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Saving for your first home? | McEwan Fraser Legal

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Is it your New Year’s resolution to save money for a house deposit? Did you know that you’ll need to have at least 5% of the deposit saved up? – more if you want the lowest rates. So, the golden rule with mortgages is to save as large a deposit as possible. The larger your deposit, the cheaper your mortgage rate will be. But with house prices steady, even 5% can be a huge amount to save. Below, McEwan Fraser Legal provides top tips on making your house deposit go further in 2016. 1 Apply for the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme This helps buyers to buy a new build home from a participating house builder without having to fund the entire purchase price. 2 Save in a ‘Help to Buy ISA’ If you are saving to buy your first home, save money into a Help to Buy ISA and the government will boost your savings by 25%. So, for every £200 you save, receive a government bonus of £50. The maximum government bonus you can receive is £3,000. The Help to Buy ISA will be available from a range of banks and building societies. 3 Shared ownership This scheme aims to help people on low to moderate incomes to purchase a property where it is affordable for them over the long term. Through a shared ownership scheme, you can buy a 25%, 50% or 75% share in a house or flat owned by the housing association. Please note: Priority is given to anyone who is currently renting a council or housing association property, though each local authority will have different conditions. 4 Buy with someone else It doesn’t have to be a partner or family member. Buying with friends can mean together you can all save up quicker to get the required deposit. Just make sure you talk about, or have an agreement on what happens if one of you wants to sell their share. 5 Buy somewhere cheaper You might find your dream location is just too expensive. If you can find a cheaper property, you’ll either be able to buy it sooner with the deposit you already have, or keep saving for a little longer to get a better mortgage deal. 6 Maximise your interest If you’re saving the maximum amount in the Help to Buy ISA, make sure the rest of the money you save isn’t just sitting in your bank account. There’s a lot of competition among current accounts right now, meaning it’s possible to get as much as 5% interest on your savings. There are restrictions with these, so make sure you read the Terms and Conditions. 7 Don’t forget the other costs Even if you are able to boost the size of your deposit, don’t stop saving. You’ll need to make sure you can afford mortgage fees, Stamp Duty, moving costs and day to day maintenance of your new home.