Re-mortgage your house

Reap the Rewards by Overpaying on your Mortgage

Ben Wall

Here’s how to save ten of thousands on your home loan and become mortgage-free years early

Have you ever considered overpaying on your mortgage? If not, there’s two major reasons why you should start giving it serious thought right now. The first is that savings rates are still extremely poor. You’ll be hard pressed to find a safe investment where you can get a decent return. Overpaying on your mortgage will save you tens of thousands, guaranteed. The second is that interest rates are expected to continue to increase over the coming years – increasing repayments. Overpaying will reduce the total you begrudgingly give over to the bank and end your indebtedness years in advance.

Monthly Overpayments or Lump Sum Overpayments?

You can make a lump sum overpayment which will have an immediate effect on the remaining length of your mortgage. For obvious reasons this option is not available to most but those who have come into an inheritance or sold an asset can save enormous amounts of money.

An alternative option is to repay slightly more than required each month on your mortgage. Money Saving Expert have a useful calculator to help you determine how much you can save by regularly overpaying each month. Say, for instance, you have £150,000 left on your mortgage, 25 years to go and an interest rate currently at 4.5%. By paying just £100 per month extra you would save £20,010 in interest repayments and pay off the mortgage nearly four and a half years earlier.

Check the fine print

In you are in a fixed rate period, or an introductory offer then a lot of lenders may only allow you to pay up to 10% of your mortgage balance as an overpayment each year. You really need to check the fine print on your terms and conditions as you don’t want to be liable for penalty fees. These can typically be between 1% and 5% of the overpayment made. Again, you’ll need to check the fine print to check what the exact penalties are.

If you are on a standard variable rate then the vast majority of lenders won’t have any restrictions on the level of overpayments you make. Keep in mind standard variable rates are more expensive so you might be better off getting a re-mortgage and fixing your rate.

Overpayments and Re-mortgages

If you have been overpaying your mortgage consistently and then you go to re-mortgage you may find you get a far better deal than you expected. The reason for this is the deal your lender will give you will depend on your loan-to-value ratio (LTV). This measures the size of the outstanding mortgage compared with the market value of your property. If you purchase a property with a 10% deposit then your LTV is 90%. As you pay off your mortgage your LTV will drop. If you’re overpaying on your mortgage it will drop at an increased rate. Then you can get an even better deal on your re-mortgage.

Make sure you have a contingency fund

It is all well and good making overpayments on your mortgage but what if you were unexpectedly made redundant or you needed to spend significant money on something that you did not anticipate. You would still be obligated to make your mortgage repayments in full each month (although some mortgages allow you to underpay if you have built up some credit). Therefore you should really have some funds saved for emergencies before you start overpaying your mortgage.

If you would like advice in relation to any issues regarding remortgaging your property please give us a call on 02891 817715 or contact our property team by email at property@boydricesolicitors.com.

Personal Injury Specialist Solicitors

Road traffic accident on East Street, Newtownards

Neil McGranaghan

Boyd Rice Solicitors were instructed to act on behalf of Mrs O in relation to her claim for loss and damage arising from a road traffic accident in Newtownards.

Our client instructed that her vehicle was parked on East Street when another vehicle collided with it and drove on. Thankfully our client witnessed the collision and recorded the registration of the other vehicle at the scene. She discussed the accident with an independent witness who was also present at the time and rang us for advice. Our client then reported the accident to PSNI.

Surprisingly liability was denied by the other driver’s insurance company. The other driver alleged that she was not involved in any accident whatsoever! Our client obtained an estimate for repairs to her vehicle and we were instructed to issue Court proceedings on her behalf so that she could arrange for repairs to her vehicle without going through her insurance company. The input of the independent witness proved invaluable. They confirmed that they had witnessed the other vehicle colliding with our client’s vehicle and the case resolved in our client’s favour. Importantly, her insurance was not affected and she was able to get her vehicle repaired at long last!

Following the successful conclusion of her claim our client commented as follows;
“I instructed Boyd Rice Solicitors to act on my behalf in relation to a hit and run accident in which my car was damaged. My case was dealt with quickly and I was kept up to date at every stage. The third party denied liability so unfortunately Court proceedings had to be issued. My Solicitor, Neil McGranaghan, explained what to expect at Court, made me feel at ease and the case was resolved in my favour. Thankfully my own insurance wasn’t affected and I received a cheque to enable repairs to take place. My car has now been repaired and is back on the road. I will definitely use Boyd Rice Solicitors again and would recommend them to anyone in similar situations. ”

If you have been involved in a similar accident please contact us on 02891 817715, or by email claims@boydricesolicitors.com and let us explain how we can help you.

enduring power of attorney wills solicitors

How to look after your relative’s affairs if they develop dementia

Ben Wall

Ards and North Down “tops dementia table”.

This week it was reported in The Newtownards Chronicle (Thursday 5th April) that, “More people are affected by dementia in Ards and North Down than in any other Northern Ireland council area.” The Chronicle referred to figures produced for 2017 by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency which showed that ten in every 1,000 people here in the borough are suffering from dementia related conditions. This, then, is a condition which impacts upon a great many of the community here; husbands, wives, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, grandchildren.

The emotional distress of coping with a relative suffering from dementia, or a related condition, is difficult enough to bear on its own. What compounds the problem are the associated financial issues, e.g. paying for their care or attempting to sell property on their behalf. This is where we can help. We can advise you on the correct processes to follow so that you can obtain power of attorney in relation to your relative or you can be made controller of their affairs by court order.

Enduring Powers of Attorney and Controllership Orders

Both of these allow you to manage their financial affairs whenever they no longer have the mental capacity to do so.

Your relative can protect themselves in advance of declining mental acuity by signing an Enduring Power of Attorney in your favour. This will give you (as ‘attorney’) certain powers, which can be as wide or as limited as the ‘donor’ wishes. In the future then when it appears that the donor may be losing their mental capacity the Enduring Power of Attorney can be registered with the Court.

This allows the powers granted pursuant to the Power of Attorney to endure beyond the time when the ‘donor’ loses capacity. You can then act on your relative’s behalf. In theory they you do anything from operate bank accounts on their behalf, sell property to raise finances, redeem mortgages, etc. However limitations may be applied at the time of the creation of the document. It is important your ‘donor’ decides how far ranging he or she wishes the powers to be before the document is signed.

What if your parent or relative never signed a power of attorney and they have already lost their mental capacity? In this case we can help you make an application to the court to have a Controllership Order made in your favour. We will have to seek expert medical evidence from an appropriate doctor to confirm that they have lost their mental capacity. There can be objections from rival family members to your application but we can provide expert guidance and help you every step of the way.

Get in touch

We appreciate the issues relating to dementia are not easy for everyone to discuss, we offer an initial free, no-obligation consultation where we can discuss the issues you and your family are facing. Then we can plan the path forward.

If you or your family are concerned about any of the issues discussed please give us a call on 02891 817715, or contact our estates team by email at estates@boydricesolicitors.com.

What to Look out For When Purchasing a New Home

5 Top Tips when Viewing a Potential New Home

Ben Wall

How to make sure you don’t buy a new property that will leave you pulling your hair out

With it now coming into the Spring this is the prime time of the year for people seeking to move house. With that in mind we thought we would offer some helpful tips and advice for things to look out for whenever you are viewing a potential new home.

1. Damp

This is a common one. Sometimes the presence of damp will be obvious; watermarked walls; a mouldy smell; plaster flaking off. Other times it may not, or the vendor may have covered it up. If you have any doubt employ a surveyor to inspect and report back. This could help you knock a few pounds off the asking price.

2. Check the Windows

If there is double-glazing then look closely to see if there is any condensation between the panes. If there is then this means the double-glazing is faulty. Try pressing your finger into wooden window frames, if this is easily done then they are rotten. This should set off the alarm bells and make you pay close attention to the rest of the property.

3. Structurally Sound

First of all, check to see if there are any cracks in the walls or ceilings. Check where the walls meet the ceilings, the areas around bay windows and where walls meet. If you spot cracks then you will need to investigate further. Even if the property appears to be solid and sound you may wish to instruct a surveyor for your own peace of mind.

4. The Plumbing

Do the radiators work? How long has the gas boiler been installed? They should be replaced every ten to fifteen years so consider the costs of a replacement if it is coming to the end of its life cycle. Run the taps, does the water gush or tickle out? Check to see if the hot water comes on.

5. The Roof

A roof will need changed every 15 to 20 years so make sure you ask when it was installed. It will cost you thousands to replace. Check for any missing or broken tiles which are a dead giveaway for a roof in poor condition.

If you are purchasing a new home and would like advice in relation to any issues regarding the condition of the new property please give us a call on 02891 817715 or contact our property team by email property@boydricesolicitors.com.