We recently had a client referred to us as they had tried searching for a mortgage elsewhere but had found it increasingly difficult to find one that suited their circumstances. The couple are foster carers and found many other lenders don’t take into account all of their foster income to allow them to borrow what they needed. 

Top tips to get yourself mortgage ready


Get yourself mortgage ready…

It may help to know that being mortgage ready before you either sell your current home or (if you’re a first-time buyer) viewing properties, will get you ahead of the game.

It may seem like a stressful process with all the admin that comes with applying for a mortgage and getting it accepted but we can help make the process easier

Here’s a few tips to boost your mortgage chances and get you mortgage ready:

Our latest Viewpoint newsletter can be downloaded here [pdf]


As most parts of the UK enjoyed glorious weather for the long Easter weekend, the European Union leaders granted the UK a six-month extension to Brexit. The new deadline is 31 October although Theresa May, who wanted a shorter delay, said the UK would still aim to leave the EU as soon as possible. The UK must now hold European elections in May, or leave on 1 June without a deal.

Writing a policy into Trust could be perceived as something that only the wealthy require but the reality is all life insurance policies should be written into trust.

Protection should be considered as the foundation of all financial planning. After all, if things go awry and you suddently find yourself in dire straits, who or what can you rely on to keep you and your family afloat? 

Did you know? The average value of contents in a three bedroom family home is estimated at £55,000. 

Moving home key

Research by Censuswide for Nationwide shows it’s not just first-time buyers who struggle to fund their property purchase. So-called ‘second steppers’ are finding it hard to move up the housing ladder, having to make compromises or sacrifices in order to afford their next home.

According to the study of more than 1,000 adults living in their first home, the average cost of the second property is £370,539, so perhaps it is unsurprising that many of those surveyed said they would need financial help to make the move - especially if they had outgrown their current home and need more space. Another obstacle is finding a place in the right location - 16% of respondents said they were stuck in an area they didn’t like because of housing affordability.

Cutting back

When asked what sacrifices these second-time buyers would be happy to make to afford their dream move, over half said they would stop going out and one third said they would forgo holidays or weekends away to save the money. Incredibly, one in seven even suggested they would be willing to give up their spouse in return for a move up the property ladder!

Making compromises

If cutting out trips and treats (and giving up your spouse) isn’t enough to create the spare cash needed for the move, compromises might have to be made in terms of the type of property people want. Not everyone questioned was willing to compromise though; one in five said they weren’t prepared to change any of the criteria they were looking for. By contrast, the conservatory, garage, driveway and ideal school were the four areas that most would compromise on if it came to it. 

Staying put 

It’s clear that strong house price growth and the high cost of moving has led many to adopt the ‘improve, not move’ mantra. In fact, eight out of ten of those surveyed said they would stay in their home if they could improve it.

If you're considering your next move on the property ladder, or have grand designs on a renovation project please get in touch for advice. 

Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. 



The financial products and services we need to navigate through life will change with our circumstances. In the early years, our financial needs are likely to be more straightforward, getting increasingly complex as we grow older and experience more of life’s rich tapestry.

20 - 30’s: From single and sorted to settling down Ah, those carefree days of being young, free and single; possibly still enjoying student life (albeit probably with a loan), starting an apprenticeship, or moving onto and along the career ladder. Our financial needs at this point might be fairly basic: an inflation-beating savings plan for those starting to think about homeownership, income protection for the workers. If budget allows you might even think about cover that helps to pay the bills in the event of an accident or illness. And when you meet someone and start a family, or take on your first mortgage, the need for protection insurance becomes essential.

40 - 50’s: Accumulating wealth and paying off debts For most of us, financial wellbeing will depend on whatever it is we do to earn money. At this stage in life, as well as securing good living standards while we’re working, it’s important to think carefully about putting some of our income aside for the future. Generally speaking, and subject to investment performance and charges, the earlier you start saving and the more you save, the better shape your financial assets are likely to be in when you need to draw on them. But deciding on the right investment strategy is complicated because of the various factors that can influence it.

For instance:

• your investment objectives - what do you want from your money?

• the level of risk you’re prepared to accept and the potential level of loss your finances can tolerate

• the types of investments you should consider in view of your objectives and risk profile

• the tax-efficiency when it comes to holding these investments

• the ongoing management of your investment


Over 60: Taking your pension; enjoying retirement When the time comes to draw money from your pension, you’ll need to decide how and from where. Self-evidently, the greater the value of your investment, the better the prospect of a financiallyrewarding retirement. But the more investments you have, the more important it will be to think very carefully about where you take money from when the time comes, and how you continue to manage your money throughout your retirement.

It’s also wise to make sure your estate is in good order for any potential beneficiaries. Successful estate planning is all about helping to control the amount of tax you pay on the wealth you create and there are a number of key areas to consider as part of this:

•A will

• Lifetime gifts

• Trusts

• Use of exemptions and reliefs

• Tailored investment products

• Pension arrangements

• Life assurance

We can provide high-quality financial advice whatever your circumstances. Please talk to us to find out more


HM Revenue and Customs practice and the law relating to taxation are complex and subject to individual circumstances and changes which cannot be foreseen.

The value of investments and any income from them can go down as well as up and you may not get back the original amount invested.

The will writing service promoted here is not part of the Openwork offering and is offered in our own right. Will writing is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.