that a mortgage is usually 3 to 6 months.
    • Keep all mortgage documents in a safe place and reach out to your lender or financial advisor if you have any questions or concerns.
    • Before accepting a mortgage offer, it's crucial to take the time to review and understand the terms and conditions of the loan, shop around and compare offers from multiple lenders, and think carefully about whether you will be able to afford the monthly payments and other costs associated with the loan.

    Looking To Buy?

    For more information on the process of buying a home, speak to our friendly and experienced team on (028) 9065 3333 or send us an email. If you’re still browsing, why not take a look at our current properties for sale? It’s the perfect place to start your home-buying journey!
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  • How to Climb the Property Ladder
    Posted on 12 January 2023

    How to Climb the Property Ladder

    What is the Property Ladder?

    The property ladder in the United Kingdom is a term traditionally used to describe the process of buying and selling property to make a profit. It involves the gradual acquisition of property at ever-increasing property prices.

    Starting property purchases usually begin with first-time buyers, who purchase residential property typically with the intention of living there. As their disposable incomes increase or the property value increases due to house price inflation, they may decide to invest in a larger property.

    Traditionally, a first-time buyer would first buy a flat, then move on to a 2-3 bedroom home and eventually buy a larger, semi-detached or detached family home with 3-5 bedrooms. It is essentially a process of buying and selling residential properties over time in order to move into a larger home or a better area to live in.

    Location Matters...Buying the Best House Doesn't

    When searching for properties to purchase in the UK, location matters.

    The purchase price of a property certainly has an impact on how attractive it can appear, but it's not the only factor to consider.

    In today's highly competitive UK property market, average house prices can vary significantly by neighbourhood and town, making it difficult for buyers to identify the perfect property within their budget.

    For this reason, it is often better to purchase the ‘worst house on the best street’ where possible; although more costly than an equivalent poor-quality house in a less desirable area, this type of purchase can offer superior long-term resale value due to strong demand from buyers keen to live in that sought-after locality.

    Don't Be Scared of Renovating

    For those looking to ascend the UK’s housing ladder, renovating a property prior to sale is an effective solution. Not only can modernising a home and freshening up decor increase sale price significantly  (giving sellers more leverage when negotiating on more expensive properties) but it also helps their property to stand out amongst the competition.

    Property experts have long understood that successful renovations can lead to higher sale prices, so making use of budget-friendly DIY renovations, such as painting and replacing fixtures and fittings, could prove a great return on investment for homeowners looking to tackle the housing ladder.

    Make Short-Term Sacrifices to Reach your Long Term Goals

    Purchasing a home in the UK is no easy feat and it can be discouraging to think about the average deposit you'll need to put down on a home. But for those with long-term goals of climbing up the property ladder, making short-term sacrifices now through careful budgeting and putting in the effort to do renovations yourself can yield big rewards later when house price growth is taken into account.

    Even if that means spending lots of late nights at home giving your property an upgrade, learning how to take on projects yourself or setting aside funds for a larger deposit. By doing this, it will give you much more house purchase options in the future along with other benefits. If you are willing to put in the extra effort, you may be able to create more capital which could mean access to better mortgage deals or buying your dream home.

    Although it won't be easy, by spending your time on renovations and controlling your expenses; you will be taking a great step towards achieving your property goals.

    Keep on Top of your Finances

    Having a good credit score is essential in making sure you get the best mortgage deals when looking to purchase a house in the UK. It is one of the first things that mortgage lenders assess, so it is important to make sure that your credit score is up to scratch.

    Building credit can be done by using credit cards or loans responsibly and little by little. Avoid taking out any kind of payday loan, as this could potentially bring down your credit score significantly. Furthermore, make sure to stay up to date with payments and register on the electoral roll.

    Lastly, if it has been some time since you've used credit it's useful to consult with a mortgage advisor before going ahead with anything as they can help understand where you stand credit-wise before starting the process of applying for a mortgage.

    Think About Future Costs

    When deciding to upsize your current home and relocate to a larger one in the UK, there are various costs to bear in mind. Prices in the UK housing market have been unpredictable and stamp duty costs (taxes paid when buying a property) can range from nothing to thousands depending on where you're located. If you are wondering how much stamp duty you will have to pay, take a look at our handy guide.

    Additionally, it's important to factor in solicitor fees for contracts and surveys, any additional moving costs incurred, and your monthly bills at the new residence such as council tax. Moving home is no small decision and should be carefully thought out before taking the plunge - ensuring that all potential costs are taken into account will help to realise a smoother transition.

    Key Takeaways

    • Buy the worst house in the best location that you can afford, you can always change and update the house that you live in, but you cannot change the area.
    • Buying a home that is in need of renovations can be a more affordable way to create the house of your dreams, and to increase it's value.
    • By investing time and budgeting your money for a short-term period can help you to achieve long-term goals and help you buy the property that you love.
    • It is crucial to keep on top of your credit, regularly check your credit score and ensure that you are on the electoral roll to have access to the best mortgage deals on the market.
    • Keep in mind the costs of buying a new home, and moving from your current one. You may have large stamp duty bills to pay and high moving costs, so it is best to prepare for these if you are considering getting on to the property ladder, or climbing it.
    Read more
  • How to Set a Budget for Buying your First Home
    Posted on 12 December 2022

    How to Set a Budget for Buying your First Home

    How much can you afford per month?

    This may seem like it's an obvious question, but it's easier to get carried away.

    If you have completed any online mortgage calculators, you may have some idea on the amount of money you can borrow. Or perhaps you have a mortgage in principle that dictates the maximum purchase price.

    Either way, the repayments on that amount can sometimes be higher than what you might be comfortable paying.

    What can you comfortably spend each month?

    The first step in setting a budget for buying any home, is figuring out how much you can afford to spend. This can depend on your income, savings and other financial factors.

    It can also depend on how much disposable income you like to have each month and whether there are other factors that might affect your income in the future, like starting a family.

    There is a rule of thumb that your mortgage should not cost you more than 28% of your gross income per month. So, if your monthly gross household income is £3000 then your mortgage should not cost you more than £840 a month.

    To sum that up, you could borrow £187,000 with 3.5% interest paid over a 30 year mortgage term and pay £840 per month in mortgage payments.

    As a first-time buyer, it can be difficult to determine how much you can comfortably afford, especially if you have previously been living with parents.

    If you are currently renting, you may already be comfortable with calculating affordable monthly payments.

    Consider different areas

    The location, condition of the property and size of the home can hugely affect the purchase price. If your budget doesn't stretch as far as you'd like it to, you may have to compromise on one of those factors.

    Do you prefer city life or country life? Do you want to live near friends and family or do you prefer to be alone?

    Once you've worked out how much you can comfortably spend, you'll want to work out exactly where you would like to live.

    You'll need to factor this into your calculations when determining how much you can afford.

    How much deposit do you need?

    Once you have an idea of what amount you are happy to pay for monthly mortgage payments and you have an idea of how much you can lend, it's time to start looking at different properties.

    Generally, you will need a minimum of 5% deposit to buy a home in the UK, but you will usually have access to far better deals if you can save up a 10% deposit, although this can depend on the mortgage lender.

    Your credit score is important here, as your lender may require a larger deposit.

    If you can save more than a 5% deposit you will have access to a wider range of deals with different mortgage lenders, and lower interest rates. We recommend speaking with a mortgage broker for advice on which mortgage to choose.

    If you have found a house that you are interested in, speak to the estate agent if you do not have a mortgage in place yet. As a potential buyer, they may have someone in-house to help you find the right mortgage provider, so it is worth enquiring with the estate agent if you are in this position.

    What is LTV?

    When you start looking at different types of mortgages, you will come across the term LTV, or loan-to-value.

    To put it simply, it is a percentage figure of the amount you have borrowed to buy the property (loan) compared to the mortgage lenders valuation of the property (value).

    If you bought a home at £150,000 and had a deposit of £15,000, you would have a 90% LTV. This is because the amount you have borrowed (£135,000) is 90% of the properties value.

    Generally, the lower the LTV is, the lower interest rates you can get on your mortgage deal.

    However to do this, you tend to need to be able to have a large deposit which isn't always achievable for first-time buyers. (This is something that a mortgage broker will be able to advise you on.)

    Sometimes it can be better to have a higher LTV, and use any extra money to refurbish the property, invest or put into emergency savings.
    Use this time to keep an eye on your credit score too, ensure you keep up to date with all of your credit payments and ensure you are named on the electoral roll.

    These factors can help you get accepted for a better interest rate and have access to a wider range of mortgage deals.
    If you are unsure on how to check your credit score or how to improve your credit rating, you can find more information from the Money Advice Service.

    What about government help?

    There is a government-backed mortgage scheme that helps first-time buyers get on the property ladder with a deposit as low as 5%. This is applicable to homes up to £600,000 and helps make owning your own home become more affordable.

    There are a few different financial schemes with government funding available, head to the government website for more information.

    How much Stamp Duty will you pay?

    Firstly, you may be wondering; what is stamp duty?

    Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is paid when buying a residential property in the UK, this can vary depending on whether you are a first-time buyer, a home-mover or purchasing an additional property.

    The tax is charged at different rates, depending on the price of the home which you can find a full guide on here.

    All stamp duty is paid to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) when the property is purchased, and the buyer is responsible for paying the tax. Failure to pay stamp duty on time can result in penalties and interest charges.

    Stamp duty has recently changed, and as of September 2022, the new amount that first-time buyers will pay stamp duty on is £425,000.

    Previously stamp duty charges were charged for properties over £300,000, so this is a huge saving for first-time buyers.

    If you buy a property that is over £425,000, the standard rate of stamp duty will apply.

    For first-time buyers, stamp duty charges are 5% on the portion £425,001 and above but lower than £925,000. On the portion above £925,001 but lower than £1,500,000 a rate of 10% applies. If the home is £1,500,001 or more, than the rate of 12% of that portion applies.

    For example if you are buying your first home and the property is £300,000, you will pay no stamp duty land tax. If your first home is £600,00 then you will pay nothing on the first £425,000 and 5% on the remaining £175,000 which comes to a total bill of £8,750.

    What are surveyors fees, and how much will they cost?

    A house survey is important because it will highlight any major defects that the property might have and provides advice on repairs and maintenance.

    Basically, it helps to eliminate any unwanted surprises!

    The cost of property surveys vary depending on the type of house survey and the level of detail that you require in the report. The type of property and location can also affect the price.

    Usually, the surveyors fees can range anywhere from £400 to £1,425.

    But again, this largely depends on the type of survey you require.

    It is crucial to include this in your budget, as what will cost you money now, may save you a lot more in the future!

    How much are conveyancing fees?

    When buying a home, you will need to instruct a solicitor or licensed conveyancer to handle all of the legal parts to buying a property.

    This is called conveyancing.

    Some of the fees can include:

    • Legal fees - Your solicitor will usually charge you a flat fee, this can vary between £500 and £1000 depending on how complex the transaction is and the location.
    • Land registry fees - All homes need to be added on to the Land Register. This is a government register and the cost depends on the value of your home.
    • Money transfer fees - This is a fee to cover the charges of transferring money between mortgage lenders and conveyancers, lenders and buyers.

    These are all one-off charges when you are purchasing a home, and they are in place to keep every party involved protected.

    What is the difference between using a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer?

    You may be wondering which is the best option; a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer.

    You can save money by using a licensed conveyancer and they are specialised in this area, but if you have any complex legal issues then they will not be able to help.

    On the other hand, solicitors tend to be more expensive but they can assist you with other legal matters that may come up during the buying process.

    The cost of moving home

    Yes, moving house can be expensive, but if you plan ahead then you can save a lot of headaches...and money!

    Need a hand with the heavy-lifting?

    Do you need to hire a moving van, or do you have some friends that are happy to pitch in - bonus points if they have a van themselves!

    If you have a lot to move, or you are moving a fair distance away, it might be best to hire professional movers to help you.

    Don't be afraid to ask if they have insurance either. Your valuables need protecting.

    You may have friends and family who can recommend someone, but if not, head to the National Guild of Removers and Storers for local operators.

    Stump up for storage

    You may have to bridge the gap between moving out of a property and moving into a new one.

    If so, take a look at local storage companies in the area.

    However, if you have previously been renting, it can be a good idea to end your tenancy a few days after your completion date. This way you don't have to pay for storage, and you can (hopefully!) reduce the stress of moving.

    Re-direct your mail

    If you don't want to miss out on important mail, it makes sense to re-direct your mail from your old property to your new one. Doing this can also prevent fraud because your mail won't land in the wrong hands.

    You can re-direct your mail for 3, 6, 9 or 12 months to an address in the UK or overseas from £33.99.

    Furnishing the property

    If you have previously rented, you may have all of the furniture you need for now.

    But, if you have been living with family, you may need to factor in a lot of costs for furnishing your new home.

    It can all add up, as even your first grocery shop will usually be a lot higher in price to fill your cupboards!

    To save money, this is where friends and family can help. If people want to buy housewarming gifts, let them know what you're desperately in need of or ask for a gift card instead.

    You'd be surprised about the things people have lying around in storage or appliances they have never used. This can save you a lot of money, and help you to have everything you need in your new home.

    Additional expenses to budget for

    Now you have worked out some of your buying costs, many of which are one-off payments, you can take a look at what other extra costs you will have to budget for.

    These are all outgoings that you will have to consider, in addition to your monthly mortgage payments. Some you may already be aware of, whereas others may be completely new to you.

    Utility Bills

    When you move into a property, you become liable for the household bills. To keep on top of these additional costs, it is crucial that you get set up as the new liable party immediately so you aren't faced with a large bill.

    The main utility bills are:

    • Gas and Electric - These are with the same supplier on the same bill, but will have different charges.
    • Water Bill - You will receive an estimated charge for the year depending on the house you live in and how many people are in the property. This can then be paid in 12 monthly direct debit payments.
    • TV Licence - You need to have a TV licence if anyone in your property watches or records live TV, or streams any BBC programmes.
    In addition to this, if you have bought a flat or a property with communal areas, you may be liable to pay a service charge or ground rent.

    For advice on how to save money on your utility bills, take a look at the Money Saving Expert for advice.


    As a homeowner, there are three different types of insurance that are advisable to have:

    1. Buildings insurance - This type of insurance covers any damage to the structure of your home, many mortgage lenders insist that this be put in place.
    2. Contents insurance - This is to cover theft, loss or damage to your personal property whilst it is inside your home.
    3. Life insurance - You may decide to take out life insurance that will cover the sum of your mortgage.
    Although the mortgage lender may request that buildings insurance is in place when your mortgage begins, contents and life insurance is negotiable.

    However, for peace of mind and to protect yourself financially, it is definitely something that should be explored at the very least.

    Food Costs

    This cost is subjective and greatly varies from person to person. A single-person household will tend to have much lower food costs than a large family does.
    To be safe, it is best to have an idea of how much you are likely to spend per week or month, and try to set a budget. Costs like this can easily sky rocket if there is not budget in place.

    Council Tax

    When you buy or rent a home, you are liable for Council Tax. This is a local government tax and what you pay will vary depending on the area that you live and the 'banding' that your property is in.

    If you have found a property that you love, but you are not sure which council tax band it is in or what the charges are, head to your local government website to find out.

    Keep in mind though, if the previous owners have extended and improved the property, it could cause the property to move into a higher council tax band once the sale is complete.

    Ask the owners if they have had any structural work done to the property whilst they have owned it so you can factor this in to your calculations.

    Key Takeaways

    • Work out how much you can comfortably afford to pay out each month, and remember the rule - no more than 28% of your gross income should be spent on a mortgage.
    • When you have worked out how much you would like to spend each month and what property price you can afford - calculate how much of a deposit you need to save up, whether it's 5%, 10% or more.
    • Work out other buying costs - such as stamp duty land tax, conveyancing fees or solicitors costs and factor in the survey cost.
    • Budget for moving costs, furnishing the property, re-directing mail and storage, if you need it.
    • Consider your monthly ongoing costs and how much your new utility bills will be, council tax and if you have to pay for a TV license.
    Read more
  • 7 Things to Consider Before Overpaying Your Mortgage
    Posted on 9 December 2022

    7 Things to Consider Before Overpaying Your Mortgage

    What are the benefits to making overpayments on your mortgage?

    Having a mortgage can help you buy your first home or, if you're a home-mover, purchase a home with more much-needed space.

    However, the likelihood is that you're also counting down the days until you're mortgage-free!

    So, let's take a look at some of the benefits:

    • You could potentially pay off your mortgage sooner by reducing the outstanding mortgage balance.
    • You can save money! Paying off your mortgage earlier means that it will incur less interest, and in turn, you will pay less overall.
    • You could have access to better mortgage deals. Overpaying your mortgage means that when your renew your mortgage, you could get a better LTV (loan-to-value) mortgage deal.

    If you have the spare cash, then there can be savvier ways to manage your money than simply saving it.

    What is the maximum that you can overpay on a mortgage?

    Many mortgage lenders set a limit on how much you can overpay on your mortgage each year, and it will largely depend on your mortgage terms.

    Some mortgage deals are stricter than others, but as a rule of thumb, you can usually overpay 10% of your mortgage balance per year. If you go over this, your lender may charge you an early repayment charge (ERC).

    Before you make an overpayment, find out the fees and limits that are set by your lender. You can do this by checking your mortgage terms, or logging into your account and looking online.

    How much money can you save by overpaying a mortgage?

    It can depend on different factors, such as the mortgage interest rate, the type of mortgage and the amount of debt remaining on the mortgage loan.

    However, let's take a look at an example to get a better idea of how much money you can save.

    If you have a 25-year mortgage with a 3.5 percent rate and £200,000 remaining on the mortgage term, by paying an extra £200 per month it could save you £26,000 in interest payments and clear the debt 6 years earlier.

    Overpaying by £100 a month could save you £15,000 and reduce the mortgage term by three years.

    If you decided you could only spare an extra £20 a month in addition to your regular monthly expenses, this could still save you £3,500!

    To find out how much you could save, why not enter your details into a Mortgage Overpayment Calculator and find out how much extra mortgage repayments could reduce your balance by.

    Ways you can overpay your mortgage

    You may be wondering, how can I overpay my mortgage? If so, there are two ways that you are able to do this.

    As long as you keep within the limits of how much you are able to repay each year, you won't incur any extra charges

    1. Lump-sum overpayment

    Some months you may be able to pay more than others, or perhaps you have come into some extra cash and you would like to put some of it towards your mortgage.

    By making a one-off payment, it is the most flexible way to make an overpayment on your mortgage. Some months you may decide to make an overpayment, and sometimes you won't want to make one at all.

    This is also a great option for people with varying monthly incomes, or want to make overpayments but cannot commit to it regularly.

    2. Increasing your monthly repayments

    Some lenders will allow you to change your monthly payments through online banking, whereas others will require you to make a bank transfer each month.

    It is worth checking with your lender first before making any overpayments to find out how you're able to set up a regular payment, and to double check on any fees.

    By paying the same amount each month on top of your normal mortgage payment, you can factor this into your monthly cashflow and be able to budget for this.

    Should you overpay your mortgage or invest money in other areas?

    There are many different ways that you can use your savings, or extra monthly cash flow to help you reach your financial goals.

    However, if you are thinking about overpaying your mortgage, you might want to consider how that disposable income might be better spent elsewhere.

    Before you start making any overpayments, ask yourself the following questions:

    • Do you have emergency savings?
    • Are you allocating money to pay off outstanding debts?
    • Are you paying into your pension?
    • Have you considered investing?

    If you answered no to any of those questions, perhaps look to see if your money could be better spent elsewhere before making extra payments on your mortgage repayments.

    It could be safer in the long run to have emergency savings, if you do not have an emergency fund to cover at least 3 months of living expenses (6 months is ideal), you could concentrate on this first.

    Perhaps you have outstanding debt that is gathering interest and stopping you from lending more finance in the future. You could also invest in your future by paying into your pension pot.

    Or, have you considered other investments?

    There are plenty of other places to put your money instead of repaying your mortgage faster. You could build up of portfolio of bonds, stocks and shares that could offer a potentially higher growth rate - although arguably riskier.

    If you would rather put that extra money into the house, you could look at ways to increase the value of your home instead. You could improve the value of your home whilst also improving your quality of life by adding an upgraded kitchen or a much-needed extra bedroom.

    Overpaying vs Paying Off Other Debts: Which is Better?

    If you have other debts looming over you, it may be worthwhile assessing which route would be better to take; paying off your mortgage or other debts.

    Ultimately, it depends on what type of debt it is.

    There are two types of debts, good debts and bad debts. A good debt will add to your future goals and improve your finance over time.

    Examples of good debt are:

    • Student loan
    • Mortgage debt
    • Finance that helps to build credit scores

    However a bad, or expensive debt are those that cost a lot of money to pay off over time. These are debts that have high interest rates and add no benefit to your long-term financial goals.

    Examples of bad, or expensive debts are:

    • Payday loans
    • High interest credit card loans
    • Borrowing money to pay off other debts

    If you have any of these bad debts, it can be more beneficial to focus on repaying these first rather than overpaying your mortgage debt, if you have extra money.

    Should I overpay on my mortgage if I can afford to?

    If the current savings interest rates are low, and you have the spare money then it could be more beneficial to make additional payments on your mortgage instead of putting that money into savings.

    But, if you have bad debts then take a look at those first if you can. Or at least try to reduce them.

    Don't forget there are other ways to invest in your future, like adding any spare money into a retirement pot or a rainy day fund.

    Consider whether you can afford to make a regular monthly mortgage payment, or if it makes more sense to make a lump sum payment as and when you can.

    Living costs are continuing to rise and many peoples financial situations have changed over the last few years, so seek financial advice first if you are unsure.

    Key Takeaways
    • By making mortgage overpayments you can potentially pay less money, pay off your mortgage earlier and save money when you come to remortgage by having a better loan-to-value (LTV).
    • It can vary by lender, but most banks will allow up to 10% of the outstanding mortgage balance to be paid off each year.
    • Extra payments can be paid by increasing your direct debit to make monthly overpayments, or by making a lump sum overpayment.
    • There may be other alternatives to make extra payments too, rather than to just your mortgage. Consider paying off bad debts first, adding to your pension pot, savings or investing instead.
    Read more
  • How to Calculate the ROI on a Rental Property
    Posted on 8 December 2022

    How to Calculate the ROI on a Rental Property

    So, What is Return on Investment (ROI)?

    The ROI measures how profitable or efficient an investment is and it can be used to compare a number of different investments. ROI can be used to calculate the profitability of bonds, investment stocks, savings accounts or buy-to-let property, amongst others.

    Calculating ROI on a buy-to-let property can prove more difficult as there can be many external variables, especially when it comes down to how an investor is paying for the property.

    To break it down, return on investment (or ROI) will basically tell you how much money you will make or lose on an investment.

    It will help to identify whether that investment is worthwhile.

    The Importance of ROI for the Rental Market

    Before you start investing, no matter which area you decide to invest in, you first have to do calculations to ensure that it is profitable.

    Ultimately, you don't want to lose money.

    If you are lending money from a bank, they will want to see that you have done your research and it is a worthwhile investment. Calculating the ROI will help you to become a more informed investor.

    Firstly, consider the following points:

    • How much is the property?
    • What is the monthly rent for this type of property in the area?
    • Will you have to make any improvements to the property?
    • What are the monthly outgoings for the property? (e.g. monthly mortgage payments, bills)
    • Will you be instructing a letting agent to manage the property?

    Once you have established those factors, you can determine the potential return from your investment. It can also help you calculate the point a property will become profitable if you have had to make a large investment, to begin with.

    The ROI can be the make or break of whether you invest in a property or not, so don't leave your calculations too late!

    Calculating ROI on Rental Properties

    ROI is a profitability ratio. This is why it is often represented in percentage terms, which can seem quite daunting to calculate at first.

    To calculate what the ROI is as a percentage, firstly you need to calculate what your annual rent income is. This is after mortgage payments, any bills, operating expenses, management fees, repairs etc.

    Then, divide that number by the amount of cash that was used for the investment. This would be classed as a deposit and not the mortgage amount, if you have undertaken finance.

    Finally, multiply by 100 to get the ROI percentage, and there you have the final figure.

    To break it down, the simplest way to calculate the ROI on a buy-to-let property is to:
    1. Calculate your annual rent income after an expenditure
    2. Divide that by the amount of cash invested in the property.
    3. Multiply by 100.
    If you would like to calculate the profit on an investment as an amount instead of a percentage, you need to take the total return on the investment and then subtract the cost of the investment.

    Calculating ROI with a Mortgage

    You may be in the lucky position to choose whether you buy your rental property in cash or take out a mortgage on the property. If you decide to go down the finance route, you usually need a 25% deposit as a minimum.

    If you decided to buy a property that was worth £100,000 and you chose to buy a property using a mortgage, you would likely put down a 25% deposit of £25,000.

    Using those figures, the calculations may look a little like this:

    Annual rent: £6,300
    Annual costs: £3,500
    Net annual profit : £2,800
    Purchase price: £100,000
    Mortgage used: £75,000
    Cash invested: £25,000

    ROI is the net annual profit of (£2800) divided by your cash invested (£25,000) x 100 = 11.2%

    Calculating ROI for a Cash Transaction

    If the property was bought in cash, the ROI can be calculated for the same figures of buying a property for £100,000.

    Annual rent: £6,300
    Annual costs without a mortgage: £1,000
    Net annual profit: £5,300
    Purchase price: £100,000
    Mortgage used: £0
    Cash invested: £100,000

    ROI is now net annual profit of (£5,300) divided by your cash invested (£100,000) x 100 = 5.3%

    As you can see, the ROI is far higher when taking out a mortgage (11.2%) compared with buying with cash (5.3%).

    Although it can be great to buy a property in cash, you could also use that same amount to buy several investment properties.

    What is Classed as a Good ROI for Landlords?

    As demonstrated in the above example, the ROI can dramatically change depending on the way that the property was bought.

    Both examples had great ROIs and were both creating a profitable return and positive ROI, but which one you choose can depend on your future goals.

    If you would rather have a higher ROI by taking out a mortgage on the property, you can use any extra capital to invest in additional properties.

    You will have a higher amount of borrowing that can incur it's own risks, but to counter this, the ROI will be at a higher rate.

    However, by paying for the property in cash then you will have a lower ROI, but if it's a long term investment then you may prefer this. You aren't at risk of being affected by rising interest rates or affordability and credit checks by going down the cash-only route.

    What ROI Should I Aim for?

    If you do not have an excess amount of cash, and you know you will have to undertake finance, you may be calculating the ROI purely to see if the property is a good investment or not.

    So the question is, what rental ROI should you aim to achieve?

    According to NatWest, a reasonable amount of rental yield is between 6% and 8%, but depending where you are in the country, the amounts can be higher or lower.

    Sometimes the rental yield is lower in areas where the house price growth is much higher, like in London and it's surrounding areas. This is due to the demand to buy being high and pushing up house prices, but rent is not increasing as quickly.

    Keep in mind that with a fully-managed letting agent, you do not have to search for investment opportunities in the area that you live in because you can instruct a property management company to look after the property on your behalf.

    This is also the best option if you are looking for a passive income, so it is worth considering adding a management fee into your monthly cash flow calculations.

    Things to Keep in Mind

    As much as you can try to plan for every worse-case scenario and factor in interest rises. There are always things that you cannot predict.

    Take the last several years as an example, the economy had changed in ways that we would never have expected.

    Also, factor in other buying costs when it comes to calculating how profitable your investment is.

    Keep in mind various additional costs such as:

    • Stamp Duty charges
    • Refurbishment costs
    • Mortgage arrangement fees
    • Decorating
    • Maintenance and repairs
    • Income tax
    • Periods with no tenant that can affect rental income

    These are all extra costs to consider that may be irregular and will not be factored into your monthly or annual expenses, but still need to be calculated when assessing how profitable an investment is.

    Key Takeaways

    • ROI (Return on Investment) is a performance measurement that calculates how profitable an investment is as a percentage figure.
    • To calculate the ROI, you need to work out your annual income after expenditure, divide that amount by the amount of cash invested in the property and finally, multiply by 100.
    • The ROI calculation works for both mortgage purchases and buying in cash, just adjust the monthly expenditure and cash investment.
    • Factor in variable costs into ROI, such as repair costs in addition to regular costs.

    What's Next?

    If you are in the process of looking for your next investment property, why not take a look at our website for the latest properties up for sale?

    If you are currently a landlord, or want some information on the property management services that we offer, get in touch for more information.
    Read more
  • 7 Things You Need to Know Before Buying an Investment Property
    Posted on 1 December 2022

    7 Things You Need to Know Before Buying an Investment Property

    1. Understand the Market

    First things first, buy into an area that you understand. So that includes the location, the demographic and the type of property you choose, whether it is residential or commercial. Don’t worry though, these are all things you can learn if you do your research.

    To begin with, ask yourself; would I prefer a commercial letting with a longer term tenant, or am I more comfortable renting out residential homes to families, young professionals or perhaps students?

    From here, you can decide what type of property you would prefer to invest in. If you want to buy a commercial property, what type of property are you interested in? It could be light industrial, a retail property or an office block.

    If you want to buy a residential property, who will you target? Are you looking for a larger home for a family or HMO, or an apartment for a holiday let or young professional?

    Once you decide on that, you can narrow down the types of areas you can invest in. If you would like to rent out an apartment as a holiday let, take a look at areas that have a lot of tourism and lots of great places to visit.

    If you would like a retail property, are there any up-and-coming areas with investment in the high street? That could be a great place to pick up a bargain with room to grow.

    Once you have an idea of the type of property you would like and the target demographic, consider the following:

    • What is the job market like in that area?
    • Is there much demand to rent the types of properties you are interested in?
    • Are there many similar properties unable to find tenants in that area?
    • Does the area you are looking in suit your target market?
    Think about the bigger picture and put yourself in the tenant's shoes.

    For example, if you were looking to rent a property and had a young family, which areas would you look in and what are the schools like?

    You do not have to buy in the area you live in, many investors make this mistake when they first start their investment journey. Take a look at areas with a good rental yield and a high level of demand, then use a letting agency to manage the property on your behalf.

    In return, you can receive a higher return and less stress.

    2. Work Out Your Budget

    Searching for your first investment property can be exciting, but be careful not to get carried away. Here are a list of some of the costs that you will need to consider when buying your property:

    • Deposit - You will need a minimum deposit of 25% with most lenders, if you do not have this then it may be worth speaking to a specialist lender or looking for a cheaper property.
    • Stamp Duty - As a rule of thumb, you will pay the standard stamp duty plus a 3% surcharge.
    • Solicitors Fees - Shop around and ask for fees upfront, and make sure you are aware of any hidden costs.
    • Valuation
    • Property Survey
    • Legal Costs
    • Mortgage Arrangement Fees
    • Mortgage Broker - If you are deciding to use one.

    Once you have bought your investment property, there are day-to-day charges that you will be required to pay, which can involve the following:

    • Mortgage interest costs
    • Letting agent fees
    • Landlords insurance
    • Redecorating
    • Annual safety checks - gas safety, boiler checks etc.
    • General building maintenance and repairs

    3. Choosing a Location

    It is an exciting time to be buying an investment property and the property market in Northern Ireland is booming.

    You could buy an apartment in Belfast, or perhaps a house in Bangor or Donaghadee. You could even invest in a commercial property if you have the capital available.

    But, before you make any decisions, you have to do your research. Here are some of the things you need to think about when buying investment property:

    • Location matters - When choosing a location for your investment property, it’s important to take a look at the demand and supply in that area. If there are lots of people moving into an area but not enough properties for sale, then prices will increase in line with the demand for the properties.
    • Consider the resale value - If you want to sell your property at some point down the line, it’s important to consider this when buying a property too. It makes sense to invest in an area where properties sell quickly because this means there will be less pressure in the future when trying to sell your own property.
    • Up and coming areas - If there is an area that will be subject to a lot of regeneration and investment in the coming years, it makes sense to invest in this area before that happens. There is a good chance that the price of the property will increase and the demand for rental properties will too.
    The average price of a property in Northern Ireland is £169,000, which is 42.9% lower than the average price of a home in the rest of the UK which is £296,000.

    It makes sense to look further afield.

    4. Be Realistic About Rental Yields

    The idea of buying an investment property and earning a regular income sounds attractive, but before you rush out and buy your first rental property, it is important to consider what sort of yield you can realistically expect.

    The property market is very different depending on where you choose to buy. In some parts of the country, it may be difficult to find tenants or there could be high levels of employment.

    In these areas, the rental yield will be lower than others so it may not be possible to get the same amount of money back from your investment as you would like. It is important to research the area and find out the average rental yield before buying an investment property.

    Take a look at websites such as PropertyPal to get an idea of what different properties in different areas are being marketed at. Speak to your local estate agent to gain a realistic understanding of what you could achieve and how high the demand is for different types of properties in Northern Ireland.

    5. Property Maintenance

    One of the factors to consider when buying an investment property is whether you will be managing the property yourself or instructing a letting agent to do so on your behalf.

    If you decide to use a letting agent to manage your property, these are some of the benefits of a fully-managed property service:
    • Marketing the property - Letting agents will advertise the property on your behalf on their own website, in their shops and on websites such as PropertyPal.
    • Vetting and referencing - A letting agent will handle the applications of prospective tenants and narrow down a list of suitable tenants.
    • Catalogue of tenants - A good letting agent will normally have a list of prospective tenants who have registered their interest, so finding someone quickly may not be an issue and avoids properties being sat empty.
    • Up-to-date with legalities - This means that the property will be compliant with the legislation before a tenant moves in, and they will keep you informed of any changes so that you don’t have to.
    • No need to worry about contracts - Another thing that your letting agent can take care of, along with taking photographic evidence of the inventory prior to a tenant moving in. Letting agents also have plenty of experience handling end-of-tenancy disputes.
    • Property issues are fixed on your behalf - Letting agents have contracted professionals to handle any repairs or property issues so that you don’t have to.
    A fully-managed property service is an added cost that will have to be considered if you decide to go down this route, but it will free up more of your time and reduce a lot of stress that comes with owning investment properties.

    Take a look at our full list of the Benefits of Using a Letting Agent to Manage Your Buy-To-Let Property.

    6. Mortgage Fees and Taxes

    When buying an investment property, you will need to take into account the minimum 25% deposit required by the lender into your affordability. The mortgage itself can incur fees that often cannot be included in the mortgage term.

    If you are planning to use a mortgage broker to help you find the best deal on a mortgage, make sure you include their fees in your budget calculations.

    You will also need to factor in other buying costs, such as stamp duty (or land tax) which is paid when buying a property. The amount of stamp duty payable depends on the purchase price of your property, you can read our full guide with the up-to-date changes here.

    There is also the cost of a solicitor or licensed conveyancer to conduct the legal work involved in buying a property. Always find out the fees upfront before asking for any work to be completed, and it is a good idea to shop around for three quotes.

    Don’t forget to factor in insurance too, there are specialist landlord insurance policies that typically cover buildings insurance, and can sometimes include contents insurance and public liability insurance too.

    You may decide to take out Landlords Emergency Cover too, which can help recoup costs of repair charges and expensive out-of-hours callouts.

    7. The Cost of the Property Being Vacant

    There are certain costs that can incur that you may not be aware of when you have an empty property, these can include:

    • Council tax - With no tenant in place and no one living in the property, you are liable for council tax on the property. Depending on the area that you live can depend on the amount it will cost and if there are any discounts, but it can also incur an extra charge if the property is empty for too long.
    • Vacant property insurance - If a property is empty for too long, often over 30 days, it can make your insurance void depending on the type of insurance you have opted for. Make sure this is something that you look out for when choosing your insurance policy.
    • Mortgage costs - This is not an extra charge, but without the rental income, you’ll still be liable for paying the mortgage and any bills on the property whilst there is no tenant.


    If you plan carefully and spend wisely then buying buy-to-let properties in Northern Ireland can be a fantastic way to build your property portfolio. By instructing a letting agent to manage your property, you yourself can be located anywhere in the world.

    If you are still in the early stages of your investment journey, why not speak to a member of our friendly and experienced team for advice? Give us a call on 028 9065 3333 or send us an email with your query.
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  • The Ultimate Guide to Finding your Next Investment Property in Northern Ireland
    Posted on 17 November 2022

    The Ultimate Guide to Finding your Next Investment Property in Northern Ireland

    1. What Kind of Investment are you Looking for?

    Do you want a property that will just sit there and collect rent? Or would you rather have a property that will provide an income stream for years? Do you want something with good cash flow but will require work from time to time? Or do you just want something that provides passive income?

    Once you have decided on this, it will help you determine what type of property to purchase and whether a fully-managed letting service is for you.

    2. What’s your Budget?

    How much can you spend on an investment property? It is extremely important to factor this in at the beginning of your investment journey.

    Your budget will determine the type of home and the areas that will be best to invest in. It is best to talk to an experienced letting agent in the area to help you get the best investment from your budget.

    3. What Purchasing Costs are Involved?

    There are a number of set-up costs involved when buying an investment property, and it is important to factor these in. These are the main costs to consider when buying an investment property:

    • Deposit - Most lenders require a minimum deposit of 25%, but you may decide to put down a larger amount to get a better interest rate on your mortgage.
    • Stamp Duty Charges - The Stamp Duty charges have changed in September 2022, read our guide to find out the new costs incurred.
    • Legal and Conveyancing Fees
    • Mortgage and Valuation Costs
    • Renovation Costs

    If you are deciding to offer your buy-to-let property as a fully-furnished property to renters, you may also have to factor in buying furniture.

    4. What’s your Timeline?

    How much time are you willing to invest in your property? You will need to keep up with the property and make any needed repairs, so if you don't have the time or inclination for this type of maintenance then consider hiring a property manager.

    However, some investors prefer doing all of the work themselves because it can help them keep outgoings lower, but don’t forget that your time is an asset too.

    5. Can you Afford to Manage the Property?

    When you buy a property, whether as an investment or otherwise, there are many expenses involved. From paying for maintenance and repairs, to taxes and insurance, there's no denying that owning a home can be expensive.

    If you're going to buy an investment property in Northern Ireland (or anywhere else), make sure that you'll have enough money set aside to cover those costs before making an offer.

    6. What are your Goals?

    Are you looking for a long-term investment or just something that will provide income from time-to-time? If you're looking for something passive, consider investing in a property that has good cash flow and can be rented out easily.

    Before you invest in anything, it's important to have a plan. You want to be sure that the investment will pay off and that you won't lose money on it. If you're not sure what kind of property would work best for you, consider consulting with an estate agent or financial advisor who can help steer you in the right direction.

    7. Will this Property Generate Positive Cash Flow?

    A property that generates positive cash flow means that the rental income from the property is greater than the amount of money you have to pay off your mortgage and other expenses.

    Depending on which area in Northern Ireland that you choose to invest in, you may want to invest in a family home in a great school catchment area or an
    apartment in the bustling city of Belfast. This largely depends on your goals, we advise discussing these with an experienced, local letting agent.

    8. Is there Room for Future Appreciation?

    The best way to determine if your investment will be worth it is by looking at the current market value of similar properties in the area. If you can find comparable homes that have increased in price over time, then this could be a good indication that your property will also increase in value.

    Ask your local estate agent for information on the up-and-coming areas within Northern Ireland. This is the best way to get insider knowledge on the best areas to invest in and which are more likely to increase in value over time.

    9. How Much Time Do I Have to Fix Up and Sell the Property?

    This is another important question to ask before purchasing a rental property because it can help you determine whether or not this investment will be profitable for you. If you need to put in a lot of work fixing up the house so that it becomes presentable for tenants, then this could take up your valuable time and cause delays in getting a tenant signed.

    This could also mean that you will have to pay for repairs and renovations out of pocket. If you don’t have a lot of time to fix up the property before getting tenants in, then this could be another reason why rental properties are not a good investment for you.

    What’s Next?

    If you still have any questions or want to take on the next steps on your investment journey, our friendly and experienced staff are always willing to help. Why not give us a call on 028 9065 3333, or check out some of the properties we have up for sale at the moment?
    Read more
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