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The helicopter, barracks and Aladdin’s cave: the weird and wonderful mortgage cases of 2018 – Marketwatch

  • 19/12/2018
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The helicopter, barracks and Aladdin’s cave: the weird and wonderful mortgage cases of 2018 – Marketwatch
Each mortgage can bring its own surprises, difficulties and challenges for advisers.

But this week’s Marketwatch panel prove: where there’s a will, there’s a way.

We asked about their most interesting mortgage cases of the year and how they were tackled.


Rachel Lummis, mortgage adviser, Xpress Mortgages

Looking back at 2018, we had some rather interesting mortgages, but the case, or should I say cases, that spring to mind was the rather challenging remortgage of 54 buy-to-let properties.

The client came to me at the end of 2017 wanting to raise the maximum capital on each property.

Staring at this portfolio for a good few hours was like looking into Aladdin’s cave, there were some crackers.

Most of the mortgages were on low variable rates with lenders and products that haven’t been seen in almost a decade.

How I was wishing the client came to me before the new Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) rules had kicked in.

Days were spent with a colour coded spreadsheet that listed available lenders and what they would lend based on each of their unique rental calculations and criteria.

It was like trying to choose the final contestants to get through to X Factor boot camp.

The shortlisted lenders were then scrutinised to see if they made the final cut, the odd curveball was thrown in, like several ex-local authority flats with balcony access that had to be shifted across to a specific lender.

But after days of research putting together, this 54-piece jigsaw puzzle was complete.

Now the task of getting them submitted and form filling, oh the joy of completing 54 business plans, assets and liabilities, cash flow forecast and portfolios, the PRA rules now deemed necessary.

The year has flown by, we had to change course several times, not all surveyors were kind, but 52 have completed so far.

This was one way to learn the lenders’ new PRA rules I suppose.


Alastair McKee, managing director, One 77 Mortgages

Our standout case of 2018 was a client with a lovely property worth several million who wanted to capital raise to fund his helicopter purchase.

Due to his success and wealth, his income was complex and tax efficient meaning he had very little earned income and most of it was derived from capital gains income via the sale of businesses.

Based on the value of the property, and the 100 acres attached to it, most high street lenders would have said no just based on this.

We then had to factor in the income structures and the fact he was buying a helicopter, which was a little unusual, and most underwriters walked away from the deal.

After numerous calls and emails to lenders we struck gold and managed to find a lender who would look at it.

After all, the entire borrowing against the property was only about 12% loan to value so there was minimal risk from the bank’s perspective.

The business development manager (BDM) was great and without their input we would not have got it over the line.

So it goes to show, a good BDM is worth their weight in gold and they don’t get enough recognition for their efforts in my view.

Anyway, the case completed and the client got his helicopter, I’m still waiting for my flight over the office in it though.


Nicola Arbon, managing director, The Mortgage Hut

Of the thousands of customers we have helped this year, one of the quirkiest ones was a military barracks in Wales.

It was being converted into affordable housing for soldiers coming out of the army.

So we helped the customer refinance, get a better deal and avoid needing to sell the property.

We have also dealt with a lot of self-employed and specialist lending – including just this week with a dentist who put £1m into buying a practice.

He had been taking his income back as a director’s loan, so it does not show on the SA302.

Therefore, it’s hard to see and because of the amortisation in the accounts, the profit also does not support the repayment of the loan.

However, we managed to find a lender to agree to it and underwrite it.

They understood that it was the repayment of the director’s loan, so it was simply the best way to do it for tax efficiency and the customer was able to borrow £1.5m.


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