How to avoid co-owning mishaps & keep your mortgage love-nest harmonious

Business Insights

Miles Robinson, Head of Mortgages at online mortgage broker Trussle, commented:

“Buying a home with your partner is one of life’s biggest and most exciting milestones. It’s also a big financial commitment, so it’s important to be organised so that everything runs smoothly. To kick start the process, it’s worth consulting a checklist or speaking to a professional who can help guide you both towards financial bliss.”

For couples who are considering buying their first property together, here are some top tips to help ease the process:

1. Find out exactly how much you can borrow

If you’re looking to buy together this year, or considering a remortgage, knowing how much you're able to borrow is essential. This will impact everything, from location choice to shared mortgage repayments. Using an affordability calculator is a great way to understand what you’ll be able to afford so that you can manage your expectations from the beginning.

2. Set up a joint account

It’s a good idea to set up a joint bank account to keep track of shared payments, such as mortgage repayments and household bills. Have open conversations about how you’ll both pay the additional expenses that come with buying a home, such as removal costs, maintenance decoration, and repairs. This will help you budget together accordingly.

3. Keep on top of your mortgage deal

Once you’ve secured a mortgage, it can be easy to put it to one side. But, keeping it front of mind and remembering when your initial term comes to an end could save you thousands in the long run. There are currently two million homeowners in the UK who’ve lapsed onto their lender’s Standard Variable Rate (SVR).* This is a long-term rate of interest that borrowers are automatically rolled onto after their initial period expires. Keeping on top of your mortgage deal and switching when the time is right will prevent you from paying unnecessary costs in additional interest.

Trussle, offers a free mortgage monitoring service that will continuously compare any mortgage with the latest deals on the market. It then alerts the borrower as soon as it makes sense to switch, considering fees, incentives, and any applicable Early Repayment Charges.

4. Make it legal

If you’re buying with your partner, but aren’t tying the knot just yet, it’s important to enlist the help of a solicitor to draw up the correct documents. This can include a declaration of trust, or a cohabitation agreement. These legally-binding documents record the financial arrangements between joint property owners and will ensure that you’re both protected in the event of any changes. It’s important to remember that all applicants are jointly liable, so if one person cannot pay their mortgage, the lender can legally demand payment from the other borrower.

5. Remember the home insurance

Home and mortgage repayment insurance are two essential things to have in place to protect yourselves against any DIY disasters, burglaries, or illnesses. It’s important to bear in mind the level of excess you might have to pay if you have to make a claim. Seek professional advice to ensure you are fully informed and find the best deal for your personal circumstances. It’s vital you have the right level of protection so that everything's covered.