New Year's property resolutions

New Year's property resolutions
Whether you're a homeowner, first-time buyer, or a landlord, now's the perfect time to make some property resolutions for 2018.

Here's our rundown of some which should be top of your list...

First-time buyers: Make the most of Stamp Duty relief

Under changes announced in the Budget, first-time buyers no longer have to pay any Stamp Duty if buying a property costing up to £300,000. If buying a home costing up to £500,000, no Stamp Duty is payable on the first £300,000. The Stamp Duty exemption doesn't apply if you're buying a property costing more than £500,000.

The new relief means potential Stamp Duty savings of up to £5,000, which first-time buyers could put towards a larger deposit. The bigger the deposit you can afford to put down, the wider your choice of mortgage options will be. You'll also benefit from lower mortgage rates which will help keep your monthly outgoings to a minimum.

Buy-to-let landlords: Look for the best mortgage deals

The past year has been tough for buy-to-let landlords, who've had to deal with changes to the amount of landlord tax relief they can claim, as well as banks and building societies tightening up their lending criteria for buy-to-let mortgages.

Portfolio landlords, with four or more mortgaged properties, also now face lenders scrutinising all their properties if they want to apply for a new mortgage.

All these changes make it more important than ever for landlords to reduce their outgoings wherever they can. Mortgage costs can be kept down by regularly reviewing rates and remortgaging to ensure you are on the best possible buy-to-let deals.

Homeowners: Consider fixing if rising rates are a worry

The November base rate rise - the first for more than a decade - served as an important reminder that interest rates aren't going to remain at rock-bottom levels forever.

Homeowners should check their mortgage rates and consider remortgaging to take advantage of current competitive deals. This should be a particular priority for those languishing on their lender's standard variable rates, as these rates tend to be much more expensive than the best mortgage deals.

If you're nervous about rising rates and the impact on your mortgage payments, consider locking into a fixed rate mortgage so you'll have peace of mind that even if rates do go up again, your mortgage costs won't.

All property owners: Take advantage of low mortgage rates and overpay if you can

If you're able to, try to overpay your mortgage. Even overpaying by a little extra each month can make a big difference to the overall amount of interest you'll pay back, and it could help reduce the term of your home loan.

Don't leave yourself short of savings though - you should always keep some funds readily available in case of any sudden unforeseen expenses.

We have partnered with L & C Mortgages the UK's largest fee free mortgage broker. You will be able to get expert advice at the end of a phone when it suits you. Their expert advisers are on hand 7 days a week and will manage a full search of the mortgage market so you don't have to.

Over 1 million people have come to L & C for fee free expert mortgage advice, so you know you can trust them to help you too

Call L & C today on 0800 923 2045 or click here to request a call back.