Equity release during lockdown is easier than you think

Tuesday, 19th May, 2020
Equity release during lockdown

Without wanting to labour the virtual mortgage broker point that we’ve made in recent articles (to summarise, it’s that we’re continuing business as usual by conducting mortgage consultations via video), we thought it might be worth highlighting that getting an equity release mortgage during lockdown is very easy.

Although equity release mortgages can be slightly more complex than standard mortgages – and whilst there is arguably more to consider when it comes to releasing equity from your property – the mortgage application process is broadly the same.

However, as a Guildford mortgage broker that has arranged countless equity release mortgages for its clients over recent years, Complete Mortgages can guide you through the process and discuss with you the pros and cons of equity release.

But before we get to that stage, let’s address some of the basic equity release questions that we’re currently being asked.

Is now a good time to apply for an equity release mortgage?

There is a raft of great mortgage deals available right now – and the recent interest rate cut has contributed to this. However, the answer to this question is less about COVID-19 and more about your personal circumstances. In terms of applying for an equity release mortgage – and us processing it – then there really is no difference between now and pre-COVID-19; we’re still offering the same service (albeit remotely).

The real point to consider is whether or not now is the right time for you. This is a point that a Complete Mortgages equity release mortgage broker can help you establish during a video mortgage consultation, which you can arrange by calling 01483 238280.

Is it better to wait until everything’s back to normal – or is remote mortgage advice okay?

In an ideal world, meeting face-to-face to discuss equity release would be the preferable option. Sadly, we’re not living in an ideal world right now. Not only that, but we have no idea when we’ll return to a world that resembles life pre-Coronavirus.  So, that takes us back to the previous question. If you’d rather meet face-to-face and there’s no pressure to arrange equity release, then maybe wait to see what happens. If not, then through our video mortgage broker service we can progress it immediately.

What about the equity release paperwork?

This isn’t a problem, either. We’ve recently started using Eversign, so that ALL documentation can be safely and securely signed from your home. You can read more about it here.

Regardless of the type of mortgage you’re looking to apply for, Complete Mortgages can handle all applications via a combination of video and digital documentation technology. ‘Is equity release right for me?’ is the question you need to start with – and if you still can’t answer it, then pick up the phone and let us help you decide through our award-winning, impartial mortgage advice.

Don’t let COVID-19 put your life on hold. For equity release mortgage advice contact us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

By Mark Finnegan at Complete Mortgages


The truth about remortgaging with Complete Mortgages

Friday, 15th May, 2020
guildford mortgage broker

For many, getting a remortgage can be a daunting process. Add a global pandemic into the mix and it can all be all too easy to pull down the shutters, stick your head in the sand and make do with the standard variable rate mortgage (SVR) – even if just for a little while.

Honesty is always the best policy, so I’d like to start with a couple of simple truths.

First truth: arranging a remortgage with a mortgage broker is easy

Well, it should be – if you’ve picked a good mortgage broker.

As we’ve mentioned before, all of our clients receive a call from one of the Complete Mortgages team well in advance of defaulting onto the SVR. However, we’re a proactive mortgage broker – and not every mortgage broker is the same. Those already with Complete Mortgages will never find themselves defaulting onto the SVR. Those who aren’t with Complete Mortgages – and who might be inclined to put off dealing with their mortgage until Covid-19 is behind them – needn’t worry, either.

Our team of remortgage experts will be able to identify a new mortgage that suits you very quickly. The only thing you need to do is pick up the phone and call 01483 238280 or email me us info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

Second truth: we will only suggest you change lender if it’s in your interest

If it’s not, we won’t – and if that happens, you’ll have had FREE mortgage advice as you won’t have to pay a fee.

If, after searching for a better mortgage deal, we deem that staying with your existing lender is the right option for you, then there’s no fee and minimal paperwork involved in jumping onto another mortgage. You’ll also have the peace of mind and protection associated with using a mortgage broker in coming to that decision. If another lender offers a more competitive mortgage deal, then we’ll manage the entire process for a fee of £399.

Hasn’t Covid-19 changed all this?

Yes and no.

If you’re simply looking to remortgage or explore your options when it comes to getting a new mortgage, then our virtual mortgage broker service means that you don’t need to meet us face-to-face as we can do it all over the phone. You can read more about that here.

If you’re an existing Complete Mortgages client who’s considering a mortgage payment holiday then we can advise you on this. Similarly, if you’re an existing Complete Mortgages client who’s considering a mortgage payment holiday AND is due to remortgage, then we can address it all in one call. If you’re not an existing client but would like help with a remortgage – or just general mortgage advice – then get in touch.

Don’t let Covid-19 put you off saving money on your mortgage. We’re a Guildford mortgage brokerage that can get you the best mortgage deals and help you tick ‘sort new mortgage’ off your to-do list in no time. Contact me on 01483 238280 or email ben@complete-mortgages.co.uk.


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


COVID-19 remortgage advice

Monday, 27th April, 2020
covid-19 remortgage

By now I imagine that we’ve all seen the economic devastation that COVID-19 continues to leave in its wake – and even the comparisons being made between its impact and that of The Great Depression of 1929.

This is clearly not good news for anyone. In the context of mortgages, experts are already suggesting that house prices may fall 13% (or an average of £38,000) by the end of the year.

This could, unfortunately, place a number of people into the dreaded realm of negative equity, whereby the property asset they own is worth less than what they borrowed.

Those with high loan to value mortgages are most at risk. However, it’s important to remember that negative equity doesn’t equate to repossession. As long as you can afford mortgage repayments in the interim then there isn’t really an issue. And for those who can afford to continue paying their mortgage repayments and plan to sit tight in their current property for the foreseeable future – or at least until property prices rise again – then it’s even less of a concern.

However, just because you’re not in a precarious situation doesn’t mean that there’s nothing further you can do. In fact, if you have the opportunity to remortgage during COVID-19 then you could use this period to get a better mortgage deal before (and if) your loan to value ratio increases due to a drop in property prices.

As a Guildford mortgage broker that proactively reaches out to its clients to let them know when they’re due to default to the standard variable rate (SVR) – and there are many of them that we’re contacting right now – our existing clients are currently securing the best mortgage deals in the UK.

However, if you’re not an existing Complete Mortgages client, have an inkling that you’re mortgage deal is coming to an end but are reluctant to change your mortgage during COVID-19 the pandemic, then don’t worry. Not only can we access the most competitive mortgage deals available right now, but we’re also offering a ‘mortgage application over video’ service – so there’s no need to physically come to our offices.

Despite lockdown, we can help you stay clear of the SVR and get you locked into a preferable mortgage rate for life post-COVID-19 – whenever that may be.

However, if you are in a situation whereby you have to sell your property and there’s no way you can hold on until the crisis passes, then contact us on 01483 238280 and I will be able to help you navigate the options open to you.

It’s a really challenging time for everyone right now. However, if one of your challenges relates to getting a mortgage (or changing your current mortgage), then I can help. Find out more by calling me on 01483 238280 or emailing calli@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

By Calli Sanfilippo at Complete Mortgages


FREE mortgage advice for the NHS

Friday, 17th April, 2020

It’s really heartening to see people and businesses – from all walks of life – showing solidarity for the NHS in the wake of Covid-19.

From BrewDog making hand sanitizer to those closer to home, such as Rye Café and Juice Bar in Ashtead, Surrey, which is delivering hot meals to the self-isolating over-70s, there is a sense that people are rallying together.

As someone whose partner works for the NHS (and as an employee at a Guildford mortgage broker that employs six people with partners or family members that work for the NHS), it got us asking the question ‘what can we do to support the national effort?’

Of course, we can’t provide life-critical supplies such as food and protective equipment – but we can offer free mortgage advice to keyworkers who are tirelessly working the front lines of the NHS in a bid to save lives.

Whilst we’re merely a team of mortgage brokers in Surrey who, at this moment in time, remain relatively unaffected by Covid-19 (other than having to endure the lockdown measures currently in place like everyone else), we can only imagine how difficult a time this must be for the NHS. However, we wanted to offer what we could.

Also, whilst we appreciate that mortgage applications may not be a priority for NHS staff right now, we do understand that the cogs involved in buying a property still need to turn and that in-between their hard work, those working in the healthcare sector need to get on with their lives, too.

So, to make it as easy as possible when it comes to applying for a mortgage, we’re suspending fees when it comes to providing mortgage advice for NHS staff up and down the UK until things have stabilised. This means that NHS staff will save £399 for residential mortgage applications and £499 for a buy to let mortgage application.

Not only that, but following our decision to offer virtual mortgage broker consultations by video (you can read our article on it here), we’re also ready to work around NHS staff and their shifts.

If you’re a NHS employee that’s struggling to fit in time to apply for a mortgage, then at least this means that you now have one less battle – albeit a much smaller one – on your hands.

Get FREE mortgage advice if you’re a NHS staff member by calling us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk

By Jordan Walker, mortgage adviser at Complete Mortgages

NHS Rainbow drawing by Brodie Finnegan, age 6.


Equity release mortgages revisited

Monday, 17th February, 2020
equity release

The equity release mortgage is becoming increasingly popular. It’s also playing a significant role in helping older people pay off debts and mortgages, with figures suggesting that equity release is seeing £10m ‘withdrawn’ from homes each day.

Those reading this who are new to the world of equity release may be asking themselves ‘what is equity release?’ and ‘how does equity release work?’ Well, if that is you, then read on as this quick guide to equity release mortgages will fill in any gaps you might have.

1. What is equity release?

Equity release is a way in which older people, typically those aged from 55-60 and upwards, can unlock the value of their home – or ‘cash in’ – without needing to actually move home.

2. How does equity release work?

There are two main routes into equity release: lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans.

The lifetime mortgage is typically the most popular route, and involves borrowing a portion of your property’s value at a fixed or capped interest rate. You don’t make repayments. Instead, you make a lump sum payment – which includes compounded interest – when the house is sold. There is an opportunity to get a lifetime mortgage with a drawdown option built in, whereby you can pay back the interest and sometimes even the capital, too.

Home reversion plans are generally geared towards those aged 65+ and will see a lender pay you a tax-free lump sum whilst allowing you to remain in the property – rent-free – until you die. When this happens, proceeds from the sale are split based on the percentage split agreed when the home reversion plan was taken out. If the property rises in value, so too does the amount the lender gets when the property is sold. Please note that Complete Mortgages does not give advice on home reversion plans.

3. How much can I borrow?

This will depend on your age and the value of your property. Your health is also likely to be taken into consideration. A good mortgage broker will be able to help you establish this once they have a clearer picture of you and fully understand your circumstances. As a Guildford mortgage broker that manages a high volume of equity release mortgages on a daily basis, we’ll be able to assist you at every step of the equity release mortgage application process.

4. What next?

Equity release mortgages are very individual-specific, so our advice to anyone thinking of going down this route would be to arrange a meeting with a specialist mortgage broker, who will be able to source a selection of competitive equity release mortgages for you.

Just make sure that you’re fully aware of any mortgage broker charges along the way. Complete Mortgages, for example, only charges a one-off flat fee of £699 and for that we’ll handle the entire mortgage application from the beginning until you receive the money.

Whether you’re looking for an equity release mortgage or any other form of complex mortgage, Complete Mortgages will be able to help. Contact the team on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.


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.


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.


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.