July 2023

Let us help you navigate this crazy mortgage world

With the news this month that average mortgage rates have now reached their highest level in 15 years – 6.66%1, and that over a million people are facing a hike of £500 a month in their mortgage repayments by 20262, it highlights the importance of seeking professional mortgage & protection advice in such a volatile market.

If you’re looking to move home, or have a remortgage coming up soon, then it’s highly likely that your monthly mortgage repayments will be much larger than what you’re used to, however, with the complexity of the deals available, we are ready to help find the most suitable deal for your circumstances, for when the time comes.

Plan ahead & speak to us

Given that mortgage repayments are likely to rise, the wisest thing you can do is to plan ahead to see how this impacts your finances, and identify if there’s anything you need to change now, which will benefit you much more when it’s time to move to the new deal.

You’ll most likely be contacted by your lender, offering deals and opportunities to change your mortgage, but we would recommend seeking our advice before making any decisions.

As your mortgage & protection advisers, we are here to support you through the challenging times. Book an appointment with us to review your existing deal, and we’ll be able to look across the mortgage market across deals from a wide range of lenders, and have access exclusive deals that are not available on the high street.

We’ll take time to look at your exact circumstances and build an understanding of your goals, which will help us to find the most suitable mortgage for you. In such a turbulent and fast-changing time, you need to be sure that you are making the most appropriate, well-informed decision for your situation, so we are ready to give you the advice you need for when you need it.

What to do if you’re struggling

We know that times are tough right now, so if you are worried about meeting your existing mortgage repayments, then we want to do what we can to point you in the right direction to get help at the earliest possible opportunity.

Start by talking to your mortgage lender and make them aware that you are struggling. There are a range of measures that they may offer to help with a situation, such as switching the mortgage to interest-only for a temporary period or reducing monthly payments for a set timescale, for example.

At the same time, it’s worth bearing in mind that making changes, even temporary ones, may result in higher monthly payments in future or paying back more overall. Mortgage borrowers should carefully consider any steps they take and customers who can keep up with their payments should continue to do so.

For this reason, as well as speaking to your lender immediately, we also recommend contacting us at the same time to talk through anything related to your mortgage, your monthly payments or even if you are concerned about how you could be affected if rates were to rise further – we are here to help. We will be able to look at your specific circumstances, explain everything that you need to know and help you make decisions that are the most appropriate for you.



BBC News (2023). Mortgage rates soar to highest level in 15 years. Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-66153812 (Accessed 17 July 2023)

BBC News (2023). Mortgage payments set to jump by £500 for one million households.  Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-66172954 (Accessed 18 July 2023) All the information in this article is correct as of the publish date 27th July 2023. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. The information provided in this article, including text, graphics and images does not, and is not intended to, substitute advice; instead, all information, content and materials available in this article are for general informational purposes only. Information in this article may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information.

Relieve the stress of going on holiday

One of the great reasons for taking a holiday is to relieve the stresses and strains of daily life, but if the thought of organising it and making it to your destination without tearing your hair out fills you with dread, here are some tips that will help smooth the path to an anxiety-free vacation.

Get yourself covered!

You may feel that you can get along without insuring against something going wrong. Whether it is medical,  belongings being stolen, or not being able to go due to an emergency family event, for example, it is important that you have peace of mind.

  • Research the insurance you are getting and make sure it covers what you think it does.
  • Take a copy of the cover with you, so you have contact numbers in the event you need help.
  • Have your EHIC, or get a GHIC, if travelling to Europe. If you hold a current European Health Insurance Card (the EHIC entitles you to access state-provided health care when visiting the EU) this remains valid until its expiry date. After then, or if you do not have an EHIC, you will need to apply in the same way (through NHS online) for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). Neither the EHIC or the GHIC is a replacement for travel insurance as it will not cover you for all medical costs, or the cost of emergency repatriation back to the UK.

Make a list  

It may sound simple but making a list of what to pack can really help with ensuring that you take everything you need, and nothing gets forgotten in the rush to throw everything in the suitcase before the trip! Similarly, a list creates a great point of reference to make sure you’ve left nothing behind when you re-pack ready to return home.

Stay powered up

Mobile phones are increasingly becoming essential travel companions for holidays – for everything from airline boarding gate passes to digital payments and battery-draining social media apps, the need to stay charged is important. Solar-powered USB charging banks can be ideal to power-up on the go or on the beach, whilst one simple hack for avoiding having to buy too many overseas power adaptors can be to bring UK-standard extension leads with multiple plug sockets attached.

Check weight and size of luggage

If you are travelling by air, check the luggage weight restrictions. They can vary between airlines. Also cabin luggage needs to conform to your airline’s size guidelines. Each airline differs in this respect, so check carefully as  having a bag size outside the specifications or that does not fit can mean extra expense if it has to be put in the hold.

Shop around!  

Getting to the airport can cost a significant sum also, so it’s worth thinking about whether you’ll be getting a lift or using public transport, compared to the cost of travelling by car and parking at the airport itself. If being dropped off, be prepared for most UK airports to charge for drop-offs at the airport, in many cases, the cheaper option is frequently to be dropped at the Long Stay parking areas and to travel by the provided park & ride bus system, but consider the time it will take to get to your terminal, as well as trying to get the cheapest deal.

Car hire  

For a stress-free experience, it’s worth booking your hire car before you go on holiday. It can help to make the process of leaving the airport a much smoother affair and get you into the holiday spirit even faster!

Join a loyalty programme

Many airlines and travel firms run their own loyalty schemes, by taking some time to research and join up in advance, you can often earn points or air miles that can help fund future holiday activity and make your trips away a little less stressful. Your day-to-day spend can often earn you benefits that you’ll reap whilst on holiday – such as the chance to trade points for flight cabin upgrades, the ability to select seats ahead of others or complimentary airport lounge access, amongst other benefits from the wide range of different loyalty programmes out there.

Tips for smooth driving to improve economy

Times are hard right now, and with costs going up across the board, we’ve compiled a few money-saving tips that motorists can try to extract the maximum economy from your car and save a few pounds along the way.

Maintenance – It stands to reason that to get the most fuel economy out of your vehicle you need to ensure that the engine and running gear are running at maximum efficiency. Missing regular car servicing may well cost you more money over time, as cheaper, minor maintenance jobs are likely to develop into more major issues if left unchecked for a long period of time.

Tyres – Easy to forget, but having tyres inflated to the factory settings is a must if you want to maximise efficient fuel consumption. Over-inflating tyres can be equally as bad for fuel economy as under-inflating, so it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s recommended settings, which can be found in your vehicle’s user manual, or often printed on the sticker inside the driver’s door frame.

Light right foot – Excessive speed is the biggest fuel guzzling factor, so having a light right foot and ensuring all acceleration is gentle is very important to fuel efficient driving.

Anticipation – don’t lose momentum. Keeping your car moving at a constant speed is essential to fuel economy. Obviously, this depends on traffic conditions and what’s happening on the road ahead, but slowing down and having to accelerate again naturally uses more fuel.

Try to anticipate what’s going to happen in front of you by looking well ahead. This way you’ll see traffic lights on red meaning you can ease back on the accelerator or slow down naturally and potentially keep moving as opposed to coming to a stop.

Drive as smoothly as possible, making use of accelerator, gearbox and brakes. When slowing down, it’s important to remain in gear as the fuel cut-off switch in a fuel injection engine is then activated, meaning virtually no fuel is used while braking.

Driving up hills destroys fuel economy. When you spot a hill coming up try to accelerate a little before you reach it, then ease off as you drive up. The extra momentum should be enough to minimise additional fuel consumption.

Other factors

Minimise wind resistance – do you use a roof rack for holidays or weekends away? If you do, it will increase your fuel consumption, so if you are not using the rack, take it off.

Using air conditioning – The UK is not known for year-round hot weather, so turning off your air conditioning when you don’t actually need it will give you a welcome jump in your MPG figures.

Key features sought by prospective housebuyers

If you are thinking of selling your home, we’ve put together a list of some of the top features that buyers are likely to be looking for in an ideal world:

1. Garages for extra storage space

Storage space is always at a premium, so it’s no surprise that potential buyers are looking for garages that offer extra potential for storage. This can be especially true for families with children, who need a place to store sports equipment, bicycles, and other outdoor gear.

 2. Open floor plan

Gone are the days of compartmentalised rooms and closed-off spaces. Today’s homebuyers are looking for open floor plans that allow for better flow and communication between rooms. An open floor plan makes it easier to entertain guests, keep an eye on children, and enjoy the natural light that flows throughout the space.

 3. Home office

With more people working remotely, having a dedicated home office is more important than ever. Buyers are looking for properties that offer a separate space for a home office, whether it’s a spare room, a converted attic or basement, or a small nook in a larger room. A dedicated home office can make it easier to focus on work and be more productive.

 4. Modern kitchen

Homebuyers will appreciate modern kitchens with all the latest amenities, including high-end appliances, plenty of counter space, and storage for pots, pans, and other kitchen tools.

 5. Outdoor patios

Outdoor living spaces are more important than ever, and now the weather is getting warmer, homebuyers are keen to find properties that have a private outdoor patio as a place to relax, entertain guests, and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. A patio can also add value to a property, making it more attractive to potential buyers in the future.

6. Energy efficiency

Homebuyers are increasingly concerned with energy efficiency and sustainability. They’re looking for properties with energy-efficient appliances, windows, and insulation, as well as other sustainable features like solar panels. These features can  help reduce energy bills and a property’s carbon footprint.

7. Hardwood flooring

Finally, hardwood flooring is high on the checklist for housebuyers.  Hardwood floors  are durable, easy to clean, and add warmth and character to a home. They are also versatile and can be matched to a variety of different interior design styles.

From storage space, to energy efficiency, to modern kitchens, all these features can make a property more attractive and valuable to potential buyers.

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