• Downsizing releases time and capital

    A recent ‘industry insider’ produced some startling figures about downsizing and the property market. The gist of the story was that if the Over-65s all downsized they could release £1.34 trillion of capital and increase housing stocks by 4.2 million houses. We are not sure how those figures stack up but it did get us thinking.

    As the saying goes, 50 is the new 40 – although try telling that to a Speed Camera – and many people don’t want to ‘move on’ just because they’ve reached a predetermined age. However, for some people it could be something to consider.

    As we agents are oft heard to say “your property could be worth more than you think”. This can be more pertinent to those over 60. They have often been in the house many years and usually it was the family home and so is large and therefore generally worth more.

    But the word downsizing can have negative connotations; it feels like you’re coming to the end of your days and that you’re ready for pipe and slippers when in actual fact for many downsizing that isn’t the case at all. For many it brings a new lease of life, with new horizons and new directions.

    We’ve known people who have downsized and used the capital they have released to buy a small property overseas so they can spend winters in the sun. Or some have invested in a motorhome and travelled round Europe.

    It also doesn’t mean that you have to move from a 6 bed detached to a one bed studio apartment – although that maybe the perfect solution for some. Even something as simple as considering another area in the town could see you in a house not much smaller, so still room for the family to come and stay, yet still releasing capital.

    The age of the property could also be a factor. You maybe in a Period or character property which often hold more value than a similarly sized ‘new build’ house. So if you are in that position you could consider moving to something of similar size and still releasing equity.

    That brings us on neatly to our other point that you can save time. No matter what house or who you are, houses take time to look after. The bigger and/or older the house, often the more time they take. They can often cost more for ‘like for like’ repairs as well, as old things often have to be replaced not repaired.

    Simply moving to a new or newer house can cut down on the time you spend on the house, to give you more time to get out of the house. You could go the whole hog and moved to serviced apartments where most of it is done for you – though there’s usually a cost to that.

    If you change the word downsizing for restructuring – a favoured word from the business world when they are downsizing to release more capital – then it can make sense for an awful lot of people, regardless of their circumstances.

    If this has made you think then why not give us a call to chat through your options. Not only can we give you a free market appraisal of your house and value but as one of the leading agents in Rochdale we are well placed to give you best advice about your moving options.

    Call us now and speak with Jason and you could be spending winters in the sun sooner than you think.

  • 9 things you’ll need to secure a mortgage

    Following on from our last post on getting your first home and the steps you need to take we thought we’d flesh out what you need to get your mortgage. After all the mortgage for most people is the most important step in getting their new home.

    In short you will need the following things but nothing is simple or simply put when applying for a mortgage so hopefully this will help you cut through some of the jargon.

    Three month’s payslips

    P60 from previous tax year

    Three Month’s Bank Statements

    Proof of address

    Proof of your identity

    Proof of deposit

    Any outstanding credit cards or loans

    Other sources of Income

    Self-Employed accounts

    Getting a mortgage is not difficult but it appears that all lenders like to make the process as complicated as they can. Not sure why, maybe it deters ‘tyre kickers’ who are not really serious. Maybe it makes the whole process seem more ‘legal’ so you will take it seriously. It does often mean that you can feel bewildered and confused and willing to sign up to anything to stop the avalanche of paper.

    And that is the clue to the whole process, paper, at least paperwork and more importantly the correct paperwork. Going in prepared not only speeds up the process but also shows you’re serious and ready to move.

    If you have all your ducks in a row before you start you will keep the process moving along, you may even speed it up and that all adds up to less stress for you. The following few points will help you get your ducks and put them in the correct, mortgage lender, friendly rows.

    Pay slips for the previous three months

    Most people hold on to their payslips – if you don’t it can really slow down your application. Without them you can’t show that you are getting regular income. If you haven’t got the last three months payslips you can often get copies from your employers. If you have most of the slips for the last 12 months, even if you are missing ‘last month’s’ having so many others should still support your application. It’s still worth getting copies for any missing slips. The more slips you have may also help illustrate that you get a regular six month bonus or similar.

    We also know that many people now only get an electronic payslip, each lender will have their own way of dealing with this; some will accept copies being emailed others want a print out. Either way it is still important to keep at least three previous payslips.

    If you are self-employed you are probably thinking ‘this doesn’t apply to me!’ unless of course your company is Limited in which case you will have payslips. There’s a paragraph further down which does offer some advice for self-employed but as ever, it’s best to get professional advice from your accountant before you start looking for a mortgage.

    P60 from last year

    This is another of those ‘must keep’ pieces of paper, its another official way lenders can work out your income as it shows your previous earning from the previous tax year. This will definitely show any bonuses or other income generated from outside your current employment. If you have more than one year all the better.

    Again, as with payslips, if you have lost them either your employer or your local tax office should be able to furnish you with copies. Definitely worth getting.

    Bank Statements for the previous three months

    You might be getting a hint of the fact that lenders need hard proof of your income, your bank statements can really help, especially if you have income from savings, pensions or other sources. Lenders love bank statements and it’s worth noting they only love the real thing or authenticated copies. This means if you have joined the paperless world that is online banking most lenders won’t be happy with you just downloading a .csv file of your statements. Again, check with the your lender but they may need print outs that are authenticated in an acceptable way.

    If your lender does accept downloads or print outs from online files don’t miss off any columns, even if you feel the data has absolutely nothing of value, lenders hate missing bits, they become suspicious. Don’t forget to print out statements from any savings accounts you have at the same time.

    This also means don’t miss off any date lines on the files. Don’t think it won’t matter that your printer has chopped off the last three days of March and it goes straight to April. Your lender will think something they should know about and you’re hiding, happened in those three days.

    Proof of address

    Your lender is going to want proof of your current address and it’s trickier than it seems. The simplest way is to provide them with Utility bills, however they will also take a printed bank statement – not one you have printed out – or your Council Tax bill. Some lenders will not countenance a bill from a mobile supplier or from any financial other than bank statement, so loan agreements are often not acceptable.

    As with bank statements in the point before, if you haven’t got any, your utility suppliers may be able to supply with verified copies. However, if you are just starting this house buying process start keeping all these bits of paper in a file.

    Proof of identity

    You’d think this would be easy, you could go in with your Mum and she’d say ‘Yep, that’s him, I’d know him anywhere’ would be OK right? Not so. Once again you’ll need the correct paperwork.

    The usual document for this is a passport, no photocopies or snaps taken with your phone but the real thing. If you don’t have a passport then you will have to ask your lender what else they will take as evidence. Many will accept a photo-card driving licence but don’t assume, ask them.

    Proof of the deposit

    This is where you prove to the lender that you have the money for your deposit. The deposit is the difference between how much you have agreed to to pay for the property and the amount the lender is willing to lend. As with other ‘proofs’ required, a statement from Bank or Building Society [or similar] will be fine.

    If you are using several sources to get the deposit together you will need proof of all of them. This means if your parents have had a savings account for this very purpose or a policy which will mature, then they will need to provide evidence as well. They will also have to assure the lenders that they will have no share in the property going forward and that this isn’t a loan. See next point for why it can’t be a loan.

    Any other finance

    The lender will want to see all details of outstanding loans or finance and credit cards you have. It pays to be honest here because you will have provided bank statements which will show the money leaving your account and it will also show on your credit score. Taking the original agreement is always useful as it will show the term of the agreement. If you have two payments going out, both for £1000 loans you took out, they may reduce your credit score enough to stop you getting a mortgage. If however, you can show that both only have one more payment each then your lender may take a view on the mortgage.
    The lender will perform a credit score check on you so it’s worth registering with one of the online services beforehand to get an idea of your credit score. There are many things which can effect it, some, like registering to vote are simple ways to increase the credit score and make your application more favourable.

    The following are three of the more popular credit score services in the UK




    Any other income

    This could effect your application if not declared. The lender is looking for; Government benefits, income from interest earned, second jobs. If you are self-employed you will have to provide certain tax documentation, even if this is a second income. Your accountant should be able to help and advise.


    Last point and often a very tricky position to try and get any finance. Self-employed are seen as much higher risk as their income isn’t ‘guaranteed’ so quite often they have to go through more ‘hoops’.

    It is also harder to provide the documentation – such as P60 – that employed people can; especially hard if you are a sole trader. If you are a director of your own limited company then you will be able to provide pay slips. If you are director of a limited company you don’t own but have more than 20% stake [shares] then you will be treated as self-employed.

    You should already have a fully qualified accountant – a book keeper, however good, is not suitable – and they will need to help you get at least three years of certified accounts ready to present.

    Preparation is the key if you are self-employed, speak with your lender before you begin the process to see what paperwork they require then pass this to your accountant so there will be no delays in your application.

    In fact, preparation, is a good piece of advice to end this on. Whilst all this may seem daunting if you keep all the paperwork you need you will help your application. As well as keeping it moving forward it will also show that you are sensible, organised individual with quantifiable income. These points will go along way in your favour with your application

  • 8 simple steps to buying your first home.

    Our simple steps to buying your first home, hopefully helping you to demystify the process and help you feel more in control.

    Being a first time buyer can be daunting, feeling like you don’t know the processes involved mixed with a mass of emotions and excitement at getting on the first rung of the property ladder.

    If this sounds like you now or soon to be then we have put together this short piece to outline the steps and the basics you need to do.

    Follow this advice and buying your first home will be as stress free as can be and we will have you looking forward to your new home.

    Estate agents

    When buying your first home you can’t choose your agency, you’re stuck with whichever agency the vendor has chosen. However there are things you can do to help the buying process. Get to know the area’s estate agencies. Call in, say ‘Hi’ and give them a run down of what your ideal home would be, you never know to whom they have just spoken.

    Estate agencies get lots of enquiries from prospective vendors checking out if they’re the right agency to sell with. They maybe trying to sell the the exact house of your dreams, a fact no one would know if you hadn’t gone in to chat.

    It also means that they can point you at suitable properties already on their books. A good agent can also talk with you about your dream home and tailor your expectations. You may have your heart set on a 6 bed detached property with pool in Bamford for £30,000, the agent has the best knowledge to help you avoid disappointment.

    Equally they may point you at an area you hadn’t considered because the properties are on budget and there are many of the type you require.

    And don’t feel, because you are new at this, that you are wasting their time, this is what they do and they know that if they make a good impression on you and maybe when you come to trade up your house you will look to them to sell it.


    In the current climate very few first time buyers are cash buyers so you’re probably going to need a mortgage. You will need to get your mortgage offer, at least in principle [usually up to a maximum the lender will offer], before you start looking and certainly before putting in an offer on a property. You can put an offer on a property without having a mortgage in place but having a mortgage offer always smooths the process and if you end up in a ‘bidding war’ with another buyer, having a mortgage in place may swing it in your favour.

    You will also need to provide documentation and information about your financial situation, including outgoings, spending habits and dependants. For a full list of what you need to get your mortgage with the minimum fuss click here.

    We can help you with a mortgage here at Reside, so always worth calling in for a chat for advice as well as registering your interest in looking for a property.

    Time to make an offer

    So now that you have found that your special place its time to make an offer. You don’t have to offer the asking price so it’s time to do a little research if you can. What have similar properties gone for? How is the market at present? has the house been on the market for a while? Using this information you can judge whether you are going to offer the asking price to ensure you get it or put a cheeky offer in at first?

    Once you put the offer to the agent they are legally required to put the offer to the vendor in writing. However in practice, before they do this they will often call the vendor to get a speedier response. Hopefully the vendor will accept your cheeky offer and take the property off the market.

    Of course the friendly, professional team at Reside will help guide you through the process, we are here to make it easy for people to buy and sell houses.

    Your offer is accepted!!

    Yay! You can relax now, from here on in it is mainly procedural and an awful lot of paperwork. For the best reasons acquiring a house is a very legal process. You are dealing with large amounts of money – for both parties – it is probably the largest single purchase anyone of us will make, so care is necessary.

    It’s not just having an offer accepted then heading off to IKEA, you have to deal with deeds and the mortgage and lots of other stuff. Here is the point where we recommend you use another professional and instruct a solicitor. They can represent you throughout the process, deal with legalities and often help you avoid any pitfalls.

    Legal stuff

    Get a solicitor. When buying your first home there will be a pile of legal paperwork and the best advice is to leave it to the legal professionals. You still need to check contracts and the like before you sign. However, you should be safe in the knowledge that from a legal standpoint your solicitor has done everything to protect you and your interests.

    Your solicitor is going to check for claims on the house, other building plans etc that may effect your quality of life or future value of your property.

    Get a survey

    There are three types of survey and you will be required as a condition of your mortgage to get one of them. Which you choose is usually down to your choice and the type and age of the property you are buying.

    The three types are: Condition report, Homebuyer report and Building/Structural survey. They go up in cost and detail of the report. Often people buying a new or nearly new home opt for the Condition report and those buying an older or less standard home invest in the Building/Structural survey.

    One thing the second and third reports do is possibly give you some leverage on price with the vendor. If they pull up work that will need doing you can use that as a bargaining point to get the value of the house reduced to cover the future costs. However the main reason is to highlight any problems or failings with the property either current or will cause a problem in the near future.

    Exchange contracts

    Your surveyor and solicitor will tell you when they have completed what they need to this point and that you are okay to go ahead and sign and exchange contract. You will be asked for a deposit at this point, often 10-20% of the agreed price.

    This means that both parties are locked into the sale at this point. If either party now backs out you could lose your deposit and you will still have to pay the professional services fees owed to your solicitor and surveyor.


    And it’s all over! You have completed, you have the keys, you have the deeds, the property is yours, you’ve successfully navigate buying your first home! However, there will still be more fees to pay; solicitors, conveyancing, stamp duty [a British Government tax on property] will all need paying and are usually arranged by your solicitor.

    You will also need to have paid the remaining balance of the property – the difference between your deposit and the final agreed price – which again should be organised between your legal people and the mortgage lender.

    Move in!

    Now the fun starts!


    If you’re looking for buying your first home please call in for a chat and a coffee or click here to see the new properties we have listed.