Revisit, remortgage and save money

Thursday, 29th June, 2017

It’s funny. Everyone is always looking for a deal (myself included) and yet sometimes, even when the deal is right in front of him or her, they just can’t see it.

What’s even more ironic is that people can expend huge amounts of energy collecting loyalty points here and ‘50p off your next box of tea bags’ vouchers there, all the while missing out on the most important deal – and one that could save them hundreds of pounds each month.

The deal I’m referring to in this case is the often-overlooked remortgage.

As a Guildford mortgage broker I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ve seen as many instances where there is such a gulf between the mortgage our clients signed up for (call it point A) and the mortgage that they could have now, even with the same lender (call it point B).

Naturally, it is the Complete Mortgages team’s job to make our clients aware of how they could save money on a mortgage – or, to put it another way, how much they are overpaying on a mortgage. And that’s what we’re in the process of doing right now, much to our clients’ delight.

However, for many people – namely those who either don’t use a mortgage broker or don’t have a proactive mortgage broker, they might never know.

Whilst there’s lots to be said for the proverb ‘ignorance is bliss’, or ‘what you don’t know can’t hurt you’, I’m pretty sure that people would rather have the opportunity to change mortgage – or at least be alerted to the prospect of changing their mortgage – and that’s the purpose of this article.

If you’re one of those people who applied for a mortgage two or three years ago, when deals were great and seemed as though they couldn’t get any better, then this is for you.

Essentially, mortgage deals have got better and you could quite easily be saving hundreds of pounds each month as a result.

In some cases you could simply switch your mortgage to a different deal on offer through the same lender. Not only can we handle ALL the paperwork and application process on your behalf, but also our service is completely FREE for you.

Our usual fee is £399 however in the case of a simple mortgage switch with your existing lender, we wouldn’t charge you a penny.

Even in cases where a fee may be chargeable, the process of remortgaging could still work out financially beneficial for you in the long run.

Our advice is to contact a trusted mortgage broker to explore your options and discover how easy it is to save money on your mortgage. You may or may not want to use Complete Mortgages – or even a mortgage broker in general – but at least you can’t say that we never told you.

Are you looking to remortgage? Interested in finding out of you could save money on your mortgage by making a simple change to your current mortgage? If so, contact us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk. Remember, we’re also specialists in buy to let mortgages, adverse credit mortgages, limited company buy to let mortgages and first time buyer mortgages.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


Robo-mortgage advisers… whatever next?

Thursday, 8th June, 2017

Now, before reading any further I should point out that, like most people, I too use a series of apps to help make my life that little bit easier. From monitoring how active I am to listening to music, apps are now an essential part of my everyday life.

However, on reading a piece in the Telegraph recently with the headline ‘New app promises to sort your mortgage by iPhone as home buying goes digital’*, I have to say that I experienced the first pang of ‘app cynicism’ I’ve felt since I began using them.

Not because, as a mortgage broker, I felt in any way threatened by the advent of digitised mortgage applications, but because my first thought was that some things should genuinely be left alone. Applying for a mortgage, in the context of apps, is one of those things.

Admittedly, claims of being able to complete a mortgage in 15 minutes or begin the mortgage – or remortgaging – process through a mobile app sounds fantastic. However, having been a Guildford mortgage broker for almost two decades, I know that the reality of carrying out a successful mortgage application relies less on software and more on relationships and a personal touch.

Buying a house is, for the majority of people, the biggest financial decision that they will ever make. Now, relying on software to order your coffee so that it’s served to coincide with your arrival, count how many steps you’ve taken in any given day, or alert you when it’s time to drink more water is one thing. But do you really want to place one of life’s larger purchases in the hands of a faceless app?

Not only that but who do you contact when things go wrong or don’t go quite according to plan?

The mortgage application process can be complicated, resource intensive and is often affected by a number of variables and external organisations. Whilst it’s okay to seek a simplified one-button solution to some of the more mundane aspects of modern life, a one-button solution to mortgage applications is, in my view, a false economy.

In fact, let’s compare it now. Complete Mortgages typically spends 15 – 20 minutes to carry out a factfind, which is similar to what some ‘robo-advisers’ claim to take, and from that point onwards everything is handled personally by a dedicated account handler who is able to fast-track the process, carry out those sometimes-sensitive chase up calls with the lender or provide feedback to the estate agent from which the mortgage applicant originated.

We’re proud, for instance, of our high customer service ratings as showcased on our website – all of which are the direct result of real actions of real people, who not only help people secure mortgages day in, day out, but who also do so after having built a strong rapport with the customer.

Yes, there are many services and experiences that have improved through automation, however these are typically services and experiences that are black and white, that have a simple beginning and end point, and that aren’t always reliant on multiple processes in order to reach a successful conclusion. Getting a mortgage isn’t one of them.

That said, I wish those who have launched – or are in the process of launching – automated mortgage apps the very best and I will watch with interest.

In the meantime, I must go. I’m being told that I have a meeting and that I need to purchase a gift online in the next five minutes to make tomorrow’s post – all by my apps, of course.

If you need to apply for a mortgage and would like to speak to a real person, then contact Complete Mortgages on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk. We specialise in first time buyer mortgages, commercial mortgages, buy to let mortgages, adverse credit mortgages – and providing first-class customer service. 

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages

*http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/04/18/new-app-promises-sort-mortgage-iphone-home-buying-goes-digital


Guildford mortgage lending is on the up… but so are its property prices

Thursday, 1st June, 2017
Guildford mortgage

Let’s start with the universally good news – mortgage lending to homebuyers increased by 27% in March.

The figures, as released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), suggests that even first time buyer mortgages were on the up across the UK, with 31,500 loans granted in March 2017 compared with 28,100 in March 2016.

As a Guildford mortgage broker, Complete Mortgages’ March was particularly busy; so busy in fact that it bucked the national trend by being a staggering 82% up on March 2016.

As a local mortgage broker this is, of course, good news. However, it’s also good news because it highlights that the Guildford mortgage market continues to move apace and suggests that we can expect this trend to continue as we head into summer (a period when home moving and home buying activity typically tends to slow down).

On the flipside, there is the issue of Guildford’s rapidly increasing property prices. And whilst this isn’t bad news for those who already own a home, it is unlikely to be met with positivity by those itching to get their feet on the property ladder.

Research by online estate agents House Simple has shown that outside of London, the UK’s least affordable areas include Bath, Brighton, Crawley, Tunbridge Wells and, of course, Guildford. In fact, less than 7% of Guildford properties are priced lower than the national average.

So, what does this tell us? Well, it confirms what we already know; Guildford is an expensive and desirable place to live. It’s also likely to be met with concern by first time buyers whose chances of buying a property in Guildford are arguably much slimmer than this month’s national averages from the CML would suggest.

However, what Guildford first time buyers must remember is that there are hugely competitive first time buyer mortgage deals entering the market all the time. And with 85% loan to value mortgages on 4.5 x earnings now available, the Guildford first time buyer is now able to enter the market without having to rely solely on putting down an astronomical deposit.

Are you a first time buyer? If so, then our advice is to contact the Complete Mortgages team, which specialises in first time buyer mortgages, to discuss how we can help move you towards homeownership.

Just remember that as Guildford property prices increase, the relative value of your deposit decreases, so taking action sooner rather than later is advised before homeownership really does become out of reach.

Contact Complete Mortgages on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk to discuss our services, from first time buyer mortgages and commercial mortgages to buy to let mortgages and limited company buy to let mortgages.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


Calling all Bournemouth first time buyers

Thursday, 25th May, 2017

It’s great to see how the UK mortgage market is still proving to be buoyant, with research by the Council of Mortgage Lenders showing that there was a 27% increase in the number of mortgages granted in March.

However the Bournemouth property market, particularly for first time buyers, has become a bit of a game of cat and mouse.

No sooner have would-be homeowners saved a deposit (the chase) does the property (the mouse) escape – usually in the form of escalating property prices which, similar to the effects of inflation, chips away at the relative value of the savings pot.

Let’s not forget that back in January the Bournemouth Echo reported how Bournemouth had joined the ranks of Hong Kong, Sydney and San Francisco as one of the least affordable places to live.

Great news if you already own a home. Not so great if you’re one of the many still holding out hope of home ownership. After all, if you’re a Bournemouth resident shouldn’t buying a property in Bournemouth be a right and not a privilege?

The story*, which was based on an annual survey by Demographica, revealed that the price of a home in Bournemouth is 8.9 times higher than the median annual household income of the area.

Given the scale of this imbalance it’s highly likely that the CML’s recent figures, which illustrated how UK first time buyer mortgages granted in March 2017 stood at 31,500 compared with 28,100 in March 2016, doesn’t reflect Bournemouth’s first time buyer demographic.

The question now, therefore, is what do we do about this gulf between property prices and what most people – first time buyers in particular – can afford?

The good news for those looking for a first time buyer mortgage in Bournemouth is that as property prices increase, so too does the competitive nature of the mortgage market.

There are currently 85% loan to value mortgages on 4.5 x earnings now available, which will provide the Bournemouth first time buyer with a better chance of accessing the property market without having to place all their hope in saving a sizeable deposit.

If you’re a first time buyer in Bournemouth, simply get in touch to discuss how we can help you get on the property ladder. It may not be Sydney or San Francisco, but if your home is Bournemouth then you should be able to buy a property in Bournemouth.

Contact Complete Mortgages on 01202 049661 or email jo@complete-mortgages.co.uk to discuss our services, from first time buyer mortgages and commercial mortgages to buy to let mortgages and limited company buy to let mortgages.

*Daily Echo

By Jo Frankowski, Complete Mortgages


The Bournemouth property market isn’t the only thing that’s booming

Thursday, 23rd February, 2017

A recent report* has revealed how Bournemouth is among the UK’s destinations that saw the highest rise in property prices in 2016, with the average price of a home in the area growing by 5.7%.

For those of us who own a property in this wonderful part of the world then this is great news.

However, for those with an equal affinity for Bournemouth yet who aren’t in a position to buy, then this report will no doubt be greeted with a degree of discomfort. After all, a 5.7% increase is not insignificant and, for some, could place applying for a mortgage and, ultimately, homeownership, even more out of reach.

The good news is that the current mortgage market is littered with a variety of mortgage products that aim to target a huge cross section of people – from first time buyer mortgages through to buy to let mortgages – to ensure that everyone has a fair chance of getting on (or in some cases, keeping on) the property ladder.

And on the topic of mortgage selection and availability, it isn’t just Bournemouth that’s booming. Adverse mortgages, or what were referred to as subprime mortgages prior to the financial crisis in 2007/8, are back – albeit in a different and thankfully much safer guise, and this time they are operating to a much tighter framework.

In contrast to the years leading up to the financial crisis, where sub-prime mortgages were awarded to people without necessarily understanding their ability to make repayments, the new generation of adverse mortgage lending is very different.

Unlike the prime market, for instance, whereby decisions are made, in part, by computers, mortgage brokers providing subprime mortgages, such as Complete Mortgages, now spend more time listening to an individual’s circumstances in order to understand the bigger picture before approaching lenders.

Applicants still need to be financially robust enough to show that they can meet mortgage repayments; it’s just that the decision to grant a subprime mortgage takes into account a wider pool of variables that a binary ‘black and white’ approach afforded by algorithms and automated software cannot.

Complete Mortgages, for example, even works with insolvency practitioners to help applicants build a case for being granted a mortgage around existing financial commitments and debts.

Moreover, the ever-growing portfolio of adverse mortgage products is aimed at those who may have unfortunately experienced difficulty in recent months, whether that’s through a separation, business difficulties or redundancy, as opposed to pre-2007 when sub-prime products were available to those looking to take out a mortgage – or multiple mortgages – based on a self-certification model.

So, for those who might fall within the adverse mortgage category and are aware of ‘booming Bournemouth’ and its appreciating property values, then there is no need to panic – but we would advise that those considering applying for a mortgage in Bournemouth act sooner rather than later before continued house price growth really does make homeownership a more exclusive proposition.

If you’re considering applying for a mortgage and feel that an adverse credit mortgage product may best suit your needs, contact Complete Mortgages on 01202 049661 or email enquiries@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

*UK Cities House Price Index

Mark Lucas, Adverse Mortgage Specialist at Complete Mortgages


The Help to Buy scheme is over… but it’s not the end for first time buyer mortgages

Thursday, 13th October, 2016
first time buyer

As the saying goes, ‘nothing lasts forever’. Government priorities have a habit of changing (as do Prime Ministers) and with that comes changes in policy.

And it would appear that this is what has happened following the news that the once lauded and very popular Help to Buy Scheme is to come to an end in December. The good news, however, is that it’s only the Mortgage Guarantee element of the scheme that is scheduled to end; its other components including Shared Ownership, Equity Loan and Help to Buy: ISA, remain available.

The Mortgage Guarantee element of the scheme, which has enabled lenders to purchase a guarantee on mortgage loans and, as a result, offer homebuyers – first time buyers in particular – high loan to value (LTV) mortgages of between 80 – 95%, has made homeownership accessible to those with limited access to a deposit. In fact, according to figures*, since the scheme’s launch in January 2014 it has been behind over a staggering 89,000 mortgages.

The question now, however, is whether or not high LTV mortgages are over and, along with it, the chance of homeownership for those who, without the scheme, may have struggled to secure such a highly geared mortgage.

The answer remains unclear and there is much speculation. Many are of the view that as we enter 2017, high LTV mortgage products will diminish. Others believe that even without the government’s support, the first time buyer market is buoyant and can withstand the removal of what many regard as a crutch.

For those who have earmarked the New Year as a time to put their deposit to good use, then here are three things to remember:

1. Lenders need first-time buyers (or those who require a high LTV mortgage which, given how growth in property values has eclipsed growth in wages, is a huge proportion of the population).

2. Whilst the Help to Buy Scheme has undoubtedly been incredibly helpful, the 95% mortgage was already making a post-recession comeback even before the scheme was launched, and therefore it isn’t necessarily the panacea that some have come to believe.

3. 95% mortgages aren’t exclusive to Help to Buy. Put another way, even during the scheme’s lifetime those applying for a mortgage could still access 95% mortgages without going down the Help to Buy route.

As a Guildford mortgage broker that has been getting a 95% mortgage for many of our clients, we feel relatively at ease by the confirmation of the Help to Buy Scheme’s closure. Why? Because as a mortgage broker, with access to a comprehensive panel of mortgage products, we know that there is a plethora of options available that match a huge demographic of people.

For the general public securing a mortgage is often perceived as a binary process; it’s either black or white, yes or no. For a mortgage broker acting on their behalf there are many shades of grey in-between and it’s our job to explore, unpick and navigate them in a way that secures the right mortgage deal for them.

So, whether you’re a first time buyer or someone who was relying on the Help to Buy Scheme to get on the property ladder, don’t rule out homeownership just yet.

Contact the Complete Mortgages team on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk to find out how you can still secure a high loan to value mortgage – and why the end of the Help to Buy Scheme doesn’t spell the end of your homeownership dreams.

*www.financialreporter.co.uk

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


Getting a mortgage before Christmas

Friday, 23rd September, 2016

As far as annual milestones go, we’ve just passed one of the big ones.

The beginning of a new school year not only signifies the end of summer, but it also marks the dawning of winter (Halloween is already beginning to dominate shop shelves) and the lead in to Christmas.

From a property perspective, people often tackle a new home move in line with a new season, something that property marketers will often take the opportunity to maximise, with calls to action such as ‘move in time for summer’ or ‘get in before spring’.

When it comes to Christmas, the sense of urgency is only stronger as homeowners want to be in a position to celebrate the festive season and entertain friends and family in their new property.

And now the children are back at school, the starting gun has been fired and the countdown to the festive season has begun. So, what does that mean for those who are thinking of applying for a mortgage this side of 2016?

The good news is that if your heart is set on moving into a new property in time for Christmas then it’s not too late to apply for a mortgage.  At the time of writing there’s approximately two and a half months until the big day. And let’s not forget that we’ve only just hit autumn – a period, which, according to HomeOwners Alliance*, is a great time to sell a property given how the holiday season is over.

However, there are a few things to consider as the homeowner’s champion also states that people need to be ready to move quickly in autumn, as the market tends to slow down once October arrives. On that basis, this leaves two weeks to get the ball rolling if you are serious about a pre-Christmas move.

Whether that’s securing a mortgage in principle to ensure that you’re at the front of the queue when it comes to accessing the funds, or using a mortgage broker in order for them to complete as much paperwork in advance of an offer being accepted on a property, there are ways in which time invested now will mean time saved later on.

If you’re self employed then another point to consider, and one that we covered here, is that lenders ideally want to see that you’ve submitted your accounts within 3-6 months of the end of the previous tax year. So, in keeping with getting as much out of the way as possible now – and bearing in mind that 6 October marks six months from the end of the last tax year – we would recommend that if you haven’t submitted your tax returns yet, then do so within the next couple of weeks.

As a Guildford mortgage broker that specialises in a wide range of products including self-employed mortgages, we have partnered with a number of Guildford estate agents – and estate agents in Surrey – which means that we have high visibility of our clients’ property purchasing process from beginning to end. The result of this means that we can give them a helpful push to expedite the process when required, which is useful when time is not on your side.

And for those who aren’t based in Guildford or Surrey and who won’t be using our local property partners, then all you need to do is contact us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk to find out how Complete Mortgages can get you as prepared as possible and help you get moved in by Christmas.

From first-time buyer mortgages and commercial mortgages to individual buy to let mortgages and limited company buy to let mortgages, Complete Mortgages provides a complete service when it comes to getting a mortgage.

*http://hoa.org.uk/advice/guides-for-homeowners/i-am-selling/when-is-the-best-time-to-sell-my-house/

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


Spring has sprung when it comes to the mortgage market

Tuesday, 17th May, 2016

Whilst the current inclement weather isn’t (strictly speaking, at least) shouting spring, the mortgage market is.

In fact, spring has really sprung this year with reports that 161,990 properties were sold in March compared with 92,690 in February.

Although this is likely to be, in part, down to the ‘property rush’ associated with the change in stamp duty that took place on 1 April, which saw a 3 per cent surcharge levied against property purchases that are not the purchaser’s main residence. However that aside, spring is generally a time when people look to arrange a mortgage and as a Guildford mortgage broker, we’ve certainly seen activity relating to the South East property market dramatically increase.

What is interesting is that applications for first-time buyer mortgages are up considerably, however this is, to a degree, at the expense of buy-to-let mortgages, which have dipped slightly since the introduction of the new tax structure on property investors.

Of course it always has been – and always will be – a challenge for first time buyers to get their feet on the property ladder. Yet in the wake of the recent stamp duty tax change and the phasing in of the changes that will see landlords taxed on 100 per cent of their rental income, we anticipate that the challenge will lessen as the proportion of buy-to-let investors decreases.

Figures already released by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) indicate that this shift is already underway, with 28 per cent of property sales in March attributable to first time buyers. And not only has competition from investor landlords subsided, but the NAEA has also reported that the number of properties selling for more than asking price has also decreased, too. How long that window will remain open for is unknown however what we do know is that recent tax reforms, compounded by that ‘spring feeling’, has created a perfect storm for those ready to enter the property market for the first time.

So, the future looks bright for first time buyer mortgages and, more importantly, those applying for them. Now, all we need is the sun; only then will we truly feel that spring has arrived.

And although the weather is not something we can help with, we can offer a wide selection of mortgages for first time buyers in the UK. Simply get in touch with the Complete Mortgages team to discuss your options, establish what products are open to you based on the size of your first time buyer deposit and the mortgage that is best suited to you and your lifestyle.

Whilst this spring is the season for first time buyers, Complete Mortgages specialises in the whole spectrum of mortgages ranging from commercial mortgages through to bridging loans, both of which we would handle via our specialist arm, Complete Mortgages Property Ltd. To speak with a reputable Surrey mortgage broker call Complete Mortgages on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk and find out how we can help you.

Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.