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The pros and cons of buy-to-let investments

Author: Dave Mills  |  Published: 18th October 2019

The pros and cons of buy-to-let investments The pros and cons of buy-to-let investments

Buy-to-let property investments are a popular choice for people who want their money to work harder for them. But, like any investment, there are advantages, disadvantages and risks associated with entering such a venture. Tax, legal requirements and maintenance are all important considerations. After all, you want to go into any major investment with your eyes open. That’s why we decided to take a closer look at some of the main pros and cons of becoming a landlord.

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What affects my credit rating?

Author: Dave Mills  |  Published: 10th July 2019

What affects my credit rating? What affects my credit rating?

Your credit rating is incredibly important. That’s because it can directly affect how you live your life. It can determine whether you can buy a house, a new car, a new kitchen, pretty much everything you might need but can’t afford to buy outright. But what factors determine whether your credit rating is good or bad? Well, here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

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What does APR mean?

Author: Simon Ellis  |  Published: 24th June 2019

What does APR mean? What does APR mean?

APR. It’s those three little letters that follow a stated percentage on any sales pitch offering you credit. APR is associated with loans, credit cards, store cards, car finance, as well as many other financial products… But what does it mean? Well, look now as we explain APR and give you some tips about the way it works so you don’t end up paying more than you should.

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What is Stamp Duty and how does it work?

Author: Simon Ellis  |  Published: 14th May 2019

Stamp duty is a tax on buying a house and it’s a major source of government income. Nowadays the rate at which stamp duty is charged goes up in increments depending on the value of the property you’re purchasing. In this way, it works a bit like income tax, with various thresholds after which you’ll have to pay more. Here we look at some of the most important characteristics of this levy on home ownership…

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What’s taken the spring out of the Spring housing market?

Author: Dave Mills  |  Published: 23rd April 2019

Traditionally there’s a significant bounce in the housing market during the Spring. More mortgages are usually agreed, and more sales are normally completed in the three months to May than in the preceding quarter of the year. It’s just the way it’s been… But this year’s different, which isn’t ideal for people like us who work in the personal finance sector providing products like mortgages. And you’re odds-on to have already guessed why…

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How does the value of the pound affect me?

Author: Dave Mills  |  Published: 14th March 2019

The value of the pound in our pockets has far-reaching consequences for our personal finances and day-to-day life, particularly over time… Sterling, as it’s known, is subject to the same fluctuations in value as any other major currency. So what causes rises and falls? And what are the results of these changes? This month we examine these seemingly complex questions by breaking them down into a few straightforward ideas…

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How does inflation affect me?

Author: Dave Mills  |  Published: 26th February 2019

This month’s news that UK inflation is below the level predicted is positive for people everywhere. When combined with recent evidence of wage growth, it means your money’s going further than it may have done in the recent past. In short, it means people in the UK can afford to enjoy a higher standard of living – something that we must all welcome… But what determines the rate of inflation, why is it important and what does the future have in store?

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Has the UK housing market peaked?

Author: Dave Mills  |  Published: 15th January 2019

As we enter 2019 there are contrasting reports about the state of the UK housing market. On one hand, December 2018 recorded the slowest annual growth rate since 2013. However, mortgage lender Halifax has since predicted a swift recovery in 2019, with annual increases in house prices of up to 4%. So, is the stagnation over? Will 2019 see a return to house price growth above the general rate of inflation? Or are we on the verge of a major house price crash? At Compass we don’t have a crystal ball, but we can add context to help you interpret the situation more accurately. Here’s what you should know…

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What’s the difference between the main types of mortgage?

Author: Dave Mills  |  Published: 19th December 2018

First time buyers, in particular, are often uncertain about what kind of mortgage is best for them. This is perfectly understandable. After all, there are many different products available from a broad spectrum of lenders. Each option is likely to have advantages and disadvantages for you as a home buyer. The aim is to strike the best balance to serve your ongoing interests. Here we examine the unique features of some of the most popular mortgage products on the market today.

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What are interest rates? How do interest rates work? Will interest rates go up?

Author: Dave Mills  |  Published: 2nd November 2018

Whether interest rates will change is always the subject of intense speculation by ordinary people as well as financial analysts and commentators. That’s because so much hinges on even the smallest adjustment. Whether you want interest rates to go up or down normally depends on whether you are a saver or a borrower. Here we look at rate-setting dynamics, recent UK interest rate history, and report on what’s likely to happen in the short-to-medium term.

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What does the budget mean for people’s personal finances?

Author: Dave Mills  |  Published: 1st November 2018

The Chancellor Philip Hammond made headlines with his latest budget, which announced an increase in the personal income tax allowance from next April. The move, which means we all get to keep more of what we earn, was somewhat unexpected because the treasury had previously pencilled it in for the following year. As well as moving the starting point for income tax to £12,500, Mr Hammond announced he was shifting the higher-rate income tax threshold to £50,000. Workers will no doubt welcome the news, but what else was there in the budget related to people’s personal finances?

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Compass expands to offer even better service

Author: Dave Mills  |  Published: 30th January 2018

Compass expands to offer even better service Compass expands to offer even better service

In order to provide you with an evermore professional, efficient and responsive service, we have recently taken on Sam Naylor as Mortgage and Protection Advisor and Nicky Ellis as Business Manager.

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Stamp duty removed for 80% of first-time buyers

Author: Dave Mills  |  Published: 16th January 2018

Stamp duty removed for 80% of first-time buyers Stamp duty removed for 80% of first-time buyers

The Autumn budget included the very good news for prospective home buyers, that first-time buyers will not pay stamp duty on the first £300,000 of any property with a value of up to £500,000. On a home worth less than £300,000, therefore, you’ll pay no stamp duty at all.

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Likely interest rate rise means now is a good time to remortgage

Author: Dave Mills  |  Published: 19th October 2017

With an interest rate rise by the Bank of England seemingly inevitable, many mortgage lenders have been removing their most attractive offers from the market. This means that if you are thinking about switching to a new mortgage, there is no time like the present.

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A mortgage £100 a month less than their rent

Author: Dave Mills  |  Published: 3rd March 2017

Last month, I met with a young couple, prospective first time buyers, who were extremely nervous about the cost of buying a property and all of the implications of making such a purchase.

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Fix your rate at a (near) all-time low to avoid nasty post-Brexit surprises

Author: Dave Mills  |  Published: 19th December 2016

Fix your rate at a (near) all-time low to avoid nasty post-Brexit surprises Fix your rate at a (near) all-time low to avoid nasty post-Brexit surprises

News that HSBC and Barclays are increasing fixed rate interest levels from their all-time record lows should spur borrowers into action.

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Tesco Bank and HSBC create new mortgage opportunities

Author: Dave Mills  |  Published: 24th November 2016

Tesco Bank and HSBC create new mortgage opportunities Tesco Bank and HSBC create new mortgage opportunities

The mortgage marketplace is constantly evolving, as you know, but recent developments have been of particular interest. Tesco Bank and HSBC have recently widened their broker networks: they have chosen Openwork, through which we at Compass access mortgage products, as one of the first networks to have access to their products. Good news for Compass and our customers.

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House price growth and interest rate reduction

Author: Dave Mills  |  Published: 22nd September 2016

House price growth and interest rate reduction House price growth and interest rate reduction

UK house prices increased by 0.6% in August, resulting in a small rise in the annual rate of house price growth to 5.6%, up from 5.2% in July. In addition, the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC) decision to lower UK interest rates from 0.5% to a new low of 0.25% will provide an immediate benefit to many mortgage borrowers, albeit a fairly modest one.

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Who has got the best deal out of the interest rate cut?

Author: Dave Mills  |  Published: 18th August 2016

Who has got the best deal out of the interest rate cut? Who has got the best deal out of the interest rate cut?

These are interesting times for mortgages, particularly in the light of the recent cut in the Bank of England base rate. I was wondering who had actually got the most out of the cut the other day, when a long standing client called me.

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What is going to happen to interest rates post-Brexit?

Author: Dave Mills  |  Published: 1st August 2016

What is going to happen to interest rates post-Brexit? What is going to happen to interest rates post-Brexit?

The base rate is currently at an all-time low of 0.5% and mortgage rates have never been cheaper. Prior to Brexit, the rate was likely to gradually increase to 2.25% from late 2016, but all that has changed. This means mortgage costs may go down: fixed rates have already become lower than variable rates.

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There are 50% more mortgage products than a year ago. Which one is right for you?

Author: Dave Mills  |  Published: 22nd June 2016

There are 50% more mortgage products than a year ago. Which one is right for you? There are 50% more mortgage products than a year ago. Which one is right for you?

When looking for a new mortgage or a remortgage, the choice of lenders can be daunting. Do you go to your own bank? You’ve been banking with them for years, so they’ll bend over backwards for you surely, won’t they? Do you use a comparison site? All the lenders are on these, aren’t they? Nowadays, you even have the option of applying for a mortgage at your local supermarket!

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A decade of change - and no change!

Author: Dave Mills  |  Published: 26th May 2016

A decade of change - and no change! A decade of change - and no change!

Amazingly, this is our 10th anniversary blog, writes Dave Mills. Compass started in May 2006. Both Simon and I had been employed by a large corporate company and then self-employed with a different organisation, and we decided that we wanted to offer a more personal service to customers, because we found that financial advisers did not keep in touch with their clients after the initial business was completed. Our aim was to nurture the relationships so that they would become clients for life.

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17 mortgage tips for first-time buyers

Author: Dave Mills  |  Published: 13th April 2016

17 mortgage tips for first-time buyers 17 mortgage tips for first-time buyers

If you are a first-time buyer, you have never been through this process – the mortgage maze – before, and your head is probably full of questions and concerns. Here are brief answers to the questions we are most frequently asked by first-time buyers.

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Applying for a mortgage? Max deposit or debt-free?

Author: Dave Mills  |  Published: 29th March 2016

Applying for a mortgage? Max deposit or debt-free? Applying for a mortgage? Max deposit or debt-free?

If you have credit card debt and a lump sum, is it better to pay off the debt or put the whole sum down as deposit? Many people approach their first mortgage, having saved up a lump sum as a deposit, but also having some amount of debt on their credit card or cards. Would the lender look more favourably if the card debt were repaid first or is it better to use the whole sum as a deposit?

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How to get a mortgage that forms a foundation for your overall personal finance arrangements

Author: Dave Mills  |  Published: 17th February 2016

How to get a mortgage that forms a foundation for your overall personal finance arrangements How to get a mortgage that forms a foundation for your overall personal finance arrangements

Your mortgage is probably the most important element in your personal finance portfolio. Certainly for 90% of people in their 20s to 50s, a mortgage is the major financial focus and commitment.

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Why it’s important to use a local mortgage advisor

Author: Dave Mills  |  Published: 15th January 2016

Why it’s important to use a local mortgage advisor Why it’s important to use a local mortgage advisor

You can source mortgage advice in so many different ways – from the internet, from your bank, from your estate agent – but we would suggest that you can’t beat talking to a local mortgage specialist – and get the right advice on Southampton mortgages from a Southampton mortgage advisor.

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