Need help to buy?

Posted on Monday 14th of May 2018

2018 began with a surprising pick-up in house price growth, up 0.6% month-on-month with January seeing a ten-month high increase of 3.2 per cent. Even with the wider economy and Brexit developments, the housing market activity is only expected to slow a modest amount.

This is great news for those already enjoying the benefits of home-ownership, but if you’re looking to buy your first home the rising house prices mean you're going to need a bigger deposit. In fact, deposits have increased 220% in the past two decades in Belfast and a stagger...

Valuation vs Survey

Posted on Monday 30th of April 2018

Buying a house… is a valuation sufficient, or should you opt for a full structural survey?

Buying a house is probably the biggest financial purchase you’ll make in your lifetime and at a time when you’re already spending a lot of money, a survey can sometimes seem like a big expense. However, knowledge is power and it’s better to be informed of any potential issues before proceeding with the purchase otherwise it may end up costing you further down the line.

When you're at the exciting stage of buying a new property it's easy to get seduce...

It happened to him

Posted on Monday 16th of April 2018

Don’t let the ‘it won’t happen to me’ approach affect your decision on whether or not to take out critical illness cover.

David thought he was a fit, healthy, middle-aged man, with a good exercise regime and diet. He was a keen runner, and had even completed the New York marathon. It was only when he experienced angina-like symptoms that he went to his GP.

He was diagnosed with hereditary coronary heart disease.

David was shocked at this diagnosis – and even more so when his surgeon informed him he had already had a heart attack. The surg...

Securing your company’s future

Posted on Tuesday 3rd of April 2018

Business Protection is a crucial element in a company’s financial future, but how many have cover in place?

According to a study from Legal & General, 53% of the UK’s small businesses think they would cease trading in less than a year, should a key employee die or be diagnosed with critical illness and unable to work.

These figures ought to concern most business owners – especially given that the Federation for Small Businesses also reported around 50,000 SMEs go under each year because of late loan repayments – and it's a trend that could...

Spring statement

Posted on Monday 19th of March 2018

March has traditionally been the month for Budgets, but no longer. In Autumn 2016 the then new Chancellor, Philip Hammond made clear he thought the propensity of previous Chancellors to turn their Autumn Statements into second Budgets was not a good idea and that he wanted to make only one set of tax announcements each year and so announced he would be moving to Autumn Budgets and Spring Statements.

The economic background has changed only marginally since last November’s Budget, helping the Chancellor to keep his speech short:

The Office ...

What’s your General Insurance start date?

Posted on Monday 5th of March 2018

When you’re in the process of buying a house, you might think the best time for your Home Insurance cover to kick in is on the day you move in. Right?

In fact, you must make sure you’re covered on the day you exchange contracts, because it’s at that point that you become legally responsible for the property.

Avoiding a nightmare

Imagine the scene…. you’ve just exchanged contracts on your lovely new home and you’re packing the last of the boxes and finalising the move date with the removal firm. The next morning, you get a call with the ne...

With protection comes choice

Posted on Monday 19th of February 2018

How many times have you heard the phrase “It won’t happen to me” when it comes to the chances of suffering a serious illness? Unfortunately, given that 1 in 2 people born after 1960 in the UK will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime we should perhaps adopt the lottery approach and assume “it could be you”.

If you have a mortgage, or people who rely on your income, you should have some sort of protection cover in place in the event that you have to stop work. We can advise you on a range of policies designed to either...

Could your status update affect your claim?

Posted on Monday 5th of February 2018

Given the nature of social media and the millions of us who use it every day, you probably weren’t alone in posting pictures, videos and status updates showing off your recent Christmas presents and festive celebrations.

But did you stop to think that posting information like this on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat could be advertising your property, your whereabouts and your latest expensive Christmas gadget to criminals, and potentially void your home insurance?

Counting the cost of burglary
There were 650,000 domestic burglarie...

Critical illness cover can make a difference

Posted on Monday 22nd of January 2018

If you’ve ever turned down a recommendation of critical illness because you can't see the value of it, this real-life case study might make you think again.

Peter Simpson is a successful commercial manager for a Berkshire-based firm. He’s married with three children aged 13, 11 and 9 and has a £297,000 mortgage. His wife gave up work to bring up the kids, making Peter the main breadwinner.

When he was 24, buying his first house, Peter had arranged to see an Openwork adviser who helped him sort out a mortgage and critical illness cover. Ove...

The value of protection

Posted on Monday 8th of January 2018

Buying a new home is possibly one of life’s biggest and most exciting events. It’s also a major financial commitment – one that could be with you for 25 years or more.

Your ability to maintain your mortgage payments relies on a constant income, so how would you continue to make your mortgage repayments if your income was reduced – or stopped? Here we look at two similar scenarios with very different outcomes.


David arranged a new mortgage with his financial adviser. They discussed protection insurance and David agreed to take out co...