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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you arrange mortgages for contractors?

Yes! Contractors appear to have a bit of a reputation where getting mortgages are concerned but we very rarely have an issue, certainly no more so than any other employment type.

We can arrange mortgages whatever your type of contract, history and payment method; short term, long term and rolling contracts, with contracting history or without, via a Limited Company, umbrella company, agency or direct payment.

Some brokers claim to specialise in contractors but have a very limited panel of lenders, whereas we use a wide range of lenders including those on the ‘high street’ and specialist lenders.

We can arrange mortgages for your home or investment properties.

We don’t charge different fees if you are a contractor, in fact we don’t change our fees for any type of employment.

Can you arrange mortgages for foreign citizens?

Yes! EU citizens from certain countries are treated much like a UK citizen for mortgage purposes and often it makes no difference as to where your citizenship originates. Other country’s citizens usually require a visa, indefinite leave to remain or a UK passport. We can talk you through your options.

Most lenders do require the applicant to have been residing in the UK for 2-3 years but not all lenders apply this requirement and we have arranged mortgages for people who have not long arrived in the UK.

We can arrange mortgages for your home or investment properties.

We don’t charge different fees if you are not a UK citizen.

Can you arrange mortgages for ex-pats?

Yes! Due to our systems and procedures it makes it easy for us to work with clients wherever they are and we have many clients from all over the world.

It does however depend upon several factors such as:-

– Your current location
– How long you have been out of the UK
– Your UK credit profile
– UK mortgage/property history
– Your employment type/employer
– Your income

Each lender applies different criteria in this regard.

We can arrange mortgages for your UK home or investment properties.

Do I need to have been in my job a certain length of time to get a mortgage?

No! While some lenders do require a minimum term of employment there are many lenders who do not. There are several lenders who will lend based on a confirmed start date and even the offer of a job.

Some lenders do require continuous employment however so even if you are starting a new job they often like you to be moving from another job fairly recently. Again however we have arranged mortgages for borrowers who have had a gap between employment subject to the reasons why. Similarly, we can arrange mortgages while on maternity or paternity leave. We can talk you through your options.

We can arrange mortgages for your home or investment properties.

I am self-employed and struggle to get a mortgage, can you help?

Absolutely! We work with many self employed clients from all walks of life and business including sole traders, partnerships, LLPs, Limited Company directors and shareholders, full time landlords and everything in between including combinations of incomes from multiple sources. We don’t shy away from complex income structures, we relish them!

Many lenders do require 2-3 years accounts but there are a number who will consider less. The time you have been trading is as important as the number of years accounts and again we can discuss your options if you have not been trading for a long time.

If you intend to get a mortgage in the foreseeable future it is always worth speaking to us, as well as your accountant, with regards to what lenders expect to see; for example it may be better for you to elect for a dividend or to increase your salary rather than leave the profits in the company.

Please note that even if you receive pay slips from your company you will still be classed as self-employed for mortgage purposes.

We can arrange mortgages for your home or investment properties and regularly arrange residential mortgages for full time landlords.

Do you work with portfolio landlords?

Most definitely; in fact they make up a large percentage of our clients.

Due to regulatory changes followed by lender changes many brokers now no longer work with portfolio landlords, others have increased their fees for portfolio landlords or charge an upfront fee.

We have always worked with portfolio landlords and will continue to do so. We have not altered our fees in any way as a result of the changes and do not charge any upfront fees.

We understand the varying regulatory and lender portfolio requirements, our Managing Director, Lisa, is a portfolio landlord herself. Indeed several lenders now use our portfolio spreadsheet to assess their customers portfolios!

I am a first time buyer and want to buy a buy to let property; is this possible?

Yes! We can arrange mortgages for first time buyer, first time landlords.

We can also arrange a buy to let mortgage for a first time buyer in a Limited Company.

It is worth noting that lenders will look closely at your circumstances to ensure you are not intending to live in the property. Several lenders will still only advance a mortgage that is based on your income and affordability though this isn’t always the case.

You should note that while you will only pay the standard rate of stamp duty if you purchase this property in your own name, you would pay the stamp duty surcharge if you purchase the property in a Limited Company. You should also be aware that you would pay the stamp duty surcharge when you do purchase a home of your own if you already own a buy to let property in your own name.

I am looking to buy a property in a company but the company is new; is this a problem?

Not at all; in fact it’s preferable.

For buy to let purposes the company is in effect a shell and it is the directors (and sometimes shareholders) that the lender is lending to. The directors will invariably have to give a personal guarantee.

The company should be a single purpose vehicle for property investment with specific SIC codes; 68209 being the preferred code for holding investment properties to rent out.

If you have an existing company that trades in another area most lenders won’t lend to it. It’s not unusual for investors to have a company with profits in it and instead of taking them out of the company invest in buy to let properties. This is not impossible but there are very few lenders who will lend to trading companies and you will reduce your options dramatically with this route.

It may be better to set up a new company and arrange a loan between the two companies; again there are limited lenders who will accept this but we can look at your options and see which will work out the best for you.

Do I need a minimum income for buy to let mortgages?

No! There are many lenders who have no minimum income requirements.

Note that this is no MINIMUM income requirements not NO income requirements!  Lenders will still look at your income, outgoings and commitments and want to ensure that your income is sufficient to cover those as well as voids, repairs and maintenance for the buy to let property.

Please note that most buy to let lenders do look closely at the level of your unsecured debt (credit cards and personal loans) and can decline or reduce the level of borrowing if this is deemed to be too high. Every lender applies their own criteria in this regard but unsecured debts above you declared income will often lead to a decline. We will discuss this with you before submitting any applications if we believe it will be an issue.

Can you arrange mortgages for people with bad credit?

Yes! Having adverse credit does not exclude you from getting a mortgage.

Clearly not all circumstances can be catered for but we have had massive success arranging mortgages for clients with all sorts of adverse credit history including past repossession and bankruptcy, missed card, loan and mortgage payments, debt management plans including currently active plans, IVAs, CCJs and users of pay day loans.

As a responsible adviser our aim is always to ensure that you end up in a better situation than when you approached us and if we don’t believe this is the case we will not arrange a mortgage for you. However, we will be happy to guide you on how to improve your situation so that we can assist you in the future.

We have regularly assisted clients with improving their credit profiles and gone on to successfully arrange them a mortgage. We particularly pride ourselves on understanding individual lender criteria and placing clients with standard lenders at standard rates; we don’t take the ‘easy’ route and simply place you with adverse credit or ‘subprime’ lenders.

We can also look at debt consolidation if this is the right thing for you. We can arrange mortgages with an adverse credit history on your home as well as buy to let, commercial, bridging etc.

If you believe you may have some adverse credit history it is best to obtain your credit reports before looking at a mortgage or setting your heart on a property; these can be downloaded from the THREE credit reference agencies:-

www.experian.co.uk

www.equifax.co.uk

www.callcredit.co.uk

You can also download all 3 reports in one at www.checkmyfile.co.uk

It is very important that you check all three agencies; different credit providers report to different agencies and it is not unusual for two reports to be clean of adverse credit only to find something on the third.

Please note that most lenders do NOT use the credit score provided by the credit reference agencies, they use their own score card and as such it is not worth obtaining your credit score especially if you have to pay for it. It is the content of the report that is important.

If you are not sure what you are looking for then please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will take a look at your reports with no obligation or charge and guide you accordingly.

Can you arrange mortgages for HMOs?

Absolutely! In fact, there is barely a day that goes by that we don’t write a HMO mortgage!

This is an area we particularly specialise in and our Managing Director, Lisa, is a well-known authority on the subject and lenders regularly seek her knowledge and opinion on their HMO products, lending and valuation polices.

We can arrange mortgages for small or large HMOs with 20+ rooms.

Most lenders do require existing landlord experience; typically a year however we do have access to HMO mortgages for first time landlords too.

HMO mortgages for first time buyer, first time landlords are extremely rare however subject to your circumstances we can also arrange these or suggest alternative ways to achieve the desired outcome.

Can you arrange a mortgage for commercial property?

Yes! The type of commercial property is crucial however; a chip shop in an industrial town is less likely to appeal to a lender than an accountants office in a well-regarded suburb.

Clearly not all lenders are willing to lend on commercial properties however there are a sufficient number that do and our aim is to find you one at the best price possible.

Invariably almost anything is possible if you’re prepared to pay for it!

Can you arrange a mortgage for a property that my business trades from?

Yes! We have some excellent lending options for owner occupier business premises with several lenders particularly keen to lend in this sector.

Lenders are going to be looking closely at your business accounts to ensure that the business can support any lending; if your business already pays rent for this or another premises then this can help support your case.

Can you arrange a mortgage for a property near to commercial property?

Yes! The type of commercial property is crucial however; a flat above chip shop in an industrial town is less likely to appeal to a lender than a flat above an accountants office in a well-regarded suburb.

Clearly not all lenders are willing to lend on properties near to commercial properties however there are a sufficient number that do and our aim is to find you one at the best price possible.

Invariably almost anything is possible if you’re prepared to pay for it!

Can you arrange mortgages for concrete properties?

Yes! We can arrange mortgages for all types of non-standard construction properties.

The type of construction is crucial so it is worth finding this out before trying to arrange a mortgage; you could speak to the estate agent, neighbours, the council or local surveyors for example to identify this.

Some properties are unfortunately not mortgageable at all. We do not want you to be out of pocket with valuation, legal and our fees by ensuring the property is mortgageable before we submit the application.

It is worth noting that many specialist lenders and challenger banks don’t lend on non-standard construction properties; if the property being purchased is in a Limited Company or is a HMO you will have significantly reduced lending options. We usually have a lending option for most circumstances but you may find that the rate is unpalatable.

What type of business do you do?

We offer a range of property financial services for residential and investment properties including:-

• Mortgages
• Remortgages
• Secured Loans
• Bridging Loans
• Later Life Lending
• Short Term Loan Facilities
• Drawdown Facilities
• Commercial Finance
• Development Finance

In summary, if it’s property, we finance it!

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.
• 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.
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.

We will only take referral business from other regulated individuals such as mortgage advisers, IFAs, solicitors and accountants.

For more information please contact us.