Seems like everywhere we turn for comment on the UK housing market we're given grim news. For instance, did you notice that the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors have found housing confidence here has fallen to a 30 year low?
Coming from a less authoritative organization you might be forgiven for wondering if this is accurate. The the RICS has a sterling reputation for reporting well and their finding is backed up by other surveys.
Just recently, for example, this country's largest lender of mortgages, the HBOS, reported a five percent drop in UK house prices this year. And the Halifax house price index released not long ago had dropped 2.5%; which means property values for the quarter were down one percent. And the Capital Economic group of researchers has come up with a predicted drop in UK house prices of eight percent by the end of the year.
You can get a loan
All of which means it is a good time for home owners to get a secured loan! How is that possible, you ask? Well, let's a step back from the black news and look at the business of lenders, and particularly mortgage lenders. Their business is the invest the money given to them by the public so they can earn a margin for themselves and their shareholders. This simple fundamental foundation to their business has to work for them both in the good economic time and in the difficult. So these lenders are constantly looking for reliable borrowers. And if you have equity in your home, in a difficult period in the economic cycle, you could very well qualify as a reliable lender.
In other words, you are probably able to use your home to get a loan to meet a large, unexpected expense, even in these economically difficult times. Your loan will be secured by the part of your home that you own. This is how secured loans work, in simple terms.
And, let's face it, many of us will need a secured loan at some stage, because we all get hit with big bills from time to time. I remember when we bought our present home we immediately wanted to add a bedroom on the front lawn and turn two bedrooms at the front of the house into a set of three, smaller bedrooms. We did this with a secured loan. Then again, when our daughter was married a year ago we needed to quickly find a reasonable chunk of money (for us, it was quite big) to give her the church service and reception she wanted. You will be familiar with these expenses yourself, no doubt. Or perhaps you need to get new car quickly. Or should go for an operation, but would have to wait too long in the public health system if you didn't have the money for a quick private operation.
The value of using a good broker
An established lender, or one of the many good nontraditional mortgage lenders, will be interested to sit down and talk with you about a secured loan, using the equity you've built up in your home. But that's the easy part. You need to negotiate from strength, so I recommend you first look around and find a good broker who is familiar with current conditions on offer from a number of lenders, and knows what the best interest rates are. A good mortgage broker will also be able to quickly answer any questions you have during your negotiation, and this can cut down the time it takes to get the money you need to meet that big bill. Secured loans are not difficult to get. But getting one on the best terms takes some local knowledge, so find a broker and THEN look for your loan.
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