Foundation expands professional mortgage criteria

Foundation expands professional mortgage criteria

The lender’s professionals mortgage range allows first-time buyers, home movers and remortgagers in eligible professions to borrow up to six times their income.

Foundation is broadening its list of eligible professions to include chartered tax advisers, optometrists, radiographers (diagnostic) and chiropodists.

The lender defines a professional as someone currently practicing and holding a relevant qualification. Foundation’s list of eligible professions also includes accounting, actuarial, medical, legal, surveying, architecture and engineering, amongst others.

Foundation is also removing the previous age restriction of 25 for eligible borrowers and reverting to the same minimum age as its standard residential mortgage range, 18 years.

Professionals can now borrow up to 90 per cent loan to value (LTV) up to £500,000. The lender has also increased the maximum loan for professionals who can now access loans of up to £1m at 75 per cent LTV.

Foundation offers three product options within the professionals range including an early repayment charge-free two-year discount, plus two and five-year fixed-rates. All come with one free standard valuation and a product fee of £1,495.

A maximum of two applicants per mortgage are permitted on professionals mortgages at Foundation, only one of whom needs to be an eligible professional.

George Gee (pictured), commercial director at Foundation Home Loans, said: “Since we launched the professionals mortgage range towards the end of last year, we have seen strong uptake as well as feedback on how we might broaden the proposition to allow more borrowers to secure these products.

“This has led us to expand the eligible professions and to look at moving our maximum age down to the same as our standard residential offering. To be eligible for the mortgage, borrowers need the relevant qualifications from their professional body.

“This is all about helping professional borrowers to secure the mortgage finance they need, particularly those first-time buyers who are looking to get onto the ladder for the first time. We believe these criteria changes will ensure we are able to help a wider group achieve this.”

Foundation Home Loans adds MUB and HMO options to green range

Foundation Home Loans adds MUB and HMO options to green range

The lender has expanded its green mortgage range to include large HMOs, which it defines as up to eight bedrooms, and MUBs of up to 10 units.

The large HMO and MUB product available up to 75 per cent loan to value (LTV) and is fixed at 4.39 per cent for five years. It comes with a 1.25 per cent fee, one free standard valuation and no application fee on both purchases and remortgages of properties with an energy performance certificate (EPC) of C or above.

A green product for standard properties in the F2 range, which is aimed at applicants with some historical credit blips, is available up to 75 per cent LTV, fixed at 4.24 per cent for five years. It also comes with a 1.25 per cent fee, one free standard valuation and no application fee for both purchases and remortgages of properties with an EPC of C or above.

The product fee on the large loan product in FHL’s F1 tier, which is for clients who just fall outside mainstream criteria, has been halved to one percent.

The large loan product is now priced at 3.99 per cent fixed for five  years and available for maximum loans of £2m up to 65 per cent LTV.

As with all Foundation’s green mortgage range, the green large HMO and MUB product and the green product are both eligible for ‘early remortgage’ after purchase, as opposed to a six-month wait. This feature is specifically designed to help those landlords who may have carried out improvements on the properties to raise the EPC above a level C.

The rental cover for five-year fixed rates is calculated at pay rate, and stress tested at 125 per cent for limited companies and basic rate tax payers, and 145 per cent for other landlord types.

 

West One Loans’ Jack Gerasimov returns to Foundation as regional account manager

 

Gerasimov worked for Foundation for nearly 10 years, initially within internal teams then later as regional account manager. He moved to West One Loans in May last year, where he was the lender’s key account manager. 

At Foundation, Gerasimov will report to national sales manager Nathan Goodridge. He will cover North and East London postcode areas as part of his role, as well as the wider South East region. He will engage with intermediaries operating in the specialist residential and buy-to-let (BTL) lending areas. 

Gerasimov joins after the promotions of Keith Jones and Katie Quigley to senior regional account managers. 

Grant Hendry, director of sales at Foundation Home Loans, said: “Jack was always a highly valued member of the Foundation sales team before his brief move away, so we are very pleased to welcome him back as an experienced regional account manager who I’m sure will provide real value and benefit to all advisory firms on his patch.  

“There have been a number of changes recently to boost the sales team, both those who work out in the field and those who work internally, and we have developed a formidable array of experienced personnel to support intermediaries active in the specialist residential and BTL sectors. Jack is another piece in that puzzle and will no doubt play a vital role in delivering for advisers and their clients going forward.” 

Foundation promotes two to senior regional account managers  

Foundation promotes two to senior regional account managers   

 

Quigley (pictured) covers South Wales and the West and has worked in the financial industry for more than 20 years, predominantly as a mortgage adviser. She joined Foundation in 2020, having worked as a sales manager for Bank of Ireland and a key account manager for Virgin Money.

Jones covers the Midlands area for the specialist lender, and has worked in the mortgage and financial services industry for 25 years. He joined Foundation in 2018 having previously worked for Lloyds, Together, and The Northview Group.

Reporting to director of sales, Grant Hendry, the pair will have a range of new responsibilities in their roles as senior regional account managers.

Their remit will include supporting the national sales managers, Paula Priest and Nathan Goodridge, supporting the other external regional account managers, providing training and support to the internal BDM team, supporting network events, and taking an active role in both internal and external projects while continuing to cover their existing regions.

Grant Hendry, director of sales at Foundation Home Loans, said: “As we continue to grow as a lender, it is imperative we have the right infrastructure in place. This means recognising the talent we already have within the regional account manager team who are able to step up and take on the additional responsibilities required, particularly in supporting the national sales managers, the other regional account managers, and our internal BDMs.

“Over the two years I have spent managing both Keith and Katie they have stood out in their roles and as leaders within the sales team, demonstrating their knowledge of the market and their desire to further their careers.

“It is essential that Foundation nurtures and develops the talent we have, ensuring we create the platform and opportunity for progression. We are therefore very pleased to be able to promote both Keith and Katie to these new roles where I fully expect them to thrive and excel as they have already done within the business.”

Foundation Home Loans adds two-year green products for owner occupiers

Foundation Home Loans adds two-year green products for owner occupiers

 

The product is eligible for purchase and remortgage property with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating between A and C, and is part of the lender’s F1 and F2 ranges.

The F1 range is described as Foundation’s “most competitive rates” for clients who fall outside of mainstream criteria due to complex income types, specialist property or a low credit score. The lender’s F2 range targets customers with credit blips in the preceding 24 months.

The products are available up to 85 per cent loan to value (LTV) and the discounted options start from 2.99 per cent in the F1 tier, and 3.24 per cent in the F2 tier. The discount options have no early repayment charges.

Fixed rate options start from 3.84 per cent in the F1 tier, and 4.09 per cent in the F2 range. They are available on capital and interest repayment basis and come with a free standard valuation and reduced product fees of £595 for fixed rates, and £1,295 for discounted products.

Foundation said the new products, especially in the F2 tier, broadened the availability of its green offerings, initially introduced in 2021 for landlords and owner-occupiers, and cut upfront costs.

George Gee (pictured), commercial director at Foundation Home Loans, said that green mortgages for its residential owner-occupiers were a “key part” of its offering.

He said: “This is the first time we have offered a discount product within the ‘Green ABC+’ range and it is also the first time we have broadened the availability out to F2 borrowers, meaning more potential homeowners can secure mortgage rate benefits as a result of purchasing an energy-efficient property or having improved the EPC level of their existing property.

“Our aim with these products is to incentivise and reward borrowers to help improve the overall energy ratings of the UK’s property stock and provide a range of mortgages which promote far greater efficiency in this highly important area.”

Lenders have been creating more residential and buy-to-let green mortgage products due to increased awareness from COP26 and upcoming regulation around EPC requirements. Brokers have suggested that government intervention and increased education is needed to increase product traction.

Landlords need to get moving with green property targets – Gee

Landlords need to get moving with green property targets – Gee

The ‘green agenda’ is one that has inched its way further into the mortgage market over the past year or so, and we suspect it will be given added impetus by the chancellor’s decision to reduce VAT from five per cent to zero on various energy-saving measures such as solar panels, heat pumps and roof insulation.

The idea of course is to give homeowners – landlords as well as owner-occupiers – a further incentive to improve the energy-efficiency of their properties, to move the dial on their current EPC level, and from a wider perspective, to put more emphasis on sustainable energy sources.

Of course, for landlords we know they are likely to be looking at VAT reductions in terms of the EPC deadlines they have to meet for their properties. It may still be int he consultation stage, but few of us expect any change to the proposals which would see all new tenanted properties having to be EPC level C or above by the end of 2025, and all existing tenancies at the same level by the end of 2028.

That appears to be set in stone, and it has been a positive of the last six to 12 months that we have seen a growing number of buy-to-let lenders, including ourselves, bringing out a range of ‘green’ mortgage products that help landlords move towards meeting these requirements.

 

The private rental sector needs to get on top of it

What we do need to recognise, of course, is the wider scope of the private rental sector (PRS) in this.

The PRS is not simply made up of two-up, two-down properties rented out by one family unit; we have houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), multi-unit blocks, short-term and holiday lets, and the like, and there is a requirement here to ensure we have these properties as energy-efficient as others.

This, I think, will be a particular issue for HMO landlords going forward, especially given that many include utility bills within the weekly rental charge.

Not only will they need their properties to be at EPC level C and above so they can meet their responsibilities and requirements, but their tenants will be keen to ensure they are not paying huge sums in rent in order to accommodate the bills generated by a property which is not energy-efficient. Add in the current rising costs for utility bills and you can see why HMO landlords will want to get on top of this.

Overall, it’s vitally important that we as a mortgage community highlight the issues and the benefits here. A VAT cut of five per cent on its own might not seem like a particularly impressive incentive, however for those landlords who, for example, may need to move their properties up to level C from D – which could cost in the region of £1,000 and £5,000 – that’s a saving of £250.

Add in the ability to secure ‘green’ buy-to-let mortgages, a reduced product fee of just 0.75 per cent, and a highly-competitive rate, and you can certainly make the case for landlords accessing all these incentives in order to carry out the work now, and future-proof their properties for what is coming over the horizon.

Plus, fundamentally, a ‘green(er)’ property is better for both landlord owners and their tenants, especially in an environment where we are unsure what energy costs might do in the future, and of course, the property market certainly needs to lead the way and perhaps do more than its share, given the nature of what our homes emit.

Foundation Home Loans brings out expanded solicitor panel for specialist properties

Foundation Home Loans brings out expanded solicitor panel for specialist properties

Specialist property cases include houses in multiple occupation (HMO), large HMOs and multi-unit properties and is in response to broker feedback.

The panel will have a wider range of legal firms who have particular expertise in specialist property purchases and remortgages. It will work within the main solicitor panel, which is managed by ULS.

The main solicitor panel firms include BTMK Solicitors, Gorvins Residential, JMW Solicitors, Marsden Rawsthorn Solicitors, Ramsdens Solicitors, TLT, TWM Solicitors and Wilson McKendrick.

Brokers using the lender’s portal will be able select one of the new solicitors on the specialist panel for HMO or multi-unit decision in principle or full mortgage applications.

Grant Hendry, director of sales at Foundation Home Loans, said: “Following feedback from our intermediary partners, we are pleased to announce we have agreed an extended panel of solicitor firms with specific expertise in specialist property purchases and remortgages.

“These types of properties continue to be very popular with landlords and are an important part of our buy-to-let proposition and by offering a wider range of legal firms to our broker partners shows our commitment to supporting this market.”

Fine tuning of BTL products continue as lenders react to rate rises – Armstrong

Fine tuning of BTL products continue as lenders react to rate rises – Armstrong

We are still seeing plenty of sensible levels of repricing taking place throughout the sector. This is hardly headline-grabbing news but there are still plenty of positive moves being made, so let’s focus on these.

In a further addition to the seven-year fixed rate arena, West One Loans launched a series of new products to its buy-to-let product range, including seven-year fixed payrate products, both standard and specialist, and a new lifetime tracker range, also available for standard and specialist properties.

All of the products are available from 65 per cent up to 75 per cent loan to value (LTV) and the standard seven-year product is priced from 3.44 per cent with a 1.5 per cent fee. The specialist range is designed to finance more complex transactions such as homes in multiple occupancy (HMOs) and multi-unit freehold blocks (MUFBs). The seven-year product is priced from 3.64 per cent with a two per cent fee.

 

Going green

Foundation Home Loans expanded its green buy-to-let product range to specialist property types including short-term lets and standard HMOs (up to six occupants).

The ABC+ green HMO product has rates starting from 3.44 per cent for 75 per cent LTV on a F2 five-year fixed rate, with a 0.75 per cent fee. The ABC+ green short-term let product has rates starting from 3.94 per cent for 75 per cent LTV, again on an F2 five-year fixed rate, also with a 0.75 per cent fee. Both allow a maximum loan size of £1m. Rates are tiered depending on the EPC rating of the property with those at an A level securing the most competitive rate.

The specialist lender has also made changes to its fee-assisted buy-to-let product range including fee cuts, the introduction of new 80 per cent LTV products, and new limited edition specialist fee-assisted products.

 

Buy-to-let adjustments

Habito announced a string of enhancements to its buy-to-let range, with new longer-term fixed rates at seven and 10 years, and a maximum LTV of 85 per cent. Its newly launched 85 per cent LTV products are available across the full range of terms for properties with an EPC rating of A to C and where the property value is worth a minimum of £100,000. The lender has also increased its maximum loan size from £1m to £2m to help further support landlords in London and the South East.

Coventry for Intermediaries added mortgage products across its owner-occupier, offset and buy-to-let mortgage ranges, as well as two tracker mortgages.

 

Bolstered specialist underwriting

Finally, from a service perspective, Landbay has created a portfolio underwriting team specifically to cater for professional landlords who own rental properties in a portfolio of between £2m and £15m. The team of five underwriters are all experienced in dealing with large and complex buy-to-let cases.

As previously stated, this is certainly not an all-encompassing selection of the product-related moves being made by lenders across the buy-to-let sector. Repricing has been a daily occurrence in recent times but these progressive product moves are – fingers crossed – at least more likely to be still around by the time you get around to reading this.

Foundation promotes Grant Hendry and Mark Whitear

Foundation promotes Grant Hendry and Mark Whitear

Hendry (pictured) has been appointed director of sales taking full responsibility for the specialist lender’s sales proposition, including its national sales and regional account managers.

He joined Foundation in 2018 and was previously head of sales.

Whitear takes on the role of director commercial development overseeing adviser sales support, marketing, adviser registration and management, and Foundation’s internal customer relationship management team.

He also joined Foundation in 2018 as national sales manager before working his way to head of commercial development.

Hendry said: “I have been on an incredible journey over the last four years and am very proud to be working for a lender like Foundation, especially now that I am fully responsible for the entire sales team who work so hard and care so much about advisers and their businesses.

“In a post-Covid world it is imperative we adapt to the changing landscape of the intermediary sector while continuing to meet adviser demands and providing exceptional service to them and their clients. I am looking forward to the challenges that will come with this new role and continuing to develop our sales proposition in the wider market.”

Whitear added: “At Foundation we continue to expand our proposition and put in place the structures required to deliver for advisers and their clients across a growing range of product sectors.

“Good communication is therefore vital and a big part of my role is being that link between Foundation, particularly the sales team, and the advisers who place business with us. I’m looking forward to meeting those challenges in this new role and ensuring Foundation is leading the way in terms of our adviser relationships and the way we thrive together.”

Fees-assisted BTL range relaunched by Foundation

Fees-assisted BTL range relaunched by Foundation

The deals come with a flat £495 fee, and a rate of 3.79 per cent for a two-year fix and 3.99 per cent for a five-year fixed rate.

Fees for the lender’s F1 fee-assisted range at 75 per cent LTV have dropped from £1,495 to £495. The products include a 3.29 per cent two-year fixed rate and a 3.39 per cent five-year fixed rate.

Foundation has also launched a ‘limited edition’ range for landlords purchasing or remortgaging a house in multiple occupancy (HMO) or short-term let.

The range includes a two-year fixed rate at 3.44 per cent for HMOs, rising to 3.79 per cent for short-term lets, and a five-year fixed rate at 3.64 per cent, increasing to 4.14 per cent for short-term lets. The deals are available up to £750,000 and again come with the reduced product fee of £495.

George Gee (pictured), managing director (commercial) at Foundation Home Loans, said that the lender was acutely aware of how important upfront costs were when landlords are determining their finance options, which had led to the cut in product fees.

He added that HMOs and short-term lets are becoming more popular with landlords, “so this should help a much wider range of landlords with those immediate costs, and with the added benefit of no application fee and a free standard valuation, this should make a significant difference to landlords’ upfront outlay, whether they are purchasing or remortgaging”.

The changes follow Foundation’s expansion of its green buy-to-let range and expat specialist range last month.