Just like their UK based counterparts, many expats recognise the long term rewards available through investment in UK property. Some will use mortgages to help achieve their goals, so here are a few hints that might help towards a successful application.
While some will prefer to buy for cash, for others, the strategic use of a mortgage will help to maximise capital gains and a second or retirement income. A few things to bear in mind -
Don't expect to be offered the headline rates
The interest rates shown in lenders' advertisements and on comparison sites are there to draw you in. The final offer is likely to be very different once all of the costs, such as arrangement fees, are factored in.
Often, the headline rate is only available to owner occupiers with substantial deposits. Buy to let investors have always had to pay higher interest rates, expats more so.
Don't try to game the system
Be straightforward with your lender or broker. Avoid second guessing what you think they want to hear - being 'creative' is a sure way to a negative outcome. At some point you will be asked for evidence to support your application.
Consider getting an agreement in principal
Most lenders will give a clear indication of the amount they are prepared to offer and the deposit they are likely to require based on your individual circumstances. These are not specific to an individual property but are extremely helpful in defining your investment budget.
Be careful of the new job syndrome
Take care with the timing of an application. Whilst taking up a new position may seem like an opportune time to make an investment, some lenders will place a lot of weight on an applicant's long term employment history.
Buy to let mortgages are a niche market. Expat mortgages even more so. Brokers focused on this market have access to lenders not found in the high street or the internet.
PcomProperty do not deal directly with mortgages. We introduce clients to UK based and regulated brokers who specialise in the expat market. For an introduction, head here