We all know it’s difficult for First Time Buyers. Despite government help in terms of reduced or zero stamp duty, unless you fit exactly into the “safe and normal” bracket, or are fortunate enough to have an enormous deposit, it can be a painful experience trying to find a lender who will help. And let’s face it – what is normal nowadays? Family makeup and working lives no longer fit a certain template – every situation is unique and so trying to make a case fit into an affordability model which was designed for decades past is illogical and outdated.
Take the case of the McNairs - a young family from Edinburgh who are looking to purchase their first home. Shona McNair is an HR Manager with a multinational company with offices in the city and her husband James is a recruitment consultant. Although they both have good jobs and prospects, they’ve struggled to raise a large deposit – partly due to the unexpected arrival of their son Fergus last year which impacted on Shona’s clearly defined plan for the next 10 years! They are fortunate though to have supportive parents who are able to gift them a sum which will roughly make up a 5% deposit for the type of property they’re interested in.
The house which has caught their eye is a 3 bedroom townhouse in a brand new development in an up and coming part of the city. It’s a high spec property with an NHBC guarantee and will suit the McNairs for many years, even if the family grows in the future. Shona and James have always been prudent– they have never borrowed much money and so have a limited credit history other than a finance contract on 2 cars. This means that although they have never had any problems with repayments, their credit history is limited and they have been knocked back by a couple of lenders who have an inflexible approach to underwriting.
Looking from the outside in, it seems obvious that the McNairs are attractive applicants who would value a long term relationship with a flexible lender. Unfortunately the combination of the required 95% mortgage, gifted deposit and a new build property means that they keep falling at the first hurdle, just because they don’t exactly fit a lending model.
The McNairs have been recommended to an informed new broker who has placed a couple of tricky cases with the Furness. Her first call was to her usual Business Development Manager who was able to review the case and take the viewpoint that this should be referred to our underwriting team for a closer look. Our manual affordability assessment meant that they were not ruled out due to ONS and taking into account their salaries and prospects, their sensible lifestyle and the “safe bet” with their property of choice we were able to make an offer within days. The family have given notice on their rental property and are ready to move in to their home as soon as the snagging list is completed.
We love to help young families like the McNairs, and we love to make it easy for you to say yes. We’re experts in reviewing unusual cases that don’t fit the usual template so if you’d like to talk to us about any enquiries which you may have, give our Broker team a call on 0800 988 1561 or contact your BDM.
All our case studies are based on real cases but the names have been changed and stock images have been used to protect confidentiality.