Industry Insight Episode 4
In case you missed our earlier episodes, you can get up to speed with:
- “Industry Insight | Multigenerational Living Is On an Extraordinary Rise | 2020“
- “Industry Insight Episode 2 | Challenges in the Mortgage Industry: An Amazing Read“
- “Industry Insight Episode 3 | Uncovering the Potential of Annexes as Holiday Lets“
Today, Industry Insight Episode 4 is on the subject of “Making the dream achievable.” COVID-19 has negatively affected life in the UK more than any other scenario since World War Two: our health and well-being, free movement, the opportunity to see loved ones, financial stability, job security and how we live are just a few examples. Despite these setbacks, many believe there is reason for optimism and that new, positive situations will emerge.
Industry Insight Episode 4 | Aspirational Thinking
Having spent months of work and leisure time confined to the same residential address and with the prospect of more time living like this, many of our customers are planning change. They have told us how positive, aspirational thinking about their living situations has lifted them during these bleak times.
Choosing to live somewhere new and better suited to current living requirements or considering a property upgrade is a reason behind scores of new mortgage applications at Harpenden Building Society. Planning to purchase a ‘dream home’ is very much in mind, and it’s good to hear.
Industry Insight Episode 4 | Opportunities for brokers
Everyone has a different dream when it comes to buying a property. As a broker or a specialist lender like ourselves, we can help facilitate these aspirations. I love it when customers share their ideas and property ambitions with us – the next step to achievement can then begin. Whether it’s a first-time purchase, a self-build project, modifying an existing property or purchasing a holiday home, the list is infinite.
Life’s too short to put these dreams on hold, and I admire those who grasp the opportunity. We had a really inspiring mortgage application recently. A couple, one of whom had health issues, wanted to make the most of life before their condition became more debilitating. The existing lender would not offer a longer-term or an interest-only structure.
So, the capital repayments inhibited the lifestyle they sought over the next year or so. The issue for the broker was finding a lender who could understand the client’s situation and a valuer who could understand their property.
Harpenden Building Society was able to provide both and come up with an alternative solution, having looked into the applicants’ financials in detail. We considered the couple’s complex income and then found an option so the mortgage could be approved.
Industry Insight Episode 4 | Financial profiles are changing
Just like the couple mentioned here, how customers receive income may not be as straightforward as before. We’re seeing increasing numbers of brokers and their customers coming to us with complex financial profiles and multiple income streams.
Mortgage applications assessed by a mainstream retail lender can’t always accommodate this level of complexity. Mass applications assessed by an algorithm can be rejected at the first step for those customers with a non-standard financial profile.
At Harpenden, we, and some other specialist lenders, manually underwrite every mortgage application, helping us take a considered view, assess the risk in more detail, and look at the full picture. We want to say ‘yes’ – with in-depth scrutiny, a complex application can often proceed.
Industry Insight Episode 4 | Achieve the dream
‘Living the dream’ is an ethos I predict will be adopted increasingly as house buyers are gradually freed from COVID-19 restrictions. In more complex lending situations, choosing an experienced lender who will manually assess your customers’ mortgage applications will help more people achieve their dreams.
Further details of Harpenden Building Society’s specialist mortgages can be found at harpendenbs.co.uk/intermediaries
Credit: Jean Errington, Business Development Manager, Harpenden Building Society | Industry Insight Episode 4