The UK is one of the best places to live, work and invest. As Europe’s financial hub, the UK attracts high net worth individuals and the best minds from all over the world. This has seen property prices skyrocket. In fact, research has shown that property prices in the UK have been growing by double digits. Since property prices are already high, this growth rate gives investors a great return on their investments. Another important point to note about the property market is that occupancy rates in commercial and residential properties are some of the highest in the world. These are just some of the factors that have been driving growth in the UK property market. While it may be easy for UK residents to get a mortgage to buy property, British expats often have a difficult time.
UK Mortgages for Expats
There are many challenges that expats face when they want to buy property. The first is proving their income and credit worthiness. The second is the difficulty in servicing a mortgage using local currency. The third is managing the property while living overseas. There are many other challenges that mortgage lenders have sought to address through their expat mortgages. Most lenders offering expat mortgages in the UK only finance buy-to-rent properties. However, some lenders offer mortgages for residential properties. If you already have an existing mortgage that has inconvenient terms and conditions, you can have the mortgage refinanced as you continue to work and service the credit facility from abroad.
Choosing the Right Expat Mortgage Lender
Obviously, it is important you check the interest rate quoted by a mortgage lender. After all, there is no reason why you should pay a higher rate of interest just because you are an expat. Since rates usually vary from time to time, you may want to choose a fixed rate mortgage to ensure you pay the same rate of interest throughout the term of the loan. Since you are most likely being paid in local currency, the conversion rate to the Pound Sterling may force you to pay more money in the future. For this reason, you may want to consider working with a lender that has a local subsidiary as they can offer the best Forex rates.
Ideally, you should borrow from a lender with a lot of experience lending to expats. Firms that are just entering the expat mortgage lending business may not know the challenges associated with lending to people who live in another country. Furthermore, you may want to work with a mortgage broker who will advise and guide you through the expat mortgage process.