Tag Archives: Mortgage

Home Insurance – Computer says No

One of the standard mortgage requirements was to arrange buildings insurance. This is not as easy when dealing with a new development and roads where the postcodes are not yet live.

My mortgage provider, kindly, passed on my details to one insurance provider Legal & General who called up and were able to provide a quote based on a neighbouring postcode. their pricing was rather steep and definitely wanted some comparisons before diving in.

I had managed to get Royal Mail to activate the post code and add it to the Postcode Address File which gets updated daily. However not all companies use the daily updates and a lot of insurance companies (based on my financial services experience) use Experian as their data provider who update on a monthly basis.

After a bit of trial and error did manage to find that the AA Home Insurance site allows you to manually enter the address if the postcode doesn’t lookup correctly. Also comparethemarket also allows manual entry, although you get a limited number of quotes back (but enough for some basic comparison), mostly seemed to be underwritten by Axa.

Although some others came out cheaper, I went with the AA in the end as it offered electronic documentation that i could send off straight to my solicitors rather than risk having to wait for paper documents to send off ahead of completing. It also qualified for £38 cashback on Quidco so not a lot in it pricewise in the end.

Help to Buy Mortgages

When the Help to Buy: Equity Loans first launched, the only bank offering mortgages that could be used with the scheme was the Halifax. Fortunately, they’re also ‘contractor friendly’ otherwise would have been stuck.

A few more providers have since turned up. I’ve listed the ones I have found below (Disclaimer: please note I am not suggesting you take out any of these or that you will get accepted/offered. Contact a financial adviser for proper advice, but these may help point you/them in the right direction! These are only correct as of the time I found them 23 May 2013.)

  • Halifax – 3.19% fixed for 2 years, £999 product fee
  • RBS/Natwest -3.15% fixed for 2years or 3.59% fixed for 5years, no product fee
  • Barclays/Woolwich – 3.89% fixed for 3 years, £299 product fee
  • Newbury Building Society – 3.59% (SVR – 0.86%) for 3 yrs, £500 fee.

Update 28th May – Looks like Nationwide are jooining the party with an attractive rate:

  • Nationwide – 2.54% fixed for 2 yrs or  2.64% fixed for 3 yrs, £999 fees.


So the Valuation and Mortgage Offer are in, Help to Buy has been ready for a while. So the finances look to be sorted.

Just need the solicitors enquiries to complete, then we can get the Approval to Exchange from the Homebuy agent and we’re away.

Bit underwhelmed by the valuation though, 2 sides of A4 for almost £600, and he’s managed to come back with exactly the same number as the selling price. Good gig if you can get it i guess. Sigh.

The story so far… (in summary!)

We were already starting to look at houses when the UK government announced the “Help to Buy:Equity Loan” scheme, which meant we could get a better mortgage interest rate and hence more for our money. So we decided to jump on the bandwagon before the market reacts too much and prices go up as demand increases. New builds in Surrey are silly money (or virtually on top of the M25 or rail lines) so looked further afield to Hampshire in Winchester and Micheldever.

The Micheldever development had a few too many uncertainties, the main one being a waste powered electricity plant being potentially built down the road. The only development of note in Winchester at the time is Abbotts Walk by Redrow, on the Worthy road towards Headbourne Worthy. Having decided the initial home we’d be interested in was too small and availability varying from one hour to the next placed a reservation on a slightly bigger house still under construction.

Grange mortgages were most helpful in getting a mortgage in principle from the Halifax and getting the ‘Help to Buy’ underway.

Appointed a conveyancer using FridaysMove having decided against using a RedRow ‘recommended’ one. Sorry, call me old fashioned, but would like them to look after my interests not to be looking for their next referral.

HomesinHants (aka Radian Group), the Homebuy agent, have approved our HelptoBuy application pretty swiftly given it was one of the first out of the blocks.

The mortgage offer is nearly in place, the application having been chosen for a full underwriting audit, with the valuation now having been instructed and taken place.

The scaffold has now come down off the build and we have been able to visit the plot and house in its final stages of construction.

There are a few more legal enquiries to make but hopefully will exchange contracts in the next couple of weeks.


There’s a lot more detail to some of this than meets the eye, but that will follow!