Smart Spending and Smart Saving Tips
Selling your home
LETSBUYAHOUSE2GETHER gives young co-buyers their first step onto the UK property ladder A youth-orientated property co-buying website, Letsbuyahouse2gether.co.uk is being launched by Bath-based mother of two Annette Martin to help young people and first-time buyers make that difficult first step on to the UK property ladder.
With almost a third of mortgage applicants turned down between March and October 2007 because of the recent ‘credit crunch’, first-time buyers are facing difficult territory on their own and the idea of co-buying is especially attractive. Annette Martin came up with the idea for Letsbuyahouse2gether because her son didn’t have sufficient funds to make an offer on a property. As he was renting a house with a group of peers, Ms Martin thought: “Why shouldn’t they invest in a property together and pay the mortgage?”
She says: “Young people can’t really lose out by co-buying. There’s not much difference between paying rent and a mortgage – except that the mortgage often costs less per month when spread between multiple people. And the big benefit is that you own a property, rather than just pouring money down the drain on rent and funding the activities of a landlord.” She adds: “Many youngsters are responsible enough to pay a mortgage, so why not buy together and sell the property in a few years' time at a profit? The resulting equity can then be used so that each individual can make their next step up the ladder.”
Annette has teamed up with web designer James Burfield to create a website that matches co-buyers nationwide. The duo is also working with Mogers Solicitors, who are dealing with legal questions buyers may need to ask. Meanwhile, Bath Building Society is advising co-buyers on mortgages and on how to start an application.
Annette says: “We’re hoping that Letsbuyahouse2gether will give young people the necessary courage to take the plunge. Many co-buyers may be able to secure a property locally, near their parents and friends, instead of being forced to move to cheaper and less desirable areas.”
Letsbuyahouse2gether is also suitable for couples and divorcees, who may wish to team up in a strategic co-buy. The site hopes to match-make people who are seeking the same type of property in a particular geographic area and then ‘hold their hand’ throughout the whole process.
Stuck for a mortgage lender? Lots of people assume that one lender is as good as the next, and make the big mistake of simply asking their bank or building society for a loan. I always say, check the 'best rates' section at the backs of the weekend money sections of any good newspaper, and you'll get an instant list of who is cheapest. Or try a few of the big money websites such as moneysupermarket or uswitch - look at several, not just one site, for a good overview of what's available.
At a time when we, all the taxpayers of Britain, seem to have lent Northern Rock Building Society over £700 per person to keep it afloat, I was pleased to receive news of the tiny Stafford Railway Building Society, SRBS. Check out its award-winning 'no hidden extras' mortgage, if you are coming out of a fixed rate deal. (I am not a financial adviser, by the way - I am merely passing you this information as it appeals to me, as often, people forget smaller building societies which don't spend money on TV campaigns.)
Chief Executive Mike Heenan says:
" Unlike other lenders, SRBS does not purchase loans from other lenders, repackage or sell existing loans to other lenders to raise funds. Our responsible, personal service includes the individual underwriting of each mortgage application and I believe is one of the reasons why people choose to lend with us."
Stafford Railway Building Society came top of the 2006 Moneyfacts Single Variable Rate Mortgage survey, beating all the big names. * For the past four years (2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007), Stafford Railway Building Society has won the What Mortgage Awards Lender of the Year award. The building society outperformed over 100 other national lenders, including First Direct, Egg and Halifax, to take the overall number one spot.
Credit cards/identity theft
Identity Theft is the hot topic at the moment. And with good reason: it can have a devastating effect on your life. In a bid to prevent my personal details from being abused I have been testing a shredder from Woolworths. Its cheap and cheerful but I can highly recommend it. Woolworths Strip Cut Shredder, with waste basket, £14.99. Stockist tel no: 01706 862789. If you have any tips to share about identity theft or top shredders please send them to
© Copyright Jane Furnival 2007, 2008