Advice for buying a home in your 50s
If you are thinking of buying a home and are in your 50s, here is our guide which will help you through all the important decisions – from getting a valuation to the best places to seek professional advice.
Get your home valued
If you have a property to sell, you could use a traditional estate agent, an online agent or consider part-exchange. Whichever option appeals, if you’ve lived in your current home for a long time, you may be unsure how much it’s worth today.
Make some appointments with local estate agents to get an accurate valuation. Family homes are always in demand, so if you have a property with two, three or even more bedrooms, you may have buyers queuing up once you put it on the market.
Weigh up your options
Do you want to downsize? Are you open to moving to a new area? It’s important that you’re realistic about your requirements.
Downsizing for instance, might sound idyllic, but it could mean that you have to change your furniture, have fewer possessions and you might not have space for as many guests to stay.
Seek professional help
Will you be needing to remortgage or get a new mortgage to purchase your new home, or will you be a cash buyer this time around?
If you’re wanting to buy a new build, with the help of a remortgage or mortgage, speak to a New Homes Mortgage Adviser (NHMA) as soon as possible.
They can provide specialist advice, explain the incentives and help you with the application process. They will know which lenders will accept homeowners aged 50 and above, saving you valuable time.
A standard mortgage adviser can offer you similar advice and support, if you’re looking to buy an older property. Searching for a remortgage or mortgage at a great rate can be difficult, if you try to go it alone.
Increase your chances of being accepted
Mortgage providers will look in detail at your finances and credit history to build a picture of how you are with money.
They want to see that you’re responsible and financially stable. In the months leading up to any mortgage or remortgage application you should stay out of your overdraft, settle any debts, close any credit cards you don’t use and hold off applying for other forms of credit.
If you’ve shared a financial product with someone else in the past, a former partner for instance, you’ll be financially linked on your credit history. This means that their credit history can impact on yours, so you may want to apply for a notice of disassociation.
If you’re not on the electoral roll at your current address, you need to sign up to vote as this is used by mortgage providers to confirm your identity. It’s worth spending time looking through the records the credit reference agencies hold on you to check for mistakes too. The better your credit history, the more likely you are to be accepted for your chosen mortgage.
Challenges of buying in your 50s
There are mortgages available for the over 50s but it might be difficult to get one that’s longer than the number of years you have left until retirement age.
You might be wanting to work until you’re 75, but a mortgage provider usually won’t consider this and will often set the retirement age at 65.
They have to be confident you’ll be able to make your monthly payments so that they comply with the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) rules that came into force in April 2014. You’ll have to show them proof of your pensions and investments, if there is any chance of you getting an extension.
Having a mortgage adviser can be invaluable, when you’re in your 50s and searching for a mortgage, as you don’t want to feel like you’ve got limited options and forced to choose a mortgage with a high interest rate. They can help make buying a home in London easy and stress free.