Securing your first step up

It’s key to be prepared when the time to get on the property ladder comes, says Sophie Kwiatkowski, by keeping your tax returns and finances in order.

There is something about the start of the summer months that makes people want to move house or even look to step onto the property ladder for the first time. Mortgages become a hot topic.

Everyone at PFM understands that buying a house, or looking to rent, is a stressful process – so we aim to make life easier for you.

The key – as always – is being prepared. If you know you are going to require proof of earnings in the next few months, make sure you have your tax returns filed up to date. Most lenders expect to see three years’ worth of figures to make an offer.

Even if you are looking to rent a property, letting agents are increasingly asking for more information to confirm you have the ability to meet the rental payments.

Forecast earnings

The problem is if you are a first or second-year associate you will not have been self-employed for this length of time, and the first year’s tax return will still only show self-employment profits for part of the year (if you started your role in September).

In this case, you will need your accountants help to forecast your earnings to secure the finance.

Both mortgage lenders and letting agents will request documents from your accountant. This can either be by way of an accountants’ certificate summarising the information or the actual tax calculations (still commonly referred to as SA302s). They may also need the tax overviews from HMRC, so keeping your tax returns filed up to date is vital.

If you know that you will be looking for a mortgage or financing in the next 12 months, it might be worth speaking to your accountant now, to make sure your accounts are in order, so you can be fully prepared for whatever the brokers may ask of you.

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