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


How is Coronavirus affecting mortgages?

Friday, 13th March, 2020

There’s nothing like an interest rate cut to get people to sit up and take notice (not that people aren’t already on high alert following the daily stream of news surrounding Coronavirus).

However, an interest rate cut does generally signify some kind of issue. Or, at the very least, provides a signal that something isn’t as it should be.

It’s also quite polarising. On the one hand, you have savers – possibly even those who’ve paid their mortgage off – who will have rolled their eyes at the fact that their savings are no longer earning as much money as they were only a few days ago. 

This also applies to those who’ve recently entered fixed rate mortgage deals, who are likely to experience a period whereby they’re potentially paying more than they would have on non-fixed mortgage deals.

On the other hand, there are those on tracker mortgages who will no doubt welcome a period of cheaper monthly mortgage payments.

Either way, the link between Coronavirus and mortgages is certainly being felt – and not just by homeowners, either. As a team of Guildford mortgage brokers, we are adjusting and adapting our approach to mortgage applications on a daily basis, too.

Negative points aside, and without trying to sound too opportunistic, Coronavirus does present an opportunity for those applying for a mortgage or who are thinking about remortgaging.

As the Bank of England’s interest rate has been cut from 0.75% to 0.25%, lenders are now likely to reduce their mortgage rates, too. Complete Mortgages predicts that any reduction by lenders isn’t going to reflect the entire 0.50% base rate cut, but probably somewhere in the region of 0.10% instead. Of course, rates may not drop at all and this, in part, depends on how long the Coronavirus lasts and how widely felt its impact is.

However, just as those keeping a keen eye on the stock market are waiting to buy back in at the right time, our advice would be to keep in touch with your Guildford mortgage adviser (and by that we mean us) to find out just how low fixed rate mortgages go before committing to a 2, 5 or even 10 year fixed rate mortgage.

For the latest mortgage advice and Coronavirus mortgage updates contact the team on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

Note: those currently in the mortgage application process with Complete Mortgages should not be concerned about disruption of service. All of the team are ready and fully equipped to work from home should that become necessary.


Bridging loan applications set to boom in 2020

Thursday, 27th February, 2020
Bridging Loan

It’s not just UK property prices that are on the bounce now that the general election is behind us. Bridging loans are, too.

According to one London bridging loans specialist*, 66% of developers were more likely to purchase property in 2020 compared with 2019, suggesting that property development is back in vogue.

However, it’s not just professional property developers that can see the benefits of bridging loans  – but also property investors and everyday homeowners, too.

For developers, bridging finance represents a viable way in which to consolidate all lines of borrowing accrued over the course of a project into one manageable loan until the property is sold. For the investor that spots a property at auction and needs to act quickly, a bridging loan is an effective short-term finance solution.

The same is true of homeowners. It wasn’t that long ago that property was selling even before it officially came on the market. This level of competitiveness favours those who are ready to use cash to make a commitment. However, if you’ve found that dream property but haven’t sold your current one, then without finance it remains just that – a dream. Unless you are able to arrange bridging finance, of course.

What types of bridging loan are out there?

Bridging loans are typically open or closed. A closed bridging loan is based on an agreed point whereby the loan is repaid. An open bridging loan is where the timings are not defined. In terms of repayment, this generally takes place when the property or development is sold or refinanced – whenever that may be.

Can anyone get a bridging loan?

If you can prove that you’re creditworthy, have a good credit history and have experience of property development, then it will be easier to get a bridging loan. Even if you don’t meet one or more of those criteria, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get it. Either way, speaking with a bridging loan specialist is highly recommended.

Who shall I call?

Similar to applying for a mortgage, there are many lenders out there that offer bridging finance products. However, we’d recommend making one call to one bridging loan broker who will save you the time and effort in making multiple calls to multiple lenders. As a Guildford bridging loan specialist, Complete Mortgages will not only save you time in finding the right deal for you, but we can access some of the most competitive bridging loans on the market right now.

Bridging loans are specialist products that require specialist advice. Make sure you get the best you can by calling Complete Mortgages on 01483 238280 or emailing info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

*Avamore Capital


Reasons to use a mortgage broker

Friday, 17th January, 2020
REASONS TO USE A MORTGAGE BROKER

Is technology about to make the mortgage broker redundant? Will robots and AI replace the traditional role of your local mortgage adviser?

The answer is ‘yes’, according to news reports from the start of the year, which claim how mortgage applications may be as simple as car insurance in the next 10 years due to advancements in finance-led technological processes.

Does Complete Mortgages agree? No, and here’s why.

1. Power to the people

There are some professions that simply need people; those in the fire service, police and surgeons all spring to mind.  But even it when it comes to the services industry, people generally tend to want to deal with people. Not screens. Or robots. The nuances that dealing with a real person allows (body language, asking questions that would be hard to articulate or communicate when not face to face) play a huge role. And when it comes to getting a mortgage, there is never any shortage of questions. So, from my perspective, applying for a mortgage isn’t an area that’s going to be entirely automated any time soon.

2. Experience is everything

As a Guildford mortgage broker, we’ve arranged mortgages for the widest spectrum of customers, from first time buyers through to equity release mortgage applicants, for many years. As a result, we’ve encountered scenarios and overcome obstructions and situations which, when added together, have a built up a high level of experience, knowledge and understanding of the mortgage sector that technology would find hard to match. Unlike the binary, black or white nature of machines, real mortgage brokers can deal with the shades of grey in-between.

3. Mortgage brokers not machines have relationships with lenders

Similar to point 1, people-based relationships enable a good mortgage broker to pick up the phone and chase the lender (who they may have known for years through working together) about Mr Smith’s mortgage application. This level of personal service, which doesn’t rely on flow diagrams and computer code, is what ultimately speeds up the mortgage application process and gets mortgages approved.

4. The perfect match

Mortgage brokers match specific lenders and specific mortgage deals with specific people. This follows a consultative approach that enables a mortgage broker to fully understand the intricacies of individual applicants’ lives, their financial limitations and personal circumstances. Without fully understanding and appraising someone prior to their mortgage application (a process that can take time), the person trying to get a mortgage may never be presented with the most suitable option.

If you’re looking to arrange a mortgage (with a real person), then contact our team of Guildford mortgage advisers 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.


The benefits of using a mortgage adviser

Tuesday, 13th August, 2019
mortgage broker

It was refreshing to see a piece in the Express, recently, which revealed how a third of homeowners who didn’t use a mortgage adviser had no form of protection.

Refreshing not from an ‘I told you so’ perspective of a mortgage broker, but refreshing to see the benefits of using mortgage brokers being put forward by a national newspaper.

However, it was the fact that this particular article drew attention to an important – if subtle – benefit of using a broker when applying for a mortgage, which is that not only should good mortgage brokers strive to get their customers the very best mortgage deals, but also ensure that they are protected, too.

The article, which focused on research by Legal & General Mortgage Club, revealed how 34% of homeowners that did not use a mortgage adviser do not currently have any kind of financial protection for their mortgage – be that life insurance, critical illness cover or income protection.

Sadly, this means that there are a significant number of homeowners that haven’t accounted for the negative financial impact – and the potential for missed mortgage payments – associated with long-term illness. Essentially, there are currently a large number of UK homeowners that are exposed.

Fortunately for our clients, Complete Mortgages isn’t just a Guildford mortgage broker.

Through our sister brand, Complete Cover, we also provide a wide portfolio of personal cover and mortgage-related insurances so that in the event of illness and even death, those that have taken a mortgage with us can feel rest assured that they (the policy holder and their family) will not run into financial difficulty.

In order to safeguard UK homeowners, it’s essential that mortgage advisers advise and not just broker deals. Articles such as that published by the Express – and research commissioned by Legal & General – will not only play a role in raising awareness of the potential consequences of sub-standard cover, but also make mortgage brokers more accountable in the process, too.

For access to mortgage insurances including property insurance, life insurance, mortgage payment protection and income protection contact the team on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


How to get a cheap mortgage

Wednesday, 7th August, 2019

This isn’t a cheat. Nor does it involve any sneakiness or withholding of information on your part when it comes to applying for a mortgage. And yes, it’s legal!

In fact, it’s so above board that you may even kick yourself and wonder why you haven’t done anything about it before.

Note: if you’re an existing Complete Mortgages customer then this doesn’t apply to you as, for reasons you’ll understand if you read on, we wouldn’t have let this happen to you in the first place.

According to Yorkshire Building Society, more than £26bn worth of mortgage deals are due to mature in October. Simply put, this means that £26bn worth of mortgages are about to slip on to the more expensive standard variable rate (SVR).

It’s a bit like energy providers or telecoms firms; when you’re coming up to the end of your contract you can either renew on a more cost-efficient deal – or start paying more.

The building society’s analysis further reveals that by avoiding the ‘default mortgage setting’ of the SVR through remortgaging, homeowners could be saving themselves up to £200 a month. That’s £2,400 a year!

If you’re not currently a Complete Mortgages customer but are one of the many UK homeowners whose mortgage is about to become more expensive, then our advice is that you start looking into remortgaging as soon as possible. Of course, as an award-winning Guildford mortgage adviser, then we recommend you call us on 01483 238230 to kick start the remortgage process.

Either way, failing to change mortgage deal – or even mortgage lender – if you’re about to fall onto the SVR could end up costing you a pretty penny.

As to why it doesn’t apply to our customers, we contact each and every single one of them months before their mortgage deal is due to end – regardless of whether that’s in October or not.

We have a team of people whose role it is to make sure that not a single client falls onto the SVR. The reason we do this is because being a good mortgage broker isn’t just about making sure the customer gets the best mortgage available to them, but also that they save as much money as possible along the way.

Yes, remortgaging takes a bit of time and legwork (although a mortgage broker worth its salt should gladly handle this for you), but it isn’t particularly difficult. And as the price of not doing it can be as much as £2,400 a year, then why wouldn’t you explore your options.

If you’re not currently a Complete Mortgages customer and think that you might need to remortgage in the not too distant future, then contact the team on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

If you are already a customer, then you needn’t do anything at all. If your remortgaging needs are already catered for then remember that we also specialise in first time buyer mortgages, buy to let mortgages, adverse credit mortgages and equity release mortgages.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


When is the right time to remortgage?

Wednesday, 5th June, 2019
when is the right time to remortgage

Before I answer that question, if you’re still at the stage where you’re wondering ‘is remortgaging right for me?’ then you might want to read our article entitled should I remortgage?

If you’re fully up to speed on the potential benefits of remortgaging, then read on.

Complete Mortgages is a mortgage broker in Guildford, which not only has clients in and around Guildford (the whole of Surrey, in fact), but also those situated throughout the UK.

Yet regardless of where our clients live, they ALL have something in common, which is that they will be contacted around four months before their current mortgage deal ends and alerted to the fact that they are about to fall onto the standard variable rate mortgage.

We do this not because we’re a team of pushy mortgage brokers, but because if we can save our clients money by helping them to get a better mortgage deal as a result of simply offering a good mortgage brokerage service, then a) we will be partly responsible for making a customer happy, and b) good service helps retain good clients. Other excellent mortgage brokers do it – many don’t.  If you’re in the process of finding a good mortgage broker, then always make sure to ask them if that’s a service they provide as standard.

However, if you’ve come upon this article and you’re not one of our customers, the title of this article may well resonate with you – and the answer is, give or take, four months.

Why four months? Firstly, because getting a new mortgage can sometimes take longer than you think and secondly, why put yourself through all that last minute stress and panic by leaving it to the last minute.

Allowing yourself enough time to move comfortably from your existing mortgage to a new one will have a huge psychological benefit and help you on your path towards getting a stress free mortgage.

Of course, if you really want stress free mortgages then my advice is to use a trusted mortgage broker, who will not only let you know when it’s time to start looking for another mortgage, but also do the looking (and the applying) for you.

Complete Mortgages’ proactive remortgage approach doesn’t just apply to one type of mortgage, but all mortgages – from first time buyer mortgages and buy to let mortgages to limited company buy to let mortgages and even commercial mortgages. If you’re a customer of ours and are coming to the end of your mortgage term, then expect a call. If you’re not, but you like the idea of us – and not you – doing the hard work when it comes to applying for a mortgage, then call a member of the Complete Mortgages team on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


Getting a mortgage with bad credit

Saturday, 9th March, 2019

Do you remember the heady days of pre-2007; a time (for a decade or so leading up to the ‘credit crunch’) when there was unfettered access to mortgages and mortgages were granted on the basis of what the applicant stated they earned?

I do, as it was only 2006 when I launched Complete Mortgages as a mortgage broker in Guildford, so I was able to witness the pre-crunch and post-crunch scenarios in a very short space of time.

Pre-2007, those who wanted to buy into homeownership could do so with relative ease. Post-2007, mortgage lending dried up and a more forensic approach was taken when it came to analysing the affordability levels of those applying for a mortgage. So much so, in fact, that adverse credit mortgages, formerly known as sub-prime mortgages, all but dried up completely.

However, after mortgage lending reform, the introduction of tighter legislation and a deeper understanding of how to avoid ending up in a similar situation again, the subprime mortgage is no longer frowned upon. In fact, adverse credit mortgages have quickly become a mainstay amongst mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers UK-wide.

Importantly, those applying for an adverse credit mortgage will need to be able to fully evidence their earnings. The days of self-certification mortgages really are over. Instead, adverse credit mortgages have been designed to help the following groups of people:

1.Those with a history of defaulting on payments

It’s no secret that failing to pay your bills on time is generally frowned upon. However, as we all know, it’s very easy to do. Overlooking payment dates is a common occurrence for many – but should they really be locked out of home ownership because of it.

2. Those who have had County Court Judgments (CCJs)

A CCJ is a type of court order that can be filed against those who owe money yet have failed to pay it back. If you receive a CCJ but fail to pay the amount stated back within 30 days, it is entered on your credit record for six years and is regarded as a serious black mark.

3. Those who have arranged Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs)

Whilst not quite bankruptcy, it is a form of insolvency that’s based on a formal, legally binding agreement to pay off your debts over a period of time. As the courts and the creditors have agreed it, you have to stick to it.

4. Those who have declared themselves bankrupt

The big ‘B’. This one is generally viewed as the end of the line and taken very seriously by mortgage lenders. After all, if someone has been declared bankrupt then they are often viewed as high risk.

5. Those with a thin credit file

If you are new to borrowing – regardless of your age – then there can be little (or zero) history available to enable lenders to build up an accurate financial picture of those looking to borrow. This factor is assessed on a case-by-case basis, but it can have a negative impact on your ability to apply for a mortgage.

If you are hoping to get a mortgage but fall under one of the five areas above, then the good news is that all is not lost. However, you may have to consider applying for a subprime mortgage.

Our team of adverse credit mortgage specialists are on hand to discuss any concerns you may have and help you overcome any mortgage obstacles you’re currently facing. Simply contact us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk. We can also help with standard mortgages, buy to let mortgages, mortgages for self employed people and commercial mortgages, too.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


The 100% mortgage is back – but is it really new?

Thursday, 21st February, 2019
no deposit mortgage

Getting a mortgage without a deposit is, once again, a viable proposition, according to the latest wave of national mortgage news.

The new ‘Lend a Hand’ scheme offered through Lloyds Bank aims to tackle the primary barrier to home ownership experienced by would-be first time buyers – the deposit.

Now, Lloyds Bank will loan up to £500,000 for a new home on the condition that a family member places 10% of the total amount borrowed in a Lloyds Bank account for three years as security.

The drawback? The mortgage is not portable and, should the first-time buyer miss a payment, Lloyds can use the 10% capital to fill any financial holes.

First of all, it should be noted that any innovative way in which to make mortgages more accessible to young people should be applauded. And whilst Lloyds Bank’s proposition is not without its risks, it does go a long way to break down the barriers associated with home ownership amongst the younger generation.

Also, Lloyds Bank’s latest mortgage will no doubt be a success as it hits the sweet spot of a) those who are young and are looking to buy a property, and b) those whose family members can afford to part with 10% of the property’s value in capital on a temporary basis (or not, as the case may be).

However, as a Guildford mortgage broker that has been offering first time buyers a leg up via the no deposit mortgage for some time, this step isn’t particularly new.

Complete Mortgages has had access to ‘deposit-free mortgages’ since early 2018 – and they don’t necessarily require family members to put down 10% of their own capital, either.

The point I’m making is that mortgage brokers and mortgage advisers are not just on hand to do the paperwork that those applying for a mortgage would rather avoid. Nor are we simply on hand to grease the wheels of administration (which, it’s worth pointing out, is a long and resource-intensive process) in order to get the mortgage over the line. Yes, we do that too, but the value mortgage brokers add lies in finding the right mortgages for our customers from a comprehensive range of products, which, at any one time, runs into the thousands.

So, if you’re looking to apply for a 100% mortgage and don’t want to be limited to one option, contact us. We won’t be able to offer you the Lloyds Bank deal a it’s only available on a direct lending basis, but we’ll have a number of similar options for you to choose from.

Similarly, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone to a mortgage broker to discuss any other barriers you may be experiencing when applying for a mortgage. Whether it’s arranging self-employed mortgages, mortgages for teachers or helping those with adverse credit to get a mortgage, mortgage brokers are there to help you make it happen – and you’d be surprised by what hidden gems there are out there. Let us help break down your mortgage barriers. Contact the Complete Mortgages team on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages