Guides to Mortgages, Insurance and Selling Your Home

As well as the blog posts on the Limetree website, we have written guides to help you understand key financial topics:

  • For a general introduction to mortgages, our Mortgage Guide explains the important things that you need to know. For example, what are the different types of rate and mortgage? What about mortgage fees? What insurance is a legal requirement when you get a mortgage?
  • The guide to insurance explains the different types of life insurance and building and contents insurance. It also helps you to understand investment plans for paying off interest-only mortgages.
  • To understand the criteria that buy-to-let lenders use to calculate how much you can borrow, you can download our buy-to-let guide.

We also have guides to help you understand the processes of moving home and applying for a mortgage:

  • The 6 Part Mortgage Process explains how Limetree guides you through applying for a mortgage, right up to completing your house move. And it doesn’t stop there – our review service makes sure that when a preferential rate deal comes to an end, you move onto the best deal next.
  • The guide to selling your home lays out the seven steps involved in selling your property if you use an estate agent.
  • Our Conveyancing Guide covers in detail the legal processes involved in buying or selling property.

And if those guides don’t cover what you want to know about mortgages, insurance or moving house – contact Limetree and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Posted in Insurance, Mortgages, News

Remortgaging in Retirement with National Counties

I contributed to the Financial Times Adviser recently in a story about a lender improving its remortgage product for pensioners.

National Counties has reduced the completion fee of its 10-year fixed rate mortgage to £495 and expanded the available repayment term, as well as granting the ability to repay up to 10% of the original advance each year.

At Limetree we normally only recommend products longer than five-year fixed when the client has a fixed income. But this product from National Counties suits people with 10 or 15 years to run on their mortgage even as they enter retirement. It could even allow them to use part of their pension to pay it off a bit sooner.

The age limit for the remortgage is 75. There are not many products like this for senior homeowners, so the enhanced deal is very welcome. They are offering a rate of 4.19% up to 25% loan-to-value.

National Counties is a small niche lender that has always seemed thoughtful. If you have built up 75% equity in your home and are into your retirement, remortgaging with them will allow you to pay off the rest of your mortgage at a superb rate.

Contact Limetree to find out more about the conditions.

Posted in Remortgaging

Bridging Finance Not Just for Mega-Rich

It used to be considered to be the preserve of the super-rich or of clients willing to take very high risk positions. However, in recent years, we’ve seen the market for bridging finance expand rapidly.

Bridging finance is usually an interim loan, arranged quickly to cover the gap between expenditure (such as buying a house) and the next stage of financing (such as selling). It is becoming a convenient way of making a deal work. Although the costs are still relatively high, the opportunities it can open up mean we are seeing more enquiries for bridging from people in all sorts of situations.

Traditionally bridging has always been seen as a chain-breaker in property sales. However, more and more we are seeing it used for:

  • Investment purchase
  • Short-term cash flow
  • Home improvements
  • Business use

These days there is a wide variety of bridging products available:

  • Loans from £30k to £5 million
  • Rates from 0.85% pm
  • 1st and 2nd charges available
  • Daily interest, with interest payable monthly or effectively borrowed as part of the loan
  • No exit fees
  • Terms from 1–23 months, with one lender even offering a 3-year bridge

Bridging finance is not for everyone, but is more versatile than it used to be. Why not call us to find out if it could help you with your next property move or development?

Posted in Commercial Mortgages, Mortgages, Next Time Buyers

Do Solar Panels Wreck Your Mortgage?

There is a growing increase in the number of homeowners leasing their roof space to specialist companies for the installation of solar panels. But is this arrangement making their property un-mortgageable?

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has issued guidance on what solar panel leases should, and should not, contain, if they are to be acceptable for mortgage purposes.

One crucial detail: if a property has a solar panel lease which does not contain a mortgage break right, then lenders will be unable to accept the property as security.

Because some situations are in doubt, all cases subject to solar panel leases will not therefore be eligible for the free standard legal fees that CML currently offer to remortgage customers. The reason is that these cases will require their panel solicitors to review the lease first to check that it complies with CML guidance.

If you are leasing your roof to a solar panels company, or are intending to do so, and want to remortgage, we recommend that you obtain this information as early as possible in the mortgage application process.

For further information on solar panel leases read the CML guidance.

For further information on mortgaging, and finding the best deal for you from the many available, contact Limetree Financial Services. It’s free to find out.


Posted in Mortgages, Next Time Buyers, Remortgaging

Double Whammy to Hit Interest-Only Borrowers

If you are sitting on an interest-only mortgage with a low tracker rate, you might be in for a double shock.

Everyone expects interest rates to rise at some stage. Many clients will then look to remortgage. But when they do, the monthly repayments are likely to be much higher, as lenders restrict the ability to borrow on an interest-only basis.

To make matters worse, Santander announced recently that they will not accept applications for interest-only mortgages for over 50% of the property value, which is low. And other lenders are also restrictive – lending a maximum of 66%, or at most 75%, loan to value.

Another problem is that many interest-only lenders also require that the equity is over £150,000. (Equity is the amount of money that you would have left if you sold your property and paid off the mortgage).

Case study: interest-only remortgage

Let’s say you have a £250,000 property with a £150,000 interest-only mortgage, and as the rates rise you want to remortgage to find a better deal.

You would not be able to remortgage interest-only with Santander because you would be borrowing 60% loan-to-value.

And although this would be a LTV below 66% or 75%, the following lenders also would not (currently) lend to you: Nationwide, Woolwich, Cambridge Building Society, to name just three. That’s because you would fall short of £150,000 of equity.

The double whammy awaiting interest-only borrowers is the rise in rates combined with an increase in monthly repayments – as many of them will not qualify for interest-only and will have to start repaying capital as well.

But all is not lost. Contact Limetree for a free chat about your mortgage options. We are truly independent brokers who find the best mortgages from across the whole market, and may be able to find you a way to continue with interest-only.

Posted in Mortgages, Next Time Buyers, Remortgaging