Understanding Commercial Mortgages
When taking out a commercial mortgage for the first time, many people use their experience of residential mortgages as a reference point.
A commercial mortgage tends to take slightly longer its residential equivalent. Residential mortgages are usually heavily automated, with very little manual underwriting. Commercial mortgages are the opposite in this regard, with applications processed and agreed manually. Although this slows the process down, it does have major advantages.
Every business can run in very different ways. Their finances and ways of doing things can be completely varied. Due to these dramatic differences, commercial mortgage underwriters have to be flexible and look at each application with an open mind.
Setting hard and fast rules can prove counterproductive for commercial mortgage lenders. A good example is the assessment of a company’s financial performance. The accounts may show a small profit, however, this may be clouded by significant reinvestment in the business. The future profitability may potentially grow rapidly, however, a set of accounts alone will not show this.
Painting the whole picture to a lender is crucial to getting the best possible deal and ensuring your case completes quickly.
We offer commercial mortgages from lenders across the whole market to find the most suitable product for you.
Each lender has their own criteria, but may even be able to step outside their predetermined must-haves under certain circumstances. The below information is intended as a guide to let you know what our lenders from across the commercial mortgage market are looking for.
Borrowing from £25,000 – no maximum loan size.
5 years – 30 years.
We can consider any type of commercial property, and can even consider predominantly residential property or land as security. We are happy to consider any security, including:
- Professional practices
- Care homes
- Pubs and bars
- Guest houses
- Retail premises
- Business parks
- Semi-commercial units
We can lend to the following ownership structures:
- Offshore companies
- Limited companies
- LLP / other company structures
- Pension funds (where the pension fund is allowed to borrow money)
We can lend to borrowers from 18 years of age, and most lenders will fund clients to the age of 75. If you’re looking to borrow beyond this term, we may still be able to help, and an adviser will be able to inform you of your options over the phone.
We are able to arrange commercial mortgages across the UK, with no geographical restrictions.
Credit history is a key factor in many lenders credit decisions. Although most lenders prefer clean credit, we can fund clients with any level of adverse credit, as long as you are not currently bankrupt.
As the level of adverse credit increases, interest rates and loan to value (LTV) may be affected.
For owner occupied applications, two years accounts are usually required. We have lenders who are willing to accept accountants’ certificates or projections in lieu, where appropriate.
Interest only or capital repayment available.
Some commercial investment mortgage lenders require the lease to extend beyond the term of the loan. This is not the case with all lenders and your loan may still be acceptable with a short, or even rolling lease.
Some (but not all) lenders arrange a meeting before taking your loan to formal offer. There are three main aims of the meeting:
- To get to know you personally
- To allow the person handling the application to understand exactly what you’re trying to achieve.
- To understand your business
Some clients can be nervous before the meeting, but it is an invaluable opportunity to allow the lender to see the positives in your business. It is the time to sell yourself and allow them to see the great difference you could make going forward.
The meetings don’t tend to be too scary and, in reality, people who work in banks can actually be very friendly! If you are prepared and know your business, you will find the meeting far less daunting than is first imagined.