How to afford your starter home: take out a 50-year loan
Sunday 16 April 2006
Would-be homeowners all but priced out of today's housing market are considering ever more radical ways of getting round the problem of short-term affordability.
With the average house price paid by first-timers standing at £137,122, according to figures from the Halifax, brokers report that a growing number are looking to extend the term of a repayment mortgage beyond the standard 25 years to 30, 35 or even 40, 50 years - and cut their monthly commitments.
"Twenty-five years is traditional but fairly arbitrary," says Melanie Bien of broker Savills Private Finance. "As affordability is a problem, more borrowers are going for longer deals."
Extending the mortgage term is most commonly an option considered by those who can't rely on parents helping out with the deposit (so bringing down the rate) or who don't want an interest-only loan that requires a separate savings vehicle.
A survey by broker Purely Mortgages found a quarter of aspiring first-time buyers would happily repay their mortgage over 30 years, 6 per cent would go for a 40-year term, and 5 per cent would be prepared to spread their repayments over 50 years.
However, longer-term mortgages do come at a price. Say a property costs £200,000: with a 20 per cent deposit and a standard loan rate of 5.7 per cent, the repayments over 25 years would be £1,020.78 a month for an overall cost of £306,564, says broker Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB).
Compare this with a 40-year term, it adds, where the monthly payment drops to £868.64 but the overall repayment is £417,277.
But Louise Cuming, spokes- woman for the price-comparison service Moneysupermarket.com, says that if a long-term mortgage is taken out for only a couple of years, it can be cost-effective - "as long as you remortgage to a shorter-term [deal] sooner rather than later".
That said, stretching a mortgage term to reduce payments can be a risky move - particularly given that the average age of a first-time buyer has now risen to 33. "Not only will a longer term mean the overall cost of borrowing is higher, but it may never be the 'right time' to remortgage and take on the higher payments. That could leave a serious problem well into retirement," warns Brian Murphy, lending manager at MAB.
Ms Bien says lenders will consider letting you carry a mortgage on into retirement only if you have enough guaranteed income to service the loan.
"Having to repay a mortgage on a significantly lower income [in retirement] could be a real worry," adds Ms Cuming. "No lender wants to face the prospect of chasing arrears from the more vulnerable and elderly."
She adds that while a range of lenders, including Alliance & Leicester, Halifax, and Chelsea and Nationwide building societies, offer mortgages with a 40-year term, only HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland Intermediary Partners actively promote 50-year mortgages. "And the latter has a maximum age at planned redemption of 70," says Ms Cuming. "So unless a prospective borrower is 20 or under, the maximum term is not available."
Most lenders don't charge just to change the length of your loan, but some, like Alliance & Leicester, impose a small £25 administration fee.
Gary Buchanan, 29, from Newtownards near Belfast, remortgaged recently to allow him to consolidate some debts.
"The term has been extended to 35 years to keep the monthly payments as low as possible - making it far more affordable," he explains.
The remortgage involved switching his £68,100 home loan to a five-year fixed-rate deal with Northern Rock at 5.89 per cent.
His broker, Purely Mortgages, recommended Northern Rock because the lender is flexible on income multiples.
Independent Partners: Get fee-free expert mortgage advice and find the right mortgage deal for you.
Budget 2015: George Osborne is set to get tough with further cuts in public spending
Five Questions On: GB Energy's new tariff
Simon Read: 'Taylor Swift tickets purchased on Viagogo were cancelled hours before the concert'
Simon Read: You're guilty until proven innocent when HMRC sends in the tax credit detectives
Bank-beating exchange rates on your international payments
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 3 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 4 Motorists taunt suicidal woman on bridge and tell her to 'get on with it'
- 5 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
iJobs Money & Business
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...
£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....
£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...
Day In a Page
Previously two semi-detached properties, this five-bedroom home is spread over three floors with a large breakfast kitchen, orangery, office and gym on the second floor.
This five-bedroom home enjoys countryside views over the Blyth estuary to Southwold, offering flexible living space with a ground-floor annexe - ideal for use as a holiday let.
Close to the market town of Eye, this four-bedroom detached home offers a double-height living room which takes the place of the original, 19th-century, chapel nave.
Dating back to the 19th century, this four-bedroom home needs modernising. Spanning three storeys, the red-brick house has a fireplace, a small terrace and a cellar.
Just outside of Cambridge, this single-storey home offers three double bedrooms, a living room with vaulted timber ceiling and ladder steps that lead to a mezzanine study area.
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn.
A former coach house, Glebe Farm Stable is now a three-bedroom cottage with a double car barn, an attached office, kennels and an outbuilding that's currently used as a gym.
Located beside an impressive Victorian viaduct, this four-bedroom home has an open-plan living area that is glazed on two sides, with skylights and high ceilings.
A former furniture workshop, this three-bedroom home has high ceilings and painted brick walls, in a village setting only fifteen miles from the coast.
This five-bedroom stone townhouse features a pine staircase and an Inglenuk fireplace, double doors from the lounge give access to an enclosed courtyard.
This five-bedroom, detached home blends traditional and modern design; the sleek kitchen features a gas hob and oven set within an exposed chimney breast.
Moored in Chelsea's Cheyne Walk, this houseboat offers two double bedrooms and a teak deck that's ideal for al-fresco dining.
Surrounded by woodland, this five-bedroom manor house has plenty of outdoor storage space in the form of three converted loose boxes, two smaller outhouses and a woodstore.
This six-bedroom home is set amongst three acres of grounds. Currently a large family home, Clift Hill has potential to make a B&B or countryside retreat, subject to change of use permissions.
This Grade II-listed three-bedroom home is situated on a private road, just a short walk from the sandy beaches of Frinton-on-Sea.
Less than five miles from Malmesbury, this four-bedroom cottage comes with equestrian facilities and gardens that extend to approximately three acres.
Spanning three storeys, this late-Victorian five-bedroom farmhouse is a spacious family home with a modern interior and B&B potential.
With an original church arch, this triplex one-bedroom church conversion has a light, spacious, feel and comes with a secure off-street parking space.
This recently-refurbished three-bedroom home has bi-folding doors that lead out to a decked seating area - ideal for alfresco dining this summer.
Well-located for coastal walks and popular restaurants, this detached four-bedroom home offers views over farmland, to the Solent, the Purbecks and Bournemouth.
If you love high ceilings, school conversions like this one are bang on the money. This two-bedroom flat is minutes from Burgess Park and the foodie haven at Borough Market.
Set within a church conversion in Bermondsey, this two-bedroom maisonette combines existing features, such as original arches and brickwork, with a contemporary finish.
In the pretty market town of Bungay, this grade II-listed Mill House is arranged over four floors, offering four bedrooms and three reception areas.
This four-bedroom Edwardian home offers a combination of original features and contemporary design after a renovation by the current owners.
This four-bedroom home offers a vaulted ceiling in a breakfast room that's ideal for summer entertaining with doors that open to the patio and garden.
On the market for the first time in more than 50 years, this six-bedroom home is a project with vast potential - spread over three floors of living space.
This five-bedroom home comes with a range of outbuildings including a large barn which could be converted into a self-contained granny-flat or rental.
Surrounded by rolling countryside, this four-bedroom barn conversion comes with a self-contained, one-bedroom annexe that could serve as an office or a holiday let.
Located near Harrogate town centre, this five-bedroom Victorian terrace is arranged over three storeys while a current study serves as an optional sixth bedroom.
A ground-floor flat in a country house, located a mile from Sway; this two-bedroom home would make an ideal weekend retreat on the edge of the New Forest.
On a popular residential lane in Caterham on the Hill, this four-bedroom family home offers a secluded garden and a convenient location for local schools and public transport.
Just a short walk from Westerham green, this three-bedroom cottage has a light kitchen with exposed brickwork and double doors that lead to a south-facing garden.
In a prime spot opposite the River Thames, this one-bedroom flat has an 18sq ft reception room with glass doors that open out to a private terrace.
Set in the hills above Llanwrda Village, west Wales, this 18th-century three-bedroom farmhouse has holiday-let potential from a separate barn conversion and annexe.
This charming end-of-terrace townhouse is arranged over three floors, with two double bedrooms and a private courtyard garden located at the rear of the property.
Located in the University area, this semi-detached five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors - there's even a rear garden and off-road parking too.
Only a few minutes' drive from the charming town of Marlow, this two-bedroom home sits on the private riverside estate of Harleyford.
This detached four-bedroom home in Middleyard is arranged over two floors, with features that include a wood-burning stove and bespoke oak staircase.
In a row of eight detached Georgian residences, this five-bedroom home offers views of The Sound, Mount Edgcumbe and Cornwall from its impressive veranda and full-length balcony.
If you love cooking for friends this two-bedroom flat - complete with views of the iconic Battersea Power Station and an open-plan kitchen/dining area - will go down a treat.
Located above Grasmere village, this five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors and offers countryside views across Grasmere Lake towards Silver Howe.
This four-bedroom detached home comes with a double carport, useful workshop, garden and two walkways that offer views of the adjacent countryside.
With space for an equestrian business, a greenhouse for growing your own veg, a wine store and a gym; this five-bedroom home has all the ingredients for a country retreat.
The decked roof terrace of this two-bedroom flat is perfect for summer drinks while large windows and ample storage space make for a light and spacious interior.
Set sail for this four-bedroom farmhouse in Cowes. With five acres of land and an indoor pool, this home oozes character. There is even potential to let a one-bedroom annexe.
Surrounded by approximately 15 acres of grounds, this six-bedroom grade II-listed home has been extensively refurbished yet retains many period features.
This four-bedroom home comes with a two-bedroom cottage and commercial office, with planning to extend, in a stunning courtyard setting.
In a pretty Norfolk village, this four-bedroom family home is surrounded by landscaped gardens, with even a self-contained annex for guests.
A few miles from the seaside at Perranporth, this four-bedroom farmhouse sits amongst nine acres of idyllic grounds - including a lake and two barns used as holiday lets.
This five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors of a converted Victorian hospital, offering spectacular views of the Pentland Hills - only three miles from the city centre.