Apps For House Buyers In The UK

The Nature Of The Task At Hand

Apps For House Buyers In The UK

Whether you're looking to buy, sell or rent a new place, your search will almost certainly start online. With our mobile phones constantly at hand, it begs the question, why shouldn’t we use apps to help us find our dream property?

Buying a house is said to be one of the most stressful experiences in life. From search to the hassle of paperwork and moving into a new home, house-hunting can be challenging, even if you’re with some of the best agents in the country. To help you with your house-hunting, here is a look at some of the best apps for UK house buyers.


Zoopla knows what a home is really worth.

The Zoopla property search app makes it a stress-free and easy way to search for properties For Sale or To Rent on the UK property market. Providing you with everything you need to find the right home to make your move.

Whether buying, owning, selling or renting, the Zoopla app is here at every step of your home buying and managing journey to help you make the right home decisions. Keep you up to speed with the latest properties and information on prices, running costs and market trends.


It’s the largest, most popular property portal in the UK for a good reason with over 130 MILLION visits every month. Their app doesn’t disappoint and is the ‘go-to’ app for many house hunters.

Not only will you get listings for every property that’s up for sale on the normal Rightmove website, but you’ll also be able to access information on schools and stations near each property.


The OnTheMarket property search app is a clean and simple way to search for the latest homes on the UK and Overseas property markets and offers hundreds of thousands of houses and flats for sale or to rent at all price points.

Mortgage Calculator UK

Use this free mortgage and overpayment calculator to cut through the jargon and misleading rates to get to the actual cost of a mortgage deal in the short and long term, with the option of factoring in monthly, annual or one-off overpayments.

The App will tell you the following:

  • Monthly payment (before and after the deal ends)
  • What will happen if rates rise
  • Interest-only payments
  • Time saved by overpaying
  • Interest paid (annual and total)
  • Total cost per £1 borrowed


AroundMe quickly identifies your position and allows you to choose the nearest Bank, Bar, Gas Station, Hospital, Hotel, Movie Theatre, Restaurant, Supermarket, Theatre or Taxi.

AroundMe shows you a complete list of all the businesses in the category you have tapped on and the distance from where you are.

Crime Map England & Wales

If you’re moving to a new area, understanding the dynamics of local crime is essential. That will allow you to avoid potential crime hotspots.

This app lets you see actual crime statistics for any area in England & Wales and pinpoints specific crimes on a map to see what’s happening and where.


While waiting for your purchase to go through, get inspired about how you’ll decorate with the Houzz.

Browse over 25 million high-resolution photos of home interiors and exteriors. Choose by style, location, or room, such as kitchen or bathroom. Save and share home design photos with friends and family. Use the Sketch feature to annotate and draw directly on photos from Houzz.

For interior and exterior design, shop from more than 5 million products and materials, including vanities, cabinets, lighting, furniture, tile, and more.


We will also add two useful websites - Land Registry and EPC Register

If you want to know precisely what somebody paid for a property, then you can’t do better than the Land Registry if you wish to see transaction prices for a whole street or just a single property. It's an excellent resource for keeping track of house prices in the area you are hoping to buy or how the value of your current property might have changed.

EPC Register will inform the buyer or tenant of how energy efficient the property is to give them an idea of what energy costs they will face living there. The government’s EPC Register website is also a resource you can use to find an accredited assessor.


There you have it, the best apps to use when buying or selling a property. 

How To Renovate Your Home On a Budget

Ideas on how to make stylish updates to your home on a budget

Say home renovation, and many people think - too expensive. But transforming your home doesn't have to cost a lot of money. 

Cost is always the biggest obstacle when it comes to renovating a home, which is why spending time going through your finances to document how and where you will spend your money is so vital. But what if you could save some money and still get great results?

If you are looking for the best ways to renovate on a budget, here is a guide to ensure your old home doesn't become a money pit.

Start by stripping out all the old carpets, curtains and as much junk and rubbish as possible. Remove any outdated or damaged fitted furniture. Repair the walls to prepare for painting, stripping old wallpaper and sanding and filling to get a smooth finish.

Be prepared to pounce on the best bargains and deals as and when they arise by organising storage space that gives you the option to store the things you will buy. Buying a bargain when you see it can result in huge savings.


Giving your old kitchen units a new look can be easily achieved without tearing it all out and for a fraction of the cost of a new kitchen.

Add new countertops. If your kitchen cabinets are in decent shape, you can indulge in new countertops and upgrade one of the most complex working surfaces in your home. The smaller the square footage you have to cover, the lower your cost.

Change the backsplash. Adding a punch of pattern or colour is a great way to freshen up a kitchen and add visual interest. With options for tile, stone, glass, ceramic, and beaded board, there are so many opportunities to find a material that’s right for your budget. 

Add an island. Stand-alone tables or cabinets can be a cost-friendly feature for an island-less kitchen. The more extras you add (for example, a cabinet with drawers), the more it will cost, so if a super-low budget is your goal, start with a simple table. 

Paint, wallpaper, peel-and-stick wood products are great options to give a new face to your cabinets. Removing doors on some upper cabinets offers you easy-to-access open storage without having to add new shelving. Look for ways to refresh your home that fit your budget and how you use the space daily.

Living Room

Update Windows. Don't panic, we're not suggesting you replace them! 

By adding new fabric, new shades, or a combination of the two can give a pretty facelift to a living room. To save a little extra money, aim to reuse the existing curtain rods and rings.

Add a Featured Wall. No matter the size of your living room, there are a plethora of feature wall ideas to suit. From modern artwork and intricate wallpaper to decorative decals and treasured plate collections, it’s clear that you should let your walls do the talking. When done right, a featured wall give give a tremendous wow factor to anyone seeing it for the first time. 

Update You Soda. Update a vintage sofa or sofa bed with a funky new fabric covering. Or give a sentimental furniture piece a new lease of life with neat new upholstery. It won't cost much and can completely transform your living room. 


With the bathroom updates, you don’t always need the ceiling to floor tiles. Instead, consider using waterproof paint on walls other than the shower side.

You can add both style and storage to your bathroom with a medicine cabinet. Replace a plain wall-mount mirror to gain storage and a new look. 

You can add pattern and colour with wallpaper in a snap, and it’s totally fine to limit it to one stand-out wall. But if you’re not ready to tackle proper wallpapering quite yet, try the peel and stick kind.

Open shelves and bathroom cabinets can get a modern-day wake-up. Pick different styles from the same family or mix and match different finishes for a more eclectic look.


Add interest to the wall or ceiling. Even if you don't have a stash of power tools, you can easily add wainscoting or trim to dull bedroom walls or ceilings. A guaranteed way to update your bedroom is to add a headboard, whether it's small and stately or oversize and dramatic. 

Having an en suite to the master bedroom is a must-have for many – it improves privacy and solves the 'morning queue for the bathroom scenario' in larger households. Providing the layout is carefully thought through, an en suite shower room need not be very large

You can get the space by subdividing one end of a large bedroom using a timber or metal framed stud wall.  An old airing cupboard or storage area may be large enough to form a small shower room. 

Dining room

A few hundred pounds and a little bit of electrical DIY can give your ceiling space (and your room) a game-changing focal point. Choose several pendants instead of the traditional chandelier for a more contemporary approach.

Add pops of colour with paint or wallpaper. You can even swap out the door inserts for glass or apply coloured film to existing glass. These little touches can go a long way to making a room feel renewed.

Curb Appeal

A fresh coat of paint can work wonders for transforming the front door. Not only does it revive the door, but it also adds a new look to the whole exterior of your home. If your front door has had its day, invest in a new one to make a great first impression or install a smart new knocker or handle. You can even design your own.

Potted plants can make your entryway and porch appealing. Not to mention they are affordable. If you want to invest a little bit more, add some young shrubs on your lawn or choose flowering plants to make your home noticeable. 

Concrete pavers can be a great addition to your lawn, but you may be on the fence about upgrading to stone tiles because of the cost. There are surprisingly affordable slate tile options that you can install to cover up the concrete.


It’s the DIY and decorating project that can transform any room in an instant. A fresh coat of paint can give a bedroom, hallway or living room idea a whole new decorating scheme. Whether you choose to add colour or refresh in white, painted floorboards are transformative yet highly affordable. These are just some of the ways you can renovate your house on a budget. Hopefully, you can get pick some ideas of what to do for your next home renovation project. Always have a clear plan in mind, especially if you have a limited budget, and consider what project can give you the most significant value for your investment. 

Eliminate The Stress When Selling Your Home

How to Reduce Stress When Selling Your Property

One of the most stressful events that we go through in our lifetime is selling a house. Whatever your reason for selling, you’ll likely have some stressful times throughout the process, so knowing what the most stressful aspects are can help you keep calm and collected. 

Why is selling a house so stressful?

One of the most stressful aspects of selling a house is the length of time it takes to actually achieve your sale. Generally, your house is the most expensive asset that you have, so there’s also an element of fear of something happening to that and leaving you in a difficult position. The selling process, on average, takes 6 months. In those 6 months, you’re likely to have concerns of a sale falling through, or if your property hasn’t generated much interest, you might worry that you won’t achieve a sale at all. This can cause huge amounts of stress, especially as it’s likely that you’re relying on the sale of your house to buy elsewhere. If you’re in a chain, stress levels can also increase, as you’re at risk of not only your sale having issues, but if someone else in the chain has a problem, it can break the chain for you all. Selling without a chain is less stressful, but much rarer, and still comes with its own set of risks too.

Leave plenty of time for the sale process 

Far and away, the biggest source of anxiety when selling your home is feeling that your move may not happen when you need it to.

The speed of buying and selling is far from an exact science, so allow yourself enough time and flexibility to meet your ideal dates. Having plenty of breathing space will make it easier to make decisions calmly and to carry on with your work and home life as usual. 

Take it step by step

Just like a house, moves are built from the bottom up. Nothing can happen without the foundations in place, and buyers are the building blocks of your plans.

So, if there's only one piece of advice you follow, make it this: find a buyer for your current home before committing to your next one.

It's completely understandable to feel so confident when estate agents are telling you they can sell your home quickly, and with all those beautiful listings staring out seductively from the portals, the temptation to view can be hard to resist.

But you'll face stiff competition from buyers in stronger positions, and the fear of losing the home you've set your heart on can leave you desperate to sell, even in a fast market. Feeling compelled to accept the first offer you get is not only stressful; it could also mean taking thousands less than your home is truly worth.

Pick an estate agent with a plan

Imagine your sale as a series of time bubbles. With each subsequent one becoming less effective, your agent needs a plan to maximise response early on and then maintain momentum.

Your first two weeks on the market are usually the most active. Your home appears online, portals give you a shiny ‘New Listing’ label and send out alerts, your agent calls their registered buyers, and new enquiries come in. You've also decluttered to perfection, and you tidy up enthusiastically to prepare for a flurry of viewings.

The following two weeks are also busy. Responses are still coming in from the people who couldn't get around before – maybe they were away, or tied up with life, or holding off till they got a buyer of their own – and anyone who liked your home on their first viewing has arranged to come back for a second look.

At this point, after about a month on the market, you'll have hopefully found a buyer or have offers coming in. If not, you'll at least have enough feedback to know whether a sale is likely, or if you need to change tack.

Here's where a plan becomes really important. Before choosing who to entrust with the sale of your home, ask each agent what they'll do after those first four weeks if you haven't got a buyer. How will they keep you on track to sell?

Accepting the right offer

Getting an offer is exciting, and you might even be lucky enough to have multiple buyers competing against each other, so let's explore what makes a good one.

There's much more to an offer than money, and your buyer's position is every bit as important as the price they put forward.

  • Everyone who makes an offer on your home should be able to confirm:
  • whether they need to sell another property;
  • if they have a buyer yet;
  • full details of any chain involved;
  • proof of funds (mortgage, cash or both);
  • that their deposit is readily available;
  • if any money is coming from somebody else who also needs to see your home;
  • when they want to move.

Getting these questions answered will help you identify a strong and secure offer with a timescale that fits your own. Just like a jigsaw - all the pieces need to be in place for the puzzle to be complete.

Expect the unexpected

Bumps in the road can come from survey results, mortgage valuations and the conveyancing process. They can happen to any home in a chain, but they don't automatically mean the end of your move.

You can't plan for everything, but instructing a solicitor as soon as your home goes on the market can reveal and resolve any potential legal issues, giving you a draft contract ready to go the moment you accept an offer.

And getting timeframes confirmed for every link in the chain when your sale is agreed, along with any booked holidays that might affect your moving date, can avoid fraught conversations as you approach exchanging contracts.

It's also worth remembering that, despite the ups and downs, things generally work out.

Do your research

Often, the most stressful part of selling a house is not knowing what the process is and if things are moving as they should. Before you sell your house, do some research, and look into how long it takes and what each step is, from finding your buyer to exchanging keys. An aspect that lots of homeowners forget about that is incredibly important and often time-consuming is the conveyancing process, so understanding what delays are normal here can give you some peace of mind. Selling a house is rarely a quick process, so knowing this from the start can save unnecessary stress further into the process.


It’s hard to altogether avoid the stress of selling, but these tips can help you reduce your stress levels and make your selling experience the best it can be. Some things you have no control over, and sometimes just accepting that can help you reduce your stress levels, but that isn’t so easy for most homeowners.

What Can You do to Your Property With No Permission Needed?

Home Planning Permission

When you decide to start making changes to your home, the first thing that comes to mind is ‘Do I need permission for this?’

Fortunately, there are many things you can do without any planning permission at all. After all, you did buy your property, so it does belong to you. 

There are many reasons you might want to make changes to your home. You may want more space for a growing family, you may have run out of storage, or you might need office space for a new small business venture. 

Of course, there are restrictions on the right to a PD, especially if you live in the Conservation Area or if you have already made numerous changes to your home. Larger and more significant projects or adding large extensions will require planning approval. Always check everything before you start working to avoid inconvenience.

Whatever your reason, here are some developments you can do without having any permission from the powers that be.

Internal remodelling 

If you wish to develop the inside of your home, you can do so long as the development doesn’t involve the expansion of space. However, you will need Building Regulations approval for structural elements and electrical work.

Windows and doors

You do not need permission to move, replace or add new windows to the original walls of your home. So long as you don’t live in a listed building same goes for double-glazing. Bay windows, however, will require permission, as they are considered an extension. You may need planning permission to add or replace windows if the conditions were attached to the original permission, in which case it is a good idea to check with local authorities what the conditions are. 

Loft conversion

You won’t need planning permission to get extra space by converting a loft. Loft conversions are a great way to create more space in your home for a bedroom or lounge area. A dormer window also does not require permission. But they must not sit more than the highest part of the existing roof or extend towards the plane of the roof at the main elevation. 

Adding a shed or a summer house

If you have a larger garden and wish to build an outhouse or buy a shed/summerhouse then you may be able to do it without permission, provided that the total area covered by such buildings does not exceed 50% of the curtilage. This 50% should take into account any extensions, but not the area covered by the main house. Exterior buildings can only be a single story with a maximum height of 2.5m. Your outbuilding cannot be for residential use if you want to build it without planning permission. It needs to be for an office, gym, storage, garden workshop and so on.


For the most part, extensions to the front of your home are not allowed without permission. However, you are permitted to build a porch if your new porch meets these requirements: no part is higher than 3m, is no more than 2m from any highway border, and the ground area does not exceed 3m².

Garden decking

If you would like to add garden decking to your garden without planning permission, all garden decking and other similar structures can be built as long as their height is no more than 30mm. A raised platform does require planning permission. 

Swimming pool

This might come as a surprise, but no one will ask you for planning permission to build a pool in your yard if it does not occupy more than 50% of the area of your garden. 

Solar panels

Without permission, you can add solar panels, so long as they do not stretch beyond 200mm of the wall or roof and that the highest part of the solar panel doesn’t go higher than the highest part of your roof (without a chimney). Restrictions will apply in protected areas.


A basement conversion can be a great way to create more space in your home for storage, a bedroom, or living space. Basement development is available as a permitted development however, this doesn’t include engineering if your basement needs extra engineering work.

Gates, walls and fences

You do not need a permit to erect, construct, maintain, upgrade or remodel a gate, fence, wall or other enclosure. Provided that the height would not exceed 1m when close to the highway and that the height would not exceed 2m for any other gate or fence.

Parking spaces

The creation of a parking space is permitted under PD provided that any hard surface located between the main elevation and the highway or any surface greater than 5m² made of porous materials, and that it is intended to direct water runoff from the surface into the leakage area within the property curtilage, and not on the highway.


The introduction of roof lights can be accomplished without permission until they are more than 15cm from the slope of the roof. If the roof lights in the plane are positioned at an altitude in front of the highway, then they are not allowed. Also, they are not allowed in an apartment located in a protected area or an area of outstanding natural beauty.


In addition to the above, you can build single and even double-storey extensions without permission, but there are restrictions. 

Adding one floor will not require planning permission if the extension does not go forward of the principal elevation. If within 2m of any boundary, the eaves may not exceed 3m, and the height may not exceed 4m. The depth of the rear extensions should not exceed 4m for a detached house or 3m for a semi-finished or terrace. The width of the extension of the side accessories should not exceed half of the original dwelling.  The materials should be similar.

When it comes to two-storey extensions, without planning permission you can add it to your home, provided it is located in the back of your apartment. Also, it shall not exceed 3 m or be within 7 m of the rear boundary.

Like one-floor extensions, conservatories and orangeries do not need planning permission.

The Process of Preparing Your Home For a Sale

How to Prepare Your Home For a Sale?

Properly preparing your home before it is listed is critical to ensuring it attracts the most amount of interest possible. This usually means a faster sale, and maybe even a bidding war - which could end up with a higher than expected offer on the table!

The basic rules of prepping your house for sale

Before we dive into the steps of prepping your home for sale, let's go over the general rules first. In general, the goal of prepping your house should be to:

  • Create a clean, clutter-free environment. Nothing makes a home look more poorly maintained than dirt, clutter, and overall messiness. A clean environment gives buyers confidence in the property and its condition.
  • Offer a neutral colour palette. Prospective buyers need to be able to envision themselves in the home, and that's hard to do if there's a bright green wall and crazy, patterned wallpaper staring them in the face.
  • Put yourself in a buyer mindset. Think like a buyer when prepping your home. What would they like? What would give them pause? Let that drive your preparations.
  • Minimise where possible. The less furniture, decor, and personal items you have out, the better. In fact, it might even make your home look larger.
  • Emphasise curb appeal. First impressions are everything. Make sure your home's curb appeal makes a good one.
  • Ensure your home is photogenic. A picture is worth a thousand words. Make sure your home lends itself to high-quality photos that will really make your listing shine.
  • Address obvious repairs. If there's a broken window, dent in the door, or nonworking faucet, fix it before you list the home. You can bet it will show up on the buyer's inspection and need fixing anyway.
  • Add little details and touches that matter. At the end of the day, the property needs to feel like a potential home to buyers. Small touches like fresh flowers or the smell of warm cookies can make all the difference.
  • Prep yourself and your family - particularly for the showing aspect of selling a house. What's your exit strategy? Where will you go during showings, and how will you keep the place clean? Having a plan in place is vital before you open your doors to prospective buyers.

What other preparations can you make prior to putting your property on the market?

Identify repairs and make a plan

Normal wear and tear can add up, especially if you’ve lived in your home for a long period of time. From a door that squeaks to a window that sticks or a toilet that runs until you jiggle the handle, it’s easy to ignore minor issues that seem like quirks.

Buyers, however, may see these quirks as problems that lower the value of your home or as bargaining chips during the closing process. If you have too many noticeable repairs, buyers may also wonder if more serious issues lurk below the surface, and that could prevent them from making a good offer.

Declutter and clean – make it feel spacious

Big kitchens, bathrooms and storage tend to be big selling points so it can help to make your rooms look as spacious as possible. Professional home stagers recommend that you remove 50% of your items.

Go through your home, decluttering and organising spaces. Don’t just shove belongings in closets, cabinets, attics and basements, as buyers look inside all of those places. Use storage bins that can be tucked under beds or neatly stacked in a basement or closet.

Decluttering also includes furniture. The scale of your pieces should match the size of the room, and buyers should be able to easily walk around spaces without bumping into furniture. Make sure furnishings don’t block doors, windows or architectural features. In a small living room, for example, consider removing end tables or accent chairs. Such moves aren’t convenient, but remember, they’re temporary.

Depersonalise your home and help buyers to see its full potential

In addition to cleaning and decluttering, you should consider depersonalising your home. The goal when selling is to have a buyer fall in love with your house, picturing themselves living there and imagining their belongings inside. That can be difficult if your home has your personal stamp all over it.

Also, consider updating your accessories and furnishings if your décor is outdated or avant-garde. You don’t want buyers to miss out on key features of your home because they’re distracted by your belongings.

Paint where it needs it most

A fresh coat of paint can make a home feel new. In fact, painting is one of the most common recommendations estate agents make to sellers before they list. Paint can help small rooms appear larger and highlight architectural details. Be mindful of your colour choice, however. It is recommended that you use warm neutral colours, such as beige, tan, gold and gray. Because these shades go with anything, they can help buyers to picture their belongings in your home.

Set the stage

Now comes the final step: staging your home. The goal is to create a great first impression so that buyers put your home at the top of their list. On average, staged homes sell 88% faster and for 20% more than those that aren’t staged.

You don’t need to stage your entire home. Focus instead on rooms that impress buyers most, such as the kitchen, living room and bathrooms. In the kitchen, for example, place a bowl of fresh fruit on the countertop and set the table with beautiful dinnerware and linens. It is always a good idea to leave cookies and a fresh pot of coffee with a “help yourself” sign. Not only is this a nice touch, but everyone loves the smell of fresh coffee!

In the living room, toss a decorative blanket on the arm of the sofa and add a vase of fresh flowers to the coffee table. Update bathrooms with fluffy new towels and display a dish of decorative soaps.

Put a tray with a book and teapot on the edge of the master bed. Create a single focal point in each room, hanging a simple piece of artwork that enhances your staging, or highlighting architectural details, such as a fireplace or beautiful windows.

Keep it clean and consistent

Once your home is ready to sell, the trick can be maintaining that level of repair and decoration. Viewing requests can happen at a moment’s notice, and you won’t always have time to ready your home.

Create a cleaning schedule and stick to it. Control of clutter by putting things away when you’re done using them. Enlist the whole family, so the responsibility is shared. Make a habit of wiping kitchen and bathroom fixtures and surfaces daily. Keep wastebaskets emptied. Vacuum or sweep before you leave the house. Keep your garden tidy and remove weeds every week. Keep your walkway and porch clean and accessible.

If you have children, keeping things tidy can be more challenging. Streamline their toys for the time being, or create a rule around how many toys can be out

Why Can't I Sell my Home?

Are You Struggling to Sell Your (Location) Home?

So you’ve listed your home for sale and it’s been listed on all the main property portals, but no one is requesting or viewing, or when they do, no offer had been made. What’s that all about?

Having your home sit on the market is more than just frustrating; it’s probably costing you money. So, here are some likely reasons why your home isn’t selling.

The price is too high

When it comes to reasons a home isn’t selling, if it’s not the condition, it’s nearly always pricing.

Pricing a house too high is a common mistake and resisting the temptation to overprice your home is the biggest challenge sellers face.

Pricing a home for sale is tricky. There are a lot of ways to slice the data to determine your home’s fair market value. And while data, usually from sales of comparable homes in the area, is important, a top agent’s experience can be invaluable when building a pricing strategy.

The home needs some TLC

It can be a bitter pill to swallow to pay for home improvements that you may not enjoy for long. But if you are struggling to sell your home and you want to sell for the full asking price, you might need to get your house in a condition that warrants it.

Your home doesn’t fit the mould

Some properties have features that make it more difficult to find the right buyer.

Unique properties - like very large homes, high-end or expensive houses, homes in unusual areas, or just homes with odd or unusual features take a little longer to match with a buyer, and that’s okay. You just need to be aware of this and make sure the title and description of your home do your property's unique features justice. 

For example, there was a unique bungalow on the market recently that was a quirky bungalow with loads of character. Unfortunately for the seller, there were other bungalows on the marketing within the area that were priced way under their asking price. This meant that they weren’t getting a lot of viewings. The problem here was that the unique features weren’t promoted within the marketing of the property, so potential buyers thought the property was over-priced as they didn’t fully understand what was being sold. 

Sometimes unique properties take longer to sell, but they also need to be marketed correctly in the first place to get the right type of buyer to see the listing.

Your staging is bad

It might seem silly as the buyer isn’t shopping for furniture but staging matters. There is a difference between staged homes and vacant homes, and typically, a staged home sells for more money and in a shorter amount of time.

Your curb appeal is no good

Curb appeal is like the staging of the outside part of your home. It’s an old chestnut, but the first impression a buyer gets from your house is important.

An ugly driveway or run-down front garden will turn people off. The last thing you want is someone thinking your property is a “fixer-upper.”

Your agent doesn’t seem to care

Sometimes there’s nothing wrong with your house at all: It’s priced right and is well-maintained. But your agent could be turning people off. Your estate agent is meant to be your front-line representative. However, some agents have little to no personality, some are burnt-out, some don’t care, and others have no social skills.

A Guide To Mortgages In The UK

Buying a Home and Need a Mortgage?

Here is our guide to mortgages in the UK.

The UK has one of the biggest mortgage markets in the world, and buying a home and getting a mortgage remains something that many young families plan for. There are different types of mortgages in the UK available through banks and building societies. Most run for around 25 years, although they can be longer or shorter.

There are no legal restrictions on any adults getting a mortgage in the UK. Each bank or building society will have its own set of requirements, but in general, the main factors considered are age, income and job security and credit score.

As mortgages are essentially home loans paid off over a long period, it’s more difficult for older age groups to take out a mortgage in the UK. Most banks and won’t flat-out refuse older applicants. Still, they will probably ask for a bigger initial deposit and limit the time given to repay the mortgage.

You’ll need to show proof of earnings, and the amount you can borrow depends on the amount the mortgage lender feels you can pay back.

Lenders will check your credit history to determine whether you are eligible for a mortgage. If you have bad credit or a low credit score, lenders may be reluctant to grant you a mortgage.


Here is a brief overview of the main types of mortgages in the UK.

Fixed-rate mortgages

These mortgages come at fixed-rate interests for periods of usually two or five years. The interest rate will usually then move onto the lender’s standard variable rate at the end of the fixed-rate period.

Variable-rate mortgages

Variable-rate mortgages can fluctuate and depend on the general interest rate, which makes them riskier than fixed-rate mortgages in the UK. Still, they can be beneficial if interest rates suddenly drop.

Discount mortgages

This is a form of SVR mortgage but with a discount applied to the SVR for a limited period (usually for around 2–3 years).

Tracker mortgages

These SVR mortgages track the interest rate from another source. They can be beneficial in terms of avoiding a sudden hike applied by the lender.

Capped rate mortgages

The interest rate is capped on a variable rate mortgage and can’t rise above a certain amount.

Offset mortgages

Mortgages linked to your savings so that the balance on your savings account is used to reduce the amount of interest charged on your mortgage. They can either lower monthly payments or shorten the length of the mortgage term.


Mortgage rates in the UK have come down in the last five years. As of March 2019, the average interest rates for a UK mortgage are 1.68% (two-year fixed-rate), 2% (three-year fixed-rate), 2.04% (five-year fixed-rate), 2.58% (10-year fixed-rate), and 1.6% (two-year variable).

Although 100% of mortgages don’t exist in the UK, some no-deposit products require a parent or family member to act as a guarantor.

If you’re considering investing in a buy-to-let property, you’ll find mortgage rates of around 3–3.5%.

There are three primary factors that UK mortgage lenders will weigh up before making you an offer.

Your total household income

You can usually borrow up to 4.5 times your annual household income, which will depend on your credit history, and it will factor in all outgoings, including credit cards, loans, memberships, and day-to-day spending costs when calculating the amount they can offer.

The value of the property

In general, loan-to-value (LTV) mortgage ratios range from 50% for buy-to-let investors, home movers, and second mortgages to up to 95% for first-time buyers. The bigger deposit you have, the better rate you can get.

The lender’s estimate of what you can afford

This is where your unique circumstances are considered: your cash inflow/outflow records and your current available assets.

You can apply for a mortgage directly from a bank or building society. Alternatively, you can use a mortgage broker or independent financial adviser. The documentation your lender could ask for includes:

  • Payslips from the last three months.
  • Three to six months of bank statements.
  • Proof of your UK residency status (if applicable).
  • Current UK utility bills.
  • Passport or other forms of identification.
  • Annual UK tax summary form from your employer.
  • Evidence of any UK pension or insurance benefits received.
  • Two to three years of verified accounts if you are self-employed.
  • Tax returns for last year and the previous year.
  • Household cash flow statements.

In addition to interest rates on mortgage payments, several other associated fees can add a few thousand pounds to total costs. These fees include the arrangement fee, booking fee, valuation fee, survey fees, transfer fee, higher lending charge, solicitor fees, mortgage broker fee (if used).

These fees need to be paid either upfront or shortly after taking out your mortgage. Afterwards, you’ll often have to pay an exit fee after repaying your mortgage.

You will have to start making payments on your UK mortgage the month after you buy the property. Your mortgage repayment is combined with the amount paid towards the mortgage loan and the interest paid. If you have an interest-only mortgage, you will pay off the interest-only and then have to settle the amount borrowed for the mortgage at the end of the term.

You might want to refinance your mortgage to shorten your payment period, lower your interest rate, or free up some equity to invest in something else. You can usually refinance your mortgage in the UK by taking out a new mortgage with the same lender or a different one.

There are also some different government schemes to help people to buy a home in the UK.

Help to Buy - an equity loan scheme to help first-time buyers purchase a new-build home. You can borrow up to 20% of the purchase price (on homes valued up to £600,000) interest-free for the first five years as long as you have a deposit of at least 5%.

Shared Ownership - a scheme where you buy part of the property and rent the remaining share at a reduced rate. Available to those with household incomes under £80,000 (or £90,000 in London). There are special shared ownership schemes to help older people and those with disabilities to buy a home.

Starter Home scheme - 200,000 new-build homes available at a discount rate of at least 20% off market price to first-time buyers under the age of 40.

Right to Buy - scheme for social housing tenants in the UK who have rented their home for at least three years. They can buy their home at a discount rate.