Moving and need to sell a house fast?

Selling a house can be a long process. In Northern Ireland, the average time it takes to sell a property is 119 days, about three months, and for some sellers this is just too long.

If you need to move house, perhaps because you have a sale agreed on another property or you need to move city, or even country for a new job or to enjoy your retirement somewhere warm you can’t afford to wait three months to sell your existing home.

Moving can be a difficult enough process, especially if you’re going to live abroad, and having to handle a protracted sale at the same time is only going to make it more difficult.

We can help you get your home sold as quickly as possible, so you can move on with your life without the burden of an old property holding you back.

At Fast House Sale NI, we can agree an offer on your property within 24-48 hours and can complete the sale as quickly or as slowly as you like depending on your needs. Once we have made an offer it will remain valid for 28 days, so you have time to make your mind up, if you need to, and we never pressure you during that time.

Selling a house with us could also save you money. We typically buy properties for 80-85% of their market value. This might sound like you’re going to make a loss, but you will make important savings along the way.

If you sell your property through an estate agent, you will have to have a valuation, there will be solicitor’s fees, the estate agent will have to get their share and, of course, you will have to keep paying your mortgage until the sale is completed, however long that takes.

If you chose to sell your home with us, however, we provide a free valuation, consultation and we will pay up to £1000 of your solicitor’s costs. Selling your house to us is much cheaper than a conventional sale and you could save money on the mortgage as well.

We also offer much more discretion, than you will get with an estate agent. Privacy is important, especially during a difficult time, such as when you are going through a divorce. When dealing with us, there’s no need for a billboard outside your house. We won’t post pictures of your house online or in a shop window for everyone to look at. When you sell your house with Fast House Sale NI, we guarantee confidentiality.

So, if you’re in Northern Ireland and you need to sell your house quickly, call Fast House Sale NI now on 0844 846 8880 and we will make you an offer within 48 hours.

What is Negative Equity and why is it a problem?

Around the UK, many homeowners have found themselves trapped in negative equity since the property crash and recession ten years ago, but many people don’t know what negative equity is or how it can affect them and their finances.

Put very simply, ‘negative equity’ means that the value of something against which a loan was secured is now less than the outstanding balance. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, it is a term applied almost exclusively to property debt.

In the past, bricks and mortar were popularly seen as a safe investment, guaranteed to gain in value.Similarly, it was accepted that other things depreciated in value, often quite significantly. The market value of a car might drop by 20-30% as soon as it is driven out of the showroom. People understand this and factor this loss of value into their calculations whenever they decided to make an expensive purchase.

But property? That was different. Or, at least, so most people thought.

The recession which hit the UK in 2008 saw the value of many properties plummet. This left those who had taken out loans based on the pre-recession worth of their homes, with debts greater than the post-crash value of their property.

If, in 2006 to ‘07 when the British and Irish property booms were at their peaks, a buyer took a mortgage of £210,000 for a house, today valued at £140,000, they have a problem as selling their home will still leave them with a significant shortfall, which they will still have to pay back.

This is the main problem with negative equity, in addition to this significant loss, the amount raised from a sale at this stage would be insufficient to clear the outstanding debt to the bank of building society.

In the current climate those who have suffered are the borrowers who, in the days of ‘easy money’, took out loans of 90%-100% of the property’s value. From the outset, they were most at risk in the event of any fall in the value of property.

We can Help.

There are a number of possible solutions we can offer to resolve your property debt problems, depending on your circumstances, but for many of our clients a sale and settlement is the only solution to their problem.

We have successfully negotiated hundreds of cases every year where we have arranged the sale of our clients’ homes and reached an affordable debt settlement with the lender.

For other clients remortgaging might be their best option and, in some cases, we might pursue an individual voluntary arrangement, or IVA. This is a legal agreement between you and your lender and is suitable for people who have debts with multiple lenders.

Whatever your circumstances, the first step to dealing with your property debt is to contact Negative Equity UK for an initial free, no obligation consultation with one of our advisors.

Take a look at our reviews and call us on 0161 631 2727 or go to our website and arrange for us to call you at a time that suits you.

We offer solutions for unaffordable property debt.

At Negative Equity UK, when we meet our clients for the first time, they often tell us that they believe their situation is hopeless and they do not think there’s any way out of their debt situation. Many are worried that their debts will inevitable force them to go bankrupt.

There are, however, a range of solutions that can be pursued in order to deal with a property in negative equity. Once we have completed an initial consultation with our clients, we can begin to plan the best course of action for dealing with you problem debt.

Informal settlement.

For the majority of our clients, the best option available is usually a negotiated settlement with their lender. This involves the borrower selling the property and our team negotiating with the lender to write off as much of the shortfall from the sale as possible. This leaves our client with an agreed, affordable amount to repay either in instalments or as a single lump sum payment depending on what makes the most financial sense for them.

We often find that our clients are sceptical that a bank would agree to write down debt, but there are good reasons for them to do this. Repossessing a property and then paying someone to sell it for them is a long and expensive process for the bank and they rarely get the full market value for the house, so agreeing a settlement is often the best option for both parties.

An Individual Voluntary Arrangement.

An individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) is a legal agreement between you and your creditors. IVAs are a possible solution we would examine where a borrower owes money to multiple creditors.

Most types of debt can be included in an IVA, including mortgage debt, credit card debt, unpaid council tax or money owed to HMRC. An IVA might also be worth discussing if you own multiple properties with mortgages from different lenders, or you have unsecured debt from several creditors.

Once a settlement is agreed with your lenders it can be paid as a five year payment plan, known as a contribution IVA, or, if you can afford it, as a single lump sum.

Remortgage/restructure.

For most of our clients, it won’t be a good idea to try to resolve their debt problems by taking on more debt, in a few cases, however, it can be possible to deal with property debt by remortgaging.

While not suitable for everyone, restructuring your mortgage is an option that we might consider with clients who are struggling financially due to unexpected changes in their circumstances, such as a change in your work situation, if you have been made redundant, retired or had your hours reduced, or if your family is growing.We have successfully negotiated with many of our clients’ lenders to extend their mortgage term, allowing them to stay in the home they had worked so hard to secure.

What do our clients say?

One of our recent clients, Kerry, said this after we completed her case; “The service provided by Negative Equity was excellent. Despite all of my concerns and fears about the process they really went out of their way to provide excellent guidance and advice. They took their time explaining in detail the process, no question was left unanswered. My negative equity of £97,000 was reduced to £14,000 final payment. I can’t thank them enough.”

Contact Us Now.

We have successfully negotiated hundreds of cases every year where we have arranged the sale of our clients’ homes and reached an affordable debt settlement with the lender. Whatever the situation we will offer you a bespoke solution based on your own personal circumstances. The first step to dealing with your property debt is to contact Negative Equity UK for an initial free, no obligation consultation with one of our advisors.

Take a look at the rest of our reviews and call us on 0161 631 2727 or go to our website and arrange for us to call you at a time that suits you.

Universal Credit continuing to hit landlords’ finances.

The roll out of the government’s flagship benefit reform is causing financial difficulties for landlords as tenants receiving Universal Credit struggle to budget for rent and face delays in payments.

Universal Credit is intended to simplify the existing benefits system by consolidating a range of benefits, including housing benefit, into a single monthly payment. Previously housing benefit was paid directly to a renter’s landlord, but under the new system recipients are intended to be in control of their own money.

However, lengthy waiting times before an applicant can receive their first payment, administrative issues and problems budgeting for priority expenses, such as rent, has led to many people receiving Universal Credit falling into arrears.

According to the Residential Landlords Association, 38% of landlords with tenants receiving Universal Credit are owed rent, an increase of 10% on last year.

In an interview with the Guardian, one Croydon based landlord has revealed that she has been left with £9,500 in arrears after a tenant on Universal Credit was unable to keep up with their payments.

The landlord, who preferred not to be identified by her real name, said the council who arranged the tenancy had given her assurances that the rent would be covered by housing benefit. In January, however, the tenant was switched to Universal Credit and rent payments ceased.

Since then she has been unable to recover the arrears owed to her, leaving her £9,500 in debt.Richard Lambert, chief executive of the National Landlords Association, said; “Underlying all the problems with Universal Credit is the freeze on housing benefit rates, which means that the housing element of Universal Credit is simply insufficient for many tenants to be able to cover their rent.”

How can we help you?

At Landlord Debt Advisory, we offer bespoke solutions for landlords with problem debts. If you’re a landlord struggling with negative equity, under performing properties or the impact of recent tax changes such as Section 24, contact Landlord Debt Advisory for an initial free, no obligation consultation.

After we resolved his case, one of our recent clients said; “We contacted Landlord Debt Advisory as a buy to let property purchased in the housing boom left us with negative equity.“They dealt with our case very professionally and efficiently from start to finish. They had an in depth knowledge of what options were available to us and provided us with advice on the best option to take.

“They dealt directly with the lender and provided us with regular updates on the progress of the case. We got a great result in the end which has alleviated a lot of stress caused by being in negative equity.”

Check out our reviews and all us on 0161 222 4311, or go to our website and start the process of dealing with your debt.

At CD Fairfield, we recently sponsored Noireland, Ireland’s first three day crime fiction festival, organised by No Alibis independent bookshop.

We supported Noireland in organising a series of creative writing workshops with leading crime writers to develop a new generation of local authors and screenwriters.

With more than 2000 people attending the festival, organiser David Torrans, was pleased with how it went.

He said; “This was the first three day crime fiction festival in Ireland and it went very, very well. We had a full house for the opening event on the Friday, with more than 500 people. Over the weekend we had over 2000 people attend the festival.”

According to David, the festival wouldn’t have been as successful without the support from CD Fairfield.

“Without the support from CD Fairfield, we simply wouldn’t have had as complete or full a festival. CD Fairfield helped us to organise workshops so people could engage directly with leading crime fiction authors, helping to sow the seeds of future creativity.”

At CD Fairfield we’re pleased to have been able to support this great new addition to Belfast’s cultural calendar and to help aspiring new writers develop through the Noireland workshops.

Credit card debt spiralling out of control?

Northern Ireland has a serious debt problem. According to research by debt charity Step Change, the average amount of debt in Northern Ireland has now reached £14,367 and it’s growing.

Credit card debt is the most common form of unsecured debt people here are struggling with, with more than two thirds, 67.2%, of people who seek debt advice dealing with more than £8,000 in credit card debt.

With wages stagnant since the financial crisis a decade ago and the cost of living continuing to rise, it’s no surprise that many people have been forced to turn to credit just to make ends meet. With inflation rising and no sign of wage growth, the situation could still get worse.

In fact, with speculation mounting that the Bank of England might raise interest rates soon, many borrowers could find themselves having to pay more if their lender choses to pass on some or all of the increase to their customers. This won’t affect the rate you’re currently paying on existing loans, but if you borrow more money you could find it more expensive.

If you’re one of those people struggling with unmanageable credit card debt, there are options, however.

At Get Help With Debt, we can write off thousands of pounds in debt and help you to manage the remainder, so it’s affordable for you.

Go online to our website and take our free online assessment, then book your free, no obligation consultation with one of our debt advisors to find out how we can help you.

Once you’ve met with your advisor we can present you with a range of bespoke solutions and you can make an informed decision about what approach is best for you. After that we do all the hard work, handling all third party communications for you, so you don’t have to deal with your lender anymore.

So, if you’re in Northern Ireland and struggling with debt you can’t afford, go to www.gethelpwithdebt.co.uk and start the process of moving on from your debts.

More than a third of house sellers cutting asking price.

According to the latest housing market data published by Rightmove, 37% of sellers with properties already on the market have reduced their asking price since first listing, the highest rate in five years for this time of year.

Sellers are reducing asking prices by 0.8% on average, but Rightmove suggests that these reductions may still be too optimistic and many sellers will be forced to continue lowering their asking price in order to complete the sale.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director, said; “Given that the market has been price-sensitive for a while and a five-year high proportion of sellers are slashing their prices, some sellers and their agents are over-pricing. These sellers may well be asking themselves if they could have saved some time and stress by pricing a lot more conservatively than an average of more than six percent ahead of what the market subsequently proved it could sustain.

“The danger of going too high at the outset is that you jeopardise that vital initial three week period, and may have to start on a series of price reductions while potential buyers watch and assume that no-one is buying your property because something is wrong with it other than the price.”

The rise in the number of house sellers cutting their asking price is going to add to worries for homeowners struggling with negative equity and other property debt problems.

The news follows the decision by the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee to raise interest rates from 0.25% to 0.5%, putting up monthly repayments for many borrowers, and data from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors showing that house prices are falling in areas across the country.

We can help.

Falling house prices will leave many homeowners with outstanding mortgage debt worried about negative equity.

Negative equity describes a situation where the value of a property is less than the amount still owed on the mortgage on that property. This can make it impossible for people to sell their property if they need to move on, or if their repayments become unaffordable, as the sale of the house will not raise enough to pay off the remaining debt, leaving the borrower still owing the shortfall.

At Negative Equity UK, we offer bespoke solutions to help our clients deal with their property debt.

If you are worried about the impact the rise in interest rates will have on your finances, take a look at our reviews and contact us on 0161 631 2727 or online at negativeequityuk.com to arrange an initial free, no obligation consultation.

Need Help With Debt?

Debt is a normal part of most people’s personal finances. Everyone relies on credit cards, over drafts, personal loans and mortgages at some point in their lives. Whether you’re renovating your house, paying for a holiday or just tiding yourself over until payday, everyone borrows.

For some people, however, debts can become unmanageable. Sometimes a pay cut or losing a job can make your repayments unaffordable. Sometimes low wages lead to chronic debt you can’t escape from.  Whatever the circumstances, we can help.

At Get Help With Debt, we can help you to write off thousands of pounds in debt and provide you with a range of options for dealing with the remainder.

For some clients a debt management plan might be what they need to get to grips with their debt. With a debt management plan, you will only have one monthly payment to make and you will only pay what you can afford until your debts have been cleared.

For others, an individual voluntary arrangement, or IVA, might be the best option. An IVA is a legally binding agreement between you and your lender and could make you debt free in as little as five years. We’ll stop your creditors from calling or writing to you to demand payments and freeze any late fees or charges you’ve incurred.

For a few clients, self-petition bankruptcy might be necessary. You will have to put any available disposable income you have towards this for three years, but you won’t have to deal with your creditors anymore and once your bankruptcy is completed you will be able to start fresh.

So, if you’re living in Northern Ireland and struggling with debt, whether your credit cards have gotten out of control, store cards are mounting up or you have a mortgage you just can’t afford, we can help you.

Go online to www.gethelpwithdebt.co.uk and take our free online debt assessment or request a call back to discuss your situation and take the first step to becoming debt free.

 

Buying a house? Here’s our guide to the different types of mortgage.

Buying a house can be a complicated process, with borrowers having to make decisions about their budget, the type of property they want, their solicitor and more.

One of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is deciding what type of mortgage you want to take. This isn’t helped by the fact that the mortgage products which are available can change.

So, whether you’re a first time buyer, buying to let, or planning on downsizing, here’s our guide to the different types of mortgages available.

Fixed Rate.

Fixed rate mortgages have become increasingly popular with homebuyers. As the name suggests, the interest rate on these mortgages is fixed for an initial term when you take it out. This term can be two, five, or sometimes as much as ten years. A fixed rate mortgage ensures that your monthly repayments will stay the same over this initial period.

The main selling point for fixed rate mortgages is that it offers certainty about what your mortgage costs will be, allowing you to plan your finances more effectively. With speculation mounting that an interest rate rise may be imminent, many mortgage experts are advising customers to fix their mortgage for as long as possible to avoid any unexpected rate rises that may be coming.

One possible downside of opting for a fixed rate mortgage is that you will probably miss out on a more competitive deal if your lender’s standard variable rate (SVR) is lower than the fixed rate, or falls below it.

Standard Variable Rate.

The standard variable rate is set by your lender and varies from one lender to the next, though the average rate is currently around 4.5%. This rate is influenced by the Bank of England’s base rate, but isn’t directly tied to it and the lender can increase or cut this rate at any time.

With the base rate currently low, opting for an SVR can be good value, however, sooner or later this rate will go up and you have no control over when or by how much it increases, so it offers less certainty and security.

Tracker.

Another type of variable rate loan is a tracker mortgage. As the name suggests, a tracker mortgage tracks the Bank of England’s base rate, rising or falling as it does.

Typically a tracker mortgage will follow the base rate at a given margin above or below it. So, if your tracker mortgage were to be base rate plus 1%, that would mean your current interest rate would be 1.25%. Longer term tracker mortgages will usually have a larger margin, for example base rate plus 3.5%.

Tracker mortgages can either be taken as an introductory rate, usually for a period of one to five years, or they can cover the whole life of the mortgage.

With interest rates having been kept at historically low levels for years, tracker mortgages have offered some very good deals, however, interest rates can’t really fall any further and, as we noted above,
speculation is mounting that a rise in the base rate will happen quite soon, so these mortgages may lose their appeal for many borrowers.

Interest Only.

All of the loans we’ve talked about have been repayment have been repayment mortgages, where you pay off the loan itself, plus some interest, every month. You can, however, also take out an interest only mortgage, where you only pay the interest on the loan every month.

This has the advantage of keeping your monthly repayments down, but does mean that you will need to have a repayment vehicle in place so that you can repay the full value of the loan when the term ends.

Interest only mortgages are popular with landlords who want to keep their monthly repayments down in order to maximise their rental yield. For other borrowers, taking out an interest only mortgage can be a risky strategy, as you may find you can’t afford to repay the capital on the loan at the end of the term, which could lead to your home being repossessed.

Contact Us.

With so much to do and so many costs to meet when buying a house, you need an estate agent who will make the process as easy as possible for you. So, if you’re looking for a new home, take a look at our website or visit us in one of our branches in Templepatrick or on the Lisburn Road in Belfast and find out how we can help you find the perfect home.

Bank of England raises interest rates.

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has voted to raise interest rates by 0.25% to 0.5%, the first time in ten years rates have gone up, in a move that could have a significant effect on borrowers.

The decision to raise interest rates will see the average homebuyer with the typical mortgage in Britain of £175,000 pay about £22 every month. The 500,000 borrowers on one of the most popular deals, Nationwide’s base mortgage rate tracker, will see their interest rise from 2.25% to 2.5%, taking the monthly bill from £763 to £785 on a £175,000 loan.

For many home owners, the rate rise won’t have a dramatic effect on the affordability of their mortgage, but for those borrowers who are already struggling to keep up with their repayments this increase could be enough to make their monthly repayments unaffordable.

At his press conference announcing the decision, Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England said that the Bank was aiming to continue slowly raising interest rates over the next several years, which could increase pressure on borrowers.

How will rate rises affect you?

For existing mortgage customers, a rise in interest rates will lead to higher monthly repayments. For the 57% of borrowers currently on fixed rate deals, the effect won’t be felt immediately, but depending on when their two or five year term finishes, these borrowers will eventually face higher repayments. Homeowners are being warned that they could be facing a ‘payment shock’ if they fail to remortgage and end up paying their lender’s standard variable rate. Borrowers with Santander, for example, could see their SVR go from 4.49% to 4.74%.

For borrowers with variable or tracker mortgages, or those with interest only loans, the effect will be felt more immediately. Lenders with the lowest standard variable rates, those below 5%, will probably be the first to increase their rates.

Meanwhile, homeowners with interest only mortgages will also see their monthly repayments increase, but these higher monthly repayments might, in some cases, reduce the amount of money they are able to put into a repayment vehicle to repay the principal loan when the interest only term ends.

Jeremy Leaf, former chairman of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, said; “Although the change is very small, it could have a disproportionate impact on many, especially first time buyers and sellers, who have told us they have high loan-to-value mortgages and/or other loans. The direction of travel for interest rates will have a bearing on future plans. Inflation rising faster than salaries is also adding to the pressure on household finances.

“It’s not the increase itself but the impact on buyer confidence and a property market already compromised by political and economic uncertainty, which is more relevant.”

`We can help.

At Negative Equity UK, we’re property debt specialists. If you are worried about the impact the rise in interest rates will have on your finances, take a look at our reviews and contact us on 0161 631 2727 or online at negativeequityuk.com to arrange an initial free, no obligation consultation.