Focus On: Barrow-in-Furness

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We’ve been amazed by the number of enquiries recently about mortgages in Barrow-in-Furness and so, we thought we’d tell all our visitors a little bit more about this proud shipbuilding town nestled in the shadow of The Lake District.

Better known simply as Barrow, there’s some incredible rejuvenation & house building going on at the moment thanks to the work available at BAe Systems on the Astute Class of Nuclear Submarines.

It’s sometimes known as being at the end of the UK’s longest cul-de-sac and to be fair, it’s quite a drive from the M6 turnoff along the A590, particularly if you’re tempted to make a detour into the more scenic parts of the Lakes.

Watch out for meandering tourists and humourless speedcameras along the A590 but it’s one of the nicest drives we know with the sea glimpsed on one side and the majesty of the fells on the other. [Our Top Tip: Divert off on the A5092, through Torver to Coniston and enjoy a Sheila’s Special at the Greenhousekeeper Cafe]

The town suffered greatly with unemployment at the end of the Cold War but is now bouncing back with not just the shipyard again busy but the town is something of a centre for renewable energy expertise, playing host to one of the World’s largest wind farms at Walney – with its neighbours, a combined generation capacity of over 600MegaWatts, enough to power half a million homes.

The industrial renewal is matched with lots of housebuilding, which is of course where we come in! With many of the local workforce either operating as freelancers or having some blips on their credit history thanks to the hard times the town has seen, mortgages are sometimes hard to come by – that’s where a specialist broker like ourselves with the benefit of decades of experience in the mortgage marketplace comes in. And we think that if we can’t help you, no-one can!

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So where should you live in Barrow?

The locals are very proud of their town, but will admit that as an industrial, shipbuilding town, there’s some housing stock that’s better than others – just like other shipbuilding communities in Port of Glasgow and Birkenhead for example.

We asked many Barrovians for their ideas and they suggested that Ormsgill and the Barrow Island Flats had had their share of bad publicity in the past. But we’d suggest visiting for yourself and taking a good look around, the rejuvenation going on around the docks often makes for up-and-coming areas where there’s property bargains to be had!

Walney Island, Holbeck, Roose & Hawcoat all got the thumbs up but you could also consider commuting in from the nearby town of Ulverston (birthplace of Stan Laurel).

Further afield, we’d also recommend Grange-over-Sands, a rather quaint little village but it might be a bit far for a daily commute at about three quarters of an hour.

Taking a look around Barrow itself, we found a delightful period property in an acre and a half of private gardens on the outskirts towards Dalton-in-Furness for sale at £695,000 through to flats close to the shipyard for a mere £16,000 so there’s something to suit most budgets & tastes.

What to do in Barrow?

Barrow is known for lively & sometimes boisterous nightlife with plenty of pubs, clubs & takeaways to keep you going. In fact, on the subject of food, Barrow is renowned for its pies. Green’s on Jarrow street is the place to sample a meat & potato pie according to a celebrity chef!

There’s plenty to do during the day too with the introduction of James Freel Close as something of a leisure destination with an indoor kart racing circuit, bowling alley, indoor skate park, trampoline centre and gym, as well as ‘Lazer Zone’ in Hindpool Road’s former Custom House and escape room in the former Hitchens Building on Buccleuch Street.

Barrow is of course also the gateway to The Lakes with Furness Abbey ruins, South Walney Nature Reserve and the South Lakes Safari Zoo within easy reach.

But if you visit the Ship Inn  on Piel Island, remember not to sit in the big oak chair otherise you’ll be made a ‘Knight of Piel’ and have to buy a round of drinks!

Our Top Barrow Facts:

  1. The shipyard is the UK’s largest measured by workforce with over 7000 workers.
  2. Sadly, 2002 saw the World’s 4th worst Legionella outbreak at the Council-run Arts Centre
  3. There’s always been a significant Chinese Community in the town which even saw a visit from diplomat Li Hongzhang‘s to the town’s steelworks and shipyard in 1896 as well as the 2012 discovery of a hoard of Chinese coins thought to have been brought over by sailors or labourers
  4. Victoria Wood won a BAFTA for her portrayal of Nella Last (wartime diarist from Barrow) in Housewife 49.
  5. Peter Purves of Blue Peter fame began his acting career with a 2-year stint in Barrow.
  6. In the 1880s, you could book a transatlantic voyage from Barrow in one of three steamships that plied between Barrow and New York via Dublin.
  7. The first submarine to fire a live torpedo underwater was the Ottoman Abdül Hamid – built in Barrow!
  8. There’s a statue of Emlyn Hughes
  9. Try the Pies!
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Hottest June for years!

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According to the weather forecasters, it’s been the hottest we’ve had it for over 40 years! Perhaps now would be the time to mention that we can arrange Mortgages for your holiday homes both here in the UK and overseas too!

Just drop us an enquiry and we’ll be happy to go into more details of how we can help you buy your very own holiday getaway.

Start your application now!

Of course we’ve still been very busy helping our clients get the mortgages they need throughout the UK and we just received this lovely message here in the office…

Very Impressed with information received and knowledge of mortgages
Roger Barlow

Glad to help!

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Top Tips for buying your first home

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We love helping people find their next home, whether as a first time buyer or seasoned house-hunter. Indeed, people come to us not just to find the most suitable mortgage for a move but to help with bad credit, right-to-buy or rental properties too.

Helping couples find their new home with Martland MortgagesBut now that spring’s well & truly here, we’ve seen an increase in the numbers of young couples coming to us looking for their first mortgage together for their first home. If that sounds like you, then don’t hesitate to complete a no obligation factfind and ask how we can help.

And talking in the office, we thought we’d put together our top tips – the sort of tips we wish we’d been told in our impetuous youth!

 

Location, location, location

Close to a school? Within cycling distance to work? Work out which things are essential for your location, don’t be too exacting – you’ll probably have to compromise somewhere!

Location is the thing that you can’t change. You can always refurbish a house in the future but you can’t move it half a mile to a quieter road so try and get this right from the start.

Top Tip: Visit the area several times at different times of the day to get a feel for what it’s really like to live there.

 

Does it add up?

You do need to be able to afford it! Mortgage applications these days are very much concerned with affordability rather than the fixed income multiples of the past. By all means discuss your circumstances with us, we’ll offer real world opinions and don’t worry – we’ve heard it all!

Don’t forget to include all the extra costs of setting up house in your calculations. You can live cheaply when first setting up house (extra tip: you don’t need posh carpets in every room immediately! Check out charity shops for cheap furniture – it’ll get you going) but don’t forget your solicitor’s costs, stamp duty and Council Tax.

Removal fees can stack up but if you’re using friends & a van, don’t forget to buy the pizza & beer!

 

Say Hello to the Estate Agents!

Keep in touch with all the relevant estate agents. Don’t just phone them. Go in and talk to them, let them get to know you so you’re first in mind when they hear of a property. Make sure they know what a great buyer you’ll be with no chain and funds in place – make their life easy for a fast sale and you might be in the running ahead of the pack!

 

Make a list

You’ve probably not won the lottery so have a good long think. What elements of your new home are essential. Which ones would be nice to have and which ones are of little concern. That way you’ll have a framework for deciding which areas you can compromise on when viewing properties.

It might be that you absolutely must have a spareroom for friends to stay in whereas a garden would be nice but you could cope with a yard. Or you’d prefer communal (or no) gardens but really want a garage to keep your bikes in. Whatever it may be, getting your heads around which parts of the puzzle are important for each of you makes selecting that first home so much easier.

 

Hammer it out

Decide now if you want a project. Fancy taking a sledgehammer to a wall and opening up the kitchen? It can all be done and often for less money than you expect but decide now if you want the extra stress, dust and please, don’t forget to consult someone qualified before knocking down any walls – they may be load bearing!

 

Question everything

It’s easy to get mixed up after multiple viewings so why not take photos and/or record a quick video as you walk round. Look for cracks (but don’t worry – most homes have some – do get a full survey if concerned though) and ask to see guarantees for any work done recently, electrical certificates, EPC, window (FENSA) paperwork if it’s got recent double glazing and so on.

This might not be readily available and would be hopefully dealt with by your solicitor during purchase but the type of response you get should tell you if it’s all been done properly.

Ask questions about living there. How noisy does it get? Are there any parking problems? Boundary disputes with the neighbour and so on..

…and our vital tip
Don’t forget to pack a corkscrew so you can toast the future on your first night in your new home!

 

[Please note that these tips do not constitute mortgage advice. For advice, please contact us so we can provide advice specific to your unique circumstances]

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Springtime Mortgages

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The daffodils are out, the sun is occasionally shining and we’ve all got smiles on our faces – it Get your mortgage & move home at Easter : Loving Easter Rabbitsseems that Spring is finally here after yet another interminable British wet Winter and what better time to start looking around for your next home.

Here at Martland Mortgages, we help people find the right mortgage to suit their unique lifestyle & circumstances. From self-employed experts to retirees or even foster carers, we can help with finding the right mortgage wherever you may be in life.

Knowledgeable and helpful from start to finish : Mr & Mrs Wilson – Southport, Merseyside

We are very happy with the process so far Graham has done more than expected for us and has been a pleasure to deal with. Thank Uou. : Mr Lloyd & Miss Mayers

We love hearing from our clients after they complete on the purchase of their new home and were delighted to get this email recently:

Mortgage testimonial for Martland Mortgages of Southport, Merseyside.

I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for the help with securing me a mortgage offer.

I count it a blessing to have found you and made contact with you.

You were extremely professional and helpful throughout the process. Taking time to understand my particular situation, circumstances and background in order to help me get a product that best suit my needs.

You demonstrated comprehensive knowledge of the industry and process and in so doing you ensured you achieved the best possible outcome for me.

I am sure we will still work together  in the future but in the meantime I wanted to say a big thank you and let you know your help is much appreciated. Regards – Debbie

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Nice in November

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Always delighted to hear from our clients after the mortgage is completed and moving is over.

Excellent all round would recommend in the future to anyone. Mr Richard Benyon – St Helens.

 

We’ve just received a lovely hand-written thank-you from one of our client couples, Mr Abram & Miss Townsend:

The help & support you’ve given us has been invaluable and nothing has been too much trouble, however big or small.

Thank you letter for Martland Mortgages from a happy couple ready to move into their new home together.

All the team here at Martland Mortgages wish you both every happiness in your new home!

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Mortgages without the fireworks

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We hope all our friends are having a great November, now that the clocks have changed and the long nights are on us, it makes getting settled in your dream house ever more attractive – and that’s what we’re here to help with.

We just received this lovely comment…

“Excellent service will definitely use again and recommend to others” Mr Ian Holt.

And just as we were about to post that to the site, a notification from Google popped into our email highlighting that a kind soul had left a review – and what a lovely review it was too! We know our self-employed clients often feel neglected by the High Street lenders but we understand self-employment, we understand our clients’ accounts and we work really hard to get them the mortgage they deserve!

A glowing Google Review received by Martland Mortgagages from a happy client.

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Now that Autumn is here…

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Summertime seems but a distant memory now that the dark nights are with us. We know lots of our clients managed to find the new home of their dreams thanks to our help with the mortgage over the summer but don’t dismiss the idea of moving home at this time of year too!

How nice would it be to snuggle up in front of a roaring fire in your new home? Whatever your own particular circumstances, we’d be pleased to help with your mortgage requirements. It doesn’t matter whether you’re self employed, foster carer, retired or waged. With a perfect credit history or some blemishes. Because here at Martland Mortgages we look at every case on its individual merits and work hard to find you the deal you deserve!

But don’t just take our word for it…

The level of service by Graham McCarthy has been excellent we couldn’t be happier”
Mr O’Brien & Miss Conachie

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Summertime mortgages

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We hope you’ve all enjoyed the blistering summer – or not as the case may be! While many families are thinking of holidays & ice-cream at this time of year, there’s those that are looking to make important decisions about their mortgage, their home, their future. And here at Martland Mortgages, we’re ready to help as always.

But you needn’t take our word for it!

Real old fashioned personal service, a very refreshing, stress free experience

Mr Mark Roach

 

Excellent service. Well looked after would recommend to anyone.

Jack & Anne Brough

 

A very smooth and uncomplicated approach with a can do attitude from a very professional firm.

Mrs March

Start your application now!

Excellent service, Graham very knowledgeable and helpful.

Mr & Mrs Cloran

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Lovely Mortgage Thank You Letters

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We love receiving letters like this from our clients – we know that moving home or buying an investment property is a stressful time so anything we can do to take some of the worry off our clients’ minds is just our way of doing things!

 

Typed testimonial to Martland Mortgages in Southport

 

Typed testimonial & thank you letter to MArtland Mortgages following a successful Buy-To-Let mortgage application

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Kind Words

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It’s been said that we don’t mess around at Martland Mortgages – we’ll listen to your circumstances and give you a frank & honest appraisal of your chances of getting a mortgage. And we won’t waste your time, if we don’t think it’s possible – we’ll say so. Right away and try & give you some pointers on actions to take to improve your circumstances for the future.

And with decades of experience, we like to think that if we can’t do it then it simply can’t be done! We have the expertise to place mortgages for applicants that often get turned away from many brokers – those looking for Mortgages in Scotland perhaps, working as foster carers or looking for a mortgage into retirement. Whatever the circumstances, we’ll try our very best – and that’s why we’re always delighted to receive messages like these…

We had given up all hope of a remortgaging and a loan seemed the only option, until we spoke to Graham he not only made it possible to remortgage but also with a high street lender. Exceptional service!

Mr & Mrs Oldcorn. Staines upon Thames.

 

Very Happy with the service provided and the outcome.

Mr & Mrs Greenwood.

 

Absolutely first class customer service & would definitely recommend your services to family and friends.
Alan & Karen Parker.

 

I would recommend Martland Mortgages to everyone. Their service was second to none and very professional, Graham helped me so much he was always at the end of the phone to answer my questions even out of office hours he was there to help me every step of the way.

Thank you so much for your massive help in getting us to own our own home.

Angela Wilson Southport.

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