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First Time Buyers


How Involved Are Our Parents 

When first time home buyers are in need of financial assistance, their first stop tends to be a quick visit to the bank of mum and dad. Even though the proportion of lending to first time buyers increased from the Q3, 2015 by 0.5 percent points to 20.9% in Q4, 2015, the market still proposes difficulties for those looking to make the first step on the ladder. With rising property prices, many young buyers are falling short of producing a substantial enough deposit to secure a mortgage and are turning to their parents as a result.


The “100%” Mortgage

Although many schemes offer a sense of financial assistance to first time buyers, more often than not there is a catch that involves a parental guarantor. Take Barclays reintroduction of the 100% mortgage for example. At first glance it appears as though no financial assistance is necessary, however, this scheme requires a ‘helper’, which of course for most would mean parents, to place 10% of the mortgage value into a Barclays saver account linked to the mortgage itself. This kind of mortgage is very similar to an offset mortgage, where an account linked to the mortgage, enables you to offset your savings against the mortgage itself, therefore reducing the amount of interest paid. In regards to the Barclays 100% mortgage, if all things proceed smoothly, in terms of the first time buyer successfully keeping up to date with any payments after three years, parents or the ‘helper’ remain completely unaffected; more importantly gaining interest on their investment.


Although offset mortgages are gaining in popularity, the most common mortgage assistance from parents is a standard guarantor mortgage. If your parents qualify by owning substantial equity in their current property, industry standard is around 25%, then the mortgage your parents have can be wagered against that of the first time buyer. Again, not a penny is required from parents if their buyer keeps up with all the payments; but if payments are not met, the bill lands at their door.


The Joint Mortgage                                           

Another option to be taken into consideration when parents are looking to assist their child with their first steps on the property ladder is the proposal of a joint mortgage. A joint mortgage takes into deliberation both parental income, and the outstanding mortgage owed on the property of your parents, alongside that of the first time buyer. Of course, both names will be on the mortgage documentation as a result. This option involves parents on a much more direct and definite bases as payment liability is split.


The Re-Mortgage

If direct mortgage involvement is an unattractive proposition, parents could consider offering solely financial assistance with a cash sum, either as a gift or a loan. If, like many parents, tens of thousands of pounds aren’t readily available, re-mortgaging their own property is a possibility. Re-mortgages are increasing in popularity; the proportion of re-mortgages increased from 24.1% in Q3,, 2015 to 25.0% in Q4, 2015. The implications for this option are obviously financially detrimental to the parents directly, by either increasing the length of their current mortgage, or by increasing their mortgage payments in order to facilitate financial assistance to the first time buyer.



This option, as all of these options, involves parental involvement to some extent and a cautious approach should be taken. Researching every possibility available is essential to best decide which is most appropriate for the circumstances. Recording everything from a legal perspective is the wisest course of action, ensuring clarity for every scenario that could arise. Tax rates and current future rates are always liable to rise and knowledge of legal financial implications will always be beneficial. Don’t be caught out by the numbers. Even with parental assistance, preparation is key. With so many options available for parental assistance, it is clear, that in entering onto the property ladder, having parental involvement can help ensure those first few steps are both more likely, and successful.  


Renting Property in Norwich with Friends

When it comes to renting property in Norwich with your friends, are there any rules you should follow? Is it just a case of hooking up with your besties and taking the first flat on St Benedict’s that takes your fancy?If you’re a young person looking to rent a city residence it can be tempting to go for the party lifestyle, but before you run to a letting agency in Norwich, make sure you’ve considered the following expert advice…


Choose Boring over Bold

It’s sad to say, but the people you like to see out down at your favourite Tombland bars and Prince of Wales Road Clubs are often not the ideal housemates.

You’re better off choosing people who are more likely to pay their bills and not roll in drunk and make a whole load of noise the night before you have that all important job interview. Sometimes sorry simply won’t cut it.


Do the Background Checks

If you’re thinking of renting a property with someone then ask a few questions. Who were the last people they lived with and how did the whole arrangement work out?If you’re unsure as to whether or not you should live with a person, all you have to do is contact their previous flatmates on Facebook. Some say there’s two sides to every story, but you’re looking for a reliable house share friend, not an episode of Geordie Shore.


HMO Norwich 


Are they Employed?

Paying the rent on time is vital. It’s a no questions asked situation if you don’t want to find yourself in trouble with the landlord and failures to meet payment deadlines on your current property could affect your ability to rent in the future.

You don’t have to do a full CV check, but it’s always advisable to simply ask where the person works and if they have a full time job or part-time. Often if you’re renting then the agency will ask for these details as standard, but you may want to find out these vital details before you have gone to the trouble of seeking out a suitable property.



You Need to Be Keen

With property up for rent in Norwich considered highly desirable, it is possible for you to run into a number of difficulties when trying to get your hands on your preferred location if you’re not quick enough off the mark.

It is not worth relying on people who are making you do all the work. You need to rent with those individuals who are prepared to put the effort to turn up to properties in your desired part of the city on time if you want to get the premium pads. Sure you may have to fit viewings in around working hours, but a can do attitude is essential in this area.



What is the Alternative?

If you have considered our advice and you aren’t confident that living with your friends would be the best of ideas, we have the answer. The easiest solution to this is renting a single room in an existing house share. Shared houses are a great option for those of you wanting to keep your friends separate from where you make your breakfast every morning. 

Already looking to rent a property with some good friends? Or are you looking for more information on shared housing and what the process involves? Then why not try giving Abode a call or come into our Charing Cross office… We have new locations and residences coming onto our books all the time and an already impressive to let in Norwich portfolio.


So last Thursday evening the Abode team did a soup kitchen with The Norwich Soup Movement, catering for over 50 hungry people in need.

Well, it was eye opening to say the least, with lots of very thankful people being fed.  We got through so much beef brisket chilli (which was freshly cooked by the Abode team!) and seven huge cakes (which was kindly donated).


I have to say a massive thank you to the following people, who without them it would have never happened:

James Linder, landlord of The Eagle Public House - Let us borrow a huge pan to cook the beef brisket chilli.

Ninnie Lear, manager of Blue Johanna Resturant (the old Last Brasserie down Unthank Road) - Let us borrow a pan to cook the rice in.

Chip from The Norwich Soup Movement - Firstly for letting us get involved in the cause, but secondly this lady does it week in week out and not only provides these people with food, but she's their very own 'on the street' counsellor!  Chip - you deserve a medal.

Paul Tunniclife - for his executive chef al la cart chilli making skills ;-).

And lastly all our landlords who kindly donated money to the cause.  I'm sure that'll feed alot of hungry people over the Christmas period!

So please don't forget to 'like' The Norwich Soup Movement Facebook page, which can be found here:

The Norwich Soup Movement is a small Norwich based organization aiming to feed, clothe and offer assistance to the homeless. They don't judge, and offer help to anyone that needs it, whether they be drug/alcohol dependant, refugees/asylum seekers, teenage, elderly, or just plain can't afford to feed themselves. Everyone deserves a bit of human kindness each day. 

Also please remember that this cause needs YOUR help throughout the year, not just at Christmas!

If you'd like to help The Norwich Soup Movement over the Christmas period then check out this flyer for the Christmas appeal.  Get involved!



We've been racking our brains for the last month or so trying to think of a charitable event we could support over the Christmas period, which reflects our business, so on the 17th of December the Abode team in association with The Norwich Soup Movement will be organising a soup kitchen in Norwich city centre.  We will not only be serving the food, but buying the ingredients and cooking the food for over 60 hungry people.

The Norwich Soup Movement

The Norwich Soup Movement is a small Norwich based organization aiming to feed, clothe and offer assistance to the homeless. They don't judge, and offer help to anyone that needs it, whether they be drug/alcohol dependant, refugees/asylum seekers, teenage, elderly, or just plain can't afford to feed themselves. Everyone deserves a bit of human kindness each day and especially over the Christmas period!

If you'd like to help The Norwich Soup Movement over the Christmas period then check out this flyer for the Christmas appeal.  Get involved!

In the meantime, if you wish to make any form of donation, Abode have a collection bucket in the office to assist in raising as much as possible for the terrific cause!

The Norwich Soup Movement Collection

Norwich Letting Agents

Abode Will Give you the Best Price: No Price at All

Here at Abode, from June 1, 2016 – July 30, 2016, we will let your property for free*. If you are a landlord looking to let a property with a team that genuinely is dedicated to meeting your individual requirements, our lettings agency Norwich could be the answer.


Landlords that are looking for guidance from a lettings agency are faced with ever increasing costs.  Firstly, industry standard costs you are probably already aware of include a percentage of the first rental payment and a subsequent percentage of the rent thereafter which are taken by the lettings agency, usually around 10%-15% +VAT. Other costs included in agency services many Landlords may not necessarily be aware of. Examples of these include an ‘inventory fee’, in which prior to the property being rented, agencies charge to assess the property’s inventory. Another example of less obvious cost implications can include charges for finding tenants, or even reviewing tenancy applications.

 Let your House for Free


Here at Abode we offer complete transparency with our costing; from the very beginning  you will be made aware of exactly what you will be charged and for what purpose. For a full management service from Abode, we would normally charge the equivalent of 75% + VAT of the first month’s rent, with a subsequent monthly commission from the rent received. With the current promotion, we will deduct absolutely nothing from the first month’s rent; you will keep 100% of it. This will save you on average in excess of £500! The amount you save is obviously dependent on the monthly rental cost of the property.


If you would like to know more about our promotion, or information on any of the services we provide, please go to our website,, give us a call on 01603 327327, or come in and see us at 5 Charing Cross, Norwich. We look forward to hearing from you.   


*New letting customers on our full management service only. HMO and student lets exempt.





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