Every Thursday I co-host the LBC Property Hour, sponsored by Direct Line, alongside Clive Bull and have a different guest each week. This week guest was Lynda Clark, editor of First Time Buyer Magazine.
In case you missed it, here are the Q&As and some more help and advice if any of these issues apply to you:
Q – I'm 47, would be it advisable to go into shared ownership?
A – Shared ownership is not restrictive from an age perspective and in fact there are some opportunities to buy into retirement too. The Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme also has no age limit and is not just for first time buyers, the advantage being you will only need a 5% deposit. For Shared Ownership you can purchase between 25% and 75% of the property. Clearly you will need an income for the mortgage and remember to take a look at the new government scheme. If you are saving up please make sure you put the money in a Help to Buy or Lifetime ISA.
For more on shared ownership? Read our shared ownership checklist.
Q – I bought a property recently and the previous owner did a sort of semi loft conversion. I started doing some work and talked to all the correct people. However, the inspector questioned the legality of the loft. I thought I had a survey done but it may just have been a mortgage valuation, what do I do?
A – Remember, a mortgage valuation isn't a survey and doesn't protect you. This is the sort of thing you'd like to think would have been picked up by legals. Talk to your legal company and explain the situation, it may not be a problem if it is not classed as a room.
Are you in need of a legal company? Here's how to choose one and to find out more about which survey you should have when buying a property, read our choosing a surveyor and type of survey checklist.
Q – I'm looking at the Help to Buy scheme and was wondering what is the best way to pay off the loan after the 5 years interest free?
A – Talk to you mortgage broker and an independent financial advisor and they will point you in the right direction.
If you want to find out more about how Help to Buy works, read our Help to Buy a new build checklist.
Q – I have a limited company and I'm a first time buyer, what are my chances of securing a mortgage?
A – If you've only had the company for a short amount of time it can be tricky as lenders like some security. Many will ask to see 2-3 years of accounts. It is worth chatting with a mortgage broker who specialising in helping secure financing for self-employed/business owners.
Here’s how to choose the right mortgage broker and mortgage: Read our checklist on securing the right mortgage.
Q – What happens when tenants stop paying rent?
A - This week on LBC's Property Hour, Nick Breton talks about rent arrears, what causes this problem, what protection there is and what to do when tenants stop paying.
Q – I bought into a shared ownership just under two years ago, 25% outright. There are four flats in the building and I was told they were all privately owned but it turns out that the flat below is owned by a different housing association that re-homes ex-prisoners. I have a young son and feel I should have been told, what can I do?
A – Who your neighbours are doesn’t tend to be picked up on any research for buying a home, so it’s often worth knocking on doors and introducing yourself, especially in flats and asking lots of questions. If you are nervous about who they are putting in the property, then it is worth talking to the housing association to see if they can reassure you - generally they will want to know about any issues and will be keen to retain happy neighbours.
Need information here on how to check your neighbours before you buy? Click here.
Q – I've had an interest only mortgage for 10 years and it's finishing in April, I'm not working and using my private pension to pay it, what can I expect to be offered by April?
A – The good news is mortgage companies are happy to lend to pensioners, but not every lender you approach will help you, so it is worth talking to a broker that has experience of lending to retirees in the future. Do this as soon as possible as it can takes months to find and secure a mortgage in the new post credit crunch world of finance.