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With the risk of rising interest rates, and thus increased mortgage payments looming, it can be extremely difficult to maintain the home, particularly as wages or salaries remain stagnant as they are not rising at the same rate as inflation. As a homeowner it is important to prioritise outgoings as income continues to remain limited. In many cases people choose to focus on mortgage, taxes and energy bills over property maintenance and repair.

However this can cause significant problems in the long-term as minor problems can easily develop into major structural problems if left to deteriorate further. This can also increase the costs involved to carry out repairs, causing added pressure and being at serious risk of losing your home. If this is the case, your home can also lose value meaning you may potentially be left with a hefty sum outstanding even once your home is sold on by the mortgage provider.

If you are faced with serious disrepair to you home, including dry or wet rot, damp or subsidence to name just a few, it may seem like an upward battle and a more tempting option to leave.  However there may be ways to remain in your home, and get help or support to carry out major repairs without feeling forced to sell or be at risk of repossession. Occasionally your home may be in such a bad state of disrepair that it may be unreasonable or even dangerous for you and your family to stay, in which case it is a good idea to contact friends or family to get temporary accommodation whilst repairs or decisions are being carried out.

Always speak to your bank or mortgage provider and gain professional advice. By keeping things bottled up and hiding away from any problems you may have, it is only likely to get worse. However you may be surprised to find that things aren’t as bad as they first appear. Find out if you can get a re-mortgage to help pay for refurbishment or repairs to your home, but ensure you get the best advice and make sure it is affordable.

Get quotes from local builders or professionals and check references or testimonies to protect yourself. Find out if it is possible to spread the cost of repair or even the repair itself, if it is possible to have it done as and when you can afford it. This will help enable you to carry out repairs and potentially avoid repossession.

If necessary seek legal advice, but if you feel that you are overwhelmed by the disrepair and are struggling to keep up with mortgage repayments then your only option may be to sell your property. However rather than being at risk of repossession from your bank or mortgage provider, it may be worth considering the possibility of contacting a reputable company who can provide a valuation and purchase your home regardless of its current state of repair, in order to help avoid repossession.

by Cormac Henderson

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