Tag Archives: Financial Advice

Should buy to let landlords buy life insurance? Financial Advice, Landlord News, Landlords Insurance, Landlords Stories, Latest Articles, Property Investment Strategies, Property News

I had a really interesting discussion about life insurance yesterday with a lady I’ve respected for many years. I will not embarrass her by publishing her full name as she doesn’t know I’m writing this. Some people reading this (former clients of The Money Centre in particular) and the lady in question if she reads it, will know who I’m referring to though. I will call her Ms T. She was one of the best buy to let consultants we ever had working at The Money Centre and always finished in the top 10 fee earners every year. Ms T literally went from being our tea lady to becoming an Associate Partner in the business whist bringing up two lovely daughters as a single parent. She also managed to buy a few properties for investment too so I think you can begin to see why I have such respect and admiration for her achievements.

When The Money Centre pulled out of the buy to let mortgage market back in 2009 Ms T decided to become a financial advisor. She obviously still arranges lots of buy to let mortgages but what really surprised me was when she told me that landlords also ask her to arrange their life insurance. Most of the landlords I talk to aren’t interested which is why we never sold life insurance at The Money Centre. Ms T said that’s what she used to think too but her opinion now has completely changed and she explained why. Continue reading Should buy to let landlords buy life insurance?


Revealed – the great leasehold service charge rip-off Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property Investment News, Property Maintenance, Property News

Revealed - the great leasehold service charge rip-offIt’s likely that if you own a leasehold buy to let property that you have been a victim of the great service charge scam.

Much publicity goes to fly-by-night letting agents whose businesses close leaving landlords and tenants out-of-pocket – but few dare to whisper the rip-off perpetrated by managing agents. Continue reading Revealed – the great leasehold service charge rip-off


Development Finance is still supported in the current market Commercial Finance, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

We are witnessing a significant rise in the incidence of some banks refusal to offer new or extended terms to development loan facilities. In extreme cases, some banks are demanding early loan redemption. This often leaves the borrower with a major headache in a market where commercial lending is restricted and competitive alternatives are not immediately apparent.

There is no doubt that some banks are ‘shoring up’ their liquidity positions by not lending as broadly as they have done in the past, but there are still a good number lenders very much in the market. Continue reading Development Finance is still supported in the current market


Property plays a vital role for funding pensions Buy to Let News, Financial Advice, Latest Articles, Property Investment Strategies

Property investors with buy to let rentals and holiday homes expect to supplement their pensions with cash from renting or selling, according to a new survey.

Around 73% of over 55s expect to raise extra income or cash in their retirement from property, says the Equity Release Council, the trade body for equity release lenders. Continue reading Property plays a vital role for funding pensions


Property hijacks prompt fraud alert from the FSA Buy to Let News, Cautionary Tales, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Mortgage News, Property Market News

Financial watchdog is alerting landlords to watch out for property hijacking by fraudsters and crooked mortgage brokers.

The Financial Services Authority has circulated the warning to all small financial advice firms in the UK to pass on to clients. Continue reading Property hijacks prompt fraud alert from the FSA


How to choose a Buy to Let mortgage based purely on cost Buy to Let News, Financial Advice, Latest Articles, Mortgage News

Firstly to give a level playing field you need to make two assumptions:

  1. You have decided on the type of rate Fixed or Variable e.g. both products will be the same (see previous article) To fix or not to fix.
  2. You would like an interest only mortgage

Next you need to decide over what period of time you would like to compare the cost of the products. You need to consider longer term strategy that will affect your mortgage decisions such as plans to raise capital, pay lump sums off, sell, remortgage etc. Continue reading How to choose a Buy to Let mortgage based purely on cost


Property Analysis – Part 2 – How it can save you thousands! Guest Columns, Property Investment News, Property Investment Strategies

Missed Part One? Click to read Property Analysis – Part 1

Mortgage Cap Rate (Interest Only) = Net Annual Rental Income + Annual Mortgage Cost / Current Mortgage Outstanding

Expressed as a percentage this indicator will tell you the maximum interest rate you can sustain and still break even. Obviously the higher the number the greater the safety net you have against rate rises. Any property with a figure around 5% or less needs looking at to see where either cost can be cut or the rent increased. Continue reading Property Analysis – Part 2 – How it can save you thousands!


FSA to Warn Homeowners About Misleading Lease Option Deals Latest Articles, Lettings & Management

Consumer champions are warning homeowners with financial problems about property speculators who offer a way to avoid repossession with lease option deals.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is drafting guidelines warning homeowners about some unscrupulous companies that fail to deliver their promises to stop repossessions or ease their financial problems.

Lease options are a controversial property investment tool favoured by speculators looking for below market value deals. Continue reading FSA to Warn Homeowners About Misleading Lease Option Deals


Finance firms named and shamed for poor customer service Financial Advice, Latest Articles, Property Market News

Phone on fire

"Barclays are the bank with the most complaints"

The worst banks and financial services firms picked up 1.1 million customer complaints in the first six months of the year.

The figures come from name and shame data published by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Bottom of the list come the high street banks, courtesy of the payment protection insurance debacle that has led to them repaying customers around £13 billion in rip-off fees.

Also in the bottom 10 are credit card providers Capital One and MBNA, while British Gas sneaks in at number 10.

The bank with the most complaints is Barclays, with 251,563 customers moans. Next were Lloyds TSB stacking up 181,907 gripes and Santander with 168,888 complaints.

Altogether, 165 financial firms which picked up more than 500 complaints are listed.

They collected a total 1,761,144 customer complaints. Around 285,000 are still open.

“The FSA is committed to greater transparency where it will benefit consumers. Publishing this data brings complaints to the attention of firms and consumers alike, and gives firms a benchmark and an incentive to improve how they treat their customers and handle complaints,”said an FSA statement accompanying the data.

The complaints cover banking, insurance, credit cards, loans and mortgages


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