Check your mortgage affordability
You should check a mortgage calculator to obtain some figures. Should you be obtaining benefits then this does not necessarily stop you from obtaining a mortgage. The lender’s biggest concern is your ability to make the monthly payments and most mainstream lenders will take benefits into account in the application process. There are many different benefits that are considered by lenders some examples of which are: carer’s allowance, child benefit, child tax credit, and working tax credit.
The easiest way to find a lender who will take your benefits into account is to work with a mortgage adviser. These professionals have a detailed knowledge of lenders’ individual eligibility criteria and will be able to point you towards the best lender that’s willing to work with you. There are also several specialist lenders and flexible mortgage products that are a good fit for single parents.
Buying your home as a couple?
Should this be a new adventure and you are purchasing with a partner and obtaining a joint mortgage then you may also wish to consider a Declaration of Ownership which sets out if the property is to be held in particular shares and can also contain information as to how funds have been contributed and therefore how they would be distributed should the property need to be sold.
You will also need to decide how you are going to own the property. The norm for a married couple is as joint tenants which means that in the event of death the property automatically rests with the surviving party. The other option is as tenants in common. This means that you can hold the property in different shares, the property does not automatically pass to the surviving party and runs in accordance with your Will.
Should you own the property on your own and become married and wish your partner to be on the title to the property then you can do what is known as a transfer of equity. If you have a mortgage on the property, then you will need the consent of the lender to add them as they will also become liable for that mortgage. The lender may also wish to change the terms of the mortgage when issuing their consent.
You may also want to consider writing/changing your Will accordingly. If you already hold a Will and children are born into the relationship then you may want to consider appointing guardians for your children should anything happen to you or your partner before they are 18. Similarly, if you do not already hold a Will then this is a good reason to make one. You can also determine what happens with your share of the property.
Moving to a new house can be a stressful process. 9-in-10 parents (87%) find moving stressful, with 1-in-5 revealing the single biggest worry with moving was entertaining or looking after their children.