Looking forward to the year ahead

Main Image

Mortgages: If you have a mortgage review coming up or are thinking of borrowing more or moving home, then here’s some helpful tips and suggestions to ensure you’re ahead of the game.

  • Be organised – always do your homework with regards to your borrowing potential and deposit requirements before you set your heart on your dream home. We specialise in this so please contact us and we can run through everything you will need to know to get ahead.
  • Be prepared – especially clients who run their own business. Lenders will insist on seeing 2021’s Tax return info after October, so don’t leave it until January to file your return. In many instances, for self-employed clients and Ltd Co Directors, lenders want to see business bank statements as well as personal ones. There are many ways your income can be determined when you run your own business, so have your latest 2 years Accounts, Tax Year Calculations and Tax Year Summaries ready as soon as possible. We are always happy to chat to your Accountants to save you time if you prefer.
  • Be realistic - We have already seen many lenders take a much tougher stance with mortgage approvals in 2020 and we don’t expect this trend to change. This week we have already seen reductions in lending multiples being applied to self-employed applicants and unfortunately this is a theme we expect to continue. We are being asked to put together robust supporting information and explanations on how a business has coped with lockdowns etc and in some cases have seen cases declined if a business has taken support from the treasury. It’s more important than ever to let us do the homework in these cases.

Protection: Review your protection plans to make sure they are fit for purpose. Especially if you have taken out a new mortgage, increased your existing one or maybe started a family. Ask yourself, why did you originally take out the plan? Does it still do the job you need it to do? Is the amount you need protected correct? Plans should always be checked when your mortgage is reviewed to ensure that they remain relevant and appropriate for your needs.

Wealth Management: With many people living longer than ever, nervousness could force people to sit on savings and not think about the long term effects of holding cash for long periods of time.

Here are a few practical things to help you harness some cautious positivity:

  • Make sure you have at least three months of expenditure as easy access cash to weather any short-term needs so you're not forced to sell at the wrong time.
  • Volatility is not necessarily a bad word; understand the level of risk you feel comfortable accepting.
  • Make sure you balance your caution with making your money work hard enough.
  • With the markets lower this would be a good time to consider increasing your pension contributions if you can. Read up on annuities and drawdown so you know your options.
  • Set up a plan and stick to it. Split your money into short-term (cash), medium-term and long-term pots.

Staying in touch using the Client Portal: All our customers now have access to our client portal which allows you to see the value of any policies we have arranged for you, gives you secure access to your policy documents and enables you to securely message and send us documents. You also have the ability to set up a new pension or investment (such as Stocks & Shares ISAs) via the portal. Please let us know if you would like more information or a demonstration on this, especially handy for ISA season!

Should you have any questions on any matter to do with your personal finance, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

We’d like to thank you for your continued support and wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year from all of us at Sands.