Blog Archives

The Scottish Mortgage Package

PCS (Civil Servants) Union, Foreign Office, HM Forces, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish Police Recreation Association (SPRA):

For a number of years we’ve provided our Mortgage ‘Package’ to personnel working in the above organisations – we’ve now decided to make it available to the Scottish general public as well.

Why Pay for Whole of Market (WoM) Mortgage Advice?

With an Edinburgh-based WoM mortgage adviser charging £995 – minimum (it can be more, depending on the amount of work involved in arranging the mortgage!) for their mortgage advice, our ‘package’ really is attractive:

free mortgage adviceThe Scottish Mortgage Package – Adviser Fees Waived

Whole of Market mortgage advice – with normal adviser fees waived – not charged at any stage of the mortgage process – there are no adviser fees...

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It’s Coming – Rate Rise

free mortgage adviceIt’s Almost Certain – First Interest Rate Rise in TEN YEARS

All borrowers who currently have standard variable rates (SVRs) or tracker mortgages have still got time – but not much – to apply for a fixed rate mortgage” before the next interest rate decision is announced on the 2nd November.

There are strong predictions of a 0.25% increase in the bank rate, from a wide range of knowing commentators, none more so than Bank of England Governor Mark Carney stating that he expects an interest rate rise in the ‘relatively near term’.

43% of borrowers on Variable Rates

The Bank of England estimate that as many as 43% of homeowners are currently on variable or tracker mortgages, this leaves open up the very real possibility for millions of households to see an increase in their monthly expe...

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Paying £5,000 too much A YEAR for your mortgage?

free mortgage advicePaying £5,000 A YEAR too much for your mortgage?

Get a free, independent, assessment from the team at Star Mortgages.

It’s estimated that millions of homeowners are wasting as much as £5,000 – a year – in mortgage interest payments, simply by failing to switch to a cheaper mortgage deal. Many of these borrowers say that the difficulties they encountered when they obtained the initial loan (lending criteria is pretty stringent these days) , has really put them off looking at other mortgage options.

Many took out either a good (at the time) fixed rate, a tracker rate or a discounted deal but, when these came to an end, they failed to look at their options, in some cases it down to apathy and in others, to fear of a prolonged, intense, ‘vetting’ procedure.

What does this mean

It means that,...

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Budgeting For My New Mortgage – A Definitive Guide

Free Mortgage AdviceIn the excitement of buying a property, it’s easy to forget to delve into the possible fees involved, over and above the purchase price, this can sometimes lead to people getting a surprise or, as happened recently to pull out of the purchase – they hadn’t checked the amount of Stamp Duty due.

This is a short article to highlight the fees/expenses you should budget for when buying a property. When remortgaging, there may be an arrangement fee and/or survey costs but more and more lenders now offer ‘fee-free’ remortgages and, if you are receiving free, independent, mortgage advice, with no adviser fees, there should be no outlays.

Purchasing a property

Whether a First Time Buyer (FTB) or moving home you should factor in the following fees:

 Independent Mortgage Advice: To look at...

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Mortgages – The Brexit Effect

free mortgage adviceSoft or Hard? Not a major decision to make when, for instance, deciding on how you want your morning boiled egg? Where Brexit, our exit from the EU, is concerned, however, speculation on our type of exit – Soft or Hard – is affecting all aspects of the UK’s financial world, mortgages included. Even when we eventually know which option we’re taking their are likely to be major ripples throughout our financial sector – including mortgages.

Book that Fixed Rate?
Recent figures from the Bank of England show an 18 month low in mortgage approvals attributable to aftershocks from the EU referendum result rippling out into the housing market  that’s before we’ve even triggered Article 50, that triggers the start of our exit.
Add to that the ‘Trump Effect’ and his promise of tax cuts and a $550bn ...

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Getting a mortgage – Give yourself a headstart

mortgage advice edinburghPlan ahead for your mortgage (or remortgage)

Sounds like common sense, doesn’t it? But, over many years, we’ve seen people who, with a little more forward-planning, would have had a much quicker, and less drawn-out experience when applying for their mortgage/remortgage. And, in some (no too common, thankfully) cases, would not have had their mortgage/remortgage declined – or lost out on the property due to delays in getting any kind of assurance that a mortgage is likely to be available.

A good mortgage adviser will always, on first conversation, advise the prospective client on the steps to take, pre-application. It really isn’t rocket-science, although a grea many lenders (still) dress the transaction up in pretty ‘heavy’ jargon – especially to people like first-time-buyers...

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The Interest-Only ‘Timebomb’

free mortgage adviceIs ‘timebomb’ an appropriate phrase to use?

Yes, I believe it is. With some people having absolutely no repayment strategy in place – others with a strategy that is nowhere near enough on track to meet the outstanding balance, we are going to see a great many people either having to sell, downsize or, if they have time on their side, switch to Repayment (Capital & Interest) mortgages. Tighter affordability criteria as a result of the Mortgage Market Review now means that certain groups are finding it much more tricky, such as older borrowers/borrowers on limited incomes, the self-employed, etc, to switch to a Repayment mortgage.

Sadly, many people are burying their heads in the sand, deigning to worry about it ‘nearer the time’…the time, unfortunately for many, is fast approaching...

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A tiny Blip Cost Us Our Dream Home

free mortgage advice

How very small errors on their credit file cost a family their dream home: Just a £24 ‘blip’ on their credit file stopped a family from buying their dream home. It was a mistake on a mobile phone bill….they didn’t even know about it….but it stopped them getting a mortgage and, even more worrying, it’s a very common event.

  • Their top credit rating reduced right down to ‘poor’ because of a phone bill mistake
  • A leading mobile provider put two black marks on their file for two payments
  • The client says that he was never even told he owed any money.

The Scenario:

The family had searched for a long time for their dream home, one big enough, in the location they wanted, to house their family of five – the three teenagers now needing a room each...

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Why so shy?

free mortgage adviceWhy so shy?

How much does your mortgage advice cost? A simple question you might think but one to which it is very often hard to get a straight answer, at least during the initial call to some mortgage advisers – and without ‘probing’ a little.

Obfuscation, reticence, shyness? Or, in some cases, embarrassment?

I would just say, at the start of this blog post, that, in posting this article, we are not out to paint ourselves as righteous in a sea of reticence and obfuscation – we just want to make anybody reading this aware of the kind of questions they need to ask before deciding on which independent (it goes to say, they should be seeking independent advice to give you as wide a choice as possible) mortgage adviser to choose...

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Foreign & Commonwealth Office Staff – Mortgages Available?

free mortgage adviceThe circumstances of FCO staff members, working abroad, are very similar to members of HM Forces personnel based or visiting abroad, with their job. And yet FCO staff are treated quite a bit differently by mortgage lenders. Star Mortgages has a great many years experience in dealing with these types of cases.

The mortgage team have completed their research into lenders willing to lend to FCO staff, based abroad, this is what they have come up with:

Lenders: Aldermore, Halifax, Virgin Money and Accord ( Yorkshire) Santander (there may be some others with, possibly, more stringent lending criteria).

Customer must have a track record in the UK and similar line of work

  • If unable to electronically verify: last 6mths bank statements and copy of contract will be required.
  • Oversea and any UK livi...
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