Jeni Browne, Sales Director looks at how the mortgage market has changed since she started out in broking and explains why it is now more important than ever to make sure you are seeking advice from a specialist broker.
The mortgage world is constantly changing and one thing I have noticed recently, is the number of new clients we speak to who have found that their usual broker has not been able to help them. This is particularly prevalent when it comes to buy to let mortgages for limited companies and commercial finance.
Now, apologies in advance if this blog smacks of unashamed self-promotion but that’s exactly what it is. And I make no apology for this; hopefully once you read what I have to say, you will understand why.
I started broking nearly 20 years ago (yes, I am THAT old). And the market is so very different now to what it was then. In the very infancy of my career, lending was quite free and getting deals done was relatively straight forward. Yes, the role of the broker then was important, especially for those who could not get what they wanted by simply rocking up to their own bank, but life was much more simple.
Regulation has made things, well, more complicated. And that is not me saying it’s a bad thing – I truly believe that, in terms of the mortgage world, these days, it’s a much better place. BUT, now, in 2017, the odds of your own bank, or even the top three cheapest lenders on Money Supermarket being able to get the deal done are slim.
This is particularly relevant now, in the buy to let world. We have seen a flurry of changes of late. Firstly we had the income tax relief restrictions which has seen buyers turn to limited companies for their ownership structures. Then the PRA issued guidance notes on responsible lending. And come October landlords with four or more mortgaged buy to let properties will be treated as “portfolio landlords” and as such will face much tougher underwriting on all future mortgage applications, even simple remortgages!
In short, the buy to let space is full of complexities and has become more of a specialist market now than ever before. This is why it is really important for you landlords to speak to a firm which specialises in the sector that’s relevant to you. That’s not to say that a residential broker is not able to arrange a buy to let mortgage, but I think it would be a tall order to expect a broker to know the ins and outs of all the different disciplines within mortgages, have a grasp on the relevant lending policies, pricing structures, credit appetites, tax implications, the legal aspects, whether a lender takes a debenture, accepts intercompany loans, takes a personal guarantee from minority shareholders, and so on.
At Mortgages for Business we split our brokers into three departments – residential, residential investment/buy to let and commercial. We do this because we believe that you cannot be a specialist in everything. The best brokers are the ones who know their sector of the market inside out and backwards.
Some of our brokers come from a commercial banking background, others, like myself, having been broking almost since the Diplodocus roamed the earth. But the key here is that we know our ‘bit’ of the market well. Really well in fact. And we are very, very good at what we do. The beauty for you, is that by choosing Mortgages for Business, you know that whatever your property finance needs, there is a specialist here who can provide the right advice.
So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch today on 0345 345 6788.
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