Pros and cons of a variable rate mortgage

A variable rate mortgage is a mortgage in which the interest rate on the outstanding balance changes periodically. Typically, these loans will have fixed, or “teaser” interest rates for a specified amount of time, after which the interest rate will change based on a variety of factors. In most cases, the initial interest rate on a variable rate loan will be lower than a fixed rate, which can be appealing for homebuyers. But it is important to be aware of the pros and cons before jumping into a variable rate loan.

Pros

Flexibility

The number one advantage of a variable rate mortgage is flexibility. With a variable rate mortgage, you don’t need to worry about penalties for things like increasing your monthly payment, or paying off your mortgage early. You also have the ability to make lump-sum payments on your mortgage throughout the year, which can be very helpful for home buyers with a fluctuating income affected by bonuses or commissions. If your life is likely to change relatively soon, and you plan on eventually moving or selling the house, …

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How to win a bidding war on a house

So, you’ve found your perfect home. The only problem is that the home that is perfect for you also happens to be perfect for several other buyers. In markets with high demand and low inventory, also known as seller’s markets, bidding wars can be quite commonplace. And because of already increasing demand, combined with a year-long halt in construction due to the pandemic, Ireland is in a seller’s market right now. This means that many houses will have multiple buyers attracted to the property, which can hurt your chances of securing the home of your dreams. In this blog, we’ll consider some strategies to ensure you walk away with your dream home

Make the highest offer

The most obvious way to win a bidding war is to simply make the highest offer.  Because the seller is usually trying to make as much money as possible, the highest offer usually holds a lot of weight. So, if you can scrape together some extra cash to outbid the competition, you will most likely be the top choice of the seller. However, under …

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First Time Buyers lead the way as mortgage drawdowns and approvals continue to rise

As the Irish economy continues to reopen following the shock of the Covid-19 pandemic, mortgage approvals and drawdowns have remained on the rise. Recent figures from the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) has shown data on mortgage drawdowns and approvals for the second quarter of 2021.

According to the data from BPFI, some 9,625 new mortgages were drawn down in the second quarter of 2021. This represents an increase of 45.4 percent in volume when compared to the same data from the second quarter of 2020, when the pandemic was at its height. These new mortgages have a total value of €2.23 billion, representing an increase in value of 52.5 percent when compared with the same period a year ago. BPFI reports that of these new mortgages, first time buyers represent the largest segment, accounting for some 50.9 percent of all new mortgages.

The vast majority of new mortgages drawn down were to finance a purchase of a home. In the second quarter, there were 7,438 mortgage drawdowns for purchases, with a combined value totaling €1.8 billion, a 47.8 …

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5 tips to improve your credit rating

Your credit rating is crucial when applying for a mortgage or any type of loan. The better your credit rating, the higher the chance you will qualify for a good rate from your lender. Having an average or below average rating can greatly reduce your choice of lender and have an adverse affect on your rate. Here are some tips to make sure your credit rating is as high as possible.

1. Use Credit cards wisely

Using credit cards responsibly on a regular basis is key to boosting your score. Banks may ask you for 12 months of credit card statements, and being behind on your credit payments will decrease your chances of getting a loan. Instead, use your credit card for small amounts, and keep up with your monthly repayments. This shows that you can reliably pay back the money you borrow.

2. Don’t miss loan repayments

Making all your payments on time is the factor that impacts your credit score the most. When you pay your credit cards or other loans on time, it goes on your file …

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“Covid Effect” continues to drive up Irish house prices

The sharp increase in Irish house prices over the past year could continue in the near future, analysts say. In a recent survey of estate agents, four out of five surveyed predicted that national property prices would rise in the next year. The same survey also found that prices in some regions could rise by as much as 7 percent.

However, the rise in prices is most significant outside of Dublin. While experts predicted a rise of 4 percent in Dublin, a sharper increase is projected in areas outside the capital city. In Leinster, the rise is expected to be 6 percent, and prices are expected to increase by as much as 7 percent in Munster, Connacht and Ulster.

The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) and the Central Bank of Ireland Residential Property Price Survey was conducted in May, surveying over 200 estate agents. In this survey, the estate agents blamed the higher price forecast on homes outside of Dublin on the “covid effect”. The experts said that covid lockdowns and remote work situations have increased the attractiveness of …

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How to get the lowest rate on your mortgage

When applying for a mortgage, you will notice that rates vary greatly. These rates determine on a number of things, including the length of your mortgage term, the size of your deposit, your credit score, and which lender you choose. With so many different mortgage lenders available to choose from, this can be a daunting process, especially for first time buyers. Securing the lowest rate is incredibly important, as it will make your monthly payments smaller, thus saving you money over the whole lifetime of the loan. Here are a few things to focus on during your application process to ensure you get the lowest rate possible.

Shop Around

You wouldn’t buy a car without driving a few first, or a mattress without laying down on more than one, right? In a similar way, if you want the best mortgage rate, you should shop around with different lenders. This process should entail researching different lenders and the products they have to offer, as every lender has different loan types, terms, and interest rates. You also should apply for more than …

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How do mortgages work?

If you’re looking to buy a home, you’ve probably already realized that this is not like most transactions. The average house price in Dublin is €396,000, and unless you’re very wealthy, you probably don’t have anywhere that much in savings. Because you likely can’t afford an expense of this magnitude out of your own pocket, you will need to finance the purchase through a mortgage, and if you’re new to the home-buying process, you may be a little confused as to how exactly these loans work.

A mortgage is a huge loan secured against the value of your house. A “secured” loan means that the borrower promises collateral to the lender in the event that they are unable to make payments, and in this case, the collateral is your home. In other words, the bank will kick you out and take possession of your house if you can’t make payments. In order to prevent this from happening, the lender will typically conduct a detailed review of the borrower’s finances in order to determine how much they can reasonably afford to …

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Buying a home vs. Renting: Which is better?

Buying your home is one of the biggest financial decisions of your life. However, it is a big commitment and there are a lot of hidden costs and factors that can make it unaffordable for some. Because of the costliness of buying a home outright, many buyers turn to renting instead, especially in expensive housing markets like London, New York, and Hong Kong. Determining which option is best for you depends on a variety of factors, and not everyone’s situation is alike. To help with this important decision, let’s take a look at some of the key differences between buying and renting.

Buying

When buying a house, it’s likely you’ll need to apply for a mortgage. To get a mortgage, you need a deposit (usually at least 10% of the home’s value) and a steady income in order to make repayments. The greater your deposit and income, the more your bank or lender will be able to offer you. However, if you live in an expensive area, or have a low salary and little savings, buying may not be for …

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What is an Equity Release and how does it work?

Your equity in your home is how much you own. Think of it as the amount of your mortgage that you have already paid off, or the difference between your home’s market value and what you still owe the lender. So, once you have paid off your mortgage completely, you have 100% equity: you own it entirely. But as the value of your home appreciates, there is no immediate benefit to you in terms of cash. You will not be able to profit from the increase in value until you sell your property, and if you never sell, your estate and beneficiaries will be the only ones who are better off.

An equity release mortgage offers a way around this. These mortgages are becoming increasingly popular for homeowners aged 55 and older, as they give you a way to benefit from the equity you have built up in your home. An equity release involves a lender giving you a portion of the value of your home as a lump sum or a series of payments, in exchange for interest or …

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New Green mortgage offering one of Ireland’s lowest rates

AIB’s mortgage subsidiary Haven has launched a new, four-year, fixed rate green mortgage with one of the lowest rates currently available on the market.

Haven is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AIB which focuses solely on mortgage distribution through brokers. They offer a broad selection of fixed and variable rate mortgages to customers including first time buyers, movers, switchers, and investors.

The mortgage has a rate of 2.15 percent, and applies to both new and existing customers with a Building Energy Rating (BER) of between A1 and B3. The BER cert must also be less than 10 years old in order to be eligible. All new builds are expected to qualify for the low rate, and existing customers who remodel their home to meet the BER requirements will also qualify.

According to AIB, this low rate could result in substantial savings for the average customer. The lender reports that the new rate allows customers of a 25 year, €300,000 mortgage to save €155 monthly. This equates to a savings of €1,800 per year over the lifetime of the loan, when compared …

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