This month, KB Mortgage Services turns six and to mark this occasion, Kate reflects on the last few years within the industry.
What recent trends have you seen in the mortgage world?
Due to the covid pandemic and lockdowns, I have seen that people have needed to adapt to the new ways of working remotely. More people have upsized their homes, because they need extra space for an office, for instance, or taken out additional borrowing on their current property to extend. Quite a lot of businesses have kept the flexible approach and staff are continuing to work remotely, meaning the location of their home can be more flexible too.
How have you changed your working ways post covid?
During the lockdown, I was able to adapt quickly by offering appointments over the phone or by Zoom/Teams meetings. In terms of dealing with lenders, there wasn’t much change as documents have always been sent electronically.
But now I am back out seeing more clients face-to-face which is how I like it. I love meeting people and feel that it can be key to building a lot of relationships. However, I do feel that I work smarter now and have definitely saved time doing more tasks remotely.
What advice would you give to first-time buyers right now?
Do it! I have a lot of clients asking me whether it is the right time to buy at the moment. I do think it is, even though the house prices feel higher, as I’ve always said it’s great to get on the property ladder. Interest rates are still low compared to what they have been historically. Joining forces with other people can significantly increase your mortgage power and there are a number of ways to do it, including getting a joint mortgage, using the joint borrower, sole proprietor option or using family savings in some instances.
Tell us 6 things about mortgages we might not know:
- Most lenders will allow a term of between 2 and 40 years and it doesn’t have to be in multiples of 5’s such as 25, 30 or 35 years, as people think. You can look at a 23- or 27-year term for instance.
- There are lenders that will consider you even if you have only 12 months of self-employment. You don’t always have to have 2 or 3 years of books.
- You can usually overpay by up to 10% of the balance of your mortgage per year without incurring any penalties. This can be done by a monthly standing order or a lump sum.
- If you look to move home during a fixed rate there could be options to port your current mortgage onto another property to save early repayment charges.
- Every lender has different criteria and affordability therefore you may get better borrowing capability from one to another.
- Most lenders require a 25% deposit for a buy-to-let mortgage however there may be options with just 20% deposit. The property needs to be lettable at the time of purchase.
Would you have done anything differently in the past 6 years?
I am not sure I would. I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason and any mistakes I may have made, I’ve learnt from, and that’s got me where I am today.
What are some business lessons you’ve learnt in the last 6 years?
Networking and building relationships are really important! I am always learning and every day is a school day. You can learn lessons from people in all different fields, not just in your own industry. I have also experienced the hard way that there is only so much time in a day, and using it wisely gets the best out of you. Overdoing things can lead to mistakes, and I now know when to stop.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone starting a business?
Don’t expect it to be easy, putting in the hard work and hours will give you the best return. And believe in yourself!
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
I would say I am a mix… an ambivert!
Have you managed to go on holiday this year?
I went to Iceland for 3 nights earlier in the year and I am going to Spain tomorrow for a few days with my friend which I am looking forward to! However, my main holiday is usually around September time. I think it is really important to have something to look forward to and to give yourself the break you deserve and work so hard for.
If you’re looking for mortgage or protection advice in Huddersfield, Brighouse or West Yorkshire, get in touch with Kate here:
How KB Mortgage Services can help:
- Help for first-time buyers
- Buy to let mortgages for investors
- Reviewing your current buy-to-let mortgages with remortgaging
- Mortgage protection insurance
Note: Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. You may have to pay an early repayment to your existing lender if you remortgage. Second charge mortgages are arranged by introduction only.