Property Working in the City? Choose the right mortgage broker

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Picking the right mortgage to suit your needs is an important decision. But before you get to that point it’s just as important that you choose the right mortgage intermediary to help you.

Not all brokers specialise in all areas of mortgages and so getting a broker that has the right expertise for your needs can make a difference. Research from Halifax shows that an average mortgage broker places 88 mortgages a year. Within those 88 there will be a variety of mortgage types, size and client circumstances.

LIFT-Mortgages is different. In our London office we specialise in mortgages for City professionals.

This year we’ve already written nearly three times the national yearly average number of mortgages and the vast majority of these are higher value loans for people working in the Square Mile. For these clients, income is often from various sources and bonus payments can make up a large part of their remuneration.

I know from my experience in other organisations that some client circumstances make mortgage applications less straightforward. Working visas, vesting share awards, overseas income, rental property portfolios or needing an interest only mortgage can cause difficulties for the average broker. Here at LIFT-Mortgages we deal with this type of scenario daily.

Not all brokers can connect you to all mortgage lenders. If you have complexities like the ones outlined above, choose a broker that can access the lenders specialising in high value or ‘City’ lending.

Last week I had a meeting at of the world’s largest private banks to discuss the bank’s mortgage offerings. This bank, like many of the private banks that offer mortgage lending, will not offer their products on Trigold or Mortgage Brain, the two main tools at a broker’s disposal.

This is a deliberate decision from these banks as they want to deal with brokers who specialise and understand the markets they operate in. I was contacted by the bank after one of my clients told them I was the person that London's fund managers speak to about mortgages. As well as being very flattering, this is a good example of the niche we operate in.

Whilst this private bank’s rates are not quite as competitive as the high street, they are still reasonable. However the appeal with lenders like this is their more flexible lending criteria, which can work well in the City market. Highlights included:

  • Interest only option for clients for the first five years converting to repayment thereafter up to 85% Loan to Value (LTV) - High Street lenders largely limit interest only deals to 50% LTV
  • Lending against 100% of bonus - all High Street lenders limit this to between 50% and 60% of bonus award.
  • Lending against stock potentially vesting in the future subject to certain rules - almost no high street lender will lend against vesting stock awards
  • Lending against bonuses awarded over different employers over a three year period - most lenders want at least two years in the same firm to lend against bonus
  • Bespoke underwriting where a case is taken on its merits - High Street lenders generally have a computer says yes/no scenario.
  • The ability to talk to the bank and its underwriters face to face in Central London - unheard of in the High Street market.

Private banks do have a certain type of client profile but for they offer some fantastic opportunities for bespoke underwriting. They look at the client’s needs rather than use the one size fits all mentality that many of the high street lenders have.

If you’d like to talk about your current situation in more detail please make contact with us. 

David Baker – Latest Blog Posts

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