Mortgage age limit continues to rise

Over the past couple of weeks two banks have moved to increase the age limit on mortgage offers to 80 (Halifax) and 85 (Nationwide) years old.

Nationwide say the move is a response to demand from older customers who are “often asset-rich with significant equity in their home.”

As people increasingly find themselves working well in to their late 60s and often older, banks and building societies are having to adjust to allow for this.

Nationwide will now offer mortgages of up to £150,000 to older borrowers if they can prove they have sufficient pension to cover repayments.

The oldest possible age that a mortgage application will be accepted is 80 and this will only run for five years.

The offer will also only be available to those who wish to borrow 60% or less of the value of their home.

Announcing the news Henry Jordan, head of mortgages at Nationwide said: “We are taking a series of steps to meet a growing demand from customers to be able borrow in later life.

“These customers are often asset rich, with significant equity in their home, and they wish to have the flexibility to borrow against it.

“Access to the mainstream market has been a challenge for older customers, resulting in their needs going unfulfilled.

“This measure helps to address these needs in a prudent, controlled manner.

“Nationwide is committed to providing a range of options for all customers and this will be the first step towards developing a wider range of options for those looking to borrow into retirement.”

At Peter Ward Homes we have a wide range of locations and house types that will appeal to the older generation especially those looking to downsize and release equity for immediate use.

To see our the latest homes visit

Our top five interior design blogs

Want to make the most of your home this summer? Well, look no further for inspiration. We’ve compiled a list of our favourite interior design blogs to help you on your way to creating your perfect living space.

And don’t forget a new home is a blank canvas, so why not take a look at these websites after you’ve decided which of our beautiful houses suits you the best!

Hannah in The House

This blog has been running since 2010 and was created as a personal outlet for Hannah, a decorative arts graduate. Its success has seen it become a full time concern sharing design, inspiration, craft tips and more.

Bright Bazaar

If it’s good enough for Elle Decor and The Huffington Post it’s good enough for us!

Created in 2009 it shares the ideas of freelance author, Will. Last year he released his first design book, Bright Bazaar: Embracing Colour For Make-You-Smile Style.

Pippa Jameson Interiors

You may have come across Pippa Jameson on one of her many TV shows, such as ITV1’s Bad Builders Bang To Rights.

The blog has won a host of awards and showcases industry knowledge, leading trends, advice on how to introduce current looks within your home and tips on the best high-street buys.

The Ordinary Lovely

This blog only cropped up a couple of years ago but has gathered a strong following in a short time.

The aim of the blog is to show readers how to achieve functional (with the emphasis on FUN) spaces and to accept the messiness that comes with having young children.

Sarah Akwisombe Blog

An art deco lovers dream. The blog has built a reputation for statement pieces and not holding back in its approach.

It’s won awards, built a cult following and assisted some of the world’s most renowned interior stylists.

So have a look at these amazing, talented interior designers and whilst you are at it have a look at

How much value is there in your child’s bedroom?

It is estimated that collectively teenagers across the UK store an incredible £20bn worth of goods in their bedroom.

The research, conducted by insurance company esure, took in to account clothes, toys, furniture and gadgets. Unsurprisingly it was games consoles and TVs that accounted for a significant slice of value, totalling around £700.

DVD players are also becoming more and more popular, with just over half of kids owning one and 18 per cent owning 50 DVDs or more.

It was also discovered that 1 in 8 had more than £2,000 worth of clothes hanging in their wardrobe and 1 in 25 wore jewellery worth £1,000 or more.

Nearly two thirds of parents polled as part of the same research confirmed that their teenagers spend the majority of time in their bedrooms.

Whilst many teens use their rooms to communicate on social media, they also use their bedrooms as a full on entertainment centre, some even having things like refrigerators to keep the coca-cola and chocolate cold.

In total the average value of a teenager’s bedroom came to £2,116.73, highlighting not only the importance of home and contents insurance – but the importance of choosing the right deal.

Many insurance companies will only insure a single item up to £1,500. Anything over this threshold may have to be insured separately.

If you’re looking for some more space for your growing family then take a look at this beautiful new build, guaranteed to get you teens smiling.

Peter Ward Homes to hold huge open day at Habrough Fields site

We will be holding one of the biggest open days in our 40 year history at theh Habrough Fields site in Immingham on Saturday 19 March from 11am.

National statistics show that new build homes continue to have a record completion rate and sales at Habrough Fields were up 67% in 2015, compared to 2014.

First time buyers, young families, growing families or those looking to downsize will all be welcome to take advantage of the free independent financial advice on offer at this latest open day.

The event sees more incentives on offer than at any previous event, with visitors on the day getting a voucher to have legal fees and Stamp Duty costs covered by Peter Ward Homes on any plot purchased by the end of June 2016.

On selected plots, buyers who reserve a plot before Monday 2nd May will also get to choose a combination of free home goods from a wide range including a Samsung fridge freezer, 4K HD TV, Playstation package or garden furniture and barbecue package worth up to £2,250.

Speaking ahead of the event sales director Rosemary Key said: “As we’re moving towards the summer we’re seeing the number of enquiries pick up dramatically.

These open days are a really great opportunity for people, regardless of what stage of the buying process they’re at, to gain valuable information, benefit from the give-aways on offer and view our show home, plus ten other properties which will be open for viewing on the day. We are certain there will be something to interest everyone

All of our staff will be on hand to offer advice and an independent financial advisor will also be in attendance offering free advice.

We offer Help to Buy on our houses too so, when you take into account that we’ll be covering the cost of legal fees and Stamp Duty as well, you can see that we have all kinds of help available to allow people to secure their dream home for less.”

For more information click here.

Top 10 spring-cleaning tips

The nights are getting lighter, the air is getting warmer and the trees are getting greener. All of which can only mean one thing; spring has sprung!

And with it comes the annual spring clean. At Peter Ward Homes we know the value of a clean and tidy house. So here are the top 10 tips from our team:

  1. Organise your wardrobes

Creating space in your wardrobe is a must. You’ll discover a host of clothes you’d forgotten about and no longer wear. Donate them to charity or put them in to storage to create extra space for your summer wardrobe (fingers crossed for some warm weather!)

  1. Cleaning up stubborn stains on paint

If you’re struggling to shift tough stains on paintwork around your house try putting a couple of drops of washing up liquid directly on to the stain and cleaning with a wet sponge.

  1. Change the mood of your rooms

Changing the fabrics in a room can change the mood dramatically. It’s also a cheaper alternative to wholesale changes. Change curtains, cushions, table linens, towels and other items for instant impact.

  1. Get tiles gleaming

Bathroom and kitchen tiles can start to lose their shine. Reinvigorate them with a good scrub – mix half a cup of baking soda to two gallons of water.

  1. Rearrange your bookshelf

Stack some books horizontally and some vertically. Order them alphabetically and segment them by genre. This will make them easier to find and break the monotony of seeing them in rows.

  1. Clean your front door mat

Shake it, wash it, beat it with a broom. This will help your house appear more welcoming and also stop dirt at the door.

  1. Don’t forget the ceiling

Clean light fixtures, fans and air conditioning units from dust and grime. It’s easy to forget the ceiling but a good top-to-toe scrub will give your house an excellent shine.

  1. Dissolving furniture dents

If you’ve moved heavy furniture recently and it’s left a mark in the carpet the solution is easy. Put ice on the effected area, wait for it to melt and then run the vacuum over it.

  1. Clean the slots in your knife block

Often over looked, the knife block is full of crumbs and food morsels. Blast it with a hair dryer to blow everything out and suck it all up with a vacuum.

  1. Clean the dishwasher

Another one you might forget to clean. Every so often the dishwasher needs a de-gunk too. Fill a large measuring jug with two cups of vinegar, put it on the top rack and run a normal cycle. Job done!

Still Time to Avoid 1st April 2016 Stamp Duty Increases

If you are contemplating purchasing a house you need to be aware of changes that are being made to the Stamp Duty, which come into force from 1st April 2016.

These changes will significantly increase the amount of stamp duty payable if the purchaser already owns another property. Initially aimed at buy-to-let investors and second homeowners, the increase will also catch a group of people who do not fit this profile.

Rosemary Key of Peter Ward Homes explains: “With new rules on accessing pension savings for the general public, combined with the low interest rates being offered for any money held in savings accounts, many people are looking at other ways they can increase the value of their savings. We are seeing an increasing number of individuals and couples who are considering and being tempted to buy a new home, whilst also retaining their existing home to rent out to family, friends or just put on the open letting market. The whole idea behind this is that it will give them an alternative source of income, whilst also retaining their existing property as an asset for the future”

“Not a bad idea you may think. But what many don’t realise is that they will be caught out by the new extra stamp duty rates, which on a £150,000 house will go from being £500 if purchased on 31st March 2016, to a staggering £5,000 if purchased on 1st April”

As a result, house builders are expecting a surge in demand on new build properties that are available for legal completion before 31st March. With a typical time period between reservation and legal completion being 5 to 6 weeks, you only have a limited time to react if you want to avoid the rate increase.

In his Autumn 2015 statement the Chancellor announced a substantial rise in stamp duty levels for buy to let purchases. From 2016 all buy to let purchases will attract an additional 3% stamp duty surcharge. There will be a new starting threshold of £40,000 which will capture nearly all buy to let transactions.
The Chancellor George Osbourne stated: “People buying a home to let should not be squeezing out families who can’t afford a home to buy. So I am introducing new rates of stamp duty that will be three per cent higher on the purchase of additional properties like buy to lets and second homes.”

These changes also apply to property being purchased as a second home.
The higher Stamp Duty rates will apply to purchases of buy to let and second homes with a completion date on or after 1st April 2016.
 If, however, contracts were exchanged before the announcement of the new rules on the 25th November 2015 the higher rates will not apply. In these cases the completion date can be on or after 1st April 2016.
 If exchange of contracts is after 25th November 2015, then the higher rates will apply if completion is not before 1st April 2016.

We’ve included some common scenarios below which should help you understand how the higher Stamp Duty rate will be applied:

  • Existing Home Owners -
 someone already owning a second home or buy to let property, who wishes to move house, will not be liable for the higher Stamp Duty rate. In this case the owner plans to replace their main residence and there is no retrospective tax to pay on the existing second home or buy to let.
  • Property investor – who already owns a buy to let portfolio should not be liable for the higher rate of stamp duty if they decide to move. Again this is because the owner plans to replace their main residence and there is no retrospective tax to pay on their existing buy to let portfolio.

            Note: Owners of a second home or buy to let property, who have sold their main home, will have up to 18 months to buy a new one without paying the higher stamp duty rate. This is because ultimately they will have replaced their main residence.

  • Moving but not selling – someone who wishes to move house but decides not to sell their existing property at the same time, will pay the higher rate. This is because even though they are replacing their main residence with a new one, at the end of the process they will own 2 properties. If the previous property is then sold within 18 months a refund of the higher rate can be applied for.
  • Renting out an existing home – if someone decides to buy a new home as a main residence, but wants to rent out their existing home instead of selling it, they will be liable for the higher Stamp Duty rate. This is because they will own 2 properties at the end of the process.
  • First time buyers -
If someone decides to purchase a buy to let investment as their first property the higher rate will not apply. This is because they will only own one property.
  • Parent buyers – if parents, who are homeowners themselves, wish to help their children buy their first home they could now face the higher rate of stamp duty. In this case, if the parents take out a joint mortgage with their children they will appear on the deeds. Legally the parents now own a second property. However, if the parents simply help with the deposit or act as a guarantor then the higher rates do not apply.
  • Married couples & civil partners – 
The higher rate of tax will apply to married couples and civil partners if one person in the relationship already owns a property.
 In this scenario people who are married or in a civil partnership are treated as a single entity for Stamp Duty purposes.


Twelfth night is now a not too distant memory and most of the country have gone back to work. Now is a time when a number of people’s thoughts turn to house buying. What you might not know is that the Government have even more help for first time buyers in 2016 including free cash!

Maybe you spent Christmas at home with your parents and realised what you want is your own space – a home of your own! Or your rented flat was so full with family visitors that you realise you need a bigger property that you can call your own. If so, you have probably decided you need to save in earnest for that much-needed deposit. The good news is that now you can get free cash that will help turn your dreams into reality.

For the first time, the Government is to give first time buyers up to £3,000 of tax-free cash (£6,000 if buying jointly) in measures designed to help them get onto the property ladder. The scheme, called the Help to Buy ISA, rewards first time buyers for saving towards their deposit on a new home.

Help to Buy Isa Saver

With a Help to Buy ISA the Government will help you save your deposit

Opening a Help to Buy ISA is a simple matter and once you have one it’s easy to see the benefits:

  • You open an account with a minimum deposit of £1 and a maximum of £1,000.
  • Then continue to save on a monthly basis up to a maximum amount of £200 a month
  • If you are looking to buy with a partner or friend, both of you can have an ISA to maximise the tax-free cash on offer
  • Once you have saved up the amount you need for your deposit you can go out and find your new dream home in the normal way
  • For every £200 in your account (up to a maximum of £12,000), you will qualify for a £50 tax-free cash bonus which will be claimed by your conveyancing solicitor as part of the home-buying process

Rosemary Key of Beverley-based housebuilder Peter Ward Homes, gave us her opinion on the Government’s latest measure to help First Time Buyers “The new Help to Buy ISA is a welcome boost to First Time Buyers. We see lots of demand for our properties from these buyers, wanting to take their first step on the property ladder, but saving for the deposit can be a real hurdle. Buying a new build appeals to First Time Buyers because it gives them a blank canvas on which they can stamp their own identity. And the NHBC 10 year warranty gives them peace of mind from some of the maintenance and running costs associated with older properties.”

“However the stumbling block is often having enough deposit to make that move. The Help to Buy ISA goes a long way to helping them get over the deposit issue. Lets use the example of one of our new 2 bed homes at our Habrough Fields site. With the maximum initial sum of £1000 each and a regular monthly saving amount of £200 each, a couple using a Help to Buy ISA could have enough saved for the 5% deposit on their new home in just 7 months. Allowing for other expenses such as legal fees and furniture they could still be in their new home by Christmas this year if they start saving now.”

Help to Buy ISA Couple

The Help to Buy ISA could see you in your new home by Winter 2016

If you think the new Help to Buy ISA is what you need to help you on the road to your first home, then get in touch with a financial adviser or one of the High Street banks. You can also go to a developer like Peter Ward Homes who will be able to point you in the right direction. If you want more information go to

First Time Buyers Given Even More Help by Chancellor

As a first time buyer you may have been watching the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement to see if there were any announcements that might, at long last, help you move into a home of your own.There were measures announced but you could be forgiven for not having noticed them!

So what did Mr Osborne have to say to help those move into the first home they could call their own? Firstly, the Help to Buy Equity Share scheme, which sees the government lend you 20% of the purchase price of a new build home, is being extended by another year until 2021. This gives those wanting a to buy a home up to six years to save their deposit.

First Time Buyers 2

There are now even more reasons for First Time Buyer celebrations !

More subtly there was the 3% increase in stamp duty for second homes and buy-to-let properties. You might wonder how this would help you as a first time buyer. We spoke to Rosemary Key, Sales Director at Peter Ward Homes, and she thinks this will mean landlords will be less likely to buy properties now to rent out. It is her view that more of the lower priced second hand properties, which are usually snapped up by landlords, will be available for first time buyers.

However Rosemary adds “A second hand property is not always the best bet for a first time buyer. A new build house has the advantage of having lower comparable running costs. And it’s not going to leave you with a large bill in your first two years of ownership if, for example, the boiler fails and needs to be replaced. Items like this are covered under guarantee on new homes but with a second hand home this kind of expenditure can be needed at any time.”

What is less obvious is the effect that the Help to Buy scheme has on the New vs Second hand debate, when you are deciding which property to buy. Rosemary explains “With the Help to Buy Equity Share scheme you only need to get a mortgage for 75% of the property’s price, the balance being paid by the 20% government loan and a 5% deposit from you.”

“As you are only borrowing 75% of the purchase price from a bank or building society, your monthly mortgage payments are likely to be lower than they would be on a resale property, even if the full price of the newly built home is slightly more. There is no interest to pay on the 20% government loan for the first five years, after which the interest rate starts at 1.75%, and you don’t have to repay the loan for 25 years, unless you sell the property before then.”

Another way the Chancellor has helped is the new Help to Buy ISA which should be on offer from banks and Building Societies from this month (December 2015). This is designed to help you save up your deposit, whilst also getting a contribution from the government to top up your own savings.

First Time Buyers 3

You need advice from a Mortgage Adviser

If you want to know more about any of the help and advice available to first time buyers then you can go on-line or talk with a mortgage adviser. If you live in East Yorkshire or North East Lincolnshire Peter Ward Homes will be happy to see you at any of their sites. Rosemary says any mortgage adviser or bank will be happy to guide first time buyers on what can be a daunting journey and, in the case of her Site Salespeople, they have a ‘no hassle policy’ so won’t put you under any pressure to buy if you decide the time isn’t right.

So there you have it, an update on what the Chancellor did for first time buyers in the 2015 Autumn statement. Great news for those looking to buy and move into their first home!


Making It Easier For First Time Buyers To Get Onto The Property Ladder ….. Including Our Top 10 Tips


There are a lot of offers available to help buyers take that first step onto the property ladder. With new developments springing up across the country, there has never been a better time for first-time buyers to secure a new home.

The two most popular offers, that make buying a new home more affordable, are covered by the government’s Help to Buy Scheme. With a Help to Buy Equity loan the Government lends you 20% of the cost of your new-build home, so you’ll only need a 5% cash deposit and a 75% mortgage to make up the rest. You won’t be charged loan fees on the 20% loan for the first five years of owning your home, after which rates start at 1.75% per annum

The second scheme is the Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee. It works in exactly the same way as a normal mortgage, except that under the scheme the Government offers lenders a guarantee on mortgage loans. Because of this support those lenders taking part are able to offer home buyers more high-loan-to-value mortgages (80-95%). You will still be fully responsible for your mortgage repayments. So if you have a 5% deposit, you will need to take out, and pay back a 95% mortgage.

You need to get on the Property Ladder as early as you can.

You need to get on the Property Ladder as early as you can.

Both these schemes are open to First Time Buyers. For more information on Help to Buy you can go to the Peter Ward Homes website

A third scheme is due to be added to the range of Help to Buy products on 1st December 2015 – The Help to Buy ISA. If you’re a first time buyer you can save up to £200 a month towards your first home and the government will boost your savings by 25%. That’s a £50 bonus for every £200 you save. You can receive a bonus of up to £3,000, which means if you save £12,000, the government bonus will boost your total savings to £15,000. More details of this scheme can be found here

As First Time Buyers look to take advantage of these offers, they need advice to ensure becoming a homeowner for the first time is as hassle-free as possible. This blog will help with that.

Rosemary Key, sales director at Peter Ward Homes is keen to make the journey for all buyers as simple and easy as possible. “We see large numbers of First Time Buyers at our sites. They vary tremendously, from singles looking to escape the rental market, to couples looking to move in together. And its not just having the savings or access to funds that’s important, many haven’t realised the wide array of other things that are needed when you want to become a homeowner. So, to make sure they have everything they need we’ve put together a number tips to make sure taking that first step is as straightforward as possible.”

Tips for First Time Buyers

There is a list of ten top tips that the company give to First Time Buyers and these include:

  • Start budgeting – its never too early to start saving! And don’t just put money away for your house purchase costs. You will need to look at the costs of moving in, buying furniture, if you need to, and generally running a home.
  • Don’t overstretch yourself – it’s about understanding the costs involved and still having money to enjoy yourself once you move in.
  • Mortgage Advice – always take professional financial advice. Many housebuilders, like ourselves, can point you toward an Independent Mortgage Adviser. This will ensure you know you have the right type of mortgage to suit you on the right terms.
  • Solicitors – housebuilders will often recommend a solicitor for you to use for your conveyancing. They may offer special discounted rates to customers of that particular builder and will be used to working to the builder’s deadlines.
  • Buildings Insurance – your house is likely to be your biggest asset and needs to be protected from the date you exchange contracts to buy a new build home. A broker can help you with this. Or you can buy direct from many insurers, banks and even supermarkets.
  • Contents Insurance – quite often this comes in a single package with Buildings Insurance. Make sure you are getting good value by getting separate quotes for these.
  • Home from Home – make sure you have sorted everything you need to retain your existing lifestyle, the things you need and expect including internet connection, a phone line and a TV service. Remember that these can all be additional costs.
  • Utilities – once you know the purchase is going through, get in touch with the various alternative gas and electricity suppliers and ask them about deals. A comparison website can be a good idea as you can type your details in once and get quotes from dozens of suppliers. Finally get the best internet/telephone/TV deal you can.
  • Consider buying smaller household items whilst you are saving up your deposit. When you do buy your new home you might find it difficult to afford all those pots and pans, bedding etc and so it is often easier and cheaper to buy these things over a period of time when you see things you particularly like or when the sales are on.
  • Spend time in the area – if you are moving to a new area, take a car journey to find local shops, take-aways, surgeries and any other things that interest you including sports facilities, pubs, restaurants etc. By doing this first you will feel more integrated into the community when you first move in

“Like other housebuilders we want our first-time buyers to know what to expect and plan for when becoming a new homeowner. We want it to be a stress free experience, so our first time buyers get pleasure and enjoyment from moving” said Rosemary. “We hope these ten top tips will help first-time buyers wherever they are purchasing their new home and whether they are buying a new Peter Ward home or not.”

And if you do want to have a look at one of our homes we have sites that you can view on line at Happy House Hunting and let us know if our First Time Buyers Tips were any help!

Just 13 Weeks to Christmas!

With just three months to go to Christmas the question is can you move home in time? This Christmas will you be giving the kids a bigger chimney for Santa to climb down? Will you now have enough room for both sets of in-laws to stay over? In thirteen weeks it’s not going to be easy. You’ve got to find a new place to live, sell your current home and move out – and in. Can it be done?

Well Peter Ward Homes certainly think so and in the past number of years their buyers have done just that!

“Buying a new house in the Autumn and run up to the Festive Season means there is little time to get settled in before the end of December celebrations start and the New Year begins” said Sales Representative Craig Maurier, who is based at the company’s Habrough Fields, Immingham site. “It does mean you need to move quickly but by using FreeSell, a unique product to Peter Ward Homes, it can be made much easier. FreeSell is where we take on the responsibility for selling your existing home, it can shorten the sales period and get you into your new home in plenty of time for Christmas. Unlike a private sale, with FreeSell we appoint three Estate Agents so you get three times the effort and marketing of your home. As only the Agent who sells the home gets a commission, they all push harder for a sale than with a normal home on their books”

For those who want to go it alone and sell their own property then its still a possibility but you will need to be organised. In this Blog we try to help those people who have set their sights on a Christmas move whether to one of our new homes or into an older property.

Once you decide to sell up you need to find and appoint an Estate Agent. To sell your home quickly we wouldn’t advise self-sell, if you do this you are relying on passing traffic or your own promotion. By using an agent they get you the buyer because that’s what they do! But therein lies the problem how do you stand out from the rest of their properties. One tip is to incentivise your estate agent. Ask four agents to value your home and to pitch you their services. At the end, when they tell you what percentage of the sale will be their fee, tell them you will give them an additional 1% if they sell your home in a month or ½% if they sell it in two. Assess their presentation, services and response to your question and choose who you think is the best one. Remember nothing focuses an Estate Agents mind more than earning their fee!

So once you use a service like FreeSell or you have appointed your agent what’s next. Well obviously you need to find your new home. In the case of Peter Ward Homes they are promoting plots at their three sites across East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire. They have homes waiting for those people wanting to move in before Christmas and enjoy the festive season in their new home.

Young couple with boxes in new home celebrating New Years

You can be in your new home for the Festive Season

“We have a lot of experience in getting people moved quickly” said Debbie Ward Sales Representative at the company’s Willows site in Goole “For example we have three of our 3 bed Woking housetypes for sale that will all be completed in early December. That gives time for the legal completion and moving in to take place”.

The story is the same at Habrough Fields where there are 3 and 4 bed homes either completed and ready to move into now or a number due for completion in October. This gives buyers plenty of time to reserve plots and, if necessary, get their own homes on the market.

So, you have sorted out who is selling your old home and where you are buying the new one. Now there is just everything that has to be done in between. Like everything in life there is a Five Point Plan that will make this stage a success too:

Prepare your existing home for sale…

The obvious things are to tidy every room up and take out the clutter, do any necessary redecoration and make rooms look attractive to potential buyers. So turn that junk room back into a bedroom, clean the kitchen, put flowers in the living room and pot pourri in the bathroom. Look at your home as if you were buying it. Spend more time cleaning and tidying than baking bread and putting the percolator on!

Organise the purchase of your new home…

Establish all the costs including the sale price of your new home, all fees for conveyancing and moving, not forgetting stamp duty. Check you have enough money from the sale price of your existing home plus your savings and additional mortgage combined, for the new property. Don’t forget you may have to haggle over the price of your existing home so knock 5% off the price you want to be on the safe side!

Choose someone you know or who are recommended for the conveyancing…

Some “busy” solicitors just firefight, giving their time and attention to your sale and purchase only when a problem arises. Ask friends if they would recommend the conveyancers they used? Look at hiring solicitors who offer a fixed-price No sale, No fee service. Explain that you have a deadline and if they can’t meet it they need to be honest. If not you will make their life a misery. And once you have chosen don’t be a pest but do cajole. And ask for milestone dates when things should be done by.

Secure your mortgage as early as possible…

You need to meet with your bank, building society or independent broker to see how much you can borrow and discuss whether a fixed or variable rate is best, repayment or interest only. Many people find that dealing direct with banks and building societies is a longer process, so consider a broker. Discuss timescales with your mortgage provider as lenders do have backlogs. For that first meeting take along your past three months’ pay slips and at least two annual P60’s. Provide details of any life assurance and if necessary pension arrangements. If you have any investments including deposit accounts ISA’s or shares bring proof of ownership. Print off bank statements from the past twelve months and take a utility and council tax bill. If self-employed, you will need at least three years of audited accounts. And proof of identity is a good idea, a passport is best. All this will help speed up the process. If you need to supply anything further try to take it in to the lender rather than post it.

Contact the removal company…

Blog Xmas Removals

Even though you don’t have a date, start to look at removal companies and save money by shopping around. If you move close to Christmas, bear in mind that removal firms get booked up and prices could rise. At your existing home, start to pack things away. Any large items or garage clutter can be put into temporary storage. Start thinking about time off work and save at least two days for the move. Moving mid-week is normally cheaper and gives you two extra weekend days.

So now you are all primed up what other advice is there for you? A great website to visit is, a price comparison site with loads of advice on moving and that lists suppliers of services including solicitors, surveyors and removals. Right Move have some comprehensive guides and the Home Owners Alliance website ( is packed full of useful information. And don’t forget if you’re buying a home in East Yorkshire or Northern Lincolnshire spend some time looking at the Peter Ward Homes website. After all we brought you this article so we know it works! Happy moving and let us be the first to wish you a Merry Christmas in your new home.