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Buy To Let Mortgages for Expats

Buy To Let Mortgages for Expats

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Expats living abroad often look at buy-to-let property options as an investment, a commercial project, or as a holiday home.

Revolution Finance Brokers also work with expats living abroad and seeking a mortgage in the UK.

There are restrictions and complications around borrowing in the UK while residing abroad, so we have created the below guideline to help.

Can I Get a UK Mortgage as an Expat?

If you are a UK expat living abroad, you can obtain a buy-to-let mortgage, although the application will be somewhat different from residential applicants.

Lenders need to work harder to establish your affordability if you live outside of the UK. There are also higher risks associated with their lending, and you may have less readily available credit information to provide them with.

Revolution Brokers work with expats looking for UK mortgages for any number of purposes. Our specialist lenders are experienced in this type of lending and can extend competitive offers.

The following topics are covered below:

Securing Expat Buy to Let Mortgages

Buy to Let Mortgage UK - Expats With Bad Credit

The Best Expat Mortgages Offering Buy to Let Interest-Only Loans

Income Requirements for Expat Mortgages

Deposits for Expat Buy to Let Mortgages UK

Portfolio UK Buy to Let Mortgages for Expats

Do I Need a Higher Deposit for the Best Expat Mortgages as a New Landlord?

Deposit Options for Expat Buy to Let Mortgages UK

Tips for Applying for Expat Mortgages

How Revolutions Brokers Can Help With Expat Mortgages UK

Securing Expat Buy to Let Mortgages

Some expats retain their UK property, or expand their property portfolio, and conduct a rental business as a landlord from their base overseas.

Here are a few tips that will help you secure a buy-to-let mortgage as an overseas landlord:

  • Using an independent broker.

A broker has access to the full spectrum of the UK market and can walk you through all of the stages of your mortgage application, whether you are an experienced investor or a first-time buyer.

Using a UK broker is even more essential if you are based abroad, as this makes the search process quicker and more straightforward with a local broker on the ground to do the legwork for you.

You will also find this a convenient way to save time by avoiding applying to unsuitable lenders and to secure competitive interest rates by being able to compare all of the rates on the market.

  • Evidencing your income

One of the most common reasons lenders find it difficult to lend to expats is that they need to have evidence of your income to be able to complete an affordability assessment.

If you are self-employed, whether in the UK or overseas, you will need to have copies of your accounts available. If you run an overseas business, an accountant with an internationally accepted accreditation can help with this.

  • Consider the loan term.

Some lenders will struggle to accept an application that ends when the applicant is over the age of 70. You can avoid this issue by considering your age when the loan term will end, and adjusting your mortgage application to finish before this date.

There are, however, specialist lenders who will consider applications from later-life borrowers. If this applies, give Revolution Brokers a call, and we will advise on the most suitable mortgage lenders for you.

  • Credit ratings

Your credit file is an essential factor since a lender will need to establish whether you are creditworthy. This can be tricky for expats since you are unlikely to have had any UK finance history for some time.

If you have a UK credit card, for example, this can help prospective lenders assess your good standing with credit providers.

Buy to Let Mortgage UK - Expats With Bad Credit

While fewer lenders will consider an expat buy-to-let mortgage application from somebody with an adverse credit file, there are still lenders who will be happy to lend.

This all depends on the value of the property, your security and the amount of deposit you can offer.

If you are looking to invest in a UK property as an expat and have a bad credit rating, give Revolution Brokers a call on 0330 304 3040, and we will help find the best way forward.

The Best Expat Mortgages Offering Buy to Let Interest-Only Loans

It is highly unusual for an expat buy-to-let mortgage to be issued on an interest-only basis. This is because an expat mortgage is already riskier than most other types of mortgage, and your lender might find that the risk profile on an interest-only basis is too high.

There can be circumstances where this is possible, although it will depend on having an excellent credit rating and a high-value deposit.

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Income Requirements for Expat Mortgages

One of the common reasons that expat BTL mortgage applications are rejected is that it can be challenging to demonstrate affordability through income. The minimum annual salary for an expat buy-to-let mortgage is usually at least £25k.

Some lenders will only consider UK income in their affordability assessment - that must be paid into a UK bank account. Others are experienced in expat mortgages and are happy to consider income earned overseas.

Many expat buy-to-let mortgage lenders will have criteria showing from which countries they will consider applications from expat residents, and which currencies of income they will find relevant.

This means that your choice of mortgage provider is also dependent on where you live, how much you earn, and in what currency.

Deposits for Expat Buy to Let Mortgages UK

The deposit you require will depend on your lender, how much you wish to borrow, and the property's value.

Typically, you will need a 25% deposit if you already own a UK property, but a charge will also be taken against the second property.

Portfolio UK Buy to Let Mortgages for Expats

If you have an extensive property portfolio, this makes it easier to achieve lending. There is more security available, the LTV rate is often lower, and the interest rates more favourable.

Should you be looking for an expat mortgage and not have any UK property, you might be asked to pay a deposit starting at 35% of the value of your new investment property.

Do I Need a Higher Deposit for the Best Expat Mortgages as a New Landlord?

Quite possibly, yes. If you are an established and experienced landlord, this poses a less risky proposition for a lender.

If you are a new expat landlord, then other factors will be considered, such as the growth of the rental market and the projected income achievable from your new property investment.

New expat landlords looking for a UK buy-to-let mortgage are strongly advised to work with a broker to ensure you can obtain the lending you need.

Deposit Options for Expat Buy to Let Mortgages UK

Most lenders will require a deposit payable from your savings, or released from other equity, to consider your application.

Other lenders will accept applications where the deposit is gifted; this is where the deposit is paid by a third party - usually a family member.

Familiar sources of deposit include:

  • Equity in an existing property.
  • Sale proceeds of another property.
  • Investments - in the UK or overseas.
  • Savings - depending on the country and the currency.

Deposit sources are a risk factor, so lenders will usually have policies that determine what options they can accept and which they won't.

For example, some lenders will only accept deposits paid from savings originating in a UK savings account since they can trace the source of the payments, and there isn't any likelihood of the funds arising from illegal activities.

Others are more flexible but may ask for further information about your deposit if the source is a non-standard option.

Tips for Applying for Expat Mortgages

It can feel like a minefield trying to find the right lender for your buy-to-let mortgage, with the added complication of being an expat living overseas.

Our top tips to make the process streamlined are to:

  1. Use a solicitor who speaks both your local language and English, and is familiar with UK property law.
  2. Make sure any UK legal representatives are properly registered with the Law Society and are experienced in international real estate.
  3. Use an independent lawyer.
  4. Think about insurance - expat buy-to-let insurance is a security for you and maybe required by some lenders.
  5. Consider whether your payslips or other financial information can be translated, or hire a translator to do this for you.
  6. Don't rely on online calculators for a definitive answer as to what you can borrow - these can't take into consideration all the details and criteria surrounding an expat buy-to-let mortgage.

The best way to find a competitive expat mortgage is to ensure you have a broker on your team. We identify pitfalls before they occur, advise on ways to strengthen your application and ensure the paperwork is watertight with the correct accompanying documents.

How Revolutions Brokers Can Help With Expat Mortgages UK

There are multiple benefits to using an independent broker to help access the best mortgage rates for your investment property, including:

  • Support with verifying paperwork and checking documents. Revolution Brokers will help you understand each step of the process, and identify any hidden fees or charges you need to be aware of.
  • Help with applications - mortgage applications can require a lot of paperwork, and Revolution Brokers help to streamline the application process to make sure everything is completed thoroughly, correctly, and on time.

Using a broker ensures that you have access to rates and terms not available on the open market, and is the safest way to ensure you are getting the best deal when you are trying to compare different mortgage costs from outside of the UK.

Revolution Brokers work with specialist mortgage providers, and we negotiate rates on your behalf, as well as working with each lender to ensure that your application is accepted smoothly and processed quickly.

For help and advice securing an expat buy-to-let mortgage, give us a call on 0330 304 3040 or drop us a message at info@revolutionbrokers.co.uk.

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FCA disclaimer

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.

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