Thoughts from a Mortgage Broker

Just finishing the year…

I want to put finger to keyboard to give you my take on another busy and interesting year in the life of this mortgage adviser. A lot of you send me kind comments about articles I have posted in the last year so thank you all!

HHH Mortgages

This has been a year where House and Holiday Home has grown on again, which I know that because I owe Mr Hammond more money than the year before. (That’s fine but please spend it wisely Chancellor…!)

Son and heir, Joe, has joined me and when I think he has to learn the house buying process, understand the compliance, pass his exams, do our marketing, learn what 54 lenders do and then sell his wares to new customers. Fair play, well done.

And still he has time to give me a long to do list every month!

Joe is a very safe pair of hands for this business and I know that whatever comes our way in the next 20 years, and a lot will come our way, both as challenges and opportunities, he will cope with admirably.

Holiday Let Mortgages

Despite the name, we do a lot more than Holiday Home Mortgages as most of you know.

Purchase, remortgage, first time buyers, new build and equity release.

But it is great to see a handful of new lenders come into the holiday let space. In truth the criteria doesn’t differ much from my mainstay lenders but the fact we have new lenders will I am sure get more Buy To Let borrowers thinking about a different but potentially exciting type of property investment. Plus, competition can only be a good thing for consumers.

As I wrote earlier in the year, owning your own second home in a UK holiday spot might be easier than you think.

Equity Release

2018 has seen Equity Release grow massively in terms of amounts lent.

This is a growth sector as more people understand that equity release can work well for them and solve a need. You only have to see the growing numbers of adverts in the media for this sector.

More and more people need equity release too as we live longer, and the pension pot seems to get ever smaller. Many people use the release of money from their home to help their children get on the property ladder.

As trusted advisers we must all act with care, skill and responsibility to put the right solution in front of the right customer. The regulators are rightly showing concern about the amount younger equity release borrowers are taking up.

Specialist Lending

We are, I feel, no longer purely Buy To Let advisers. We have had to learn to become Buy to let Specialists as we deal with complex criteria surrounding property portfolios, HMOs, new landlords and differing rental calculations.

The customers have had to put on their tin hats as tax changes extra stamp duty charges bite. The mortgage adviser really is the property investors property guide dog right now!

We have always been mainstream mortgage advisers but now we are also specialist lending advisers.

In 2017, Rio was a city in Brazil or a Duran Duran song. Now it is also a special type of older person’s mortgage. Lenders like Marsden Building Society and Hodge Bank and many others specialize in lending to the 65-90-year olds. This sector barely existed 5 years ago.

Robo-Advice

We hear about the threats of competition from mortgage robots. I get it, but I give honest human advice laced with, some may say, poor humour but always a smile. Come on robot, show me what you have got!

Technology will of course challenge us and help us. We must embrace it but don’t underestimate the power of people working with people.

Furthermore, I think it’s fair to say that the robots simply wouldn’t have been able to deal with the complexity involved with the vast majority of cases that we’ve dealt with this year. There’s life in the old dog yet!

Thank you!

Finally, some thanks to hand out!

Firstly, to all my customers, without you we are nothing.

Thank you to all my BDMs. Many of you, I am proud to call friends now, and your help is invaluable. I cannot understand why some big lenders don’t put more BDMS in front of brokers.

Thank you to my network Mortgage Intelligence, headed up by the incomparable Sally Laker.  They give us the lenders, training, courses, updates, webinars, compliance, and expertise. Like many in a small business it can be a bit lonely being a broker, at times, in a small firm and MI offer us expertise and camaraderie.

Next year will be a good year, I am confident about that.

We need to get the unmentionable sorted out but that will happen eventually and House and Holiday Home Mortgages Ltd will power on.

Have a great break all of you and we wish you a prosperous and peaceful  2019 .