What type of business do you do?
We offer a range of property financial services for residential and investment properties including:-
• Secured Loans
• Bridging Loans
• Equity Loans
• Short term Loan Facilities
• Drawdown Facilities
• Commercial Finance
• Development Finance
In summary, if it’s property, we finance it!
We also offer a range of insurance services via our specialist insurance adviser such as property insurance (buildings and contents), life and critical illness insurance, landlords insurance, homebuyers insurance, health insurance and business insurance. Get in touch with us for a referral.
What type of business don’t you do?
That’s a good question!
We don’t like to turn anyone away and in particular we don’t shy away from a difficult or complex situation, in fact we relish them!
However there are types of business that we have found have caused problems in the past or that we are not comfortable handling and these include:-
• Arranging bridging finance with no clear exit strategy or a lack of appropriate income or experience for any exit finance.
• Execution only business; all business will be on a fully advised basis only. We will not transact business where our advice is ignored or where we do not believe it is in your best interests.
• HMO mortgages for first time landlords, unless other relevant experience can be demonstrated.
• Purchases under £40,000.
• Commission only mortgage or loan business.
• ‘Stranger’ joint ventures; we will not transact business where the parties to the loan or mortgage are not previously known to each other either by way of an existing or previous business or personal relationship.
• Any form of self-cert mortgage; in all cases we require evidence of income whether the lender requests it or not.
• Applications where the deposit source is not clear or comes from an unrelated third party; in all cases we will require evidence of deposit.
There are times when it is not a case of whether we can arrange the finance but it is whether we should. If we are not comfortable with your circumstances or think that the loan or mortgage is not the right thing for you then we may refuse to act for you.
We will not ever discriminate for any other reason such as disability, gender, race, religion, nationality, age or sexual orientation.
Are you whole of market?
That term is no longer used in the industry but in essence yes we are.
We offer a comprehensive range of mortgages and secured loans from across the market.
We do not access nor advise upon deals that you can only obtain by going direct to a lender.
We offer products from a range of insurers for Building and Contents Insurance, Accident Sickness and Unemployment Insurance, Life Assurance, Critical Illness Cover, Income Protection, and Private Medical Insurance via our specialist insurance adviser.
The term is meant to indicate that we are not tied to any particular providers however it is important to note that all mortgage advisers and brokers have direct access to some lenders and not others and some have access to exclusive products not available to all brokers.
Are you independent?
Yes we are. We will at all times act on your behalf and not on behalf of any specific lender or provider.
Do you charge fees?
Yes we do. We believe we are more than worth the fees we charge for the service we offer.
There are plenty of mortgage brokers who will provide you with a fee free mortgage. We are not in this line of business; they are mortgage processors and work on a volume production line basis.
We operate a holistic and personal service with many other benefits.
Please read our Terms of Business for details on our fee structure.
Don’t you get paid by the lender?
Yes we do in most cases but we get paid by the lender for the work we do for them. The client pays us for the work we do for them.
In addition, we only get paid by the lender if the mortgage completes whereas we have done our job by producing a mortgage offer for you as such we deserve to get paid for that.
Do you negotiate on fees?
We may do. If we are arranging several mortgages at the same time for you then we will discuss an ‘all in one fee’. We have also discounted fees for clients who have done a lot of business with us.
We never discount fees on the promise of future business.
We don’t discount or negotiate fees otherwise; our clients are more than happy to pay our fees and discounting fees is discourteous to those who are happy to pay full price for our service.
Don’t you just hate it when your bank or phone provider offers discounts to new customers and doesn’t reward you for your loyalty? We feel the same way!
Do you pay referral fees?
The Financial Conduct Authority have become very strict on introduced business and as a result lenders are too. Whether referral commissions are paid or not is irrelevant.
Do you do any checks on me?
In all cases we will perform identification checks including identify and address verification, company checks, employer checks, property checks and internet and social media research.
Identification and address documentation will be requested in all cases but we will not discriminate where this simply cannot be provided with a good reason for why this is. However we cannot guarantee that the lenders will operate on the same basis.
Can I get a residential mortgage with no proof of income?
No you can’t.
Self-certification mortgages were common before the credit crunch and while they had a genuine purpose initially for those who had difficulty proving their income they became known as ‘liar loans’ and unfortunately were abused. As such self cert mortgages are now banned.
For a time some lenders offered ‘fast track’ mortgages for low loan to value mortgages and while brokers were meant to verify income many didn’t and they were again abused by the industry. As a result these too now no longer exist.
Residential mortgages are based on income and affordability and this a regulatory requirement placed upon lenders.
Not all lenders request proof of income; in many cases they rely on the broker to do that job for them.
We request and verify income in EVERY case whether the lender has asked for it or not.
The upside is that all lenders treat income and affordability very differently and we are skilled in understanding which lenders will maximise your income and outgoings.
Can I get a buy to let or commercial mortgage with no proof of income?
Most lenders will request income for the application. Again some ask for the proof to be provided but most rely on the broker to verify the income.
We verify income in EVERY case even if the lender doesn’t ask for it.
Do not confuse no minimum income with no minimum income however.
Many lenders have a no minimum income requirement but this does not mean you can earn no income! Similarly the level of income versus your outgoings is very important.
It is not unusual for a client declaring £10k income to approach us annoyed at having been declined by a no minimum income lender via another broker. This is sadly a common misunderstanding.
The lender is going to be looking at your income and outgoings. So while for your income may be £10k per year, if your residential mortgage alone is £2k a month and you have a couple for credit cards, a car loan and 4 kids then it’s impossible to live on £10k pa!
There are some lenders who do not have any proof of income requirements at all (subject to other criteria being met) however we never want to be in the position of getting a mortgage for a borrower who cannot afford to cover voids, repairs or maintenance.
We understand however that, particularly for the self-employed and full time landlord’s, income can be complicated and we will work with you to understand your individual circumstances and work with a suitable lender that understands them too.
Do you arrange mortgages for contractors?
Yes we do and we love them!
Many contractors think they are pretty much unmortgageable but that’s just not the case.
We arrange contractor mortgages all of the time and with high street lenders and on standard rates and terms, there’s often no need to go to specialist lenders or brokers who often charge more.
Do you arrange mortgages for people with bad credit?
Yes we do!
All circumstances are different and we will work with you to understand the problem and place you with an appropriate lender.
The important thing is to be completely upfront with us so that we can help you the best that we can.
Trying to hide bad credit from us or the lender will result in lost fees, wasted time and potentially damaging your credit even further.
Do not be embarrassed; bad things happen to good people – let us help you.
We have arranged mortgages and loans for individuals with all sorts of credit problems such as bankruptcy, IVAs, repossession, CCJs, missed mortgage payments etc. Each lender is different and we can help place you with a suitable lender.
We can’t help everyone but we will leave you with a plan of how to put your situation right and look forward to assisting you when things improve.
Can you arrange finance for an auction purchase?
Yes we can.
This is usually by way of bridging finance.
We will not arrange an ordinary mortgage for an auction purchase or a purchase with a completion deadline of less than 4 weeks however.
It is rare for a standard mortgage to be able to complete on time and we cannot guarantee an offer will be issued on time. Even if we can get an offer within a few days or weeks that is only half of the story and the legals still have to be completed. We will not take any liability for you losing fees or facing penalties for non-completion.
As a result we will only arrange a suitable bridging type product with lenders who are skilled at completing to tight schedules.
If you do not have any penalties for non-completion then we are happy to arrange a mortgage but will not accept any liability for non-completion by the deadline.
Can you arrange mortgages for a first time landlord buying a HMO?
Yes we can but we rarely do!
We would be looking for some other relevant experience in order to act for you.
Not only are lending options quite limited for first time landlords looking to invest in a HMO but most landlords want to buy a property and then convert it to a HMO using a mortgage and this is certainly not possible as a first time landlord without using bridging which we will consider if it is appropriate for you.
If you can demonstrate to us that you have some other suitable experience then we will consider you. This might include having relevant property experience such as owning your own commercial premises for your business or a property background such as a surveyor or letting agent.
As landlords ourselves we also believe that you should gain some experience as a landlord before launching in to HMOs and lenders believe the same which is why most stipulate this requirement.
Why don’t you arrange finance for JVs?
We are happy to arrange finance for JV partners where the following applies:-
• A pre-existing business or personal relationship.
• A pre-existing shared credit profile.
• Clarity on who is providing the deposit.
We will not arrange finance for a new business venture where there is no previous or current financial relationship or without a very strong reason for doing so.
It is important to realise that you are linking your finances together for many years to come; a fact often overlooked by those teaching JV strategies!
If one of the partners misses a payment or gets into trouble then this could have devastating effect on the other parties. Sadly we have seen this happen to a number for individuals who went into JV arrangements with the best of intentions.
One thing we commonly say to new JV partners is ‘are you prepared to show each other all of your personal and business bank account statements and copies of your credit files on a quarterly basis?’ Most are horrified at this yet happy to enter into what is in effect a financial marriage with this person for the next 10-30 years!
We also will not arrange mortgages and loans for individuals where the deposit is coming from a JV partner who is not party to the loan.
Many lenders accept deposits on a non-recourse, non-repayable, gift basis. It is likely only a relative would truly gift a deposit as such lenders usually only accept deposits from a close relative.
JV and business partners do not provide gifted deposits as such they are unacceptable to lenders.
We operate on the same basis and if we believe that the deposit funds has not originated from the source stated we will terminate our relationship with you and report this to the lender accordingly.
There are examples whereby funds may genuinely originate from an unrelated third party especially for commercial lending or from a developer/seller; it is important that your tell us where this is the case.
Please read Lisa’s article on Successful Joint Ventures for more information.
If I have trouble getting a mortgage can I ‘go commercial’?
This is a common fallacy. Going to a commercial lender was once seen as an easier route to finance particularly for more experienced investors however that is no longer the case.
Commercial lenders can be very flexible in some areas such as proving complicated income or complex property investments. However commercial lenders are generally much stricter in other ways such as documentary requirements, understanding the deal and the client.
Commercial lenders are invariably much slower as a result. Their systems aren’t often automated and while this can be great for avoiding a ‘computer said no’ approach to lending you must be prepared for the long haul.
Another point to bear in mind with commercial lenders is they often won’t allow indemnities so speed can again be an issue as can getting round any issues with the property by way of simply obtaining an insurance policy.
You seem quite strict; surely lenders don’t care as long as the mortgage is paid?
One of the biggest myths in lending is that lenders don’t care as long as the mortgage is paid. They care very much! They will and do take action for mortgage breaches and mortgage fraud against both applicants and mortgage brokers.
As for us being strict; we take our role as an intermediary very seriously. While we act for you we also represent the lender. We will fight for you when we think the lender is wrong however we also respect our role in acting as a filter for the lender to bring them compliant clients and cases.
A clean, compliant and functioning mortgage market is of benefit to us all. What happens when it isn’t was experienced by us all in 2008 – we don’t want that to happen again!
The great thing about finance these days however is there are a myriad of lenders and products for every circumstance. It’s just a case of finding them and matching them to your circumstances and that is what we do best.