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BTL Portfolio Lending

What is BTL portfolio lending and what are the benefits? It’s not to be confused with a portfolio landlord (four or more mortgages). It’s when one lender takes multiple properties on one loan. Very few lenders can do this and it tends to be the banks, both high street and challenger and a few specialist… Read More »

BMV Property – Is it worth it?

Would you buy a new car without researching the model and having a test drive? Would you get married by just seeing a picture of your potential partner? No, you wouldn’t so why are so many looking to buy property from an email which has a headline of “25% BMV “ Now I understand that… Read More »

BTL Yield

Always look at the yield as one of the comparisons when viewing a BTL property and if its high for the area ask yourself why? Once you start investigating you realise that the return is high because the property or location has potential issues. Ones I’ve seen recently include next to a pub, takeaway, massage… Read More »

Do you really need a Mortgage Holiday?

A tale of three BTL landlords, which one are you? You have lost your job or tenants can’t pay and you won’t be able to meet this month’s mortgage payments, so you ring your lender’s helpline to ask for the three month payment holiday. You have plenty of money for the next few months even… Read More »

Searchlight Finance have been fantastic

I am a London based portfolio landlord currently investing in the North West Greater Manchester UK. I have worked with Simon for the past 2 years, he has arranged 8 BTL mortgages in this time for my SPV/Ltd Co and also given advice on a much larger number of prospective buy to let purchases so… Read More »

Refurbishment Lending for Costs

Criteria Initial Loan 70% of the value Refurbishment costs 100% Gross facility up to 70% of end sales value Loan size £250,000- £1.5m Term – up to 18 months Minimum value £300,000 Works must be lower of 50% of current value or £500,000 Experience essential Suitable for Extensions Conversions Planning Permitted development Heavy refurbishment Structural… Read More »

Commercial Investment Mortgage

Background An established residential landlord in Birmingham wanted a commercial mortgage to buy his first commercial property which was rented out to a supermarket. His bank had said no as the existing tenant only had two years left on the lease and they wanted a longer lease. He had approached other brokers who had found… Read More »

BTL Portfolio Restructure Accountants Advice

  Today I have come across one of the worst structures implemented by an accountant for a BTL landlord I have seen. The client owns properties personally and he has been told to put all rental income through a limited company and then create a deed of trust as part of this process. This documentation… Read More »

BTL Mortgage Broker Review

Simon is great to work with, very knowledgeable and always helpful. He’s made my first property investment very easy! I couldn’t recommend him enough. Andrew

Excels in knowledge, efficiency and friendly service

Second time using Simon and Searchlight Finance’s services, and just as helpful, friendly and efficient as the first. Simon is very knowledgeable and provides great advice on the type of product and lender that suits your finances, goals and lifestyle. Everything is done online which makes it efficient. Will definitely use again for the next… Read More »

Auction Finance up to 85% LTV

Auction finance is the same as bridging or short term finance. It is used to purchase properties at auction as it can be arranged quickly. We have lenders where the valuation and solicitors are instructed the same day with a fast track legal process to reduce the stress. All the lender asks, is that you… Read More »

Remortgage of BTL Portfolio in Lancashire

£330,000 refinance from a bank that says No! Due to the age of the applicants, their existing lender had given notice to a long-established Lancashire property company to move it’s property portfolio to another bank or sell. The directors were in their 80’s and spent most of their time overseas and didn’t own a main… Read More »

Light Refurbishment Finance

Has your BTL mortgage been refused due to the condition of the property? Improve the value and the rent on a tired property. Whether it be a new kitchen, bathroom, damp, electrics we have lenders for all of them at competitive rates up to 85% LTV with experience and 75% without. Contact us for refurbishment… Read More »

Great service

I have used Simon a few times and I have always found him very thorough and he is always happy to talk you through any questions you may have. I would happily recommend him. Kelly

Highly recommended

Simon has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the market and gives his best personal attention to all aspects of the service. He has a good relationship with lots of lenders, understands all the key issues faced by landlords and keeps a keen eye on future trends. We were on a tight timescale and he really pushed… Read More »

Excellent service, now my main mortgage broker

Simon is extremely knowledgeable of the whole of the market, and has a very clear idea of which lenders are suitable for which kinds of properties. This advice is priceless to me as it means that I can look at deals and have a good idea in advance of whether finance will be obtainable and… Read More »

Very happy with the service received

Very happy with the service received. Excellent communication/customer service/advice. Will definitely be using Searchlight Finance again. Gareth

A great service.

My experience with Searchlight has been excellent. They took all of the complication out of finding the right product and making the application. Obtaining the finance was hassle free and efficient. Mike

Excellent- helpful, informative, responsive.

Simon was excellent to work with. Helpful, informative and responsive. With his experience and knowledge he was a great asset to have in our corner. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend or work with again. Tom

Highly professional and experienced mortgage experts

Searchlight Finance have repeatedly found me excellent mortgage deals for my properties, saved me a great deal of money and made the whole process straight forward and virtually stress free. I would highly recommend their services to other investors and home owners. GB

Searchlight Finance are great!

Searchlight Finance are a great company. They have now arranged three of my mortgages and the team have a great knowledge of the mortgage market. They will always ensure sufficient time is allocated to your application and Simon is easy to get hold of for any questions or to offer advice. I thoroughly recommend! Tom

Testimonial from Shawbrook

Searchlight has been working with us for many years and throughout that time has consistently demonstrated all the qualities that set them apart amongst their peers for service and expertise. Simon and the Searchlight team have a close relationship with our underwriting team and can pick up the phone to talk through any roadblocks, shaping… Read More »

Searchlight Finance – the best of the best!

I can’t recommend Searchlight Finance enough. Simon is the most knowledgeable person I’ve met when it comes to property finance. I’ve worked with many people and nobody else comes close. His breadth and depth of experience are second to none and his honest approach has certainly saved me some money over the years! Jay

My ‘go-to’ property finance broker

I have had plenty of experience with property finance brokers over the years, but Simon from Searchlight Finance stands out for me. He is now my ‘go-to’ mortgage broker for my own property investments and also a top referral from me for people within my network and community too. What makes him stand out is… Read More »

Buy-to-Let purchase through Limited Company

I heard about Simon through listening to The Property Hub podcast, where he discussed in depth the in’s and out’s of mortgages in relation to investment purchases. I was very impressed with his knowledge so contacted Searchlight finance to assist in the purchase of my first buy-to-let. Simon guided me through the process, taking lots… Read More »

It’s not just about the rate?

We were recently approached by a new client who had obtained a decent 5-year fix quote from another broker for their limited company BTL. There was nothing wrong with the product but after talking to the client they wanted the following: The ability to reduce the mortgage each year by overpayments A lender that did product transfers, as… Read More »

Light Refurbishment Bridging on Property & Costs

Shawbrook initially launched this light refurbishment product to a limited panel including Searchlight.  Now, normally you would fund the costs out of your own money, which can limit the number of projects you do. Shawbrook will provide additional borrowing as long as: Maximum initial loan 75% of lower of the purchase price or value. The… Read More »

BTL Tip – Mortgage Illustration

Take your time to go through the Mortgage Illustration which shows you everything about the product which includes all fees including arrangement, product, broker and valuation fees and also gives you details on any exit penalties or early repayments. It also explains the rate that it will go to once the initial product is finished… Read More »

When can bridging finance be used?

Standard bridging is ideal for customers looking to secure the purchase or refinance of a residential or investment property including: Chain break – whilst waiting for an additional property sale Raising funds for short term requirements Auction purchase Capital raising for any legal purpose Meeting tight transaction deadlines Light refurbishment: Light refurbishment is used where… Read More »

What is a small HMO to a lender?

• A HMO with C4 planning use specifically relates to smaller HMOs • The classification of C4 originates from C3 with the added benefit of permitted development. • Permitted development allows for a change of use from C3, up to a maximum of 6 occupants, without a full planning application as long as there is… Read More »

£330,000 refinance from a bank that says No

Due to their withdrawal from the market their existing lender had given notice to a long established Lancashire property company to move it’s property portfolio to another bank or sell. The directors were in their 80’s and spent most of their time overseas and didn’t own a main residence in this country. To add to… Read More »

Multi Unit BTL Mortgages

What is it? A freehold property split into self-contained flats. Make sure it has the correct planning permission if it has been converted and building regulations. Lenders want each unit to be greater than 30sqm and to have their own utilities. These can be as simple as a terraced house converted into two self-contained flats… Read More »

Bridging Finance Risks

I deal with bridging finance risks on a daily basis. Like everything in life the vast majority of lenders and brokers are perfectly acceptable and do a good job but there are a few issues that not everyone is aware of. There is a lot of paperwork and you can’t always easily compare one lender… Read More »

Please go we don’t want you!

We all understand why property is not flavour of the month for some lenders who have historic bad debts and we are seeing many long established landlords having their funding lines cut from certain lenders. I have seen 40 year connections told, please repay we don’t want you any more. It’s important you have a… Read More »

HMO Mortgage – First Time Landlord

The Issue – A first-time landlord with a 7 bed HMO was told by a specialist HMO broker they were not mortgageable due to lack of experience. They had a property worth £400,000 which they wanted to remortgage at 75% LTV after an extensive refurbishment. They were concerned they would have to wait two years… Read More »

Another happy BTL mortgage client in London

“Thanks to you and your team, Simon for making the BTL process via a Ltd Co run smoothly and keeping me up to date on its progress, especially when there was the initial issue with the DIP.” Unbeknown to our clients their credit file was incorrect and we told them how to correct it. This… Read More »

How do you calculate bridging interest?

I’m surprised how many just focus on the monthly rate. The way interest is charged is equally as important as it can make a big difference in how much you pay. Firstly you should have been made aware of this before the application stage. There are three ways for lenders to calculate interest: Serviced This… Read More »

BTL products we have access to …

We have direct access to lenders that will consider:- Limited Company applications Single Freehold split into multi-unit Multi Lets HMOs of all sizes Portfolio Finance Student Tenants DSS/LHA Tenants Flats above shops, restaurants Rental valuations on HMOs No minimum income Limited Company applications Pension and Trust applications Professional landlords

Land Registry Property Alert

A great way of protecting your property against fraud. Email alerts will be sent when Land Registry receives an application to change the register as well as for official searches. You can then judge whether or not the activity is suspicious. How to sign up for Property Alert: You will need to set up an… Read More »

Case Study for New Build Flats

A Cheshire based company had built four apartments with total land and build cost of £200,000 and the properties were valued at £440,000. Lenders had been approached by our clients and all were either not interested as they were property developers, or wanted them to leave some of their money in the project so they… Read More »

Financing a Flip

  A flip is buying a property and then selling quickly, hopefully at a profit. It may be a refurbishment to increase the value or you may just be trading property. There are only two ways to finance these: Cash, which may be from a remortgage of another property Bridging Finance Don’t use a mortgage… Read More »

Buy to Let Light Refurbishment Finance

Refurbishment Finance is not for everyone as there are strict criteria but it does show there can be an alternative to bridging. For a property that requires a level of light refurbishment which doesn’t involve any structural work or change in planning then it’s a very cost-effective way of adding a property to your portfolio.… Read More »

Case Study – Residential Development Finance

An experienced developer had been declined by their bank as they felt they were doing too many developments (this was the third!) so refused to lend. Based on the previous track record and their professional team a loan of £500,000 was agreed which was 65% of the current value and  100% of build costs and… Read More »

Bridging Loans

What can Bridging Loans be used for? Bridging loans are used for a number of reasons. These range from conventional bridging, where a homeowner wishes to purchase a new home but hasn’t sold their current property, to auction finance, refurbishment and conversion. What Can Go Wrong? It’s a short time loan and not suitable for… Read More »

Remortgage a BTL within 6 months of purchase

  These are the most common reasons we see for remortgaging within 6 months with our lenders that do this – Repay bridging finance, raise funds for another project or get a lower rate.  

Don’t get caught out when sending money to your solicitors

Don’t get caught out by fraudsters – I’m seeing this on a regular basis from solicitors – “Please be vigilant and ensure caution when responding to any requests for your bank details. We will not accept responsibility if you transfer money to an incorrect bank account”.  

Build to Let Finance

You may want to develop a property to keep and rent out. We can fund the build and the long-term mortgage. Contact us now with your project.    

Auction Finance at 75%

Yes 75%. Valuation instructed same day and a fast track legal process to reduce the stress. All the lender asks is that you have at least two rental properties. Contact us now to get your purchase agreed.  

You have to wait 6 months to remortgage your BTL. True or False?

I keep hearing about the 6-month rule – technically it’s not a rule as lenders view it very differently. Some enforce it almost to the minute whilst others are more comfortable.I keep hearing about the 6-month rule – technically it’s not a rule as lenders view it very differently. Some enforce it almost to the… Read More »

Time to change banks?

I deal with the Bank’s every day and its clear there is a huge difference in what they say in the media and what they do. They keep banging the drum that they are open for business and they have money to lend. But do they want to lend? Yes they do but you now… Read More »

Bridging Finance – How strong is your exit route?

Do all lenders care about the exit? Not wanting to be too controversial but various cases have led me to the conclusion that not all lenders look in detail on how they are going to get repaid. I must stress it is some and not all. Being the rare breed that I am of broker,… Read More »

BTL Mortgages for Unusual Properties

Unusual properties that some lenders are happy with : • Japanese Knotweed- restrictions relaxed • Wimpey No Fines (If constructed post-1964 and not a bungalow or a flat) • Laing Easiform (if constructed post-1966 and not a bungalow or a flat) • Ex-local authority houses • New Build flats • Properties next door to one… Read More »

One of our Buy to Let Lenders

• No limit on number of properties owned • No limit on background mortgage amounts • No minimum income for existing landlords • Existing landlords don’t need to be owner-occupiers• Loans up to 80% LTV • Maximum age 85 for repayment • Professional Landlords and Developers welcome • Property Income accepted Contact us now to… Read More »

Bridge to Let

What is it? It’s one or two products with the same lender. The first part is a short term/bridging loan to enable you to purchase the property and refurbish it. Once complete the second part allows you to take out a long-term mortgage against the increased value and rent. Example • Purchase Price £200,000 –… Read More »

HMO Landlord in Reading

“I have used Simon’s services for several times over numerous projects. Having spoken to other brokers operating within the property sector, it is evident that Simon’s in depth knowledge of lending is second to none. He really does know the market and suitable products for individual projects. I have always found him pleasant to speak… Read More »

First Time Landlord

Always good to see a first-time landlord get their first property and great feedback is always welcome. This was a bridge to let product for a client based in Hampshire on a property worth £200,000. ” We completed the re mortgage today, funds received. I wanted to say a huge thank you for all of your… Read More »

Developer Exit Funding

A developer in Shropshire had built flats worth £2m and wanted £1.4m to repay an expensive development loan. They had already been turned down by a specialist lender through another broker. We went to another lender but with a more comprehensive summary of the deal and the loan was agreed “I wish I had come… Read More »

Comnercial Finance – Does your broker do this?

Overview of proposal Collation of lender responses including comparison of indicative interest rates and fees Completion of application to chosen lender(s) Negotiation with lenders on terms and conditions of loan along with costs Liaising with lender and their legal advisers, valuer and you to ensure that completion of the transaction is as stress-free as possible… Read More »

Limited Company BTL Advice

Thanks to a Kent based landlord  for these comments. ” Just come off the phone with Simon Allen from Searchlight Finance discussing financing options available following incorporation. Simon is a subject matter expert who is passionate about his profession and is a thoroughly nice bloke. Highly recommended if you need to talk to a broker… Read More »

What Shawbrook’s clients say about us.

Shawbrook Bank surveyed their clients asking what they thought of the broker that dealt with their property finance application. They published eight of these replies and we’re proud to say that two were ours. It’s all anonymous so thank you whoever you are. “Simon at Searchlight Finance was hugely knowledgeable and efficient” “Excellent communication throughout from Searchlight… Read More »

BTL Mortgage into Retirement

A  75 landlord was looking to refinance a portfolio valued at £800,000 he owned in Derby.  The age of the applicant meant his current high-street lender rejected his application and wanted the mortgage repaid. He had to put the properties on the market in order to sell them even though he wanted it to be a… Read More »

BTL Mortgages for Professional Landlords

One of our BTL lenders for professional landlords: Up to 80% LTV Standard and specialist buy-to-let products for all types of landlord (including limited companies) Single residential units, HMOs and multi freeholds Choice of competitive fixed and variable rates No portfolio limits Maximum age 85 at end of mortgage term (79 at start of the… Read More »

London Based Purchase of a Retail Property Investment

“We wanted to say thank you for all of your excellent help and advice in helping us to secure the finance to enable us to purchase the shopping centre and the additional assistance along the way to get it over the line! It was truly invaluable and we are very grateful”

BTL Mortgage Rental Calculations

When calculating how much you can get on a BTL mortgage rental calculations can be quite complex. One lender has eight different calculations depending on property type, loan term, rate chosen and tax status. Working out how much you can get is a bit more complicated. But we do this many times a day so… Read More »

Bridging Finance-How does it get repaid?

I’m surprised at how many enquiries I get from clients who taken out bridging finance through another broker who has not got a firm exit in place. If you don’t have the funds to repay it there are only two ways it can be repaid, either the sale of the property or a remortgage. With… Read More »

BTL Tax Relief Change Calculator

The Mortgage Works have created a Buy to Let Tax Change calculator Most impacted Existing higher rate tax payers (40% and 45%) Landlords with marginal rental cover (high mortgage costs relative to rental income) Tax payers moving into the higher rate tax band as a result of the changes Landlords with strong rental cover Lower… Read More »

BTL on Non Standard Construction Property

I am extremely grateful that you have been able to obtain a loan for me on this property. After my usual broker exhausted all options available to him, I had almost resigned myself to selling the house. Had it not been for the podcast, I would not have been aware of your services.

Bridging Finance-Customer Feedback

“I have just completed on my 2nd investment property. It’s a wreck in Birmingham that will be turned around in the next 3 months. I would like to say a massive thank you to Simon Allen from Searchlight Finance for an absolutely fantastic service.” Very kind words and one we were particularly proud of as… Read More »

10 Reasons to use Searchlight Finance

Support and inform you from initial enquiry through to completion and beyond. Education service on market in general and 16 years experience of being a landlord. Take the time to gain a detailed knowledge of your circumstances and aspirations Provide impartial, expert and external scrutiny of mortgage products. Identify when your circumstances do not meet the… Read More »

Case Study: Short Term Loan for Addition of another BTL to Portfolio

  Shawbrook is pleased to report the completion of a short-term loan at 55% LTV, for a client of Strategic Partner ‘Searchlight Finance’. The purpose of the loan was to raise funds for the purchase of another investment property, with the client having very recently transferred ownership of a buy-to-let (BTL) property from their individual… Read More »

Bridging Finance – Customer Feedback

“I’ve been working with Simon for over a year now and frankly it’s been a revelation compared with previous experiences I’ve had. Simon has an exceptional depth of knowledge, not just of the lending market but also property investment in general. I always learn something new when discussing possible financing options with him and he… Read More »

BTL Remortgage – Customer Feedback

“Special thanks to Simon Allen for sorting the re finance on my single let rental property. Highly recommended professional service. I am ready for my next project now.” Anthony-Birmingham based landlord

HMO Mortgage – Customer Feedback

“It has been an absolute pleasure working with you. The only part in the purchase process that has been straight forward.” Richard-London based investor

Watch “Data to go… how safe is your data online?”

There are many examples of identity fraud and whilst most get sorted,  it takes time. I’ve seen many cases where clients don’t get the BTL mortgage they need because of problems on their credit file. This video produced by Noddle highlights the issues we face .

AST Template

Did you know the government have a recommended tenancy agreement for landlords to use which is updated in line with legislation? Find it here

Proof of Income for professional landlords

HMRC are no longer issuing the SA302 (otherwise known as the Tax Calculation) or the Tax Year Overview by fax as they don’t class them to be secure. HMRC will continue to provide copies of the SA302 by post . Sone lenders still insist on this document  whilst others accept the version that is usually… Read More »

Precise Mortgages

Good to see Precise Mortgages will be entering into the HMO and limited company BTL market later this week. As a broker the existing HMO lenders I deal with need new competition so looking forward to seeing the rates from a lender who is very competitive.

SPV-What does it mean?

An SPV is short for (Special Purpose Vehicle). It’s jargon for a company set up specifically for one purpose. In this case to own property. Most lenders prefer this type of company as there is no baggage from the day to day trading activities if the company carried out a business or service. We then… Read More »

Lenders using the same language

It’s always been difficult to compare fees when lenders use different words for their costs. By early 2016 most lenders should have a “tariff of charges” in place that will be in a standard format. They will also be in the same order in their promotional literature. This follows a Which? campaign and will make… Read More »

Joint Venture Finance

JV Finance is two or more people getting together on a project with skills and finance pooled. Quite often there is no bank or lender involved. If there is a lender then all parties who are putting in the money need to be disclosed to the lender. Other points to consider include: Speaking to your… Read More »

Buy to Let Light Refurbishment Finance up to 80% LTV

Refurbishment Finance is not for everyone as there is strict criteria but it does show there can be an alternative to bridging. For a property that requires a level of light refurbishment which doesn’t involve any structural work or change in planning then it’s a very cost effective way of adding a property to your… Read More »

Bridging Finance – The importance of the exit.

When going into bridging always work backwards. How will it get repaid?  If you only have one or two lenders then be very careful as those lenders may change their criteria and you may not be able to remortgage to repay the bridging loan. The implications if you are not able to refinance, are higher… Read More »

Financing a flip

A flip is buying a property and then selling quickly, hopefully at a profit. It may be a refurbishment to increase the value or you may just be trading property. There are only two ways to finance these: Cash, which maybe from a remortgage of another property. Bridging Finance. Don’t use a mortgage to finance them.… Read More »

Choosing a property mentor or education company – Do your homework

If you looking to pay for property education then hours in front of a computer could potentially save you thousands. Education- we never stop learning but with any subject sometimes we want a head start. So you want to learn about flipping, development finance, HMOs etc. Where do you go? Firstly don’t part with any… Read More »

Tax Returns and BTL Mortgages

HMRC give you from the start of the tax year April 6th until the 31st January of the following year to complete and submit your tax return. However lenders need an updated return after the 5th October so instead of having almost 10 months to complete it you have 6 months. If the return hasn’t… Read More »

£300,000 refinance of New Build Flats

A Cheshire based company had built four apartments with a total land and build cost of £200,000 and the properties were valued at £440,000. Lenders had been approached by our clients and all were either not interested as they were property developers, or wanted them to leave some of their money in the project so… Read More »

Refurbishment BTL products

Anytime I get asked for bridging I ask is there an alternative? If you don’t have to complete quickly and the property has a kitchen and bathroom there may be BTL refurbishment mortgages out there as an alternative. It is provided in two amounts.  The lender will provide a loan of up to 80% of… Read More »

Land Registry Property Alert

A great way if protecting your property against fraud. Email alerts will be sent when Land Registry receives an application to change the register as well as for official searches. They can then judge whether or not the activity is suspicious and if they should seek further advice. How to sign up for Property Alert:… Read More »

BTL products we have access to

We have direct access to lenders that will consider: Limited Company applications Single Freehold split into multi units Multi Lets HMOs of all sizes Portfolio Finance Student Tenants DSS/LHA Tenants Retail with flats above Rental valuations No minimum income Limited Company applications Pension and Trust applications Professional landlords Adverse credit Ex Pat applications Foreign Nationals

Lenders with no minimum income

You need an income which is provable to cover your overheads but unlike a lot of lenders there is no minimum. It’s particularly suitable for professional landlords who have carried forward losses due to past refurbishments or developments. Or when income has fluctuated due to improvements or tax planning.  

£330,000 refinance from Yorkshire Bank

Due to their withdrawal from the market Yorkshire had given notice to a long established Lancashire property company to move it’s property portfolio to another bank or sell. The directors were in their 80’s and spent most of their time overseas and didn’t own a main residence in this country. To add to this their… Read More »

Ex Pat BTL Mortgages

We have lenders for UK nationals residing outside of the UK, providing you have a relevant satisfactory UK financial track record and other UK property assets. You need; UK bank account a minimum of two UK investment properties with at least one mortgage outstanding Independent personal income to support your other financial commitments In a position… Read More »

Searchlight Finance Limited is registered in England and Wales No.07929050 Searchlight Finance Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (http://www.fca.org.uk/register) under reference 743220. The FCA do not regulate Business Buy to Let Mortgages or most Commercial Mortgages and Bridging Finance. ICO Number Z3109319. Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or any debt secured on it.