I’ve been really lame and haven’t blogged in ages, not blogging regularily since I got married really.
Is married life really such a drain on me?
or is it the credit crunch, has it affected me that badly?
To be honest its a combination with many things but mainly due to me being really busy with my work. Many tenants are in arrears, and the refurbishment of my house is just taking too long. The house is nearly ready now, just the kitchen and office left to do. The extension was finished some time ago, but we haven’t yet had the completion certificate from the council.
The house has been a great learning experience, I have done many light home refurbishments before, but this one was the most ambitious project I have undertaken to date. I’m lucky to have some good help and a very supportive wife.
In terms of the finance world many things have been going on that I should have blogged about and hopefully i;ll have time in the near future to ramble about them soon.
We have the nationalisation of Bradford and Bingley who own one of my favourite mortgage lenders Mortgage Express. Did they get in trouble by being too aggresive in their Buy to Let lending? too many instant remortgages?
Then we have the merger of the HBOS group with Lloyds TSB, which may spell the end of Birmingham Midshires my other favourite mortgage lender. Could they have been a little too keen to lend too?
Things are not looking good for the property investor at the moment. Property values sliding, Mortgage approvals dropping, house sales declining. Is it all going to be doom and gloom?
One things for sure, things can’t really get much worse can they??
Well hopefully the situation for the UK property market will improve in the next 6-12 months, until then hold on as its going to be a rough ride!!
During May Birmingham Midshires added a note to their mortgage book with the CML (Council of Mortgage Lenders)
5.1.1- Contact point if the seller has owned the property for less than 6 months.
Completions Team at office issuing mortgage instructions. See Offer for contact details.
NB We will not normally proceed on cases where the property is already owned by the borrower but for less than 6 months.
Applications which involve assignable contracts are not acceptable.
Assignable contracts, used heavily by some investors are no longer allowed by BMS. An assignable contract allows an investor to exchange contracts on a property, but sell his contract on to another investor, without buying the property. The new investor would just raise the funds and mortgage in the normal way and complete the sale.
This is a sign that BMS are becoming more and more tight with their mortgage lending. I wonder how long it will be before other lenders follow suit.
Birmingham Midshire Solutions, one of the mortgage lending arms of Halifax Bank of Scotland group do it again. they have from start to finish offered a mortgage in just under 14 days. thats the quickest time to offer i have had even beating their previous record.
from the word GO!
BMS use an online application from my mortgage broker which makes it fast. i pay for the valuation by visa card and the valuer calls the next day to arrange the viewing. within 2 days after the valuation the report is in my letter box. a few days after that the offer letter is in mine and my solicitors mail.
my solicitors are not actually in a position to proceed yet. but at least the funding is available now.
i’m always impressed by the speed of BMS and my only gripe with them is that the valuation is a tad expensive at Â£405 for a property sub Â£120k. this may go up for a more expensive property.
as a keen BTL investor I have used many different mortgage companies and here is my current list of best and worst lenders. they are rated by a mixture of speed to offer, speed to complete, rate of their products.
1. BMS – Birmingham Midshires.
speed to offer is excellent and no problems with completions either. i’ve had valuations booked the same day as my broker has instructed them. They products are amongst the best out there. the only thing that lets them down is they only offer 85% of purchase price for their instant remortgages.
2. MX – Mortgage Express.
Speed to offer is good, but they sometimes have delays, no problems with completions. Product wise they are quite competitive and used to offer a really good five year deal. They are one of the only lenders who do instant remortgaging to 85% Value of property.
3. TMW – The Mortgage works.
Speed to offer is ok, overall speed is consistent. They have good products for limited co’s but require you to use their solicitors to check everything out. no instant remortgage.
4. Bristol and West Mortgages.
Speed to offer is average, overall speed is consistent. Some of their products allow the rental to be 100% of the mortgage payments, which makes it easier for some deals to stack. no instant remortgage.
5. TMB – The Mortgage Business.
Speed to offer is slow, overall speed is consistent. They have a product that has NO rental calculation allowing you to purchase by using 15% deposit. The rates are not brilliant and you can only have one of these at any one time. Perfect if you are buying a property to sell on ASAP as their is no rental calculation which means you can buy more expensive properties.
Speed to offer is quick. speed to completion is terrible, they have not managed to meet 1 completion date in 3 mortgages with them. The rates are average, but they offer a high LTV of 89% and also have a 100% rental calculation making this company useful for deals that are hard to stack.
even though i keep going on about them and their bad punctuality with completions i may use them again as they have a useful product.