In The News This Week
Consumer journalist Rebecca Gamble brings you the top stories homeowners, home buyers and sellers need to know about from across this week's news outlets...
May 16, 2019
Seen a house you like but it’s not for sale? “Knock for Sale” offers to tempt owners into selling with a £5 card through the door – Daily Mail
If the dream home you would love to buy isn’t on the market, a new company may help you secure it anyway, reports the Daily Mail.
Knock for Sale allows potential buyers to send a card to the property’s owners indicating they’d like to buy it, even if it’s not for sale. Cards cost £5 each.
While critics argue potential buyers could post a note through the door themselves (quite!), the company says it adds an extra level of security and professionalism to the process that may encourage potential sellers. Check out our guide to finding the perfect property
NatWest completes 100,000 paperless mortgages – YourMoney.com
More than 100,000 borrowers have used NatWest’s paperless mortgage application process, reports YourMoney.com.
The service launched in 2017 and allows users to securely share and verify documents online.
NatWest is also working with fintech business Instant Property Network to see how blockchain technology can be used to speed up the conveyancing process, YourMoney.com reports. It hopes this could improve transparency and save time and money for both buyers and vendors. Let’s hope this makes the home buying and selling process quicker and easier for everyone. In the meantime, our guide to making a successful mortgage application may help.
Interest-only mortgages are back – The Times
There are nearly 200 interest-only mortgages on the market today, double the number six years ago, reports The Times.
The number of interest-only mortgages had plummeted following rule changes after the financial crash of 2008. But they are now making a comeback.
Most lenders will now accept the sale of the mortgaged property and or cash savings as methods of repayment, according to the article. Income requirements have also been relaxed.
“The people who take out this mortgage often don’t want to commit to repayments each month when they have other investments,” says David Hollingworth, the associate director at London & Country mortgages. “Some may feel that they can get higher returns in alternative investments, which can be used to pay off the mortgage.”
Broadband and phone firms compelled to tell customers about the best deals under new rules – Moneywise
Some good news for consumers! Under new rules, broadband, phone and TV companies will have to tell customers when their contract is coming to an end and show them the best deals available, reports Moneywise.
Ofcom says that more than 20 million people who pay a “loyalty penalty” once their initial contract has expired could benefit by switching provider or agreeing a new deal with their existing one.
Telecoms and pay-TV companies will need to warn customers between 10 and 40 days before the end of their contract.
Companies will start sending out notifications from 15 February next year. In the meantime you can find the best broadband package and providers here.
When will you be mortgage free? Here’s how much you should have paid off in your 30s, 40s and 50s – Daily Telegraph
Research by Royal London has shown how much of their mortgage homeowners have typically paid off by age group, reports The Daily Telegraph.
The study found those aged 25 and under typically owned a 10-15% share in their home, growing to between a 15-25% stake after the age of 26.
By the time homeowners reach their 30s they’ll typically own more than a quarter of their property, it says. This rises to half as they enter their 40s.
However, it’s not until the age of 56 that most people start to achieve mortgage freedom – when the typical amount outstanding hits the 0-30% range. In 2007, the equivalent age was 51 years old.
Read out guide on how to live mortgage free