For many expats the exciting opportunities to be found by investing in the UK property market, particularly the Buy to Let sector, can be a financially rewarding proposition.
However, non-residents and foreign nationals often fall foul of a few common pitfalls when applying for mortgages on UK properties.
Liquid Expat Mortgages are delighted to offer our top 5 tips to boost your chances of obtaining a successful Expat Buy to Let or remortgage application:
Be careful when to apply if you have just accepted a New job with a new employer
While it’s understandable that a new job offer has you excited about the possibilities of investing in UK properties, mortgage lenders will be much more cautious and your expat application is likely to fall outside of lenders criteria. Your ability to repay an Expat mortgage, including Buy to Let or remortgage options, will be judged on your long term employment – particularly if you are on probation for your new job.
Secure your Expat Agreement in Principle offer first
When considering investment in Buy to Let or HMO property make sure you have secured an Expat mortgage first. Whilst Buy to Let or Home of Multiple Occupancies are often marketed to non-residents and foreign nationals as high yield investment opportunities, many UK mortgage lenders see these as high risk propositions. Consequently, you might well find yourself unable to obtain a mortgage, be saddled with higher than normal monthly payments or simply have wasted a lot of time in your dealings with the agent and researching the market. Also beware of BMV (Below Market Value) property sellers, who are usually only interested in cash buyers. The general rule of thumb is to obtain an agreement in principle first to understand what you can afford to borrow, the restrictions on the property types and rental income constraints which can limit what you can borrow. Any estate agent working in a buoyant property market would expect to see you have financing agreed in principle before you start to make any offers to purchase.
Don’t rely or expect to obtain the “Headline Interest Rates” on UK mortgage comparison sites
Although mortgage comparison websites such as Money Supermarket may seem to offer excellent deals it is important to understand that UK rates are not normally available to the majority of Expats. Many mortgage lenders may not accept applications from non-residents living abroad and those that do may charge a premium rate and these comparison sites do not market themselves to UK expats. Keep your expectations on the availability of Expat Buy to Let mortgages sensible and seek advice from a specialist expat mortgage broker.
Be straightforward with your brief to a Lender/Broker
Don’t try to second guess the broker’s or the mortgage lender’s requirements. Be frank and open in all the information you supply and keep in mind what you are trying to achieve with your available budget. The Expat mortgage market is becoming tightly regulated and you will be required to supply hard evidence to support your application. Being ‘creative’ is a sure route to a bad outcome. Good advice depends on good information and a straightforward brief in what you are trying to achieve and what you would like to do with the property once you have purchased it !
Get expert advice
There’s a lot of misinformation spread about Expat mortgages – most of it being peddled by online forums, friends, relations and the infamous ‘bloke down the pub’. When considering remortgaging or an investment in Expat Buy to Let opportunities make sure you speak to fully qualified professionals who specialise in Non-resident and expat mortgages. In addition, keep your expectations realistic and be flexible with regards to what you want and what is available.
Liquid Expat are expert mortgage consultants focusing exclusively on the expatriate market.
With existing clients from around the world, including UAE, Saudi Arabia, Middle East, Malaysia, China, Indonesia, USA, South Africa, Australia and Singapore you can benefit from a company with a truly global reach.