If your mortgage is the single biggest expenditure, see the guide to Remortgaging in 2015

If your mortgage is your single biggest expenditure, cutting its cost is likely to be your biggest single money saver.

UK mortgage market

The UK mortgage market is one of the most competitive in the world, yet the number of deals out there makes it hard to know what’s best for you. There may be a deal out there for you, but it’s got tougher. Therefore the aim is to find the best deal for you and to figure out whether you’re eligible for it.

This guide is for anyone who already has a mortgage on their home. A re-mortgage can be for many reasons – maybe you’re coming to the end of your current deal, or your deals no longer right for you. Or maybe you want to try and cut costs, or consolidate debts?

Remortgaging means shifting your mortgage from one lender to another to get yourself a better deal, you don’t even have to move house to do it. There are many reasons why re-mortgaging could make sense for you but the main one is simple, saving money.

A mortgage is the biggest financial commitment for most people, for some; sticking on the standard variable rate (the rate you ended up paying after your introductory offer has ended) is the best option. However, it is always worth challenging your current lender to give you a new offer as it could reduce the fees you pay to get a new deal.

If you feel that it is time to move onto the next provider, remember that although this will save you money in the long run, re-mortgaging comes at a price. Mortgage interest rates have dropped, the fees lenders levy have increased significantly and you may need to pay an exit fee to leave your current lender and, depending on your deal and early repayment charge as well.

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Structural warranty provider Build-Zone strengthens team with two new appointments

Structural Warranty Provider Build-Zone has strengthened the team by announcing 2 new appointments.  Vicki Marshall and Chloe Hayward.

Vicky Marshall has progressed at Build-Zone from administration to a new position as Trainee Insurance Technician.  After leaving secondary school Vicky attended West Kent College where she studied Secretarial for 2 years.  She then spent 5 years as a secretary for a firm of chartered surveyors.  Vicky joined Build-Zone in April when she originally looked after the administration for the Build-Zone team including allocation of payments and the issue of all certificates.  Vicky is now training to become part of the underwriting team which involves the rating of premiums, issue of quotations and handling enquiries.

Vicky can be contacted on 0845 230 9873 or email Vicky.marshall@build-zone.com

Chloe Hayward is the newest member of the Build-Zone team.  She recently joined Build-Zone as Trainee Insurance Technician following three years studying at college at NWK College in Gravesend where she completed her exams in June 2012.  Chloe’s responsibilities include handling the administration for the Build-Zone team: the issuing of certificates, data entry and allocation of payments.  She also provides support to the other team members in producing quotations and corresponding with clients.

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Self-Build Zone host self build site insurance masterclass at the National Home Improvement Show 2011

Self-Build Zone announces that Simon Middleton, Director at Self-Build Zone hosted a Masterclass at the National Home Improvement show at Earls Court over the weekend.  Simon spoke on the subject of avoiding costly extension, improvement and renovation project insurance pitfalls.

Self-Build Zone are a leading provider of site insurance, the 10 year structural warranty, buildings insurance, technical audits, building control services, health & safety to the self build, extension and home improvement marketplace.

Site Insurance is essential for anyone planning an extension, renovation, conversion or new build project. Self-Build Zone have several different site insurance options to protect your project during the build process, including flexible short term extendable policies as well as the traditional 2 year policy.

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Minimising risk through a structured approach to self-build lending.

Article by Simon Middleton – June 2011

Self-Build lending is still perceived to be problematic even though it’s one of the largest home building sectors in the UK, ultimately delivering prime market property portfolios.  Issues of planning problems both prior to and during the build project, restrictive covenants, in addition to the usual income and accident related issues and the very nature of the project being undertaken continue to make lenders wary. But that’s not surprising when You consider the rather bespoke requirements of self-build lending are normally shoe horned into the existing home purchase structured product arrangement which relies on the valuation process and doesn’t really provide a thorough risk management approach.

Traditionally self-build customers are released funds based on a series of stage payment mortgages which are valued at stages by the lenders valuation surveyor. Whilst a valuer has good understanding of the construction process and is absolutely key to assessing anticipated final value, they may not have a full understanding of MMC and Ecobuild systems, or how to assess the property for compliance relative to planning permission and building regulations. It is very difficult for a valuation surveyor to provide the stage valuation the Lenders are relying on especially as the stage reached may not be relevant to the actual expenditure made. More importantly it doesn’t control what the self-builder is spending funds on.

A general lack of understanding by the self-builder and the lender of the requirements at this level means that contracts between the self-builder and their contractors or tradesmen are not always used, which increases the risk of the build going over budget and they don’t always utilise Site Insurance or a 10 Year Structural Warranty, all of which can easily be stipulated. For example:- Self–Build Zone have a contract service which caters for the creation of written legal contracts for the whole project and is less than £50.

To provide that increased degree of comfort to lenders then maybe they should be taking a more bespoke approach to lending into the sector as it seems to me that there are already the tools in place with which to adequately risk manage the construction process, it’s just a matter of implementing a standard framework and sorting out the communication between the various tools.

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Self build structural warranty provider welcomes Government’s self-build sector boost

Structural warranty provider Build-Zone today welcomed the Government’s recent policy announcement to cut red tape and boost demand in the UK self-build sector.

Structural Warranty Insurance

Housing Minister Grant Shapps called on the country’s aspiring self-builders to make a housebuilding revolution their New Year’s resolution.  Self-builders are already Britain’s largest housebuilder, and account for one-fifth of Britain’s new homes each year, but for far too long the aspirations of ordinary people to build their own home have been thwarted by barriers and red tape.  Barriers that stand in people’s way will be torn down – including a complex and bureaucratic planning system, regulatory burdens, and lack of access to land and finance.

A new Community Right to Build will offer communities the chance to give the green light to new developments without the need for specific planning applications.  This could be local people working alone to build their own homes, or entire communities coming together to build the homes the area needs.

The self-build sector is already important to growth and housing supply – with self-builders completing as many as 10,000 building projects each year – so making it easier for more people to build their own home will provide a welcome boost to the housing market.

Mr Shapps has asked the National Self Build Association (NASBA) to work with his officials to develop an action plan to boost the number of self-builders across the country – and address the common barriers aspiring self-builders face, including:

  • availability of land – including making public sector land available for house building
  • availability of finance – working with lenders to ensure self-building communities can get the finance they need
  • availability of expert support – how self-builders can support communities looking to build the homes they need, and how those new to self-building can be supported.

Build-Zone are a major provider of 10 year structural warranty, technical audits, and building control services, to the self build marketplace.

Build-Zone Director Simon Middleton said:

“This is really is a positive step forward for anyone who has dreamed of building their own home but have had their hopes dashed through a complex planning system and lack of land in their community.  Build-Zone has been providing Structural Warranties to this [Self-build] market sector since 2003 and we already have the products in place to provide essential cover on community projects as well.

Our sister operation Self Build Zone is the market leader in the provision of Self-build insurance and is also in the perfect position to provide communities looking to build homes with specific site cover as well. Insuring the project properly is of fundamental importance when there are many people’s financial interests at stake”.

Self-Build Zone products include:

Site Insurance
Buildings Insurance
Structural Warranty
Building Control Services
Renovation Insurance
Code for Sustainable Homes
SAP Energy Ratings
Air Pressure Testing
Sound Testing

Self Build Zone Director, Simon Middleton will be guest speaking at the Lending Policy Meets Housebuilding Reality Conference where  he will deliver a warranty providers view of Modern Methods of Construction and Eco Building.

The website can be found at www.buildzone.com

Or subscribe to the structural warranty blog: www.structural-warranty-blog.co.uk

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