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Expat Mortgage Tips

Here are some Expat Mortgage Tips for those looking to purchase soon…

  • What are the requirements for an expat buy to let mortgage in the UK
  • Can I get a UK mortgage as a non resident expat
  • How much deposit required for expat mortgages in the UK

In very general terms, anyone can apply for a UK mortgage while living abroad, provided they have an income and can show how the loan will be repaid. Typically, this means they need to be salaried, self employed or retired with a pension income and that the property being bought can be rented out. In a few cases, a lender will not require an income and they will base their lending decision solely on the rental potential of the house. Expect to pay slightly more in fees and interest costs, as you are asking the lender to take on a bigger risk.

Do I need to be an experienced landlord to qualify for expat mortgages in the UK?

It varies by lender – some will ask for at least a year of experience as an expat landlord. Not all lenders request this, though, in fact most do not.

Where will I find the best expat mortgage rates?

Because the number of specialist expat mortgage lenders is relatively small and some will only work via brokers, a good starting point is a specialist online mortgage broker. The job of a broker is to match you with the most appropriate lender and that can change over time. Not all banks will lend to expats in all countries. For example, some of the big banks will not lend to expats in Saudi Arabia, others will not lend to buyers resident in the EU. Australian based expats can sometimes hit issues too.

We only introduce expat clients to international mortgage lenders who we know can help you secure an expat mortgage for the UK, wherever you live.

Can I choose if my expat mortgages in the UK are interest only or repayment?

Normally yes, but some expat mortgage lenders require them to be interest only. If you wanted a repayment mortgage, your expat mortgage broker should take that into account at the outset. Some loans, although interest only, offer penalty free repayment of capital, so you can reduce the capital outstanding this way. Typically, you can pay up to 10% of the capital owing each year,  so this can be a quick way to repay a mortgage in the UK while you are working abroad.

I live abroad, do I need to remortgage to get an expat UK mortgage?

It depends on your circumstances. If your family still live in the house, no, you do not need to. If you have rented the house prior to emigrating, did you tell your lender and get a permission to let? Or do you want to remortgage to raise capital, perhaps to carry our improvement works or has a UK fixed rate or discounted term mortgage expired,  or is a permission to let is about to run out?

Other things to bear in mind with international and expat UK mortgages

There might be other features that would be of interest to you as a property buyer in the UK, but living and working abroad. Is a minimum loan size an important limitation? If you want to buy outside of a city, often homes are cheaper, so you may not need a large UK expat mortgage. Some expats have incomes that vary, perhaps they might be commission based or they might work part time. If income uncertainty is a feature, you may want to use a lender who disregards income altogether when considering a loan – again it makes sense to talk to an online mortgage broker to find such lenders.

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