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Your Essential Mortgage Guide: Answering Your Top Questions in Bristol

Are you in search of valuable mortgage tips and guidance to help you on your homeownership journey? Within this article, our objective is to tackle your most pressing questions and offer invaluable insights to empower you in confidently navigating the world of mortgages.

Whether you find yourself as a first time buyer in Bristol or are considering a remortgage in Bristol, rest assured that we have your needs covered. Let’s work together to transform your homeownership aspirations into reality!

How much can I afford to borrow?

Evaluating your borrowing potential stands as a pivotal stage within the mortgage journey. Consider factors such as your income, outgoings, and existing financial obligations. You have the option to utilise online mortgage calculators for a preliminary approximation.

However, for a bespoke and precise evaluation, it is recommended that you speak with a specialised mortgage advisor in Bristol. They can craft an assessment that aligns with your individual financial circumstances.

Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be well-equipped to make informed choices, putting you on the track to securing your dream mortgage.

What are the current mortgage interest rates?

Maintaining a high level of awareness concerning interest rates is a fundamental aspect of making well-informed decisions.

To achieve this, it’s important to stay on top of financial news, read reliable websites, or seek the guidance of experienced mortgage advisors in Bristol. They can offer you real-time updates on interest rates, ensuring you remain current with market dynamics.

Your capacity to remain informed about prevailing market trends empowers you to make astute choices throughout your mortgage expedition.

For additional insights and regular updates on this subject, don’t forget to explore our YouTube channel, MoneymanTV, where we frequently share monthly market updates. Stay connected with the latest trends and knowledge to steer your mortgage journey in the right direction.

What types of mortgages are available?

Devoting time to explore various mortgage types is a prudent step on your homeownership journey. Among the options available are fixed-rate mortgages, adjustable-rate mortgages, and interest-only mortgages, each accompanied by its own unique features, advantages, and nuances.

To make a well-informed decision, it’s essential to embark on thorough research and consult with mortgage specialists.

By doing so, you can pinpoint the mortgage type that best aligns with your individual requirements and financial objectives, setting you on a path towards securing the ideal mortgage for your circumstances.

How can I improve my credit score?

Building a strong credit score is paramount when it comes to securing advantageous mortgage terms. This involves a commitment to punctual bill payments, maintaining a low credit utilisation ratio, and diligently reviewing your credit report for any inaccuracies or inconsistencies.

In the event that you face challenges related to your credit, there are reputable agencies that can offer valuable help and guidance, aiding you in enhancing your credit standing and positioning yourself for more favourable mortgage opportunities.

What documents are required for a mortgage application?

When it comes to standard documentation for mortgage applications, you can expect to provide evidence of your income, identification, bank statements, and a comprehensive employment history.

For a more customised list of necessary documents, tailored specifically to your individual circumstances, it’s advisable to engage with mortgage lenders or experienced mortgage advisors in Bristol.

They possess the expertise to walk you through the documentation requirements, ensuring a seamless and efficient mortgage application process.

Should I use a mortgage broker in Bristol or go directly to a mortgage lender?

Both options, using a mortgage broker in Bristol like us or directly approaching a mortgage lender, have their unique advantages.

Opting for a mortgage broker grants you access to a wide range of lenders, allowing for in-depth comparisons to secure the most favourable offers. On the other hand, approaching a mortgage lender directly can establish a direct relationship between you and the lender.

We recommend taking into account your personal preferences, conducting thorough research, and seeking recommendations to make an informed decision that aligns with your specific needs and objectives.

What are the associated costs and fees?

It’s important to keep a keen eye on expenses that go beyond the mortgage amount, including arrangement fees, valuation fees, legal fees, and potential early repayment charges.

To gain a comprehensive understanding of all the costs involved, carefully review fee schedules provided by mortgage lenders and consult with financial professionals who can provide expert guidance on these matters.

How can I save for a deposit?

Saving for a deposit requires discipline and meticulous planning. Begin by establishing a budget, identifying areas where you can trim unnecessary expense & investigate government schemes like Help to Buy in Bristol or Right to Buy in Bristol, each of which comes with its own set of eligibility criteria.

Furthermore, explore high-interest savings accounts or ISAs designed specifically for first time buyers in Bristol. These accounts can help expedite your savings process, bringing you closer to your homeownership goals.

What is the difference between a mortgage agreement in principle and a formal mortgage offer?

An agreement in principle serves as an initial estimate of the mortgage amount a lender may be willing to offer, typically based on fundamental information provided by the applicant.

In contrast, a formal mortgage offer represents a legally binding document in which the lender commits to providing the loan, subject to certain predefined conditions.

How long does the mortgage application process take?

The timeline for processing a mortgage application can be variable, with an average duration of several weeks to complete the entire process. Several factors come into play, including the type of property, your credit history, and how efficiently all required documents are submitted.

To enhance the efficiency of this process, it’s advisable to maintain close communication with your mortgage advisor and be prepared for potential delays that might arise.

Get Mortgage Ready!

Now armed with these important answers to your most pressing mortgage questions, you’re equipped to confidently set out on your mortgage journey.

Keep in mind the significance of consulting trustworthy mortgage advisors in Bristol, conducting comprehensive research, and maintaining a proactive approach every step of the way.

With these proactive measures, you’re poised to approach your homeownership aspirations with unwavering confidence, taking the necessary steps to transform them into a tangible reality!

Tips to Improve Your Credit Score in Bristol

The credit scoring system often raises concerns among both first time buyers in Bristol and home movers in Bristol, who might view it as an unjust method employed by mortgage lenders to evaluate applications.

It’s crucial to recognise that mortgage lenders hold a different perspective. Credit scoring allows them to mitigate risk and achieve more consistent outcomes at a reduced cost.

If you’re feeling anxious about how the credit scoring system could impact your mortgage application, there’s no need to panic. Remember that the landscape is composed of numerous mortgage lenders, each utilising their own distinct scoring systems and criteria.

To navigate this process adeptly, obtaining a current copy of your credit report is highly recommended when embarking on a mortgage application.

Furnishing your mortgage advisor in Bristol with an updated credit report right from the start significantly bolsters your chances of securing approval on your initial attempt.

Taking this proactive approach equips your mortgage advisor in Bristol with a comprehensive comprehension of your financial history, enabling tailored recommendations.

It’s important to bear in mind that credit reports are dynamic and influenced by a variety of factors. As such, taking the initiative to review and rectify any potential issues or disparities on your credit report beforehand can substantially enhance your overall mortgage application experience.

Rest assured that your mortgage advisor in Bristol possesses the expertise to navigate the intricacies of credit scoring systems. They can steer you toward suitable lenders whose criteria align with your financial situation.

Leveraging their knowledge and access to multiple lenders maximises your chances of securing a mortgage that suits your requirements while effectively addressing any potential obstacles presented by credit scoring.

Obtaining a Copy of Your Credit Report

Multiple credit reference agencies are at your disposal, with recognisable names like Experian and Equifax. Our suggestion, however, is to opt for CheckMyFile due to its comprehensive approach, amalgamating data from various agencies.

CheckMyFile presents a user-friendly platform for procuring your credit report, delivering a holistic perspective on your credit history and financial standing. With a 30-day trial period offered, you can cancel at your convenience, ensuring flexibility.

Using the link provided below, you can access a special offer for an immediate, complimentary PDF download of your credit report. This empowers you to swiftly assess your credit details and rectify any potential discrepancies or issues.

This resource stands as a valuable asset, arming you with the knowledge necessary to make well-informed choices when pursuing a mortgage or partaking in financial transactions.

Try it FREE for 30 days, then £14.99 a month – cancel online anytime.

Tips to Improve Your Credit Score

When embarking on the journey to enhance your credit score, exercising caution with price comparison websites becomes paramount. These platforms can inadvertently trigger credit searches that have the potential to cast a negative shadow on your score.

It’s smart to exercise mindfulness when engaging with such websites. If your plans include applying for a mortgage in the near future, it’s wise to exercise restraint in seeking additional credit during this period.

While maintaining some credit and responsibly repaying it can certainly have a positive impact, mortgage lenders generally prefer not to see a recent surge in borrowing activities.

Boosting your credit score can also be influenced by your presence on the electoral register. Ensuring the accuracy and up-to-datedness of your name and address assumes importance, as this information contributes to shaping your creditworthiness.

Thoroughly verifying the correctness of all your listed addresses helps avoid any confusion that might erroneously portray you as inhabiting multiple locations concurrently.

Sustaining a healthy credit score involves refraining from maxing out your credit card every month. Opting to use your card judiciously and settling the balance completely each month showcases responsible credit utilisation and can exert a positive influence on your score.

While closing dormant store or credit card accounts might trigger a brief, initial dip in your score, this strategic move can reap long-term benefits by reducing vulnerability to fraud.

Should you share financial obligations with a family member, friend, or former partner, such as joint accounts or shared fiscal responsibilities, their adverse credit history has the potential to reverberate onto your score.

For active accounts, severing these financial connections may not be feasible. You can request credit reference agencies to dissolve these financial associations if the respective accounts have been closed.

Vital to note is that the depth of information you share with our esteemed and knowledgeable mortgage advisors in Bristol profoundly impacts the quality of their guidance.

Furnishing them with a comprehensive understanding of your financial landscape equips them to furnish tailored advice and assistance tailored to your unique circumstances.

By nurturing transparent and open communication, you substantially heighten your chances of receiving optimal support throughout the entire mortgage journey.

Is Buying Always Better Than Renting in Bristol?

The preference for renting or buying a home in Bristol can vary depending on individual perspectives. Younger individuals with family members who own a mortgage may be encouraged to pursue a first time buyer mortgage in Bristol.

In recent times, there has been a growing trend of more people opting for renting instead of homeownership. This has led to apprehension among some about the idea of owning their own home.

To gain a comprehensive understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of both options, let’s explore the pros and cons of buying and renting in Bristol.

Pros of Buying a Home in Bristol

Mortgage Payments

Mortgage payments can sometimes be more affordable than rent, though it’s not always the case. Payment amounts may vary with fluctuating interest rates, prompting individuals to consider specific mortgage types.

Among the popular choices is a fixed-rate mortgage, which provides stability by keeping monthly payments consistent for a predetermined period at the beginning of the mortgage term.

In contrast, renting may come with either static or increasing payments over time. Landlords often have their own mortgages to manage and seek to generate profits, resulting in potential rent hikes.

When deciding between buying and renting, it’s crucial to consider the stability and predictability of mortgage payments versus the potential fluctuations in rent costs.


Homeownership offers a profound sense of stability to many homeowners and their families. As long as you can manage your mortgage payments, you have the security of knowing that you cannot be forced to leave your home against your will.

This stability provides a strong foundation for building a life and creating lasting memories. In contrast, tenants may face a more uncertain situation. While there are some protections in place for renters, if the landlord decides to take back the property, tenants often have limited say in the matter.

In some cases, landlords may offer tenants the opportunity to buy the property before putting it on the market, which can present a chance for tenants to become homeowners themselves.

This option not only saves the landlord time and money but also provides tenants with the possibility of transitioning from renting to owning their own home, granting them more control over their living situation.

In summary, homeownership offers a level of stability and control that renting may not provide. Owning a home allows you to create a permanent and secure living space for you and your family, instilling a strong sense of belonging and peace of mind.

Pros of Renting a Home in Bristol


Renting offers a higher degree of flexibility compared to homeownership. For instance, if you secure a job in a different area, you can simply give notice to your landlord or estate agent and move to a new home.

The situation, however, is not as straightforward for homeowners. When faced with a job opportunity in another location, homeowners must decide whether to sell the property or consider renting it out and becoming landlords themselves.

For individuals who prefer frequent moves or are uncertain about their long-term plans in the area, buying a home may not be the most suitable choice.

Homeownership requires long-term stability and commitment, as it is more of an investment in the future rather than a short-term living arrangement. Renting allows for greater adaptability and is well-suited to those seeking flexibility in their living situation.


When renting a property, the responsibility for repairs falls on the landlord, but the quality of their responsiveness may vary. You might need to handle minor repairs yourself in some cases.

On the other hand, homeowners bear complete responsibility for property repairs and are typically required to insure their homes, adding to the overall cost.

While homeownership is highly regarded by many, it may not be the best choice for everyone. Young couples, for instance, might consider renting together first to gauge how well they coexist on a more regular basis before committing to a mortgage.

One advantage of renting is the relative ease of ending the arrangement if things don’t go as planned, compared to being tied into a mortgage contract. Buying a home represents a significant financial commitment, and it is essential not to rush into such a decision.

Saving for a deposit while renting can be challenging, but eventually, many people opt for homeownership due to the benefits of mortgage payments that contribute to building equity instead of going towards someone else’s pockets.

Timing is critical; ensure you are in a stable financial position before deciding to buy a home, as it is a major financial undertaking that requires careful consideration. Weighing the pros and cons will help you determine the best path based on your individual circumstances.

Expert Mortgage Advice in Bristol

The property market is known for its unpredictability, with fluctuations that could result in both booms and declines. While purchasing a property during a boom may seem like a lucrative investment, the opposite scenario can be disheartening.

History has shown that property values may recover over time, making patience a key factor in such situations. It’s crucial to consider your ability to hold onto the property during challenging times.

An illustrative example is the era of the Credit Crunch, where property prices suffered during an economic downturn but eventually rebounded, demonstrating the market’s resilience.

Unfortunately, unforeseen events like a relationship breakdown or income reduction could force you to sell your property during a market underperformance, potentially leading to financial losses.

Before committing to a property purchase, seeking advice first time buyer mortgage in Bristol can be beneficial. Experts can help you explore ways to safeguard yourself from circumstances that may affect your ability to repay your mortgage.

Ultimately, remember that a property is not just an investment, but your home. Ensuring it aligns with your current circumstances is vital for making a sound decision.

What is a Shared Ownership Mortgage in Bristol?

The Shared Ownership Scheme is a government initiative in the UK designed to help individuals enter the property market, including those in Bristol. It is open to permanent UK residents who are either first time buyers or previous homeowners facing difficulties in purchasing a new home.

To qualify, your household income must be below £80,000, and the property you are buying in Bristol will typically be a leasehold property. This means you will own the home for a specified period of time.

Through the Shared Ownership Scheme, you can buy a portion of the property (usually between 25-75%) using a mortgage, while the remaining portion is rented. The rent, which may include service charges and ground rent, is typically lower than the market value and paid to a housing association.

Updates to Shared Ownership Mortgages in Bristol

Important updates were made to the Shared Ownership Scheme in April 2021 as part of the government’s Affordable Homes Programme. These changes brought some key modifications to how the scheme operates.

Previously, the minimum share you could purchase in a property was 25%. Under the updated rules, in some cases, it can now be as low as 10%.

Additionally, when buying additional shares in the property, you are no longer limited to minimum increments of 5-10%. Instead, you have the flexibility to purchase shares in 1% instalments.

Furthermore, the fees associated with buying these additional shares have been reduced. Additionally, for the first 10 years of ownership, the responsibility for maintenance and repair costs now falls on the landlord rather than the homeowner.

If you obtained a Shared Ownership Mortgage in Bristol before these changes were implemented, it is possible that these new rules may apply to you moving forward. It is always advisable to confirm the specifics with your mortgage provider, as individual cases may vary.

How do I apply for a Shared Ownership mortgage in Bristol?

Before proceeding with the mortgage process, it is crucial to determine if you meet the eligibility criteria for Shared Ownership in Bristol. To do this, you should contact your local Help to Buy agent in the area where you intend to purchase.

During your conversation with the Help to Buy agent, they will likely require specific information from you. This may include details about your income, budget, preferred location, and credit history. Once your eligibility is confirmed, you can proceed with applying for your mortgage.

To navigate this process effectively, it is advisable to consult with a mortgage broker in Bristol. Not all mortgage lenders offer products for individuals utilising Shared Ownership in Bristol.

The amount you can borrow will typically be based on factors such as your income and associated fees, including rent payments.

Pros & Cons of Shared Ownership Mortgages in Bristol

Like any mortgage option, Shared Ownership Mortgages in Bristol have their advantages and disadvantages. It’s important to consider these factors before making a decision.

Firstly, not all mortgage lenders offer mortgages specifically for Shared Ownership in Bristol. That said, there are still many lenders, including some on our panel, who do offer these types of mortgages. This provides options for potential borrowers.

One of the benefits of a Shared Ownership Mortgage in Bristol is the potential for long-term stability. Through this scheme, you can become both an owner and occupier of a property, offering a sense of security.

Saving for a deposit can be challenging, but Shared Ownership Mortgages in Bristol typically require lower deposits compared to open market purchases. This makes homeownership more accessible, especially for individuals with lower wages.

It’s important to note that regardless of the share you own, you will be responsible for paying 100% of the ground rent and service charges associated with the property. Over time, you can participate in “staircasing” to increase your share ownership until you fully own the property.

At that point, you no longer pay rent, but your mortgage, ground rent, and service charges still apply. Keep in mind that once your owned share exceeds 80%, you may need to pay Stamp Duty on the entire property value, although exemptions may apply for first time buyers in Bristol.

Despite the potential costs, monthly mortgage payments for Shared Ownership Mortgages in Bristol can be more affordable than traditional mortgages or private renting.

It’s important to consider that as a part-owner, you will need permission from the housing provider before making any structural changes to the property. This requirement limits some of the freedom you would have if you owned the property outright.

Can I sell my home if I have a Shared Ownership Mortgage in Bristol?

When you own a home through a Shared Ownership Mortgage in Bristol, there are specific considerations if you decide to sell and move elsewhere.

The ability to sell your home with a Shared Ownership Mortgage in Bristol depends on the percentage of the property you own in shares. Typically, you need to own 100% of the property before you can proceed with selling it.

It’s important to be aware that the housing association you partnered with will usually have “first refusal” rights for the first 21 years after your purchase. This means they have the legal right to make an offer to buy the property themselves before you can put it on the open market.

If you do not currently own 100% of the property, you will need to explore the option of purchasing the remaining shares in order to become the sole owner before proceeding with the sale.

Is a Shared Ownership Mortgage in Bristol right for me?

A Shared Ownership Mortgage in Bristol is a great option for first time buyers in Bristol who have limited savings for a deposit but still want to step onto the property ladder. This mortgage scheme can help make your homeownership dreams a reality.

It’s important to understand that navigating the process of a Shared Ownership Mortgage in Bristol can be complex, and there are various fees and contractual details to consider. It’s crucial to be fully prepared and informed before proceeding.

Ultimately, the decision to pursue a Shared Ownership Mortgage is a personal one. To ensure you are well-prepared and have all the necessary information, it’s advisable to schedule a free mortgage appointment with a trusted mortgage broker in Bristol.

They can provide guidance and assist you in preparing for this opportunity. For further information about the Shared Ownership Mortgage Scheme, you can visit the government’s OwnYourHome website, which offers more details and resources.

A Guide to the Home Buying and Mortgage Process for First Time Buyers in Bristol

Buying your first home in Bristol is an exciting milestone, but it can also feel overwhelming. As a first time buyer, it’s essential to understand the home buying and mortgage process to navigate it with confidence.

In this article, we’ll break down the steps involved in buying a property in Bristol and explain how Bristolmoneyman can assist you along the way.

Exploring Your Options

As a first time buyer in Bristol, you’ll begin by researching the local housing market and determining what you can afford.

Bristol offers a variety of neighbourhood’s, each with its unique character and property prices. Take the time to explore different areas, considering factors such as proximity to amenities, transportation links, and local schools.

Saving For a Deposit

Saving for a deposit is one of the most crucial steps for first time buyers in Bristol. The larger your deposit, the more options you’ll have when it comes to mortgage products and interest rates.

Bristolmoneyman can provide expert mortgage advice on how to save for a deposit, including government schemes such as Help to Buy or Shared Ownership, making it easier for you to step onto the property ladder.

Getting a Mortgage

Securing a mortgage is a significant milestone in the home buying process. Bristolmoneyman specialises in helping first time buyers in Bristol find suitable mortgage deals.

Our experienced mortgage advisors will assess your financial circumstances and guide you through the different mortgage options available.

They’ll explain the terms, interest rates, and repayment options, ensuring you make an informed decision that suits your budget and long-term goals.

Property Search and Viewing

Once you have a mortgage agreement in principle, it’s time to start searching for your dream home in Bristol. Online property portals and local estate agents are excellent resources for finding available properties in your preferred area.

Take advantage of viewings to get a feel for each property, imagining yourself living there and considering factors like proximity to amenities and potential for future growth.

Making an Offer and Conveyancing

When you find the perfect property, you’ll make an offer to the seller. If they accept, you’ll enter the conveyancing process.

Conveyancing involves legal paperwork and searches to ensure the property is free from any issues or restrictions. Bristolmoneyman can recommend reliable solicitors or conveyancers who will handle these legal aspects on your behalf, providing you with peace of mind throughout the process.

Survey and Valuation

As a first time buyer in Bristol, it’s crucial to have a survey and valuation done on the property you wish to purchase. A surveyor will inspect the property’s condition, highlighting any potential issues that may require attention.

The valuation report will confirm whether the property’s price aligns with its market value.

Mortgage Application and Approval

With the survey and valuation completed, it’s time to finalise your mortgage application.

Bristolmoneyman will help you gather all the necessary documents and submit them to the mortgage lender on your behalf. Our team will guide you through the application process, ensuring you understand the steps involved and answering any questions you may have.

Exchange and Completion

Once your mortgage application is approved, the final steps are exchanging contracts and completing the purchase.

During the exchange, the seller and buyer commit legally to the transaction, and a completion date is agreed upon. On completion day, the remaining funds are transferred, and you become the proud owner of your new home in Bristol.

Helping First Time Buyers in Bristol

Being a first time buyer in Bristol can be both exciting and nerve-wracking, however, with the help of Bristolmoneyman, you can navigate the home buying and mortgage process with ease.

From saving for a deposit to securing a mortgage and completing your purchase, our experienced mortgage advisors are here to support you every step of the way.

Contact Bristolmoneyman today to start your journey towards owning your dream home in Bristol.

What Are The 7 Best Places to Live in Bristol?

With the largest population in the South West of England, Bristol is a historic city situated on the River Avon, between Somerset and Gloucestershire. There are a wide range of locations, attractions and events that occur in Bristol, making it a perfect area for families.

You can learn more about things to do in Bristol by taking a look at the Visit Bristol website.

It’s ever growing population is clearly a testament to it’s value, with many seeking to move home and call Bristol their home. If you’re one of the many people looking at moving home in Bristol or perhaps buying a first home as a first time buyer in Bristol, you may be wondering just which areas to look in.

From central locations to surrounding areas, we have put together a list of the 7 best places to live in Bristol, to help you make that all important decision on where you want to call home!

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1. Southville

An inner city ward within Bristol itself, Southville is a very popular place for people to live!

Jokingly referred to by the locals as “Lower Clifton”, Southville is home to the Tobacco Factory theatre, a former industrial site turned multi-use building, home to animation and performing arts schools, apartments, a cafe bar, offices and a theatre.

Speaking of arts, there’s also many artists within Southville, with the local skateboard park being home to lots of regularly updated graffiti. Add all of that in with a growing nightlife of new bars, restaurants and more, there’s a lot that attracts people to Southville.

This strong and vibrant community is also home to the Southville Community Centre and Southville School, as well as a nursery, after-school clubs and Greville Smyth Park, the largest local park and is always a popular spot for sports, dog walkers and families.

Overall, if you’re looking to find the perfect place to call home in Bristol for community vibes, family entertainment and with easy access to all other surrounding areas, Southville could just be the place for you.

Found a house you want to make an offer on? Get in touch with a mortgage broker in Bristol today and we’ll help you get started with your mortgage journey in Southville!

2. Clifton

Clifton is a highly sought-after area in Bristol, UK, known for its charming Georgian and Victorian architecture, upmarket shops, and lively atmosphere. The area is situated on a hill overlooking the city and the River Avon, providing stunning views of the surrounding area.

In addition to its picturesque surroundings, Clifton is also home to several top-rated schools, including Clifton College, which is one of the most prestigious independent schools in the country. The area is also a popular destination for students attending the University of Bristol, which is located nearby.

Clifton is well-known for its vibrant nightlife, with a wide range of bars, pubs, and restaurants to choose from. The area also boasts a number of cultural attractions, including the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol Zoo Gardens, and the Victoria Rooms concert hall.

Despite its reputation as an affluent area, Clifton is also home to a diverse range of residents, including families, young professionals, and students. The area is well-connected to the rest of Bristol, with regular bus services and easy access to the M5 motorway.

Overall, Clifton offers a unique blend of history, culture, and modern amenities, making it a highly desirable place to live for many people.

If you’re looking to buy a home as a first time buyer in Bristol or are looking at moving home in Bristol and find that Clifton is the place for you, get in touch and we’ll look to get your mortgage journey underway!

3. Redland

Redland is a highly desirable area located in the northern part of Bristol. Known for its elegant Victorian and Georgian properties, the area offers a quiet residential lifestyle with easy access to a variety of amenities.

One of the main draws of living in Redland is its proximity to some of Bristol’s best schools. Redland Green School, Bristol Grammar School, and Clifton College are all within walking distance or a short drive away. This makes the area a popular choice for families with school-aged children.

Residents also benefit from easy access to some of Bristol’s best shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Gloucester Road, one of the city’s main thoroughfares, runs through the heart of Redland and is home to an array of independent shops, cafes, and restaurants.

The area also boasts several green spaces, including Redland Green and Cotham Gardens, where locals can enjoy picnics, dog walks, and leisurely strolls.

For those who work in the city centre, Redland offers convenient transport links, with regular bus services and train connections from nearby Clifton Down station. The M4 and M5 motorways are also easily accessible by car.

Overall, Redland offers a peaceful and picturesque residential neighbourhood with easy access to all the amenities that Bristol has to offer. Its leafy streets, excellent schools, and bustling high street make it a popular choice for families, professionals, and retirees alike.

Book a free mortgage appointment and we’ll help you make a start on your mortgage journey in Redland today!


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4. Redcliffe

Redcliffe is a vibrant neighborhood in Bristol that offers a mix of residential, commercial, and cultural amenities. The area is situated just south of the city center and is known for its diverse community and rich history.

One of the main attractions of Redcliffe is its proximity to Bristol’s bustling city center, making it an ideal location for those who work or study in the area. Residents can enjoy a wide range of entertainment options, from live music venues to theaters and cinemas.

Redcliffe also boasts a variety of green spaces, including the Queen Square Park and the Harbourside, which is perfect for jogging, cycling, or simply enjoying a walk along the waterfront. The area is well-connected to public transportation, with easy access to bus and train services.

For those who enjoy dining out, Redcliffe has a range of options, from traditional English pubs to fine dining restaurants. The area is also home to a number of independent shops, boutiques, and galleries, making it a great place for shopping and exploring.

Overall, Redcliffe is a vibrant and diverse neighborhood that offers something for everyone. Its proximity to Bristol’s city center, combined with its cultural and recreational amenities, makes it a popular choice for those looking to live in a lively and exciting part of the city.

Homeowners and home buyers looking to find a property in Redcliffe can benefit from speaking to a trusted mortgage advisor in Bristol. Get in touch today and we’ll see how we can help!

5. Westbury-on-Trym

Westbury-on-Trym is a suburb located in the north of Bristol, UK. It is known for its picturesque streets and charming village atmosphere, making it a popular place to live for families and professionals alike.

One of the key advantages of living in Westbury-on-Trym is its proximity to open green spaces, including Westbury Park, Blaise Castle Estate and The Downs. These areas provide ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, picnicking, and cycling.

The community also hosts an annual Westbury-on-Trym Village Festival, which offers a variety of family-friendly activities and entertainment.

Residents of Westbury-on-Trym also benefit from a variety of local amenities, including independent shops, pubs, cafes, and restaurants, offering a diverse range of options for dining, shopping and entertainment.

The area is well-served by public transport, with regular bus services connecting it to the city centre and beyond. It is also close to the M5 motorway, making it easy to travel to other parts of the country.

Housing in Westbury-on-Trym ranges from traditional Victorian and Edwardian properties to modern apartments and new build developments.

Prices are generally higher than the Bristol average due to the area’s popularity, but there are still opportunities for first-time buyers and those looking for more affordable options.

Overall, Westbury-on-Trym offers a peaceful and community-focused lifestyle, with easy access to green spaces and local amenities, making it an attractive place to live.

If you’re looking for a community vibe and a nice, more affordable area, Westbury-on-Trym could be just the place for you! Get in touch and we’ll get you with your new mortgage experience!


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6. Bedminster

Bedminster is a vibrant and diverse neighborhood located in the south of Bristol. It is situated close to the city center and has a great mix of residential areas, independent shops, restaurants, and cultural amenities.

One of the best things about living in Bedminster is its strong sense of community. There are a variety of community events and activities throughout the year, such as the annual Upfest street art festival, the Bedminster Lantern Parade, and the Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade.

Additionally, there are several community groups and organisations that residents can get involved in.

Bedminster is also a great place for foodies, with a wide range of restaurants and cafes offering a diverse range of cuisines. The famous North Street is home to several independent shops, boutiques, and businesses, including vintage stores, bookshops, and art galleries.

The neighborhood also has a rich history, with several historic landmarks and buildings, such as the iconic Tobacco Factory, which is now a hub for the arts and cultural events. The community-led regeneration of the Bedminster Green area is also set to bring new life and development to the area.

Transport links in Bedminster are excellent, with regular bus services running to the city center and surrounding areas. The nearby Bedminster train station provides direct links to other major cities, including London.

Overall, Bedminster is a diverse and welcoming neighborhood with a strong sense of community and a variety of amenities, making it an attractive place to live for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Those looking for an area that has great transport links, a strong sense of community and lots of diversity might feel drawn to Bedminster. Contact a mortgage broker in Bristol and get started on your journey!

7. Portishead

Portishead is a coastal town located in North Somerset, England, about 8 miles from Bristol. It has a population of around 25,000 people and is a popular place to live due to its picturesque location and proximity to Bristol.

One of the biggest draws of living in Portishead is its stunning waterfront location. The town is situated on the coast of the Severn Estuary, providing residents with spectacular views and access to beaches and coastal walks.

Portishead Marina is also a popular spot for water activities, such as sailing and paddleboarding.

Portishead is known for its excellent schools, both primary and secondary, making it an ideal location for families. The town also has a good selection of shops, restaurants, and cafes, providing residents with plenty of amenities and entertainment options.

Transport links in Portishead are good, with regular bus services to Bristol and surrounding towns. The M5 motorway is also easily accessible, making it easy to travel further afield. Bristol Airport is only a short drive away, making it convenient for international travel.

Overall, Portishead is a lovely place to live, particularly for those who enjoy coastal living and outdoor activities. It offers a good quality of life, with good schools and plenty of amenities, while still being within easy reach of Bristol and other nearby towns.

For coastal living, plenty to do and wonderful views, you may wish to call Portishead home. Speaking with a trusted mortgage advisor in Bristol will give you the best chance of securing your dream home!

Speak to a Mortgage Advisor in Bristol

Whilst the home moving, home buying and mortgage processes can be stressful, a mortgage broker in Bristol can help you to achieve all of your home owning goals.

We have access to a wide range of mortgage products and lenders, and can provide expert mortgage advice in Bristol throughout the entire process. They can also help you obtain an agreement in principle, which can be a valuable tool when making offers on properties.

Once you have found a property you like, in your desired area, give us a call and we’ll get the ball rolling on your mortgage process!

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Are Mortgage Rates Going Up?

This is an age-old question that we find ourselves asked about all the time from both existing homeowners and budding home buyers alike. The answer is always entirely dependent on how the market is performing at any one time.

In order to keep yourself up-to-date with how the market is currently performing, including any changes to interest rates, government schemes and more, take a look at our “Mortgage Market Update” playlist on YouTube. We regularly post mortgage market updates as and when news comes out.

What are mortgage rates?

Mortgage rates are basically just the standard rate of interest that a mortgage lender will look to charge you against your mortgages balance.

This interest rate will be a contributing factor to your overall monthly mortgage costs. If you have lower interest rates, it’s likely that your monthly mortgage payments will be much lower also.

How are mortgage rates determined?

There are numerous factors that will go towards determining your mortgage rates, some you can control, some you cannot.

One of these factors that you definitely will be able to have control over, are the personal aspects of qualifying for a mortgage. Things like what your credit score is or how much deposit you have saved and can put towards the purchase of a property.

Typically speaking, the lower the risk, the better the rates.

As an open & honest mortgage broker in Bristol, we have the ability to run through your case, looking to find the most suitable mortgage deal for your home ownership plans. Our trusted mortgage advisors in Bristol ae able to search across 1000s of deals, including specialist one, for you.

What it all boils down to though, is how the market is performing at that particular time, as well as the state of the economy and position of the Bank of England base rate. A well-performing economy will usually see a higher demand for both goods and services, including properties as well.

In turn, higher demand usually means that the Bank of England base rate will rise, which will also see mortgage rates following suit. This is because mortgage rates that are set by your mortgage lender, will be at a percentage sitting above the Bank of England base rate.

Whilst having a better performing economy would mean people can theoretically afford more, mortgage lenders don’t have unlimited funds.

What this means, is that when the Bank of England base rate goes up, the cost of borrowing for a mortgage lender will also go up, which in turn sees mortgage rates also increase to a point where a mortgage lender can cover the cost of their own borrowing.

When the economy isn’t performing too well, this all work completely the opposite.

People will typically be unable to afford as much, which means interest rates will have to come down as a way to try and entice potential customers onto the property ladder, with the promise of possibly lower monthly mortgage payments.

Mortgage Rates Affected by Inflation

As we have discussed above, one of the primary factors that can impact your mortgage rates, is the Bank of England base rate. As a general rule, a mortgage lender will set their own rates at a percentage above the base rate. This means fluctuations can take place, as the base rate rises and falls periodically.

Another factor that can impact the Bank of England base rate and see it fluctuate, is inflation. The UK government have a specific target that they like to reach, in order to make sure the cost of living is affordable for everyone. Unfortunately, these targets are not always met.

In situations such as these, we may see the cost of living going up. Unlike the typical cause and effect of seeing a stronger economy meaning people can afford more, when this happens, many are left in financial positions that are less than favourable, struggling to get onto the property ladder.

This is also unfortunate news for homeowners who have fixed-rates that are coming to an end. Someone may have, for example, fixed in at an incredibly low percentage, only to come out of their fixed-rate and be set to inherit double what it was before.

Having the help of a mortgage broker in Bristol here, can be truly beneficial.

Fixed-Rate Mortgages vs Tracker Mortgages

The Bank of England base rate, generally speaking, will always fluctuate, though it’s not often by much. Tracker mortgages are a type of mortgage that will mirror the Bank of England base rate, sitting at a percentage above it and fluctuating alongside it.

This can be a great mortgage type when interest rates are sitting rather low, though when the rates go up, you could see your mortgage payments changing suddenly, making this a mortgage type without guaranteed consistency.

Whilst tracker mortgages can still be great for some people (your mortgage advisor in Bristol will help you to determine which mortgage deal is best for you), some may argue that a better option could be a fixed-rate mortgage.

These are always the more popular options and allow for customers to lock-in to whatever the interest rate is at that time, for a chosen duration. For example, if you lock-in at a 4% interest rate for 5 years, even if within the next year it jumps up to 6%, you’re still only going to be paying 4%.

On the other hand, if you locked-in for 6% and then it dropped to 4%, you’d be paying more than other homeowners and home buyers would. This is why for many, we see them fixing in for 2-5 years, in order to gauge how rates are changing and to make sure they are always on the best mortgage deal.

When you’re in periods of economic uncertainty, fixed-rate mortgages can provide consistency and ease stress for homeowners. You will have the freedom to choose your own fixed-period duration, which as we said is usually 2-5 years, though we do see customers choosing 7 or even 10 year fixed-rates.

The possibility of coming out a fixed-period into higher interest rates, can actually lead many to remortgage in Bristol earlier than they otherwise would, paying an early repayment charge, to fix-in for a rate that, whilst higher than they had, is much less than it is projected to be by the time their deal ends.

How long should I fix my mortgage for?

The answer to this is entirely dependent on the way that interest rates possibly change, as well as how your personal circumstances also are set to change. As we have discussed above, there are also personal factors that can have an impact on how mortgage rates possibly change.

Home buyers who have higher deposits may be able to open themselves up to a lower loan-to-value, which in turn can allow them to access much lower rates of interest.

If you find that you are currently in that situation, having taken out a mortgage with lower interest rates, you may wish to take out a fixed-rate mortgage for 5, maybe 10 years, in order to truly reap the benefits of your lower interest rates.

Of course this very much depends on circumstance and 10 years is a long time to wait.

In 10 years, you could see lots of things change; Interest rates could drop significantly lower than you were able to fix-in for, meaning you are paying much more than you would have if you’d only fixed-in for 2 years, remortgaging onto the lower rates much sooner.

A trusted and experienced mortgage broker in Bristol will work to ensure you are well prepared for your mortgage process and help you to make an informed decision. Using our knowledge, we will do everything we can to help you succeed.

Speak With a Qualified Mortgage Advisor in Bristol

Interest rates can change when you least expect them to, depending on how the economy is performing, as well as the state of the market and the Bank of England base rate. Pairing this up with your own personal factors, you might be a little uncertain about what to do next.

By getting in touch with us for expert remortgage advice in Bristol if you’re nearing the end of your initial mortgage deal, or first time buyer mortgage advice in Bristol if this is your first time buying a property, you will have the help of a qualified mortgage advisor in Bristol, who will find you the best deal.

We always want the best for all of our customers, working alongside you to make sure you are well protected from potential future interest rate rises, if we can do so. If the cost of living is concerning to you, a fixed-rate mortgage might be your best option.

Book yourself in for a free mortgage appointment or remortgage review today, and we will see how we can help, recommending the most suitable mortgage option for you.

Agreement in Principle and Soft Credit Searches

Agreement in Principle Mortgage Advice in Bristol

An agreement in principle, known as an AIP, DIP, mortgage in principle and decision in principle (depending on where you look), is a document that shows a seller that you are ready to proceed with a purchase and mortgage. It also allows you to make an offer on the property in question, proving to be useful when negotiating on the asking price.

Once you have passed the lenders initial credit checks, you will be able to obtain your own agreement in principle. Many first time buyers in Bristol aren’t too sure of how they work, however, so below we’re going to explain how they work, how they affect your credit score and the length of time they last for.

How does your agreement in principle affect your credit score?

The effect an agreement in principle has on your credit score entirely depends on the type of credit search the lender decides to use. Generally you’ll find they will either perform a soft credit search or a hard credit search.

Understandably, especially for a first time buyer, you may not know the difference between the two. Allow us to explain;

Soft credit searches

For the most part, lenders these days will now carry out a soft credit search over a hard credit search. The reason for choosing this one is because they typically require less information and there is a lot less chance of your credit score being affected by a soft credit search.

Whilst whoever is undertaking the soft search will be gaining less information about you from it, than they otherwise would’ve gotten from a hard search, an agreement in principle from one of these lenders is usually still a very strong indication to the seller of the property you’re interested in, that your application is likely to be accepted.

Hard credit searches

Hard credit searches tend to be a lot more in-depth than soft searches are. The main difference between the two credit search types is that hard credit searches can have an effect on your credit score, by leaving what is known as a credit footprint. This means that previous credit searches will be visible to anyone else looking at your file in the future.

If you have a good credit score, this won’t really be a problem. Where it can be an issue, is if your score is lower and you have had multiple hard searches on your file. This is because, to a lender, it can look like you are trying to apply for lots of credit at the same time. It’s likely that this will put them off.

Does an AIP guarantee a mortgage in Bristol?

As much as we would like it to be so, nobody can ever be guaranteed a mortgage, but having an agreement in principle arranged in advance will definitely work in your favour.

Once you have given the lender with all your documents, an underwriter will review your case and proceed to make a final decision. Agreements in principle will often include small print that applicants can easily miss. It’s reasons like this why getting in touch with a mortgage broker in Bristol can be helpful to you.

We often find that in some cases when people get in touch, enquiring about an agreement in principle, they’ve been turned away at full mortgage application stage.

The documents that you’ll need to give the lender include, but are not limited to, forms of ID, payslips and bank statements. As a dedicated and experienced mortgage broker in Bristol, we take a lot of pride in helping you be prepared for your mortgage process. Once you start your mortgage process, it may be worth looking at how to get prepared for a mortgage in Bristol.

Making sure you have your agreement in principle in place when you’re ready to make an offer is a necessary step. Any estate agent with an ounce of credibility will ask for evidence that you are able to proceed with the purchase of a property.

How long will my agreement in principle last for?

Your agreement in principle will typically expire around 30-90 days. When this happens, your mortgage advisor can renew it for you. We are usually able to obtain one an agreement in principle within 24 hours of your initial mortgage appointment.

As an experienced mortgage broker in Bristol, we would suggest that you obtain one of these as early as you can. We say this so that you can try to avoid being told you aren’t eligible for a mortgage on your dream home.

The good thing about having your agreement in principle and it lasting a good length of time, is that you don’t just need to apply for the first home you see. You have time to look around and find one that suits you best.

If you are a first time buyer in Bristol or are looking at moving home in Bristol, please get in touch and take advantage of our mortgage advice service. We offer a free initial mortgage consultation, where you will get to speak with one of our expert mortgage advisors.

Help to Buy Mortgage Schemes in Bristol

Help to Buy Mortgage Advice in Bristol

Following on from the 2008 credit crunch, our government decided that they needed a backup plan, in a bid to try and kickstart the heart of the mortgage market. Their primary focus were on first time buyers, bringing in “Help to Buy Schemes” to help them get onto the property ladder.

There are lots of different ways to take out a Help to Buy in Bristol, with a variety of schemes available. Some may be more appropriate for you, others you won’t meet the criteria for. Below we have listed the Help to Buy Schemes that are available to homebuyers.

Help to Buy Shared Ownership Scheme

The Help to Buy Shared Ownership Scheme was also brought in as a way of helping applicants to purchase their home as only a percentage, rather than the full house, with the remaining percentage being paid as a rental amount to a local authority.

Typically speaking you will own between 25-75% of the property you are looking to purchase, with the percentage that is remaining being owned by a local council or housing association (known as a local authority).

This mortgage schemes works in a way where you will be paying back your monthly mortgage payments, but also a rental fee per month to the local authority, which means that you are paying 100% of the ground rent and service charge on your new home (even if you own the smallest amount.)

The good news is that this rental charge will not have interest, generally making it cheaper than paying the full mortgage amount. If you come into more money as your term progresses or if your property increases in value, you can increase your shares.

Help to Buy Armed Forces Scheme

The Armed Forces Help to Buy scheme was brought forward back in 2014 after the vast success of the Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme after the credit crunch.

This government ran scheme was created with the aim to build upon the foundations of the original Help to Buy Scheme, with a view to help members of the Armed Forces get onto the property ladder.

If you match the criteria for the Armed Forces Help to Buy Scheme, this is something that could prove to be incredibly advantageous when you are looking to get onto the property ladder as a first time buyer in Bristol.

The government has thankfully rolled this into an enduring policy and we here at Bristolmoneyman genuinely hope it stays around, as the scheme is massively beneficial to Armed Forces members who want to buy their first home.

Bonus: Lifetime ISA

The Lifetime ISA, whilst technically not a Help to Buy Scheme, is a very helpful scheme that often slips people’s minds. It’s not high on everyone’s priority as a go-to scheme, though it could prove to be the scheme that helps you buy your home as a first time buyer in Bristol.

A Lifetime ISA is pretty much a savings account where your money is able to grow, completely tax free. You are also provided with a government top-up of an additional 25%!

This means that if you can put the maximum £4,000 in savings each year, you would receive a much welcomed and rather handy £1,000 bonus amount in your savings, to use later down the line.

In order to access this type of mortgage scheme, you have to meet rather specific mortgage lending criteria, which our dedicated mortgage advisors in Bristol can discuss with you. All of the information on this scheme is available on the government Lifetime ISA website.

Reasons Your Mortgage Application in Bristol Has Been Declined

Failing a credit score

The benchmarks for passing a credit score differs depending on the lender. Sometimes it can be easy; other times it can be strict and challenging to pass. If a lender likely has failed you, you might not have been told why you failed. In some cases, this is because it was a combination of little things, and in truth, they aren’t sure why you had been declined.

It’s at this moment where you will feel the advantages of a mortgage broker in Bristol. We are here to help you and guide you everywhere in the early stages, right through to the end of your mortgage journey. Beforehand, it is strongly recommended that you obtain a copy of your credit file to show your Mortgage Advisor in Bristol.

They will be able to go through it with you and try to match you with the most suitable lender for your situation. The more deposit you have available for you to put down, the easier your chances will be to pass a credit score for a mortgage.

There are things you are able to do to improve your credit score, such as using a credit card regularly (if you have one) and ideally paying off the balance in full each month. You will also need to be on the voters roll for the area of which you live. That one can often be overlooked but is incredibly helpful. You can also close down old bank accounts and credit and store cards that you have since stopped using.

If you fail one lender’s credit score, do not give up! There may still be another lender willing to accept you, though please be wary about having too many hard credit footprints registered against you, as too many hard searches can affect your credit score.

Declined For a Mortgage On Affordability

The different lenders have their own individual ways of calculating how much you can borrow. It’s entirely plausible that you could approach 10 different Lenders and each one give different answers. Some lenders are more generous than others depending on the circumstance, with some, for example, known to be fairer to those who are self-employed.

Some mortgage lenders can consider assessing 100% of an employee’s overtime and bonuses, though this is not the case with every lender. Depending on the lender, some will also accept “unearned” income such as tax credits, child benefit and maintenance.

A mortgage broker in Bristol who deals with First-Time Buyer Mortgage Advice in Bristol can approach several different lenders without the need for a credit check, in order to perform an affordability assessment. If you are looking to buy a home, we would highly recommend that you have an affordability assessment carried out before you start viewing properties to avoid potential disappointment in the future.

If you are Moving Home in Bristol, proving that you have maintained mortgage or rent payments in the past is not an immediate guarantee that you will pass a lender’s own affordability test.

Outside of Lending Policy 

All lenders have their own specific, strict mortgage lending criteria, with some being better than others in certain situations. Lenders look to carve out niches for themselves to fit into, as a means of attracting good quality mortgage borrowers who might not tick all of the right boxes for their competitors.

Some examples as to why your application has been declined for being outside of policy are: 

An experienced Mortgage Broker in Bristol will use their experience of lenders and criteria tools to recommend the most suitable mortgage for you, based on your own personal circumstances. If your situation is a little more complex, then you should look for mortgage advice as being declined elsewhere may affect your chances of being accepted for a mortgage going forward. & Bristolmoneyman are trading styles of UK Moneyman Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

UK Moneyman Limited is Registered in England, No. 6789312 | Registered Address: 10 Consort Court, Hull, HU9 1PU.

Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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