90% mortgages are back

Thursday, 14th January, 2021
90% mortgages

Mortgages are a bit like seasons. They continually change.

Prior to the credit crunch of 2007/8, which now feels even longer ago under the weight of the last 12 months, the 90% mortgage (or 10% deposit mortgage, depending on how you look at it) was commonplace.

In fact, compared to recent years, those heady days where nobody batted an eyelid about ultra low deposit mortgages or the ‘self cert’ mortgage feel like a world away.

However, just as this winter will eventually turn to spring, the mortgage market is circling back to easy to access mortgages following some of the major lenders’ decision to reintroduce 90% mortgage deals once again.

Not only do some of the products now on offer include two and five-year fixed rates, but some will also be open to those looking at purchasing their next property, and not just those looking to get a 90% first time buyer mortgage.

Many lenders scrapped their 10% deposit mortgages when the first national lockdown hit last March, fearing huge backlogs associated with physical restrictions on carrying out property surveys. Now that lockdowns seem to have become part of ‘normal’ life, it would appear that lenders are once again comfortable with boosting mortgage availability.

So, if you’re looking to get a 90% mortgage, what should you do? The answer, broadly speaking, is nothing different from what you would usually do when contacting your mortgage broker in order to apply for a mortgage.

As a Guildford mortgage broker with comprehensive access to the UK’s best mortgage deals, we have sight of everything that’s available at any given time – including HSBC’s highly prized product range.

If you have a 10% deposit and are ready to apply for a mortgage – and don’t forget that you only have until spring to benefit from the stamp duty holiday – then our advice is to get in touch with the Complete Mortgages team on 01483 238280 or email us at info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

It’s also worth pointing out that despite a third lockdown, the number of mortgage applications is rapidly increasing. As a result, if you are hoping to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday and want to give yourself as much time as possible before the New Year property rush hits, then you should act sooner rather than later.

Don’t forget, Complete Mortgages specialises in a wide range of mortgages including buy to let mortgages, adverse credit mortgages, equity release mortgages and limited company buy to let mortgages, too.


Business as usual?

Friday, 13th November, 2020
business as usual

As 2020 continues to upend the entire world in one way or another, the use of the word ‘usual’ has become – well, unusual.

In fact, there really hasn’t been anything usual about this year at all; whether it’s global pandemics or global politics, things have unquestionably been very different from what we’ve become used to.

However, despite the uncertainties caused by the current pandemic and the rules and regulations associated with the latest national lockdown, one thing is certain – the housing market remains open for business as usual.

According to Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, homeowners are able to move and estate agents should continue operating. Of course, things will be different and, in the case of property viewings, virtual viewings are likely to increase, but the important point is that those looking to move should keep on looking, and those applying for a mortgage should keep on applying.

Realistically, ‘Is now a good time to move?’ and ‘Is now a good time to get a mortgage?’ are probably more pertinent questions for those thinking of buying a property.

As a Guildford mortgage broker, we saw first-hand how the first national lockdown caused a bottleneck effect when the housing sector temporarily closed. People still need to get a mortgage and move, after all.

This time around things are different, not only because the sector is open and government is actively encouraging people to move if they need to, but also because the Chancellor announced a stamp duty holiday on properties up to £500,000 (and therefore a potential property tax saving of up to £15,000), provided that completion takes place by 31st March 2021 *. ­­

As a result, you have a housing sector that’s open as usual and the equivalent of a discount on the cost of moving available for the next few months.

So yes, now is a good time to move and apply for a mortgage. But let’s be honest, it’s more business as unusual than business as usual.

If you’re hoping to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday then contact the Complete Mortgages team on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk. Remember, we specialise in ALL mortgages from first time buyer mortgages and equity release mortgages, to adverse credit mortgages and commercial mortgages.

* https://www.gov.uk/guidance/stamp-duty-land-tax-temporary-reduced-rates

If you purchase a residential property between 8 July 2020 to 31 March 2021, you only start to pay SDLT on the amount that you pay for the property above £500,000. These rates apply whether you are buying your first home or have owned property before.


Is getting a mortgage quickly October’s priority?

Tuesday, 29th September, 2020

We recently covered how the recession is beginning to bite, and that first time buyer mortgages – particularly low deposit mortgages and no deposit mortgages – are slowly disappearing from lenders’ shelves. However, a recent report claims that mortgage demand is at pre-COVID levels. So, with demand high and availability low, is September a key month to apply for a mortgage?

The answer might just be ‘yes’ – particularly if you fall into the first time buyer mortgage category (and potentially the adverse credit mortgage category, too). But first of all, let’s take a look at the figures.

The Bank of England reported that demand for mortgages rose in July – the first time since lockdown – and that the number of new home loans rocketed from 39,900 in June to 66,300 in July. Whilst this is good for the economy, it is also at odds with a report from Moneyfacts that states how borrowers with a 10% deposit now have almost no low deposit mortgage deals available to them – down from 779 at the beginning of March.

As a Guildford mortgage broker with access to the UK’s best mortgage deals, we can find the right mortgage for everyone. However, given the speed at which mortgage products are disappearing, combined with increasing demand for mortgages, it looks as though another bottleneck could be around the corner; one caused by people scrambling for specific mortgage products just in case they disappear.

Whilst Complete Mortgages is unable to comment on how many more low-deposit mortgages are going to be withdrawn, there certainly seems to be a downward trend.

As a result, the only way in which to address this is to apply for a mortgage as soon as possible; not only so that you have access to the biggest pool of mortgage products available, but also to place yourself firmly in the mortgage application queue, which is likely to continue to grow until the stamp duty holiday is discontinued in March.

If you feel like you’re running out of time when it comes to applying for a mortgage, then let Complete Mortgages handle it all – from initial mortgage consultation to getting a decision from the lender – for you.

Contact our team of Guildford mortgage advisers on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk. And remember, we also handle buy to let mortgages and commercial mortgages, too.


Stamp duty cut could save you £15,000

Thursday, 9th July, 2020

The last few months have been turbulent, to say the least. And if you’re anything like me, then you’ve probably lost track of the countless bailouts, measures and financial packages that have been announced in order to get the UK’s economy back on track.

However, one measure that was announced yesterday by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of the Summer Statement is likely to stick firmly in the mind, particularly with those looking to apply for a mortgage and move home: the cut to stamp duty.

Prior to the announcement, stamp duty on the purchase of a main residence cost £1,500 on properties valued at £200,000; £5,000 on properties valued at £300,000; £10,000 on properties valued at £400,000, and £15,000 on properties valued at £500,000.

As of 8 July, stamp duty no longer applies to residential properties with a value up to £500,000 * – a move that is thought to affect up to 90% of UK homeowners. Not only that, but properties over £500,000 will also attract a much lower level of stamp duty, too.

It’s important to remember that this isn’t something that will stay around forever. In fact, it’s a stamp duty holiday – and one that will only last until 31 March 2021. The announcement, of course, has been designed to get the economy (and homeowners) moving, and with rates so attractively low – or non-existent in the case of purchases up to £500,000 – Complete Mortgages expects there to be a flurry of activity over the coming months.

It’s also important to note that, in real terms, the stamp duty holiday actually increases a homeowner’s purchasing power by effectively boosting their deposit. For example, if you’re looking to move home and your budget’s £500,000, then the £15,000 saved in tax can be used to increase the amount you’re putting down on the property. Rather than pay 3% in tax, you can increase your deposit by 3% – a double win that will be particularly welcomed by those looking for high loan to value mortgages.

Ironically, as a Guildford mortgage broker that has experienced its busiest June ever, we haven’t seen anything but a flurry of activity during the lockdown period. Still, we applaud the Chancellor’s bold move and we expect those applying for a mortgage in the UK will be equally appreciative.

So, the countdown is on. Will you take advantage of it?

UK homeowners now have nine months to benefit from the stamp duty holiday and reduce their property tax bill. If you’re looking to get a mortgage over the coming months, Complete Mortgages can help. Contact us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk to begin your mortgage application.

* the 3% higher rate for purchases of additional dwellings (including buy to lets) applies on top of revised standard rates above for the period 8 July 2020 to 31 March 2021.


Getting a mortgage after lockdown

Tuesday, 26th May, 2020
getting a mortgage after lockdown

The last few articles have covered getting a mortgage during lockdown (and demonstrated that despite this strange time, you can still apply for a mortgage from the comfort of your home using our video mortgage broker service).

So, looking ahead to life after lockdown, we thought we’d help you get ready when it comes to applying for a mortgage – in person!

Although we’re a Guildford mortgage broker we have a national base of customers, many of whom have always preferred to conduct their mortgage application remotely. However, whether you’re applying for a mortgage from afar, or seeing our team of award-winning Guildford mortgage brokers in the flesh, you still need the same documentation in order to get the process moving.

If you’re someone who’s getting a mortgage after COVID-19 has cleared, then here’s a mortgage application checklist that will help you to get organised and ensure that your application goes as smoothly as possible. If you plan to take advantage of our mortgage advice over video and apply for a mortgage during lockdown anyway, then this will still be a useful guide.

What’s even more useful is that we’ve broken it down into two parts: one for employed mortgage applicants and the other for self-employed mortgage applicants.

Essential mortgage documentation if you’re employed

  1. Passport. Make sure you have one – and that it’s valid.
  2. Proof of address dated within the last 3 months. Examples include utility bills, bank statements or credit card statements.
  3. Proof of deposit. You need to be able to clearly demonstrate how you intend to fund the deposit using bank or savings account statements that go as far back as 6 months.  If your deposit originates from sources other than savings (for example – a gift from a relative), we will need appropriate evidence of this.
  4. Last 3 months’ bank statements for your main account(s).  These should show all transactions including salary credits and bills being paid (we can accept internet statements as long as they include your name and account number).
  5. Last 3 months’ payslips (13 weeks if paid weekly).
  6. Last 2 P60’s
  7. Proof of bonuses for the past 2 years. If you have received bonuses then this will need to be clear on the payslips.

Essential mortgage documentation if you’re self-employed

  1. Passport. Make sure you have one – and that it’s valid.
  2. Proof of address dated within the last 3 months. Examples include utility bills, bank statements or credit card statements.
  3. Proof of deposit. You need to be able to clearly demonstrate how you intend to fund the deposit using bank or savings account statements that go as far back as 6 months.  If your deposit originates from sources other than savings (for example – a gift from a relative), we will need appropriate evidence of this.
  4. Last 3 months’ bank statements for your main account(s).  These should show all transactions including salary credits and bills being paid (we can accept internet statements as long as they include your name and account number).
  5. Online Tax Calculation and HMRC Tax Year Overview.  We will typically need these for the last 2-3 tax years.
  6. Signed limited company accounts for the last 3 years (Limited Company directors/shareholders only)
  7. Current and previous contract plus CV (contractors only)

Please remember that you can still apply for a mortgage with Complete Mortgages using the telephone, video technology and digital documentation. Simply call us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk to arrange a virtual appointment.  But if you’d rather wait, then at least you have some time to pull everything together.

Stay safe in the meantime.

By Mark Finnegan at Complete Mortgages


Property market to restart as valuations get green light

Wednesday, 13th May, 2020
guildford mortgage broker

Physical property valuations are set to resume following the UK government’s decision to begin easing off lockdown conditions and boost economic activity.

The decision, which will see home visits permitted where digital solutions cannot be found – and within the parameters of social distancing guidelines – signals the reawakening of the property market.

The move comes as a number of prominent UK lenders announce that they will resume lending activity across residential and buy-to-let products.

Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages, comments: “UK businesses have handled lockdown exceptionally well and developed a number of innovative strategies to continue life as routinely as is possible given the circumstances. However, COVID-19 looks set to have a long-term impact and on that basis, it’s important that we look to find ways in which we can protect the property market and the UK economy as a whole. Reinstating physical valuations will expedite lending, get the property market moving and lessen the inertia that has started to affect homeowners throughout the UK.”

Complete Mortgages, a Guildford mortgage broker, has launched a series of COVID-19 mortgage initiatives to ensure business continuity when it comes to helping those looking to apply for a mortgage, including offering mortgage advice over video.

“We fully intend to limit face to face contact wherever possible until a clear end is in sight”, concludes Mark. “However, the property market is a key economic driver. If physical property valuations can take place in a way that’s safe for surveyors and homeowners, then it will undoubtedly inject life into the sector and ultimately give the local and national economies a much-needed boost.”

Virtual mortgage broker appointments can be arranged with Complete Mortgages by calling 01483 238280 or emailing info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.


From office-less to paperless, this virtual mortgage broker is in full swing

Sunday, 3rd May, 2020
virtual mortgage broker

You may know by now that Complete Mortgages is currently a Guildford mortgage broker with a twist; the twist being that our team of Guildford mortgage experts is not, in fact, based in Guildford at all, as COVID-19 measures mean that they – much like the majority of the UK workforce – are working from home.

In fact, given the various locations of our team at the moment, I guess it now makes us a Surrey mortgage broker. Irrespective, we’ve taken another step to further eradicate our physical footprint* – this time by doing away with paper, too.

Yes, Complete Mortgages has made Eversign – the e-signature technology platform that allows people to sign, act on and manage agreements from anywhere in the world and without relying on someone to physically sign a single sheet of paper – part of our business.

We’ve been thinking of implementing this for some time. After all, it makes applying for a mortgage with a mortgage broker even quicker; even less of our clients’ time is wasted by either waiting for – and then sending back – envelopes containing important mortgage documents, and there’s no pressure to come into our offices (in ‘normal’ times, that is) to sign anything.

Furthermore, it’s a sustainable way of doing business – something that we’re looking to improve on all the time.

However, the current pandemic has undoubtedly made us refocus on Eversign for its ability to help facilitate quick and easy mortgage applications during COVID-19.

So, not only do our clients now have the ability to arrange a video mortgage broker consultation with any member of the team at a time and day that suits them (and using their preferred video platform), but they can also finalise the paperwork in a secure and immediate manner, too.

COVID-19 is understandably weighing heavy on people’s minds at the moment, but our advice is don’t let it stop you from doing everything, particularly as technology means that you really don’t need to let it – certainly when it comes to getting a mortgage, anyway.

*Note: we would, in fact, prefer to be in our offices right now but we can’t, so we’re making the best of the situation in order to continue helping our clients apply for a mortgage

Apply for a mortgage with our team of Guildford mortgage advisers any time – and from anywhere. Simply call us on 01483 238280 or email sam@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

By Sam Man at Complete Mortgages


Coronavirus and mortgages – the facts

Friday, 27th March, 2020
Coronavirus and mortgages

As if all the current panic around Coronavirus wasn’t enough, it seems that a load more has been created in the wake of government’s decision to put the property market on ice by stopping estate agents from marketing new properties and preventing viewings for those already on sale.

If you’re about to apply for a mortgage, in the process of applying for a mortgage or are waiting for a mortgage offer, then you might be concerned.

However, whilst we’re very closely related, estate agents and mortgage brokers are from different families. So much so, in fact, that issues directly impacting estate agents might not necessarily impact mortgage brokers to the same degree, and vice versa.

The currently unfolding Coronavirus property panic is a good example.

Whilst estate agents may be putting viewings on hold for the time being, mortgage brokers such as Complete Mortgages are very much in ‘business as usual’ mode. Not only that, but there’s no need to be overly concerned – and here’s why.

1. Mortgage lenders are still lending

There are countless mortgage applications working their way through the financial institutions at any given time. These need to be effectively managed and processed. Whilst some lenders have reduced application volumes in alignment with their inability to value properties, the wheels of the mortgage sector are still turning. To make the point clear, we’re still working with lenders that are offering mortgages at normal loan to value levels – albeit, where you are looking to borrow above 85% loan to value, then the chances are that there will be a delay with the property valuation.

2. Valuations are being delayed, not dismissed

If you’ve applied for a mortgage and are awaiting a valuation, then it will be on hold until things return to normal. However, just remember that everyone is in the same boat, so you’re not at a disadvantage.

3. Extended mortgage offers are now the norm

Already received an offer, but not yet exchanged? Don’t panic, it’s highly likely that your lender will extend the mortgage offer by up to three months to offset any fallout from Covid-19. This has effectively been rubber-stamped following a joint statement supporting the move by UK Finance and the Building Societies Association, too. These are exceptional times and everyone – even the lender – is doing their best to adapt to them.

4. Get ahead of the curve

And no, we don’t mean the much-debated Coronavirus curve. Many people would have been ready to apply for a mortgage before Coronavirus hit. There will also be many people who have decided to move forward with buying a house during the crisis. When balance has been restored, pent-up demand for mortgages will result in a huge influx of applications.

Whilst property viewings might be on hold, your mortgage application needn’t be. Our view is take advantage of a moving mortgage market now and get your application underway so that when the dust has settled, you don’t have to compete with other people frantically looking to get a post-Coronavirus mortgage deal.

Complete Mortgages is a Guildford mortgage broker that specialises in a wide range of mortgage products, from first time buyer mortgages and buy to let mortgages to adverse credit mortgages and equity release. Whether you have general Coronavirus mortgage concerns or are ready to apply for a mortgage, contact the team on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


Cheap mortgages and flat property growth

Monday, 27th January, 2020
cheap mortgages

You’ll be pleased to know that despite the ominous title, this article is not a dreary take on the UK’s bleak property outlook. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

According to Nationwide, weak property price growth in 2019 coupled with rising wages and employment played a driving factor in helping first time buyers get a mortgage. In fact, in the 12 months to October 2019, 354,400 got a foot on the property ladder – more than double the lows of 2009.

As a Guildford mortgage broker, the team at Complete Mortgages believes that there is also a third factor at play: the ability to get a cheap mortgage.

We covered this in a recent article about remortgaging, which touched on the number of great mortgage deals currently on the market. However, we didn’t examine cheap mortgage deals against the backdrop of flat property prices, so let’s do that now.

1. Now is the time to apply for a cheap mortgage

Huge competition amongst mortgage lenders is driving down mortgage rates. But just remember: nothing lasts forever. Maybe you’re a first time buyer searching for a first time buyer mortgage. Or maybe you’re simply ready to upsize. Either way, mortgages don’t come much cheaper than what they are right now, so if you’re ready to arrange a mortgage, then now is the time to do it.

2. Cheap mortgages + flat property price growth = a good deal

Take point one and add the fact that property prices are not currently skyrocketing, and you might find that you have more purchasing power than you thought (or certainly more than you did a couple of years ago). However, the ‘nothing lasts forever’ point stands here, too, as the same Nationwide survey stated how prices moved up 0.1% in December. Now, if they continue to move up then this is, effectively, eroding the value of your mortgage deposit.

3. Don’t hang around

We’ve covered how now’s the time to take advantage of the best mortgage deals. We’ve also looked at this in tandem with flat lining property prices, which may not be flat lining for long. And let’s not forget that the ambiguity around Brexit, which has been instrumental in the stalling of property price growth, seems to be over. Finally then, with employment and wage growth, you might want to ask yourself whether or not interest rate rises will follow. In which case, the three things currently working in your favour may switch to become the three things that ultimately work against you.

We can’t predict what is going to happen with property prices, employment growth and interest rates – and this article certainly doesn’t represent any advice on our part – however, they are certainly three points to consider if you’re contemplating getting a mortgage in 2020.

Ready to apply for a mortgage and in need of good mortgage advice? Look no further as our team of Guildford mortgage advisers will be able to help guide you through the process and make getting a mortgage as seamless as possible. Call us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.


Guildford mortgage broker launches mobile mortgage service

Friday, 11th October, 2019
mortgages@work

Complete Mortgages, the award-winning mortgage broker in Guildford, has launched Mortgages@Work – a mobile mortgage brokerage service that visits workplaces to help those unable to apply for a mortgage, or who keep putting it off, due to pressures associated with juggling work and home life.

Mortgages@Work will see the Surrey mortgage broker send a team of mortgage specialists, either at the request of the employer or employee, to deliver free mortgage consultations on a one-to-one basis, each lasting 20-30 minutes. Complete Mortgages will also waive the broker fee for those borrowing over £200,000.

Suitable for anyone buying their first home, those coming to the end of their term and looking to remortgage, or homeowners planning on making home improvements, Mortgages@Work has been designed to prevent work from getting in the way when it comes to homeownership.

On launching the new service, Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages, comments: “Finding the time to apply for a mortgage can be hard, particularly for families where both parents work or those in high pressure jobs who find it difficult to leave the office. Whether you’re an employee hoping to get your first foot on the property ladder or an employer looking to offer this service to your team, we will send our award-winning mortgage brokers to your place of work at a time that suits.”

A minimum of four broker appointments is required before Complete Mortgages will commit to a workplace visit, however, those who receive a workplace mortgage consultation will benefit from a personalised quote and recommendations within 48 hours of meeting.

“Work really shouldn’t get in the way of applying for a mortgage, yet feedback from our clients suggests that work is often a barrier to making the largest and often most important purchase”, concludes Mark. “Our new service will take the pressure off and make getting a mortgage even more accessible.”

Those interested in receiving a workplace mortgage consultation should contact 01483 238280 or email workplace@complete-mortgages.co.uk.  For more information on Complete Mortgages visit www.complete-mortgages.co.uk.