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Why this autumn is a good time to remortgage


I was talking to an estate agent about the housing market earlier this week and he pointed out that there are only about six weeks left to get your property sold before things start to wind down for Christmas. As people come back from holiday and the schools go back, it’s a good time to focus the mind. While you may not be in the market for a new home, everyone could do with taking a look at their mortgage and ensuring they aren’t paying more than they need to.

The good news is that there are still plenty of competitive products on the market with five-year fixed rates available from less than 2.5 per cent, depending on the amount of equity you have in your home. If you are sat on your lender’s standard variable rate and are worried about the potential of an interest rate rise in the not-so-distant future, it may be worth securing one of these deals to protect yourself against higher mortgage payments.

With the mortgage market review rules making it harder to remortgage, it is important that you seek independent advice. Borrowers may be in for a shock as lenders are asking many more searching questions and will want to see much more evidence of income and outgoings than the last time you remortgaged. Our brokers can guide you through the process and ensure you are in the strongest position possible when it comes to making your mortgage application.

To get ready to make a mortgage application, set up a file with 12 months’ bank statements (order replacements for any missing ones; three to six months of payslips; three years of accounts or SA302s or tax returns, if you are self-employed; a recent utility bill and copy of your passport; as well as full and detailed income and expenditure summary. Most mortgage offers last up to six months so plan ahead and don’t leave it until the last minute, or you may end up on a more expensive SVR.

Jonathan Harris
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Jonathan Harris

A week in the life of a mortgage broker


Wonder what an Anderson Harris mortgage broker gets up to in an average week? Adrian Anderson, director of Anderson Harris, shared his week with Financial Adviser

Or you can read about it here:


It is early on Monday morning. Last weekend I spent a considerable amount of time at children’s birthday parties, so I decide to treat myself to an extra strong coffee on the way into work.

I have not even made it to my desk before my mobile rings. An existing client is calling to let me know he has agreed to purchase a new flat in Mayfair over the weekend. There are only 10 working days to exchange contracts, but I am familiar with this type of property and the high level of demand for it. I know we have to act quickly otherwise somebody else is going to snap it up. I need to find a lender who is not only pricing competitively, but who has the ability to turn around a mortgage application extremely quickly. “Oh by the way,” my client says as we are finishing our conversation, “it has a rather short lease.”


My offices are in Mayfair and I arrive extra early today as I only have an hour to gather supporting documents and prepare before I head over to the City. I am meeting with a new ex-pat client who is a banker in Singapore. I am introducing him to a private bank I know well. We meet at my client’s offices, which are on the top floor of a shiny new building in the heart of the City. It has amazing views down the river. As the historic writer Samuel Johnson said: “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.”


My first task today is to gather the sales figures for our weekly team meeting at 10am. Last month turned out to be another very positive one and this one is not looking too bad either. The introduction of MMR has naturally made our jobs more challenging. Luckily, it has had a silver lining because it has driven a flight to quality independent advice, which means we are busier than ever. After the meeting, a lender comes into our offices to run through their new lending criteria. We will reserve judgement on this until our first few applications get past the finishing post.


I have a new client meeting at 9am. The prospect has recently left his role in a large, well-known accountancy firm after 10 years to set up a new private equity venture. His first set of company accounts have not even been prepared yet. The absence of any income history will concern the banks, so I know already that this is not going to be an easy meeting. Luckily, I have lunch to look forward to. I am meeting a Chelsea-based estate agent to discuss the possibility of their agency introducing clients to us if they need mortgage advice.


Today is my favourite day of the week. My only meeting is with a local wealth management firm I already know. The firm has already introduced some great quality clients and would like to discuss referring more. After that, the Anderson Harris team heads out for lunch. I think it is important to make time for lunch on Fridays, especially as we were four years young this week. The team and I celebrate the anniversary at one of our local gastro pubs.

Adrian Anderson is a director of Anderson Harris

Adrian Anderson
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Adrian Anderson

How school fees impact your ability to get a mortgage (or remortgage)


As the summer holidays draw to a close, parents of children who attend private school will be paying their bills in readiness for the next academic term. But most parents will be shocked to discover that in doing so they could hamper their chances of getting a mortgage or simply remortgaging.

Indeed, parents who have not remortgaged in the past few years may find they can’t once school fees are factored into the equation, as the lender will deem that they can’t ‘afford’ their mortgage.

Before the Mortgage Market Review, school fees were deemed as discretionary spending but now they are regarded as committed expenditure. Whereas in the past a lender would often ignore them when working out how much a customer could borrow, now lenders factor in the cost of them over the remaining term of the child’s schooling up to age 18.

This may not be an issue if you have enough savings allocated to cover school fees. But it does mean planning ahead is vital. If grandparents want to leave money for the children after they die, for example, it might be prudent to get an advance on this by asking them to pay the school fees.

Some lenders would like to be more flexible but when school fees are factored into the equation, it takes the underwriters time to process and the high-street banks like to pick the lowest hanging fruit and process applications quickly. However, a good broker should be able to present the application to the bank’s credit team in a way that makes the application viable. Contact us for more information.

Jonathan Harris
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Jonathan Harris