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Buying a brand new home will probably be one of the largest purchases you will make in your lifetime so it is very important that you know everything in order to get the best deal. There is plenty you can do to improve your chances of getting your mortgage application accepted. Castles Estate Agents have created this blog to allow you to learn everything you need to know about mortgages and how to be accepted for one with ease. 


Find out where to get a mortgage, the different types and how everything works! If you would like more information on properties for sale in Swindon or about mortgages in general, please get in touch with Castles Estate Agents today on 01793 611 677.



What Is A Mortgage? 

A mortgage is a loan from a bank or building society that lets you buy a property. You then give the loan back plus interest over a period of about 25 years or more, although you can take them out over a longer or shorter term. The loan is secured against the value of your home until it is completely paid off. If you are unable to keep up with these payments the lender has the right to repossess your home and sell it, so they can repay the loan they lent you.

What Can I Afford? 

Do not stretch yourself if you think you will struggle to keep up with the repayments. It is also important that you think about the running costs of the new home too, such as household bills, council tax, insurance and maintenance. A lender will want to see proof of your income, certain expenditure and if you already have any outstanding debts. Lenders will also want proof that you will be able to keep up with repayments if interest rates rise and are even allowed to refuse to offer you a mortgage if they do not think you will be able to repay it. 

Tips For Increasing Your Chance Of Getting A Mortgage 

Credit Score 

If you have any concerns about your credit history, then it is a good idea to get a copy of your credit report and take it with you to your mortgage appointment. This will allow you to see what a potential lender will see when they review your application. If your credit score is low, there are a few simple things that you can do, for example, check you are on the electoral roll and close any credit cards that you no longer use. 


Your Budget

Mortgage lenders want to make sure that you are not borrowing too much. They look at how much your mortgage payments are relative to your income, ensuring you have the ability to pay. Run your own mortgage calculations to understand what you can afford. 

First Time Buyer

If you are a first-time homebuyer, you could qualify for a special mortgage and these can be extremely valuable. Make sure you educate yourself with these opportunities and the restrictions on these mortgages.

Proof Of Income

Mortgage lenders will want to see proof of how much you earn, so you will 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. 

Buying With Someone Else 

If you are struggling to save up deposit on your own, you may want to consider buying a home 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. 

Where Can I Get A Mortgage?

You can apply for your mortgage directly from a bank or building society from their product range. You are also able to use a mortgage broker or an independent financial advisor. The mortgage market is a minefield, therefore taking whole of market advice from an advisor who can tell you about all lenders and products rather than going direct where they will only tell you about their own products is essential. Our advisors will talk you through the whole process and what is best for you, so don’t worry if you are unsure about what to do.


Types Of Mortgages 

Fixed-Rate Mortgage 

The interest rate you pay will stay the same throughout the entire length of the deal no matter what happens to the interest rate. 

Variable Rate Mortgage 

With variable-rate mortgages, the interest rate can change at any time. Make sure you have some savings set aside so that you are able to afford an increase in your payments if rates do rise. 

Discount Mortgage 

This is a discount off the lender’s standard variable rate (SVR) and applies for a certain length of time. 

Tracker Mortgage

Tracker mortgages move directly in line with another interest rate. Normally the Bank of England’s base rate plus a few percent. 

Capped Rate Mortgage 

Your rate moves in line normally with the lender’s SVR but the cap means the rate can’t rise above a certain level. 

Offset Mortgage 

These work by linking your savings and current account to your mortgage so that you only pay interest on the difference. You still repay your mortgage every month as usual, but your savings act as an overpayment which helps to clear your mortgage early. 

Tailored Mortgage Quotes 



If you still feel like you need more advice on mortgages, look no further. Castles Estate Agents can offer you a mortgage quote or independent mortgage advice. All of our advice for each client is individual and will be tailored to your needs and your situation. We work alongside the Mortgage Advice Bureau to help provide you with independent mortgage advice in Swindon and other surrounding areas. If you would like more information on any of these services please give us a call today on 01793 611677.



More and more people are moving into rented accommodation and tenants are usually looking for the perfect place to call home. Usually, people decide to rent a property due to the affordability, it suits their lifestyle or simply because they aren’t ready to commit to one area. Some people, however, would simply rather rent than buy and are looking for a long term rental contract for the home of their dreams.


Due to this, it is important to present your rental property in the best way to attract long term tenants. Castles Estate Agents have put together some top tips to help attract those valuable long term tenants. Castles Estate Agents are a leading estate agent in Swindon who are able to help you with every aspect of finding a new property to rent in Swindon. For help and advice on renting a property check out our website or call us today on 01793 611 677


Help Them Make A Mark 


Whilst it can be extremely tempting to decorate to your own personal tastes, long term tenants will want to make the rental property their own. Therefore, giving tenants a blank canvas to work with can be very appealing. This means that neutral colours are usually the best idea. This includes walls, flooring and curtains. 


Giving your tenants the freedom to change their surroundings can be daunting but it really doesn’t need to be this way. You could consider erecting your own picture hooks around your property and include a lot of storage space for tenants. 


Having these simple solutions in place beforehand allows tenants are able to decorate as soon as they move in, making it feel more like home, as opposed to feeling like they are moving into someone else’s home. They are also likely to have a sense of pride in their home and look after it for you. 

White Goods 


Many new tenants won’t own any white goods, and might not be able to afford to buy new ones, so the option to rent somewhere with a dishwasher, fridge, washing machine and more will be extremely attractive to a tenant. They don’t need to be expensive, however,  opting for the best you can afford, with good energy ratings could be the best choice to make your property very attractive. 


If you do this, you can then explain to the tenants how renting the property will save them money on utility bills. When buying your white goods you should also consider taking out an extended warranty to ensure your investment lasts as long as possible without any big bills if a fault occurs. 




You could consider thinking about accepting pets. You need to consider how many people who want to rent will be struggling to find a place that will take their beloved animals. We are of course not suggesting you allow a zoo full of animals into your home, but maybe allowing one or two well-behaved animals could bring a unique selling point to your property. 


If you are concerned about pets, you could add a clause to the tenancy that asks the pet owner to pay for professional deep cleaning when they leave the home. 


Easy Living


Once your home is looking nice, it is important to make sure that is it comfortable to live in day to day. Make sure you have fully assessed what is it like to live in your property long term. Make sure you have checked the lighting, warmth, blackout blinds, how powerful is the water supply? All of these things can make or break a tenant’s rental experience and prevent them from staying in the property long term. 


Castles Estate Agents 



If you would like advice and guidance on how to find a rental property in Swindon get in touch with our expert advisors here at Castles Estate Agents in Swindon. The team will guide you through the entire process and have years of experience helping people to find their perfect rental home. We have the knowledge and expertise which will make the process as smooth as possible. Contact us today on 01793 611 677 for more information.



The year 2020 is the start of a brand new decade which means that it is the perfect time to leave the worries of 2019 and previous years behind us and focus on our dreams. One of which may be buying your dream home. As 2020 is upon us, we are finally able to put the election and Brexit in the back of our mind and focus on the positive prospects that the new decade will bring us. If you are looking for your dream home this year Castles Estate Agents can help. For more information on properties available in Swindon please contact us today on 01793611677.


Based on mortgage and home price trends, it is a fabulous time for potential home buyers. There will be plenty of opportunities to secure yourself affordable mortgages because experts believe interest rates will stay low throughout 2020. 


House Prices

House prices are set to drop in the first quarter of 2020 which means the gap between you and your dream home is a lot smaller than ever before. Consumer confidence in the housing sector is growing meaning you don’t have to worry about a thing! 



A new decade will hopefully allow you to leave any thoughts of Brexit behind, here at Castles Estate Agents we really can influence the property journey you choose and help you make the right choices through our expert knowledge. Now is the perfect time to buy the home of your dreams and start the year off in the best possible way. Of course, we will be more than happy to address any concerns and help you get your existing property sold quickly and efficiently

Interest Rates 

Mortgage interest rates have been going down steadily in 2019 and will continue to do so in 2020. The base rate is around 2% with a 2-year mortgage interest rate at 1.49%, the 3-year mortgage interest rate at 1.58% and a 5-year mortgage interest rate at 1.78%. 

Millennials Dominating The Market 



In 2019, 37% of home buyers were millennials and this will continue to be the largest segment of buyers in 2020. This means if you are wanting to sell your home this new year it is important to make sure that your online listing stands out as millennials are also known as the internet generation, and will more than likely begin their search there. 


Industry Experts 

Here at Castles Estate Agents, we are proud to have supported thousands of people buying and selling homes and are more than happy to offer our expert advice and market experience to help you get that one step closer to your dream home in 2020. If you would like to get started on your property journey, please get in touch with us today on 01793 611 677 to speak to one of our experienced estate agents about buying a home in Swindon.


If you are thinking of making a move in early 2020 you should start preparing your home for the Spring market now, in order to make your property stand out. A new year can give buyers the motivation to put moving plans into action and people have more free time around the festive period, which means it is the perfect time to get your home ready to sell. Castles Estate Agents have put together a quick checklist for you to get your home ready to sell in 2020. If you have any questions about selling your property, please get in touch today with our team at 01793 611677


List Your Property Online 

Searching online is one of the first things potential buyers will do when they are starting to think about buying a brand-new home, especially in the winter when the temptation to stay indoors in a lot higher. Making sure your property is listed with experienced estate agents is the key to success as it is essential to get noticed over the holiday season. Make sure to also get a free valuation on your home to get your home on the market in advance for Christmas.

Winter Viewings 

The winter months are usually the cosiest and where people like to stay in the comfort of their homes in the warm. Creating a warm and inviting atmosphere in your home for a viewing can go a very long way when persuading viewers to buy. Castles Estate Agents would suggest warm lighting, lit fires to keep the property warm and bake something delicious to keep the fragrance of the home smelling lovely.


Make sure to present your home in the best possible way, as it will give you the best chance to attract a potential buyer. First impressions count so make sure that nothing stands in the way of them seeing the benefits of the property. 

Property Valuation 

One of the most important things to do when you wish to sell your home is to get an accurate valuation of your home. An accurate valuation can be the difference between a quick sale and a house that stays stagnant on the market at the wrong price. If you would like to book a property valuation in Swindon, fill out our valuation request form, give us a call or visit us today. 


Collaborating With Agent 

The team at Castles Estate Agents are highly trained and are extremely knowledgeable in the industry. We are trained to find the unique selling point of each home and will pass that on to potential buyers during viewings. As the owner of your home, you will have the best perspective on the property, which is why we want to work with you to bring out the best features when advertising your home. You will have the opportunity to chat with the agent about the bestselling points to your home. Be sure to let them know about any unusual features of history, as well as any extra storage space. This will help the agent get a better perspective on your home. 


Castles Estate Agents 

If you are looking to sell your home in the year 2020, you have come to the right place. Castles is one of the leading estate agents in Swindon. In 2018 we were awarded the Best in Region by the Relocation Agent Network and have been shortlisted for the award in 2019. The award is given to the agent who consistently demonstrates principles including high-quality customer service, support for fellow members and professionalism. Call our team today on 01793 611677 for more information on our services.        

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