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Excuses, excuses…

I'm hoping to buy a property above a shop, and so called one of my existing mortgage providers to begin an application. They asked what the opening hours are for the shop that the property sits atop, which are 7:00am - 10:00pm every day.

The previously bubbly operative then said she’d have to check with the underwriters and, low and behold, the as yet complete application was rejected immediately. “Why’s that?” I asked. “Erm, a higher fire risk? I dunno really.”

This particular lender isn’t publicly owned so I can’t get angry about that, but why are mortgage companies devoid of using common sense? It’s a lack of common sense that got us into this mess in the first place, and it’s the same lack of basic initiative that’s stifling the recovery.

This particular property was being offered for £45k, with a £20k spend, and an end value of circa £100k. That’s an equity profit of £35k within 3 months, let alone the £800pcm positive profit thereafter from being a 5-bed student property. And they’re worried about the shop being open for too long?! Surely if there is a fire, you want people around to spot it and raise the alarm?!

A plea to all mortgage companies: allow us to create win-win-win situations. We make a profit and supply quality student accommodation, and you make a killing on ‘arrangement’ fees. Agreed?

Nicholas Stott

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