Acres Estate Agents in the West Midlands

Taking out a mortgage is likely to be the biggest financial commitment you’ll ever make, and so you'll want to find the best deal you can. The good news is there’s plenty you can do to improve your chances of getting your mortgage application accepted – follow our top 10 tips to help you get the mortgage you want


If you’re thinking about how to get a mortgage, you should be aware of the factors that affect your eligibility. These include: your credit score, length of time in current job, current debts, whether you’re self-employed and of course the size of your deposit.


Follow our top 10 tips below to find out how to get the mortgage you want.


1. Your credit score matters

Before applying for a mortgage, get a copy of your credit reportwhich is held by credit reference agencies such as Experian or Equifax. This will allow you to see what lenders see when they review your application.


If your credit rating isn’t looking that great, there are lots of simple things you can do which can give your score a boost. For example, check you are on the electoral roll and close down credit card accounts which you no longer use.


2. The starting point is your own sums

Sit down and work out your budget before applying for a mortgage. You will need to be sure you can borrow enough to cover the purchase of the property and that you’ll have enough spare to cover all the associated costs and fees.


Monthly mortgage repayments will depend on how much you want to borrow (and over how long) and the interest rate charged.


3. You’ll be better off in the same job

Lisa Brown of Acres Financial Services said; “ Most lenders will want to see that you’ve been with your employer for some time before they’ll give you a mortgage, so if you’re thinking of switching jobs, it’s a good idea to hang on until you’ve got your mortgage in place. Many lenders like to see you have been in your existing job for at least three to six months.”


4. Debts don’t help

If you’re submitting a mortgage application, the last thing any prospective lender is going to want to see is that you owe a load of cash on credit cards or you’ve got outstanding loans.


Ryan Jobbins of Acres Financial Services said " Before you apply for a mortgage, try to reduce any debts you have – this will help demonstrate that you manage your money responsibly. It will also mean you will potentially be able to borrow more when it comes to a lender’s affordability calculations. "



5. You’ll need proof of income

Mortgage lenders will want to see proof of how much you earn, so you’ll probably need a P60 form which you get every year from your employer and shows a summary of your pay and how much tax has been deducted.


You’re also likely to be asked for three months’ worth of bank statements and payslips so the lender can look at both how much you have coming in as well as your outgoings.


6… or accounts if you’re self-employed

Getting a mortgage when you’re self-employed can be more tricky, especially if you’ve only recently decided to go it alone. Lenders want proof of income and so they’ll usually ask to see SA302 forms relating to the current / recent years from HMRC, or your full trading accounts.


7. The bigger the deposit the better

The more you can save up to put down as a deposit, the bigger the choice of mortgages that will be available to you. Lenders reserve their best rates for those with hefty deposits, so you’ll also benefit from lower monthly payments because you’ll have qualified for a better deal.


8. Buying with someone else can be easier

If you are struggling to building up a decent deposit on your own, you might want to think about buying with someone else. This could boost your chances of securing a decent mortgage, particularly if they’ve got an excellent credit history and a higher income than you. But remember that this is a big commitment, so you’ll need to sit down and work out with the other person what would happen if one of you wanted to move in future.


9. You shouldn’t chop and change your application

Once you’ve started your mortgage application, don’t mess around with it and start changing figures as it could hold up your property purchase.


10. It can pay to get help

If you’re struggling to find the right mortgage deal, or you don’t know what you’d be eligible for or how much you can borrow, it is always a good move to have the help of a mortgage broker. They can research the market for you and help you through the application process so you don’t have to go it alone.


Here at Acres we offer a comprehensive mortgage service giving independent financial advice, with access to the whole of market / high street lenders, often with exclusive deals. For further help please call any of our offices detailed below, or click to the link above.


Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage


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Looking for advice on how to buy a house? You’ve come to the right place.



It’s no secret that the housing market has been incredibly busy in recent months with house prices going through the roof. For buyers, it's hard to stand out, with so few properties on the market and so much competiton. There is some good news on the horizon though...

Things are starting to settle down, amid increasing inflation and rising interest rates. 11% of homes have had their price cut by more than 5% since September, according to property portal Zoopla. And more properties are now coming to the sales market. 

If you're looking to move soon, we’ve compiled a helpful step-by-step guide to give you the best possible chance to secure your dream home and ensure your purchase is as stress-free as possible.




1. Save, save, save! 


Look to save at least 10 to 20% of the cost of the home you would like to buy.

Top tip: remember to factor in additional costs like solicitor fees, mortgage fees, survey costs and buildings insurance. As your local property professionals, we’re always here to help support you and offer advice on moving costs.


2. Get a mortgage agreement in principle


This is an estimate of how much you could potentially borrow from a bank or building society. Bear in mind it’s not a formal mortgage offer but it means you can show agents that it’s likely you’ll be able to afford the property you want to buy.


3. Identify an up and coming area


When searching for a new home, it’s important to look beyond the four walls of the property. 

One way to get ahead and make the market work for you is to find a part of town that is affordable yet offers an increasing amount of amenities due to a new demographic of people moving into the area. 

According to our property expert, Chris Rosindale, the top four signs you should look out for in an up and coming area;

  • Young professionals are a great indicator of potential growth. If you can spot people in their twenties and thirties choosing a specific area, it's almost inevitable that local house prices there will increase.
  • New delicatessens, pubs, restaurants and independent coffee shops suggest that there is new demand in the area from people with disposable income. 
  • Nearby public transport links that give local residents access to schools, workplaces and central locations will inevitably attract more people to the area. 
  • Regeneration can greatly improve the quality of life in a specific area. Chances are if money is being pumped into a neighbourhood, the house prices there are likely to grow.

4. It's advisable to find a good agent


Our estate agents are there to make your buying process as simple and smooth as possible. They can provide you with daily updates of new properties, and if you pop down to your local office, they can give you advice and tips on the local area.

You should plan for multiple property viewings. Do your research and get to know the local market really well. If you need a little extra area advice, talk to your agent.


5. Make an offer


Once you’ve found what you’re looking for, it’s time to make an offer. Think carefully about what you would be willing to pay, if you go too low you risk not being seen as a serious buyer, so make sure your offer is realistic. Equally, don’t go in too high and miss the mark completely. Remember your estate agents will be on hand to help to support you through the offer process.


6. What happens after you’ve made an offer?


Well, this can go one of two ways. The estate agent will call you back and tell you that your offer has been accepted. In this case, it’s time to breathe a sigh of relief and move on to step 7. If not, you might want to repeat the process again with a higher offer. Again, our agents are able to do all the negotiations on your behalf.


7. Arrange a mortgage


If you need to arrange a mortgage we can help through our associated company Acres Financial Services. They can compare thousands of mortgage deals from a panel of high street and specialist lenders (subject to status and lender criteria).


8. Hire a property lawyer called a conveyancer


Once you've had your offer accepted and confirmed your mortgage, it's time to think about who you want to handle the legal side of things. A property lawyer will take charge of conducting searches, liaising with the seller’s lawyer, inspecting the seller’s documents, dealing with the Land Registry and all that fun stuff. This role is critical to keeping your house purchase on track so do your research.


9. Get a survey


Sorted your mortgage and property lawyer? Great.

It’s survey time. A survey isn’t compulsory, but it’s definitely advisable. If you don’t get one and you come across unforeseen structural issues once you’ve bought the property, it would just be hard luck. Don’t be one of those people that rely on the mortgage valuation or you might find yourself forking out thousands of pounds later down the line. Give yourself peace of mind by having a survey conducted.

The HomeFact Report, RICS HomeBuyer Survey, RICS HomeBuyer Survey & Valuation and the RICS Building Survey are your main options. 


10. Arrange buildings insurance


How important is buildings insurance? Well, take this example – as soon as the contracts are exchanged, you’re legally bound to buy the property. If the building were to burn down the day before completion and you weren’t insured, you’d have to pay every penny of the sale price yourself, that's why for many lenders it's a requirement for you to have building insurance prior to completion.


11. Set the completion date


This is the date that you’ll finally move into your new home. Completion usually takes place between one and four weeks after you’ve exchanged contracts. During this time, it might be an idea to find a trustworthy removals company to help get you moving.


12. Exchange contracts and sign the transfer deeds


You’re almost there! Your deposit will now be sent to the seller’s property lawyer, along with the contracts that you signed. Your property lawyer will prepare the transfer deed. Make sure you sign it in the presence of a witness. It confirms you're willing to take ownership of the property.

Once this is complete it means you’re legally bound to purchase the house. Time to put the champagne on ice and celebrate!


13. Completion


You did it. You’re officially a new homeowner – collect the keys and let yourself in. You can now look forward to making the house a home! If you’re interested in home improvements read our latest article ‘How to REALLY boost the value of your property.'



Thank you to Barstow Eves - original post :

As the days grow colder and the nights draw in, it's the perfect time to turn our thoughts to creating a cosy haven at home. 

As we prepare to turn on our heating but monitor our energy usage, we have focused on clever ways to keep our homes feeling even snugger this autumn season. With so many choices on you can certainly ramp up the cosy factor with some cost effective choices, and transform your home into the perfect sanctuary. 

Rugs can be simple yet impactful

Rugs are a firm favourite, whether you have hard floors or carpet – they can instantly add warmth and a feeling of comfort. A brightly coloured or textured rug can act like a piece of 'floor art' and give a room real personality and a focal point. Layering rugs is also an option for a feeling of deep pile sensuality underfoot. Rugs are really versatile and can work in every room, and you can play with large and smaller sizes to suit your style and budget. With thousands of rugs to choose from you are bound to find your perfect one.

Add warmth with lighting

As the daylight fades and the darker evening draw in we rely more and more on artificial lighting. Our lighting works harder in the autumn as it needs to illuminate our space as well as creating the right atmosphere. Having a mix of light providers, either floor, desk or wall is a great way to be able to dial up and dial down a room's ambience depending on your needs. Light bulbs also play a key role, so selecting the correct wattage for the light can be another way to add extra warmth to your room.

Comforting colours and textures

Colour and materials can instantly change the feel of a room, and adding pops of warmth with cushions and throws can be really cost effective. If you are feeling brave you can mix and match or you can keep the overall look neutral so as not to distract from your rooms' decor. Throws are really versatile and can be used to snuggle under on colder evenings, or can be artfully draped over furniture during the day to add personality to your space.

Cosy curtains

Curtains not only provide privacy and frame our windows, they also play a role in keeping the heat inside our homes – preventing it leaking out of our windows. Thermal curtains and blinds can really help solve this problem and can reportedly reduce heat loss by up to 25%. They can also work on internal doors, preventing heat loss to porches, hallways and conservatories.

Create a sleepy sanctuary

Seasonal changes always prompt us to re-think our bedding. Swapping to a higher tog duvet and flannelette sheets help us all get more cosy and achieve the perfect nights sleep. By adding extra layers with warm blankets and throws it means you can add more or take them away so that you are the perfect temperature as you drift off.

Article courtesy of

Location, Location, Location of course - AND


+ 1046% -- A Garden office

Features like an outdoor office space have soared as working patterns have changed. The proportion of property listings that mention them now is 11 times higher than a decade ago. That’s a whopping increase of 1046%! And we aren’t talking a shed with a desk in it here. Many of the homes with garden offices currently for sale come fully equipped with mains electric, their own air-conditioning systems, and of course, WiFi.




+589% - Bi-fold doors

Bi-fold doors are second on the list, up by a huge 589% compared with 10 years ago. They are a highly sought-after feature for buyers. “They enable people to use space flexibly and extend their living space seamlessly into the outdoors.”




+114% -- Under floor heating

Under floor heating allows you design your dream house without bulky radiators taking up valuable wall space. It can be installed in every room of your home, although retro fitting is difficult, and can be used as either the primary heating source or as a secondary heat source. Toasty toes !



+74% -- Open-plan layouts

Open-plan living is having a resurgence in 2022, as flexible space is prioritised. Our 10-year comparison suggests that home-owners are swapping separate dining rooms for more modern open-plan layouts, or home office space. Dining room mentions in property listings are down by 28%, while open-plan mentions are up 74%.

Articles above courtesy of Rightmove :




Renewable heating / solar panels

Unlike costly fossil fuels, which are dwindling fast, renewable energy is secure, readily available and effectively infinite. Renewable heating systems offer a reliable and energy-efficient way to help us reduce our carbon footprint, and could also deliver long-term fuel savings. Additionally, " smart " heating controls are a great way to control your energy usage, and reduce costs.




Log burning stoves & open fires

Using wood burning stoves is a great way ofcutting carbon emissions as logs are a low-carbon source of fuel, they also look, and feel great, truly making any room look its best. Burning wood also reduces heating bills, especially if your home is 'off the gas grid' and you rely on more expensive oil. There are wider benefits, too, for the economy and environment.

THOUSANDS of buyers could benefit from the Stamp Duty cut today.


The Chancellor yesterday slashed stamp duty rates (SDLT), saving the average buyer in England £2,500 in tax on their property purchases. This now means 47% of purchasers will no longer pay any SDLT, compared to just 12% who didn’t pay SDLT when the nil-rate band was £125k.

The Chancellor has doubled the nil-rate stamp duty band from £125,000 to £250,000 in England and Northern Ireland. This means an extra 200,000 buyers will pay no stamp duty whatsoever.

It also means that a third of all homes currently for sale in England are now exempt from stamp duty, according to property website Rightmove. Here’s all you need to know…    

What is Stamp Duty?


Stamp Duty is the tax that must be paid when you purchase a property or a piece of land. The amount of money payable duty depends on the overall price of the property as well as factors like whether it is residential or non-residential and whether or not you are a First Time Buyer.

How much will first time buyers save in tax?

There’s more great news for first time buyers. The old threshold at which stamp duty was paid for first-time buyers was £300,000 but this has increased to £425,000. The Chancellor has also increased the value of the property on which first time buyers can claim relief, from £500,000 to £625,000.

The changes come into effect immediately. The changes to the first-time buyer rates will really help buyers, and also give a saving of £2,500 for all for purchases over £250,000.


How much would you have paid in Stamp Duty previously?



If the property was worth between £125,001 and £250,000, the stamp duty land tax rate was 2%. So if the property was valued at £250,000, you would have had to pay an extra £2,500 in stamp duty tax.

For the next £675,000, the rate was 5%. If the property you are purchasing was valued between £250,001 and £925,000 bracket, the buyer will not pay any stamp duty on the first £125,000 but would have paid a 2% rate on the next £125,000 and a 5% rate on the following £675,000.

First-time buyers in England and Northern Ireland were always required to pay stamp duty. However, it didn’t apply to the first £300,000 of a main residential property if it costs less than £500,000.

Are there any changes that landlords should be aware of ?


Mr Kwarteng did not announce any changes to the remaining tax bands and he didn’t announce any changes to the additional homes surcharge, so that will remain at three percentage points.

Details provided by Barstow Evevs :