Mortgages for Expats and Foreign Nationals
Can expats/foreign nationals get a UK mortgage?
Yes, expats and foreign nationals can get a UK mortgage providing they pass all the relevant application checks like any mortgage application.
Can I buy a house in the UK if I live abroad?
Yes, you can. Providing the country you’re applying from is part of the ‘Financial Action tax Force’. This is a multinational body that overseas money laundering and terrorism. So, providing the country is part of this scheme, then there’s no issue with obtaining a mortgage for an overseas applicant.
What are the challenges when it comes to applying for this type of mortgage?
There are a few challenges to overcome when applying for this type of mortgage. The country you’re applying from needs to be part of the ‘Financial Action Task Force’. There are many countries that are not part of this, such as Jamaica and Pakistan, so we’re unable to work with any requests from nationals or expats based in any black listed country.
Countries such as China and Hong Kong are fine, but you will still need ID, proof of deposit and a solicitor. Credit checks and searches will also be conducted, but these will be harder to do as the clients do not have a presence in the UK.
How do I better my chances of getting an expat/foreign national mortgage?
We would highly recommend seeking out a specialist mortgage broker who works in this field. They have access to the whole market lenders where they can access direct private international banks and as they will know the field, the pitfalls and what to expect, they can guide you through the process and the overall requirements.
How much deposit is needed for an expat/ foreign national mortgage and how much can I borrow?
This will depend on the property you’re looking at purchasing, whether you will be living in the property, or if it’s going to be an investment property. On average, the deposit is 25% and the amount you can borrow is dependent on the rent of the property.
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Can expats/foreign nationals get Buy to Let properties?
Yes you can. If this is the first property that you’re buying in the UK, then you have no credit footprint. While this won’t stop you from buying a property, you may find it will cost a bit more than if you’re already established in the country. Once you have an established credit profile and have a bank account whether personal or under a limited company for over 12 months, this opens up the market and to more lenders with cheaper rates.
How do I apply for an expat/foreign national mortgage – any differences?
You will find the paperwork requirements more complex than if you were a national citizen. As a broker we can help assist you with this, identify the right lender and help you put all the paperwork together to make the translation as painless as possible.
How can a mortgage broker help?/Anything else to consider?
If you are looking at purchasing some property in the UK be prepared to fly over for visits with your solicitor. If you buy through a limited company then you will also need to have some independent legal advice as the majority of mortgages have personal guarantees, so either a solicitor in your home based country which is approved by your lender, else you will need to be in person to complete the paperwork.