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.


Get a good mortgage deal (while you still can)

Monday, 7th September, 2020

We’re revisiting the benefits of remortgaging this week. For good reason, too, as finding a great mortgage deal is becoming increasingly difficult.

It’s no surprise that the UK economy is under strain given the current crisis. However, one of its knock-on effects has been an increase in mortgage rates in tandem with a decrease in the number of mortgage products available from lenders.

In fact, getting a good mortgage deal isn’t as easy as it was only a couple of weeks ago – both in terms of mortgage rates and mortgage product choice. According to Moneyfacts, mortgage products dropped by 202 – or from 2,728 to 2,526 – from the beginning of July to the beginning of August.

In particular, those applying for a fixed rate mortgage and who require anything above 75% loan to value are likely to be wondering what’s happened, particularly given how mortgage rates have sat at historic lows over recent months.

Whether you’re looking to remortgage, or simply want to apply for a first time buyer mortgage, the good news is that all is not lost. After all, good UK mortgage deals haven’t disappeared altogether.

Yes, there are fewer mortgages available. And yes, mortgages that only required a 5% deposit are likely to remain absent until the economy is in a much stronger position. But there are options, and Complete Mortgages is able to assist mortgage applicants at every end of the spectrum.

Furthermore, as an award-winning mortgage broker in Guildford that’s part of the Mortgage Intelligence Network, our team of Guildford mortgage brokers are able to source the very best mortgage deals available at any given time. So, where there are good deals to be had, Complete Mortgages has ready access to them.

Don’t be disheartened by the shrinking pool of mortgage products. However, do take it as a sign that you should act quickly if you want to get a mortgage before the recession worsens and leads to further restricted availability.

If you want to remortgage or apply for any of the specialist mortgages we offer, such as buy to let mortgages, commercial mortgages and adverse credit mortgages, then get in touch on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

By Mark Finnegan at Complete Mortgages


Interest in commercial mortgages grows

Monday, 24th August, 2020
COMMERCIAL MORTGAGES

It’s very difficult to offer mortgage advice that isn’t, in some way, framed around COVID-19, simply because everything is changing as a result of it. We even touched on COVID fatigue on a recent article on remortgaging.

Yet, here we are again offering a COVID-tinged article. However, this one is slightly different as it touches on an area that we haven’t covered for some time and affects those applying for a commercial mortgage.

If you’re a commercial landlord right now, then this period of economic uncertainty – not to mention swathes of the UK workforce currently working from home instead of the office – is likely to have made you ask yourself a number of questions.

Maybe you’re an employer that’s come to the realisation that your business operates perfectly well even with your employees working from home, and that the large offices you own have simply become an unnecessary overhead. As a result, you’ve decided to maintain an office presence, but downsize to a much smaller one. Equally, maybe your business is growing, or you’re simply tired of working from home, and have decided to take advantage of the market and buy a small office with a commercial mortgage.

If you fit into either of these categories, then you’re probably looking at commercial mortgage options and highly motivated to uncover the best commercial mortgage deals.

The benefits of taking out a commercial mortgage

1. There are many advantages of getting a commercial mortgage. Here are a few:
2. Commercial mortgages generally provide better interest rates than standard business loans
3. Commercial mortgage interest is tax deductible
4. You can rent out office space, or even a single desk, the revenue from which can be used to repay your commercial mortgage
5. As with any property, if your business property increases in value, so too does your capital

Complete Mortgages is a mortgage broker in Guildford that specialises in commercial mortgages and has been able to arrange a commercial mortgage for a large number of businesses up and down the UK.

Whilst we’re already seeing an increase in applications for commercial mortgages, we believe that the fallout from COVID-19 will lead to even higher demand for this type of mortgage in the coming months, particularly – albeit sadly – as the government’s furlough scheme comes to an end in the autumn and employers inevitably restructure their workforce.

On that basis, we’re urging those looking to get a commercial mortgage in the short term to contact us sooner rather than later so that we can get Complete Mortgages’ clients at the front of what we expect to be a long queue of commercial mortgage applications by the end of summer.

Contact us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk to discuss your commercial mortgage requirements, or to ask us to find you the most competitive commercial mortgage deals on the market right now.


Time to get a fixed rate mortgage before the general election?

Monday, 2nd December, 2019
mortgage rates

This article really couldn’t be timelier.

It also follows on nicely from my recent article on remortgaging, which encouraged homeowners to take advantage of the great mortgage deals currently on the market and consider getting a remortgage deal in place – even if it’s not strictly necessary – now just in case things take a turn for the worse in 2020.  After all, any offer made by a lender now is valid for six months and a lot could happen between now and then.

In fact, the theme of this piece is almost the same as that article in as much as it broadly covers the same topic – getting a cheap mortgage – however it does so in a more specific way, based on a more pressing event: the general election.

The last piece covered Brexit mortgage uncertainty and any possible interest rate rises in 2020. This piece tackles how the general election may affect mortgage rates, particularly given how they’re currently at rock bottom prices.

Only last week, The Sun covered how those who get a five-year fixed rate mortgage before the election could save themselves £4,350 a year. Similarly, Martin Lewis has highlighted how the UK’s political and economic uncertainty has translated into an opportunity for mortgage holders and is encouraging homeowners to look at good mortgage deals now to avoid potentially becoming vulnerable if what happens after the 12 December has a negative impact on mortgages.

Whether you’re new to the housing market and want to apply for a first time buyer mortgage, or you know your current mortgage deal is due to end, my advice is that you contact us to explore your mortgage options, see if there’s an opportunity for you to get a better mortgage deal and make sure that everything’s in place – namely a mortgage offer – before election day.

As a large and growing Guildford mortgage broker with a comprehensive panel of lenders, we not only have access to the best UK mortgage deals, but we also have a team large enough to process your application quickly, which is exactly what you need if you want to take advantage of what may, in hindsight, turn out to be the calm before the storm.

Complete Mortgages also has access to the most competitive specialist mortgages including commercial mortgages, adverse credit mortgages, buy to let mortgages, limited company buy to let mortgages and mortgages for contractors.


Guide to bridging loans

Thursday, 24th October, 2019
guide to bridging loans

Do you remember the heady days (and they weren’t that long ago) when a property would be sold within minutes of going on sale?

In some cases, the buyer hadn’t even seen the property – they just knew it would be a good investment, or they simply knew they had to stake their claim in order to be in with a chance to move and avoid upsetting their buyer by holding up the chain.

In both cases, applying for a bridging loan may have been essential in order to buy one property whilst still owning another.

This heated rush to buy property has cooled somewhat, arguably down to another word beginning with ‘b’, however the bridging loan (and an understanding of how to get a bridging loan) is still important.

So that you’re up to speed when it comes to short-term loans, here is a Complete Mortgages bridging loan briefing.

1. What is a bridging loan?

Let’s start with the basics. A bridging loan provides short-term finance so that you can, amongst other things, either a) fund the purchase of another property before the one you currently own has sold, or b) fund building works prior to accessing the cash via a traditional mortgage. A bridging loan will typically run for up to 12 months, although longer term products are available on the market.

2. What’s the difference between a bridging loan and a commercial mortgage?

Bridging loans are generally required for as little as a matter of months, weeks or even days. Commercial mortgages, on the other hand, are long-term loans taken by businesses looking to buy property.

3. Does that mean I can only get a bridging loan for residential property?

No. Bridging loans can be used to fund both residential and commercial properties – but only on a short-term basis. It’s simply used as an interim measure and a way in which to get access to finance when you really need it.

4. What are the restrictions on bridging loans?

Bridging loans are a flexible way in which to borrow money and can used to fund all types of property. They’re also a lot less restrictive than traditional loans and can even be used to fund self-build projects until a standard mortgage is agreed.

5. Does that mean that they’re easier to get?

In many ways, yes. If you’re a business applying for a bridging loan then the process is unregulated, which means the bridging loan application process is very quick. However, if you’re a homeowner looking to bridge the gap to your next property, then the lender will assess your income and outgoings as part of the application. As a Guildford bridging loan specialist, we can guide you through this process.

6. What about the monthly repayments?

Bridging loans don’t typically require monthly repayments as the cost is generally rolled up into the loan. However, as you might expect with a short-term loan that provides this degree of flexibility, the rates are higher than typical mortgages. The team at Complete Mortgages can provide you with a selection of products and discuss their suitability with you during the bridging loan application stage.

7. What are the next steps?

If you’re interested in applying for a bridging loan then contact a member of the team on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

As a Guildford mortgage broker we also handle other specialist mortgages such as adverse credit mortgages, limited company buy to let mortgages and mortgages for teachers, too.

Commercial and bridging loans are processed through our subsidiary company, Complete Mortgages Property Limited.


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


Six top tips on equity release mortgages

Wednesday, 20th March, 2019
Equity Release Mortgages

If you’re considering going down the equity release mortgage route, then you’re probably aware of the overall concept behind them, how they work and the benefits of releasing equity from your home – particularly if you’re 55 years old and above and looking to free up capital.

If that’s not the case, then read our ‘Are equity release mortgages good or bad?’ article, which provides a quick and easy guide to equity release.

However, if you are further down the line and are now thinking about the wider implications, then these six tips may be of interest.

1. Consider the alternatives

Equity release mortgages are effective and their growing popularity reflects this, however it’s always good to know your options. When it comes to alternatives, then the most cost effective way of raising capital is to downsize. However, if space is important to you and you want to stay in your home and have more money at your disposal, then applying for an equity release mortgage could be a more suitable route.

2. Keep your family in the loop

Equity release is a big decision and one with a number of potential repercussions for children and family members later on down the line. Our advice, when it comes to equity release mortgages, is to make your intentions clear to all those who may be affected by an equity release contract in the future.

3. Big decisions require good mortgage brokers

As a Guildford mortgage broker, we’ve seen – and helped people through – the effects of poor equity release decisions made on the back of bad advice. Getting an equity release mortgage is a significant decision and one that needs to be backed up by sound advice. Make sure that choosing a good mortgage broker is on your list of priorities before committing yourself to anything.

4. Know the numbers

Fees and compound interest form part of equity release mortgage deals. It’s no different from any other mortgage agreement in that regard, however this may have more implications on those who, as they get older, are likely to work and earn less. Know where you stand and how much it’s going to cost you before you sign the paperwork.

5. Equity release is convenient…

…but it can also be an expensive way to borrow. If, after getting good advice from a mortgage broker, you decide to apply for an equity release mortgage, then make sure you don’t take out more than you need, as any excess money will be accruing interest up until the point that your property is sold.

6. Lowest isn’t always the best

Choosing a mortgage with the lowest possible rate is pretty much a priority for everyone. However, when it comes to equity release, lowest isn’t necessarily the best. Equity release mortgage deals often include special features, such as offering the borrower the ability to make monthly repayments to avoid interest rolling up. Whilst the premium for this may be a slightly higher interest rate, it may work out more beneficial on a long-term basis and provide a greater degree of flexibility.

Still unsure about equity release mortgages? Contact one of our equity release mortgage specialists on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk to find out more. Remember, we’re not just specialists in equity release mortgages but also first time buyer mortgages, buy to let mortgages and commercial mortgages, too.

By Mark Lucas, Equity Release Specialist 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


A guide to commercial mortgages

Tuesday, 8th January, 2019

There’s never a shortage of debate around residential mortgages and buy to let mortgages. Even equity release mortgages are currently basking in the sunlight after the amount of equity released from the properties of UK homeowners hit over £1bn. However, one type of mortgage that often gets overlooked is the commercial mortgage.

According to the Federation of Small Businesses, there were 5.7 million private sector businesses at the start of 2017 – up 197,000 from 2017 and 2.2 million more than in 2000.

It stands to reason, then, that whilst the process of applying for a commercial mortgage doesn’t get as much airtime as residential mortgages (there are less UK businesses than UK properties, after all), commercial mortgage applications are on the up.

As a mortgage broker in Guildford, an area where there is a high concentration of business owners, we have seen an increase in the number of people interested in getting a commercial mortgage over the years. Yet when comparing applicants’ knowledge of commercial mortgages with residential mortgages, there are huge gaps.

So, here’s our brief guide to the commercial mortgage in the hope that it provides you with enough information to get you started.

1. What is a commercial mortgage?

Commercial mortgages are used to buy land or property for a business. Equally, a commercial mortgage can be used to expand an existing business or for property development. It’s generally a long-term loan spanning 10 to 20 years and lenders are generally willing to lend up to 70% of the total value of the property, although they can consider lending more where they are happy with the overall circumstances. The remaining funds are expected to come from the business.

2. What are the benefits of taking out a commercial mortgage?

If you run a business and want to protect yourself against escalating rental costs, then owning a business premises is a great way of controlling this particular overhead. Also, just like residential properties, commercial property values can increase, the equity of which can give you an added buffer in fallow periods or when cash flow is poor.

3. Are commercial mortgages easy to get?

There are many lenders offering commercial mortgages. The trick is finding the one that works for you and your business. As a commercial mortgage specialist, Complete Mortgages can help you identify a lender from a wide pool of commercial mortgage lenders that we work with and that can support your short and long term objectives.

4. What about commercial mortgage rates?

They are typically higher than residential mortgage rates and tend to vary. A good mortgage broker will help you identify a commercial mortgage that best suits your needs.

5. Is my credit rating still important in order to get a business mortgage?

Yes, it is important. However, rather than just looking at your personal credit rating, a lender will also be able to get a good indication of whether or not you’re a ‘safe bet’ by looking at your business as a whole, which is a good thing.

6. Is there anything I need to be aware of?

The commercial mortgage journey is arguably less predictable than that of a residential mortgage. Residential mortgages are quite linear; you need somewhere to live and once you’re on the property ladder, the chances are you won’t get off. Businesses are different. Many grow, many fail and sometimes businesses owners simply decide to go and do something entirely different. As a result, you need to be aware of the financial commitments of a commercial mortgage and have a good idea of what you’re looking to achieve before taking out a commercial mortgage.

This is only a brief guide to commercial mortgages. If you’re interested in finding out more information then contact the Complete Mortgages team on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk to find out more.