How to remortgage

Tuesday, 13th February, 2018

2018 is the year of the remortgage.

If you didn’t read my last piece and are wondering why 2018 is any different to 2017 – or any other year for that matter – then read on.

Going up? 

Nobody knows when or even if interest rates will go up in 2018, however there is much talk and speculation that the Bank of England could raise the Base Rate of interest by up to 0.50% at some point this year.

To put this into context, it would mean that someone on a variable rate mortgage borrowing £200,000 would face up to a £600-a-year increase.

Getting the most from your mortgage 

First of all, and despite what you may think, arranging a new mortgage is really straightforward – particularly if your mortgage broker is handling it on your behalf.

As a Guildford mortgage broker we see it all the time; people resisting remortgaging due to the perceived ‘hassle’, only to be pleasantly surprised when it’s all done and dusted without much effort on their part.

Here are Complete Mortgages’ top tips on remortgaging to get you started:

1. Dig out your paperwork 

Having an understanding of how much is outstanding on your mortgage, the mortgage term and any fees attributable with changing your mortgage will make it easier to navigate any questions that you will inevitably have to answer.

2. Know what you spend 

The process of getting a mortgage has changed over recent years, in as much as lenders now want to see clear evidence of your outgoings and, more importantly, your ability to comfortably make the mortgage repayments. Having some idea of what you spend on a monthly basis in advance will save time to-ing and fro-ing.

3. Do your homework

It may sound obvious, but take some time to find out what mortgage products are out there. New mortgage products are entering the market all the time, so make sure you pick the right mortgage for you and your lifestyle. More importantly, make sure that you’re set to benefit from a mortgage switch and that any financial gain from a new mortgage isn’t wiped out with exit fees from your existing mortgage.

Is there an easier way of doing this?

Of course there is. Using a trusted mortgage broker, such as Complete Mortgages, will save you a lot of legwork, time and possibly a bit of heartache, too.

If you let us handle your remortgage we’ll not only manage the entire mortgage application process on your behalf, but we’ll also spend the time finding the right mortgage for you, from the hundreds available (including the many broker exclusives that we have access to). What’s more, depending on the product chosen, there may not even be a fee for you to pay at all.

See, remortgaging really isn’t as difficult as you might think.

Contact the team on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk to find out more. Even if you’re not looking to remortgage, don’t forget we’re also specialists in buy to let mortgages, limited company buy to let mortgages, adverse credit mortgages and commercial mortgages, too.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


Mortgage wars: a battle that shouldn’t be fought on price alone

Wednesday, 13th September, 2017

The Telegraph recently published a story that focused on the ‘battle for mortgage customers’ and the intensification of a war that is seeing lenders cut both their rates and penalty fees.

As a Guildford mortgage broker, Complete Mortgages feels and acts on the launch of each and every new mortgage product and the fluctuation of rates associated with those that already exist on a daily basis; indeed, it is our job to do so.

However, our view on the language used by the national media that places home buying in the context of a war – and the portrayal that the mortgage market is an arena in which only the cheapest product and lender will win – is bad not only for the mortgage industry, but also those applying for a mortgage.

Firstly, it’s important to highlight that the cheapest mortgage isn’t necessarily the best mortgage.

Evidence suggests that the average rate of two and five-year fixed mortgages has significantly decreased over the last seven years, and that’s undoubtedly a good thing. The more competitive lenders are, the more attractive their mortgage products become.

However – and this is very important – not everyone’s circumstances are the same. So, whilst a five-year fixed mortgage may be ideal for candidate A, it may not be so effective for candidate B.

Simply distilling mortgages and the mortgage application process down to a price war – something more akin to inexpensive consumer products such as bread and milk – doesn’t take into account the nuances surrounding each individual’s lifestyle and financial position.

It could also panic those looking for a mortgage into running headlong into a mortgage deal that may not necessarily suit their needs in the long (or even short) term.

The same Telegraph article suggests that lenders are already braced for a surge in new applications as a wave of existing fixed-term deals come to an end this autumn.

If this surge of applications originates from mortgage applicants who are well informed then we fully support that – but finding a mortgage broker who can guide you through the process and establish the right mortgage for you before you commit to anything should be your first port of call.

As an award-winning mortgage broker, our recommendation to those looking to secure a mortgage – or remortgage – is to seek professional mortgage advice; advice that treats a mortgage for what it is, which is a long-term commitment and not a simple day-to-day purchase.

If you’re looking at getting a mortgage – or remortgaging – this autumn then don’t get caught up in the bottleneck. From specialist self-employed mortgages and commercial mortgages through to first time buyer mortgages and adverse credit mortgages, Complete Mortgages can recommend a mortgage to match your own personal circumstances.

Contact us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk for an insightful, thoughtful and expert view on the current mortgage market – and a professional opinion on where you might fit within it.

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


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


Why owner-occupied commercial mortgages are good for business

Tuesday, 2nd August, 2016

Buy to let mortgages and their role as investment vehicles for those looking to become landlords or continue building a successful property portfolio (and the fallout of the EU referendum, of course) are never far from the news agenda.

But what about commercial property as an investment? In all the clamour caused by a combination of a) people wanting to invest in residential property and b) people trying to find out how the buy-to-let tax changes affects them, the humble commercial mortgage seems to have been sidelined.

Admittedly, it is a more specialist mortgage product when you compare the number of UK homes (approx. 27.8 million*) with the number of SMEs (approx. 5.4 million+), yet for business owners wanting more control over their costs and to avoid being at the mercy of their landlord, then a business mortgage might be the answer.

First of all, let’s take a closer look at the benefits.

You’re in control 

Particularly if you arrange a fixed rate mortgage. No more rent hikes or unwanted charges from the landlord, although if on a variable rate your mortgage will flex in line with interest rates.

Property values tend to go up, not down

Of course this is based on what we have seen so far and Complete Mortgages isn’t discounting the possibility that prices could start to fall, but property tends to appreciate. And, as the owner of the building, if it appreciates then you build value. It’s also worth highlighting that interest repayments on an owner-occupied commercial mortgage are tax deductible.

An extra revenue stream?

Whilst you may be frustrated with your own commercial landlord, it doesn’t mean that you can’t become one. Depending on the size of the property – and the agreement you have with your lender – why not let rooms or even desk space to smaller businesses. Matching those looking for office space with those who have space to let is now big business, and the number of self-employed people has dramatically increased, too (in 2014 the UK hit an all-time high of 4.5 million self employed people**).

Now let’s look at the things you’ll need to overcome in order to arrange a commercial mortgage.

Affordability vs. history

Commercial mortgages are not as clear-cut as residential mortgages and no two applications are the same. For example, Business A has been trading for 10 years and requires a £250,000 mortgage on a commercial unit that it is buying for £295,000.  Business B also needs to borrow £250,000 on a commercial unit that it is buying for £295,000 but has only just started trading. Unfortunately for Business B, the fact that it has less commercial experience means that it will need to provide a deposit of around a 50%. A mortgage broker will add value here by outlining where you stand from the outset.

Where to start?

There are countless commercial mortgage deals available however they all differ and they all come with their own pros and cons. Navigating this complicated market is resource-intensive and a typical commercial mortgage application can take time to complete for those making an application independently.

Preparation is everything

Make sure you have crafted that perfect business case before making a commercial mortgage application. Demonstrating that you’re aware of the challenges, the requirements and the figures will stand you in good stead when it comes to making a successful – and swift – mortgage application.

When it comes to commercial mortgages, our advice is to use a trusted mortgage broker that can not only present you with a suite of options that best suit the needs of you and your business, but also do the leg work for you.

Thinking of applying for an owner-occupied business mortgage? Contact Complete Mortgages on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk to discover the commercial mortgages available to you. 

*http://visual.ons.gov.uk/uk-perspectives-housing-and-home-ownership-in-the-uk/

+www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/sn06152.pdf

**https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/research/key-issues-parliament-2015/work/self-employment/


How do I get a mortgage if I have a bad credit rating?

Friday, 29th July, 2016

So, you want to apply for a mortgage. And if that isn’t tough enough, you also have a poor credit rating to boot. Don’t worry, the doors of home ownership don’t need to close on you and you’ll be pleased to know that there is a way to ensure that you get your foot firmly on the property ladder.

If we cast our memories back to the credit crunch of 2007/8, when adverse credit mortgages (or subprime mortgages) were arguably one of the root causes of the financial crisis, you could be forgiven for thinking that a sub prime mortgage is one to avoid.

However many things within the financial services have changed over the last eight years and, thankfully, the sub-prime mortgage is one of them. For a more informed guide as to what’s changed and how adverse credit mortgages have undergone a facelift, read our article here.

Here, we will deal with the frequently asked questions the Complete Mortgages team receives when it comes to applying for a mortgage with a poor credit rating.

After all that happened, do subprime mortgages still even exist?

Yes, but they are now very different. Firstly, you have to demonstrate that you are able to make repayments. Secondly, sub-prime mortgages aren’t granted with the same reckless abandon they once were. They are very much regarded as a niche product and many lenders will only approve adverse credit mortgages if the applicant can show that they’ve experienced an ‘unexpected event’, such as divorce or business failure.

Where can I get a mortgage with a poor credit history?

Or, more to the point, ‘who will give me a mortgage with my bad credit rating?’. Given how there are more complexities around applying for subprime mortgages, we would recommend that this is one for a mortgage broker to handle. If they’re worth their salt they’ll be able to match your profile, lifestyle and circumstances with a suitable product. And when it comes to products, a reputable mortgage broker will have full access to a comprehensive product portfolio at any given time. Let’s face it, mortgage applications can be an arduous task at the best of times, so why not let your broker do the legwork?

Are subprime mortgages more expensive than prime mortgages?

Yes, they are. The costs vary and this is something to explore with your mortgage broker, however the structure – both in terms of cost and risk – is very different now from those on the market pre-crash. This is where your broker will add value, by presenting a suite of products that will match your needs and being able to discuss your options face to face.

Will the recent EU referendum outcome make it easier or harder for me to apply for an adverse credit home loan?

It’s really is too early to say. There are reports to suggest that the subprime lending industry is growing and that home loan products aimed at people with adverse credit has doubled in the last twelve months*, however the direct impact of the Brexit vote is still unfolding.

I think I need to apply for a subprime mortgage. What shall I do next?

Get in touch with a trusted and reputable mortgage broker, who will be able to guide you through your options and advise you on the best route to take. At Complete Mortgages, a Guildford mortgage broker, we have a specialist sub-prime mortgage team that is well versed in securing mortgages for those with poor credit scores. We will offer a free initial consultation but there would be an application fee (typically £749 to £999) if you want to go ahead.

Not looking for a subprime mortgage? Remember, we also arrange first time buyer mortgages, commercial mortgages and bridging loans, too. Simply contact us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

*http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/brexit-jitters-could-lead-to-a-resurgence-for-sub-prime-mortgage-markets-1-8025082


Getting ahead of the game is the key to securing a self-employed mortgage

Tuesday, 6th October, 2015

If you’re like me (and probably the majority of the UK population) then you’ll probably identify with filing your tax return within inches of the 31st January deadline. In fact, hats off to those who do tackle it at the earliest opportunity with the view that once it’s done, it’s done.

However if you’re self-employed and looking to arrange a self-employed mortgage then filing your tax return as soon as you possibly can will not only showcase your organisational skills, but also place you in pole position when it comes to securing a mortgage, too.

Whilst the official deadline for filing your tax return is 31st January, the reality is that lenders want to see that you’ve submitted your accounts within 3-6 months of the end of the tax year. As a result, those making the deadline by a whisker – such as submitting it in January – may get refused a mortgage on the grounds that their accounts are out of date – or, at least they don’t represent their current (and arguably more accurate) status.

As an independent mortgage broker that specialises in contractor mortgages and securing mortgages for the self-employed, our advice is to make your tax return as current as possible.

You don’t necessarily need to have it filed by the 6th April, but in order to give yourself the best chance possible, and have your application considered by as wide a pool of lenders as possible – then certainly make sure you’ve submitted it by early October, otherwise you risk the majority of lenders rejecting your application or requesting more up to date accounts.

Whilst Complete Mortgages provides award-winning mortgage advice and access to the best mortgage deals, we can also compile the best case for self-employed people looking to get their foot on the property ladder.

Whether you’re self-employed and a first time buyer or looking to arrange a buy to let mortgage, we can help. Get in touch to find out how on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


Complete Mortgages celebrates its tenth birthday

Tuesday, 18th August, 2015
Complete Mortgages

Guildford-based mortgage and insurance brokerage, Complete Mortgages, is 10 years old this month having launched the award-winning business in 2005.

Since opening its doors Complete Mortgages has built a nationwide reputation and grown a client base comprising first time buyers, buy to let landlords, teachers and professional sportspeople.

Launched by former Halifax high flier Mark Finnegan, who in 2005 was the only employee, the company now boasts 10 employees, four national awards and access to the whole of the mortgage market.

On celebrating the company’s longevity Mark comments: “The tenth year is a huge milestone for any business and I’m immensely proud that Complete Mortgages has not only beaten a global recession but also become a go-to company when it comes to arranging a mortgage. We now look forward to building the team and taking the business to its next phase over the next ten years.”

As part of its 10th anniversary celebrations Complete Mortgages has launched a series of competitions including a quiz, a ‘referral tombola’ and a Facebook campaign.

For the Facebook campaign, Complete Mortgages has committed to giving away £250 to one lucky winner when it reaches 250 Likes on Facebook. Once reached, the winner will be drawn at random.  For the ‘referral tombola’ one person who refers a friend to  Complete Mortgages by 30th September will win £500, split between the referrer and the new client so that each person receives £250.*

Finally, to be in with a chance to win a bottle of Champagne, all entrants need to do is email the answer to the question below to vicky@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

What was the Bank of England base rate on 16th August 2005?

a) 5.00%

b) 4.75%

c) 4.50%

The deadline for entries is 30th September 2015 and one winner will be randomly drawn from those who answer it correctly.

For more information on Complete Mortgages or to speak with a member of the Complete Mortgages team call 01483 238280.

*Terms and conditions apply. Click here for more information.


Complete Mortgages Secures Industry Award Hat-Trick

Tuesday, 29th October, 2013

Guildford mortgage and insurance brokerage, Complete Mortgages, has scooped the Top Mortgage Adviser of the Year award for the third year in a row – beating off competition from over 350 advisers and mortgage brokers nationwide.

The award celebrates the highest performing mortgage adviser in the UK and was presented to Complete Mortgages’ founder, Mark Finnegan, by former English rugby union player Austin Healey at the Sofitel London Heathrow.

The eighth Mortgage Intelligence / Mortgage Next Network annual conference welcomed 200 attendees from the Mortgage Intelligence and Mortgage Next networks including prominent banks, building societies and insurance providers.

On receiving the award for 2013 Mark comments: “The eighth Mortgage Intelligence / Mortgage Next Network annual conference demonstrates that despite being in a period of economic recovery, the UK financial services sector is still as strong as ever. This award recognises our commitment to our clients and is the result of the hard work that the Complete Mortgages team continues to put in to ensure that our clients are well equipped for their next step. We’re delighted to have received the award for a third year in a row and remain dedicated to delivering first-class customer service and raising the profile of the industry.”

Austin Healey ended the night as evening guest speaker before Sally Laker, Managing Director of Mortgage Intelligence Holdings, closed the ceremony.

For more information on using a mortgage broker click here. To speak with a member of the Complete Mortgages team call us on 01483 233014.