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Dan Bullen from Newcastle Financial Adviser firm Co-Navigate

Name

Dan Bullen

What is your position at Co-Navigate?

Financial Planning Assistant

When did you start work at Co-Navigate?

July 2017

What was your experience before working here?

I moved to Co-Navigate straight after school after completing my A-levels at Berwick Academy and heard about the job. I started working with Lyndsey in the mortgage side of the business. 

What attracted you to Co-Navigate?

At the time it seemed like the right place. As I was living in Berwick and when you’re from there you can either go to Edinburgh or Newcastle for work as they’re about an hour away. I was looking for an apprenticeship and I met the directors and they seemed really nice.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I get to work with some very interesting people both as colleagues and as clients. You get to hear about all sorts of things: where they have been, what they want to do in the future and being part of that is a fantastic.

Favourite colour

Green

Favourite music

I tend to listen to radio. I usually listen to Radio 1, although I’m a fan of Coldplay.

Hobbies and interests

My big hobby is golf. I’m a 3 handicap and at the moment I play about 5 times a week. It’s pretty much what I do outside of work. I have won 3 times this year, since lockdown. I play in individual events and have been playing for a while. But I have only been playing competitively for just over a year. This summer I was going to start playing in team events and leagues, but because of lockdown that hasn’t happened yet. I’m also a big football fan and support Glasgow Celtic. I used to play but I don’t do that anymore.

If you would like to read about our other team check out our news page. Contact us today and you might even get to talk to Dan.

Lyndsey Stephenson Mortgage Adviser Co-Navigate Newcastle

In our last blog, we met Andy Mathers. Now, we introduce our Mortgage & Protection Adviser, Lyndsey, and discover how helping her Dad as a teenager helped her put her foot on the career ladder of financial services…

Name

Lyndsey Stephenson

What is your position at Co-Navigate?

Mortgage & Protection Adviser and Director

Why did you choose a career in financial services?

My Dad was a Financial Adviser and I grew up knowing finance as a natural part of life. I started at a young age helping out my dad in his business with basic office tasks, etc.  I then went on to help a few other financial advisers in their businesses. By going into a shared office from my teenage years and doing admin tasks for pocket money, such as filing and shredding, I got to know about what goes on behind the scenes in finance. When I went to college, I started working for another adviser as his main administrator part-time. I got used to chasing mortgages and speaking to advisers and everything that goes on, basically everything except advising. Leaving University, it seemed an obvious choice to go into financial services as I already had the background and experience.  

What is your experience?

I became an adviser in 2004 and ultimately, I’d say 5 or 6 years prior to that I was working in the field doing admin work.

What do you enjoy about your job?

The best thing for me is I get to be part of a really important part of people’s lives – their home.  I get to help people move into their dream home and that’s a really powerful thing to be part of. The fun bit is helping people get to where they want to be.  And I get to meet such lovely people every day. 

What key advice would you offer to a potential client to Co-Navigate?

Look at everything with an open mind. A lot of people have a pre-conceived idea about what a financial adviser is or should be. At Co-Navigate, we’re very different to other financial advisers; we want to build relationships with people and help them get to where they want to be rather than being transaction focused.

Favourite colour

Navy blue.

Favourite music

I’m a big fan of 80s music and could listen to it all day long. And I also like 90s pop and rock when I am running. I’m a big fan of easy listening at the weekend.

Hobbies and interests

I am a big fan of keeping fit. My husband is a qualified fitness instructor, so exercise is a big thing for us as a family. I do a lot of running, circuit training and cycling. I love spending time with family and friends, and I have really missed it during lockdown.

Couple remortgaging for captial to build house extension

Remortgaging is not only something to consider when your current mortgage term is coming to an end (to prevent reverting to Standard Variable Rate), it can also be a very useful way to raise capital.

Using equity tied up in your home can pay for improvements to your house – whether that is an extension, a loft conversion or for adding a home office. The coronavirus lockdown has meant millions of people experienced WFH (working from home), and many have discovered their homes fail to offer adequate space.

According to ONS figures, 20 million people relocated to their home to work during the pandemic. That is almost 10 times the number that normally do. A survey also reports that 45% of people believe they will work from home more often when the lockdown ends.

Building an extension for a purpose-built home office could be high on your list of priorities as a result. Maybe you feel an extra room for your little ones is going to be necessary after being in the same space with your family for 12 weeks or more.

So, releasing equity by remortgaging could give you the cash you need to fund those plans. And it is likely to be cheaper than searching for a new house!

What is equity?

When you take out a mortgage on your home, the company providing it owns a large percentage of your property. For example, first-time buyers who take out a mortgage with 90% loan-to-value (LTV) effectively own 10% ‘equity’ in the property.

Over time you increase the amount of the property you own as you pay your mortgage. In our example, the buyers’ LTV may be around 88% a year later, so their equity rises and becomes 12%.

This is not the only way to increase the value of your equity, it rises if the property’s value goes up. This means any equity you have can be released to pay for home improvements, but terms and conditions and lending limits apply.

How remortgaging for capital works

If your property was worth £250,000 and you took out a repayment mortgage of £200,000 five years ago, the amount you owe will have fallen. Let’s say for example it is now at £180,000. If the property’s value has also increased to £300,000, it means the equity you own has increased from £50,000 when purchased to £120,000 today.

If you were simply remortgaging at the end of your current deal, your mortgage would be for £180,000. The loan-to-value would now be 60%, a significant fall from the 80% LTV you originally borrowed.

But you could, assuming you have the income to support it, remortgage for a larger amount and release some equity to spend on your home office or house extension. In our example, we may remortgage for £200,000, releasing £20,000 to spend.

Beware early repayment charges

If you remortgage during the initial fixed or tracker period of your mortgage you are likely to incur an early repayment charge. This would then reduce the amount of equity you can release. If your initial mortgage period has ended and you have moved over to the lender’s standard variable rate, you are unlikely to face an early repayment charge.

The best thing to do before changing is to contact our mortgage experts. Our independent mortgage advisers have access to more mortgage deals than the high street or via comparison sites. We have helped many people in the North East and beyond release equity for home improvements and other reasons when it is right for them.

If you are interested in finding out more, you can contact our mortgage team by emailing enquiries@co-navigate.co.uk

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