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Simon Allen

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  • Location
    Knutsford Cheshire
  • Areas I invest in
    East Manchester
  • About me
    Addicted to property and once got told off in a church during a service when I was trying to work out how many flats you could get into it. A long history of providing finance to property owners and businesses with a spell running a national bridging company. I now through Searchlight Finance arrange finance for investors, developers and landlords.
  • Property investment interests
    Most things with a roof on. Understanding why a property and location is chosen.
  • My skills
    Property Finance including Portfolio Finance, Bridging, BTL, HMO and Commercial finance.

    Experienced landlord in single lets.
  • My goals
    Grow the portfolio through refurbishments and meet new people to chat about property
  • Interests outside property
    A mad poodle and taxi driver to two teenagers.Enough said.

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  1. Hi Dave. What are you going to do to the hotel that will increase its value to this amount over two years. I can't see any long-term lender looking at doing this. Potentially a bridging lender may be able to do it first followed by a long-term lender to repay the bridge soon after as I've done it with houses. The biggest problem is time. If a lender does it today it doesn't necessarily mean they will do it in two years. Every day is one day closer to the next crash or correction so the longer the period between events the greater the risk.
  2. Difficult question as dependent on experience of broker. I always ask and a few other questions as well. To me it's the broker's responsibility to ensure that the application meets the lenders criteria and if this has published criteria the question should have been asked. If the criteria is not published I do not think the broker is at fault.
  3. A depends answer. Some lenders want all shareholders on the application which means providing information and signing a personal guarantee. Others don't if the directors hold a large proportion of the shareholding which is 80% with most. Whilst you and I may think a different class of shareholding and whether they are voting or non-voting should be looked at differently, a lot of lenders will add all the shares together to work out the percentages owned.
  4. Hi Darren I get a similar question on SPV's and holding companies at least twice a week but your question is slightly different so I'll answer both parts. Firstly it is correct some lenders don't like financing a group company structure. They prefer a traditional SPV with shares owned by the directors and this used to be the view of the majority. However over the last few years more and more lenders have gone into the group structure market so a BTL broker who understands this will be able to find you competitively priced lenders. The second part your question depends on the day of the week. It may be that today the best BTL rate in the market is from a lender who allows group company structures however next week there may be another lender who doesn't allow them. So the answer to does a group company structure achieve lower financing rates is No. As lenders don't differentiate between different types of ownership when deciding a rate.
  5. Hi Matt There are plenty of lenders in the market who will look to remortgage within six months of ownership. Some of them will base the mortgage on the purchase price, others purchase price plus any refurbishment costs and several on the end of value if a refurbishment can be evidenced. 75% mortgages are still available and there may be a slight premium on the rate however you need to balance that against getting the money earlier. Always make sure the change of ownership at land registry has taken place as most lenders require this, although some just require additional documentation to start an application process off.
  6. Hi. It's down to the valuers opinion and 8% private and 92% rented is usually not a good sign. It is the opinion of the lender that investors will bail out before owner occupiers if property prices fall. Also you will be in competition with all the other landlords when your property becomes vacant.
  7. Hi Alan. For the value check the commercial sites to see what else has been sold in the area, instruct your own valuation from a valuer the lenders use and ask for comparable evidence. Ignore any value of a lease as unless its an established name then valuers don't tend to give too much of a premium over the bricks and mortar valuation. Can you get lending ? That depends on the property, lease term, location and the lender's requirements. Just doing one at the moment and the lenders requirements for experience is 1 BTL owned for 1 year+ and a FRI lease in place with 2 or more years to run before break/expiry. Others require the same tenant to be in situ for 1 year or more and to have at least 1 year left on lease. That won't fit with your example. Also how much work needs to be done to turn it into an office as that requires a change in planning permission, as a shop is A1 and an office is B1(a) so you may need bridging first.
  8. Hi Simon

    Issues with lending due to Contractor work

    I am wanting to get started with BTL’s as a portfolio landlord (already have one BTL in my personal name so not entirely a rookie) and wanted to know if there is likely to be an issue with getting mortgages through a Ltd based on my being a contractor (ie I can often go several months out of contract).   I do have sets of accounts from my accountant that shows total income of just over £52k for the last couple of years and expect the same for 2021 tax year.  I want to get going, but want to make sure there will be no issue with my work status, as I got burned a couple of years ago on a residential mortgage application when trying to move house, ie. my affordability at the time was good, credit check top noche, but I couldn’t tick a box of having a permanent job.   Also is there any way to get ‘pre-checked or pre-approved’ as it were for a BTL mortgage through a LTD without having a specific property in mind.  

    Many thanks


    1. Simon Allen

      Simon Allen

      Hi Dawn

      I arrange BTL mortgages for many contractors who are in a similar position to you. The lender is interested in the amount on your annual tax calculation and how your bank accounts are operating.

      Preapproval is possible with some brokers but all it means is that you have passed a decision in principle on that day and in my opinion is pretty worthless. You need to reduce as much as possible the amount of credit searches against you.

      I've seen numerous new clients come to me where their previous broker has pre-approved them on a regular basis and when a suitable property has been found it has affected their credit file and they have missed out on their first choice of mortgage.

      If your credit file is completely clean, all your payments are up-to-date and have never been missed that will be acceptable to most lenders. As you own property already that is another tick in the box.

      I'd start looking for property as that is the hardest part.

      Regards Simon

  9. Hi James. There are two definitions of portfolio and you are getting them mixed up. Once you hit four mortgaged BTL properties the lenders class you as a Portfolio Landlord. All it means is the lender will pay more attention to the whole portfolio looking at the overall loan to value and rental cover. Occasionally you may be asked for additional information which includes a basic business plan, asset and liability profile, schedule of properties and cash flow. All the lenders have their own templates for this and for most just need a property schedule. A portfolio mortgage is one loan across multiple properties with one lender You need to make sure the broker dealing with you understands what to do, as a lot don't .Being a Portfolio landlord is straightforward and nothing to worry about.
  10. It's through brokers only and rates etc are dependent on eligibility. Late 3s with a fee and mid 4s with no fee at 75% LTV. If you work in the south and get paid in Euros then no option unfortunately. Buying in 12 months time is too early to secure rates and hopefully you may have more options then. But as it's taken 15 years to get one I wouldn't hold my breath.
  11. Hi Stuart/Paul Yes you have options for borrowing within a limited company in NI. Minimum valuation is £75,000 and maximum LTV is 75%. Rates aren't extortionate. If you need more information by all means contact me.
  12. Thanks Seb. My number is on this this thread and I've sent a message to you with the rest of my details. Regards Simon
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