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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.


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 mortgage!


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 have completed one previous project.

Daily interest, no exit fees and some of the best rates in the market. Also covers light and heavy refurbishment.

TypeLoan to ValueFixed Rate per Month
Standard & Light RefurbishmentUp to 50%0.43%
Standard & Light Refurbishment50.01% - 65%0.53%
Standard & Light Refurbishment65.01% - 75%0.70%
Standard & Light Refurbishment75.01% - 85%**0.80%
Heavy RefurbishmentUp to 50%0.60%
Heavy Refurbishment50.01% - 65%0.65%
Heavy Refurbishment65.01% - 75%0.75%
All products are for residential property only and have a 1.95% Lender Fee.


  • The loan may not exceed either 85% LTV against the lower of Day 1 purchase price/ value, or 70% of after works value (whichever is lower)
  • All funds are advanced to the borrower on Day 1
  • No Quantity Surveyor required, just an interim inspection at the end of month 3

Contact us for a quote.

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.


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 my case through and chased at all the key moments. Whether it’s a simple remortgage or something trickier, you’re in very safe hands.


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 at what cost. It also means less time wasted applying to lenders who will not be interested. I have taken out three mortgages so far, the first one of which was a real problem property, that two separate brokers were unable to find finance for, but Simon was able to. The other two mortgages were for HMOs, which by their nature require a broker with a deep knowledge of the mortgage and property markets. I will definitely use Searchlight Finance in the future.


Very happy with the service received

Very happy with the service received. Excellent communication/customer service/advice.

Will definitely be using Searchlight Finance again.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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 the deal to get the best possible outcome for the customer.

This constant focus on putting the customer first is just one of the many reasons why Searchlight continues to grow, building a reputation in the industry as exceptional across all aspects of their performance.

Gavin Seaholme, Head of Sales, Shawbrook Commercial Mortgages

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!


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 his obvious experience level, his senior contacts within the industry and crucially, his consultative and businesslike approach in how he interacts with his clients.

He is an essential part of my extended team, as he cuts through a lot of ‘white noise’ and equally guides me into the most appropriate financing solutions that would suit me and my particular circumstances.

I am happy to recommend him to anyone looking for a rock-solid partner for their property financing needs.


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 of time, explaining everything I needed to know in detail and helping me decide the right options and product. Really helpful and friendly. Would highly recommend 🙂


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 to, very straightforward and easy to liaise with hence why I have stuck with him year after year.”

Berkshire based Landlord.

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 work on this project. Now we have cut our teeth I am excited to grow the portfolio. It will be a pleasure continuing to work with Searchlight Finance!”


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 to you first as it would have saved me thousands”

LR Shropshire

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 who genuinely has time for his clients and can clearly help with your chosen investment strategy.”

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 Finance ”

Shawbrook said “it is so fulfilling for our teams to see exceptional feedback such as this”

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 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 the client didn’t have the conversion experience the lender needed to offer a lower rate. By understanding what could be offered as an alternative we got the rate and one happy client.

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 name to a limited company via a special purpose vehicle (SPV).

Shawbrook has completed on loans for a number of clients in a similar position, establishing an internal support framework which can process SPV transactions as efficiently as possible. In this case, the broker’s client already had another loan with Shawbrook, enabling them to benefit from the Existing Customer Discount and expediting the application process for all parties.

The client was initially unable to provide the shareholding structure of the new SPV to the Bank, because they were awaiting the appropriate security codes from Companies House in order to update their annual return documents. As Searchlight’s client was known to the Bank, Shawbrook was able to take a pragmatic view and issue the IMO without this information, making it a pre-completion requirement instead.

There were some initial discrepancies concerning the property title plan, whereby the documentation provided seemed to indicate the footprint of buildings previously on site and not forming the boundaries of the newly built development. This created difficulties for our legal partners at Pure Law in terms of finalising a definitive boundary plan, but these were overcome by the efforts of both the Shawbrook lending teams and Searchlight Finance.

With open communication channels ensuring all outstanding information was shared as needed, the Shawbrook lending teams were able to move to completion to the satisfaction of the client.

The broker, Simon Allen from Searchlight Finance, commented:

“My client was pleased with the outcome of their application process with Shawbrook and, as a repeat customer, is open to seeking finance from Shawbrook again in the future.

“From a broker’s standpoint, the interaction with Shawbrook lending teams was as Searchlight Finance has come to expect – expert, pragmatic and always able to take an informed view throughout the lending process.”

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 consistently sources great, relevant products. He’s speedy, responsive, professional and (most importantly) a nice bloke”

James-London based developer

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

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.