Life doesn't have to be complicated

Don't miss out on new business opportunities

Life doesn't have to be complicated

The following article was provided by Emily Smith (pictured), head of intermediary sales & distribution at Harpenden Building Society.

How many times have you missed out on getting a mortgage application across the line because it’s been considered more complex than the norm? If you work exclusively with a panel of mainstream lenders, then this scenario may be familiar – but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to lose out on ‘complex’ business, a specialist lender can help.  

Choosing the right lender 

If all property buying circumstances were the same, life would be far less interesting. Everybody has different mortgage requirements depending on their life stage or particular need, no more so than buyers with a multifaceted financial profile. It’s therefore important to partner with a lender with the appropriate expertise to genuinely manage a complex mortgage application.

Mortgages from Harpenden, and a number of specialist lenders, are individually underwritten, unlike many high street lenders, giving us the ability to work with complex mortgage applications. Manual underwriting allows flexibility when assessing the mortgage application and the ability to accommodate the changing nature of each household’s income, even if it may have been modified by circumstance.

Specialist lenders are far more likely to be able to consider a wide range of income sources when determining mortgage affordability. These include salary, bonus and commission, self-employed income, pension and investment or trust income. We actively encourage brokers to speak with our BDMs so a focused, personalised decision can be made on the mortgage application, however complex.

Dentist given plenty to smile about

We have multiple examples of when we’ve brought a successful conclusion to a complex mortgage. Simon Ryder, director of First Financial Intermediaries, one of our broker partners, takes up the story.

“A young family, came to us looking for a property needing more space – it was a substantial home in the South East with a mortgage of £1 million needed,” he said. “The husband, one of the joint applicants, was a GP with a relatively straight forward income. His wife, the second named applicant, was a dentist who had also recently decided to buy the dentist practice that she was working at, making their financials more complicated. To add additional complexity, the couple also received a gifted deposit from outside of the UK from a relative living and working in New York.

“This was a tricky case. The gifted deposit coming from abroad would have to undergo additional checks and although the dental practice was established, most lenders would only take into account a limited income history as the business was only recently acquired by the applicant, looking at her as a self-employed dentist rather than a business owner.

“We’d considered some 20 lenders, but it was Harpenden who came through with a positive solution and approved the loan for my clients. Harpenden’s approach was different, creating a more bespoke service and the result needed. Some decisions came out of lending policy, but they also applied sensible decision making to the situation. The gifted deposit – had been taxed and robustly reviewed, and the dental business financials from the previous three years, prior to our applicant’s ownership, were considered and deemed to represent minimum future earnings. The rest is history, as they say, with a positive outcome secured for all involved.

“It does take longer to put a case like this together, to look in detail at all the possibilities, but we were upfront with the client, and advised them of what to expect. With support from us, the broker and Harpenden as lender, the prospect of acquiring the new family home came a reality to everyone’s delight.

“The approach taken paid dividends for all involved, getting the mortgage approved and over the line. Finding a specialist lender who will take a flexible view on the merits of each case is important, particularly when the case has multiple moving parts.”

Going to a specialist lender first can save time, money and even be the difference between the application failing or succeeding. This individual, personal underwriting process which gets to the heart of the situation may not be for all lenders, but to a specialist lender it’s part of the everyday, helping brokers to increase business and their customers to acquire their desired property.

When you are considering your next complex mortgage enquiry, keep it simple. Reach out to a specialist lender.