29 September 2016

Lot's of building work happening!

There is a lot of building work going on locally.  In the main, it is by large property developers/builders, but we are receiving enquiries for those privately looking to build their own dream home or renovate and extend their existing properties.   This can also include knocking down the property and building a new one in the same location.  These are normally called Self Build Mortgages or Development Projects. 

If you are considering these, have a chat with a local architect first to see if your plans are realistic possibilities. They will have a good idea as to what the local Council Planning Officers will accept and of course, what they will reject!  Lenders then may look to lend funds on a stage payment basis. Stage one might be the foundations, stage two might be ground level and so on.  Each stage would require sign off by the buildings inspector, and often the lenders own valuer, then funds would be released.  The lender may not lend the full build amount, so be prepared to put in a reasonable deposit, especially at outset to demonstrate your own commitment.  

For extensions and renovations, it may well depend on the size of the work and what funds are required.  If you are altering the property substantially, rebuilding etc, you will tend to find that only specialist lenders will take these on and in some instances, these may be on a short term basis.

Development Finance and Bridging Finance (now also known as short term lending) is money to be used in the short term to facilitate a financial transaction which has either an urgent or short lifespan and which is primarily geared to a property transaction.  The most regular type of transactions include: a property being purchased at auction: the purchase of a new property whilst the current one is still being sold: acquisition of a property which needs substantial renovation before it is suitable for a traditional mortgage or payment of an unexpected expense whilst more regular finance is being arranged, and so on.

Beware though, these lenders will need certainty on the exit route (how will they get their money back?) and with this type of lending and associated fees, it can be more expensive than a normal mortgage. Therefore it makes sense to exhaust all other channels first!

22 September 2016

Too much information online can be confusing!

As rates continue to reduce, competition has moved at a pace on the high street.  Most of these lenders can offer attractive low rates with free valuations and free legal costs on remortgages.  This is great if you fit the lender's mould and meet their requirements.  However, if you don’t meet their requirements or if you fail the lenders credit score, where do you go next?

The easy response is a mortgage broker who not only has access to the high street lenders but the whole of the mortgage market.  

According to recent reports in the mortgage media, circa 72% of all mortgages are now arranged through a mortgage intermediary.  A good mortgage broker will not only have access to and understand the high street offerings, they will also have access to smaller building societies and other lending institutions who can think 'outside the box', manually assess applications and lend when the high street lenders might not.  This can include lending in to retirement/over age 70, lending to the complex self employed, ExPat mortgages, buy to lets, holiday homes, multiple properties on one title and so much more.

With technology taking over the world, and so many transactions taking place over the internet, it might be easy to be attracted to products online.  There is so much information readily available and over 11,000 mortgage products to choose from, but these types of things can get lost in translation.  Therefore seek advice.  Yes, it may cost you a small fee to have someone research the market on your behalf and make recommendations, having assessed your short to long term needs and requirements.  More importantly, it could save you thousands in the long run, over choosing the wrong products yourself. In addition, any professional will probably build a long term relationship with you and contact you at the time your current rate is coming up for renewal to ensure you have the best rate available.  It's good to talk..!

15 September 2016

Some great rates available in the Buy to Let sector

At the time of writing, there is some quite serious competition in the Buy to Let sector!  Our good friends at Foundation Homeloans have just launched a 5 year fixed rate, sub 3.50%, with a 2% lender arrangement fee.  This is a really impressive move by the lender.  Not only that, but with Buy to Let properties, the mortgage is usually based on the rental achievable.  Lenders calculations vary but generally working on a rental income of 125% at a ‘stress test’ rate of 5%.  Foundation's product works on 125% of the actual pay rate (if you are purchasing in a Limited Company name).  This makes a huge difference in the amount of mortgage loan achievable.  Maximum loan allowed on this product is 75% of the property value. 

With Buy to Lets, the minimum deposit can be as little as just 15%.  At this level, there are only a few products.  With a 20% deposit, the numb er of products increases substantially, as do the options with a 25% deposit, and so on.   And rates are now so low that there's actually not a huge gap between Buy to Let rates and normal Residential rates, as there used to be. 

As the new taxation changes are implemented, we are seeing a lot more people purchase properties in a Limited Company name.  This sounds complicated, but any good property accountant will be able to advise you at the early stages if this is more beneficial to you, rather than buying in a personal name.   The most important thing is to ensure any property investment versus outlay gives you the best return possible. 

Finally, it doesn't matter whether you an experience landlord, or this is your first time.  Property ownership can be complicated, so explore all the options and shop around.  There are a huge number of lenders available to you and all have competitive edges and good criteria options for the right customer.  Make sure you understand everything at the outset so you don't regret it later! Always seek professional advice.