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BTL Tip – Read and understand the Mortgage Illustration

Take your time to go through the 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 and if there is a free valuation or legal costs.

Ignore the amount specified under legal costs as unfortunately, most lenders keep this very very low and unrealistic.

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 short term finance is needed for items such as:

  • Modernising properties
  • Replacing kitchens and bathrooms
  • Properties deemed uninhabitable/unletable by long term lenders

Heavy refurbishment:

Heavy refurbishment is where you may require short term finance for works that require building regulations or planning permission.This could help with:

  • Conversion and reconfiguration of residential property
  • Commercial to residential
  • Completing a development that is wind and water tight
  • Extension, loft conversion and basement digs

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 no Article 4 direction in the area.

• Valued on a “vacant possession” basis by most lenders: the property is valued in its present condition with full benefit of vacant possession. The surveyor uses comparable evidence to support the valuation figure.

• Article 4 is whereby the local authority is looking to restrict the number of HMOs and restrict permitted development in a geographical area

• This may affect the valuation in the sense that if a HMO has the benefit of planning in an area then there is a value in the scarcity of the HMO

• Valuers confirm whether a property sits within an A4D area, and if so, how much proportion of the MV is in essence ‘scarcity value’

£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 this their tenants received housing benefit which most of the banks didn’t like.

We kept in constant contact with the outgoing lender and updated them at every stage. This gave the bank the confidence to grant extra time in a complicated restructuring.

Never to back away from a challenge we arranged with the directors for a UK based relative to become a director. This gave a new bank comfort in succession planning and where other brokers had failed we obtained the finance needed. The properties have been retained giving the clients a comfortable income in their well-earned retirement.

Refurbishment Loan with lender funding up to 100% of refurbishment 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 lower of 50% of current value or £500,000
Experience essential

Suitable for

Extensions
Conversions
Planning
Permitted development
Heavy refurbishment
Structural works

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 or a new build on one freehold title split into multiple flats.

We have a wide range of BTL and specialist lenders which can provide options for all types of multi-unit BTL mortgages.

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 to another. You might be under pressure financially or need to complete quickly.

Always make sure you know what you are signing and pay particular attention to the points below. This list is not exhaustive but the main points to consider. If in doubt talk to a reputable broker who has experience in bridging and your own solicitor.

The term of the loan. If you can’t apply for a remortgage until you have owned a property six months then why is the loan six months or less? On average it takes 6-8 weeks to complete a remortgage so the term should be at least nine months. Is it so the lender can charge you extension fees or default interest? Or that the transaction hasn’t been explained to them fully?

Interest – Monthly or daily. Loan set up 7th October and repaid 7th December. That’s 2 months and one day or three months depending on who the lender is. At an average margin of 1% that can be a lot of money.

Retained, rolled up or serviced. The latter is straightforward in that you repay the interest each month when it falls due. Retained is when you borrow from the bridging lender the interest payments due on the loan. If you have a six-month loan then the total of these interest payments are added to the amount you wish to borrow. Rolled up is when interest is added to the loan each month and you pay interest on that amount. There is a vast difference in the total cost when looking at these alternatives.

Changing the rate during the application. The rate you get offered should be the rate you pay unless there are issues with the valuation or additional information comes out during the process that increases the risk to the lender. Some brokers offer headline rates to get you interested which are never available

You have a loan for eight months and repay after three. Interest has been retained so you are expecting five months back. With some lenders, you won’t – they keep it. Always ask what happens when repaid early.

Don’t be swayed by the rate. Add all the costs up to compare including valuation.

Exit fees, admin costs etc. Make sure you know everything that is being charged.

Default interest. If you are late paying then rates can stay the same go up to 48% or worse. Some lenders even backdate this!!. Always ask what their policy is if the loan is late being repaid

Reputation. Don’t be swayed by FCA or any other membership. It’s no guarantee that you will get the best terms

And the worst to last. You or your broker should start on how the bridging loan will get repaid and obtain evidence of that, an agreement in principle etc. I regularly see loans taken out that don’t have this. It is usually either a remortgage or sale. Don’t enter into a loan unless you have more than one option to repay it.

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 lender who understands property, has a good reputation and is clear and transparent about credit policy.

Thankfully there are banks that are open for business and more are coming into the sector.

7 Bed HMO Mortgage for a 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 wihich they wanted to remortgage at 75% LTV.

The Solution – We have access to a lender who will do HMO mortgages up to 8 beds for a new landlord at competitive rates. The previous broker thought their maximum was 6, so through our knowledge, we have a happy landlord who has now moved onto her next property.

Not rocket science but by understanding the market we know where to go and who to avoid.

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 meant they did not have to pay higher rates for their BTL morrtgage.

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 is when you will pay a monthly amount calculated on the interest rate so no deductions are taken from the loan to cover the interest for the period. Some lenders do not offer this facility and the ones that do require proof that you can make these repayments from your income.

Retained interest

An amount which covers the total number of monthly interest payments and the setup fee is deducted from the initial loan. With some lenders, you can choose the number of months that are retained and service the rest. The retained interest is still part of the amount that you borrow so interest will also be charged on this amount by the majority of the lenders. This way at the end of the loan you will not exceed the lenders LTV.

Rolled up interest

This is a better way of calculating interest and again is aimed at borrowers who are not able to make the monthly interest payment. Interest is compounded which reduces the overall costs.

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 online account with Land Registry which is free, go to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/property-alert

You’ll be able to monitor up to three properties per email account. Email alerts are sent when official searches and applications are received against a monitored property.

Benefits of Property Alert:

It can provide an early warning of suspicious activity
It allows you to take immediate action if something happens to your property that you are not expecting
It’s free and easy to use.

£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 they only had had access to a loan of £180,000.

By getting to know their medium and long-term strategy we presented this to a specialist property lender. By outlining their plans the lender was satisfied that the company had a long-term viable plan which they wanted to support and offered 75% of the value to them. So we have two happy directors who now have an extra £150,000 to go towards their next project.

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 to finance them as it will seriously affect your future prospects of getting a mortgage. Lenders look at your credit file to see when mortgages are taken out and repaid. If you are using BTL mortgages for this type of transaction don’t as you are using long-term money for a short-term purpose and it’s mortgage fraud.

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.

You have to be an existing landlord and you are buying the property personally to get these rates. The initial loan is based on the lower of the valuation or purchase price. The valuer also estimates a valuation and rent figure after the work has been completed and the final loan is based on these figures. The difference between the two loans is retained by the lender until the work has been satisfactory completed.

You do the work normally within three months and you need savings to also cover the mortgage payments for that period. Once the work is finished the valuer reinspects and if all OK the retention is released.

The minimum property valuation is £100,000 and as with all lenders you need to be in receipt of income that is provable.

If you need to complete quickly, the value is lower or you need help with the refurbishment costs then bridging finance may be the answer.

 

£500,000 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 100% of build costs and fees was agreed with a specialist property lender. Don’t always take no for an answer!

 

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 term)
  • No minimum income required for experienced landlords
  • Capital raising to 80% LTV, to fund portfolio expansion
  • New build and ex-public sector houses accepted

These products are unregulated BTL mortgages and are subject to you and the property meeting their criteria. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

 

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

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.

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