17 Sep 2019


There are many expats from the UK, that still hold a passionate relationship with their home country, so there’s no wonder that expats buying property in the UK is on the rise. British passport holders who are living or working abroad are applicable to buy property, here we try explaining the process.

Firstly, we would strongly recommend that searching the market yourself is a pure NO-NO, as the variables are endless, with so many lenders out there, with their multi-faceted application processes, you’ll be looking for a very small needle in a massive haystack. Lenders can be very fussy at the best of times: –

  • Some lenders will need you to earn a certain salary, in some cases far more then you would need too, if you lived in the UK.
  • Some lenders will only deal with applicants who work for a multi-national organisation.
  • Some lenders will only accept applicants who are paid their salary in pounds sterling.
  • All lenders have a list of countries to whom they will not lend to, primarily due to international financial sanctions. If you are an expat from there, you may be facing an uphill battle.

Even if you just take the reasons above find the right mortgage can be difficult. Revolution finance Brokers have experienced brokers that can ease this burden.

All lenders will require certain documents to support your application so having these ready will be of great benefit, the following are the basic documents that all lenders will require.

  • A British passport
  • A UK bank account with the latest three months’ statements
  • A copy of your employment contract
  • Your address, in the country you are currently residing in

A home buyer or buy to let mortgage?

Most expats enquire about buy to let mortgages. Expats use buy to let products, so they can retain their properties in the UK. Unlike a residential mortgage, the rent makes sure that the mortgage is paid, and the tenants safeguard that the property is not left empty.

If you’re about to migrate overseas, you must ask your current lender for consent to let if you plan to rent out your home whilst you are away. This is often granted for up to twelve months but is not a long-term answer. If you don’t get the permission, or it’s run out, you could contemplate trying to re-mortgage your property onto a buy to let. Regrettably, there are complications with this choice. Most lenders like the mortgagor to provide an indication of an advancing purchase or address, and most will not accept addresses abroad. So…. it’s a bit of a catch 22! If you are in this situation, do get in touch to talk through the options, we will certainly try to help.

As with any other buy to let mortgage, if you are borrowing personally, the rent must generally cover the mortgage outgoings by at least 145%. If you are borrowing via Ltd company, 125% is more common.

If you are moving overseas or are already living abroad and don’t own a property in the UK, some lenders will consider first-time buyer-landlords however, you will have more choices if you already own a UK property.

In a few situations, it may be possible to get a home-owner mortgage, for example, if you work abroad whilst your family remains to live in the UK.

Homeowner mortgages for expats returning to the UK.

There’s no such thing as an ex-expat! Once you are back in the UK you will be viewed as a UK resident which means you should have more options, as long as you meet the standard borrowing criteria of course.

However, if you are living overseas but arranging to return to the UK, you won’t be able to get a mortgage until you have physically moved back.

Here at Revolution Finance Brokers, our affiliation is with no one lender, our advice is based on your needs. Before we speak to any lenders will we fully understand your situation and based upon that we will secure the best possible products, at the best possible rates.

Contact us now to discuss your personal options, Revolution Finance Brokers specialise in commercial and residential finance in Essex, Kent, London and Hertfordshire.



Almas Uddin

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The content included in our articles, blogs, web pages and news publications is based on information accurate at the time of writing. Note that policies and criteria can change regularly throughout the UK mortgage lending market, and it remains essential to contact the consultation team to receive up to date guidance. The information included on the Revolution Brokers site is not bespoke to any circumstances or individual application scenarios and therefore is not intended to be used as financial advice. The content we share is designed to be informative and helpful but cannot be relied upon to provide individual advice relevant to your mortgage requirements. All Revolution team members are fully qualified, trained and experienced to provide mortgage advice of an independent nature. We collaborate with lenders and providers who are regulated, authorised and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Should you require specific mortgage borrowing types, some products such as buy to let mortgages may not be FCA regulated. The Revolution team can provide further information about regulated and unregulated lending as required. Please remember that a mortgage is a debt which is secured against your home or property. Your home can be at risk of repossession if you do not keep up with the repayments or encounter any other difficulties in managing your mortgage borrowing responsibly. This also applies to any remortgage or home loan secured against your property, including equity release products.