I start the week checking messages and emails from the weekend. Our firm is a family business of estate agents and lettings and mortgage advisers so we are always busy on one side or the other. I manage the office, so generally work late during the week to try to keep the weekends free.
First I list clients needing a call back later that day. I go through the cases that need processing and chase up lenders with the admin side before I sit down with a cup of coffee to call the clients. I have a meeting with an existing client to discuss the not-so-nice topic of separation. It’s always difficult, especially when we have helped them buy their home and now are looking at a re-mortgage to remove a name or sell up entirely. I work late and pick up my littlest girl from dancing.
Before the working day starts I take one of my many annual tests, with two more in my inbox for next month. This one is equity release. I meet with a client to go through their buy-to-let portfolio. They are concerned with the new tax regime and the impact on their income going forward.
I think, ultimately, rents will increase, whether that is due to the tax changes or the possible ban on letting fees, or both. My advice was to keep a good safety net fund of £2,000 to £3,000 per property then overpay some of their interest-only mortgages to reduce the balances using the choices options on two of his mortgages.
This way he will overpay the loans and have the potential to draw down funds in future if he needs to or, if interest rates rise, he has a buffer.
Another late night – this time a pick-up from football.
Wednesday is the the mid-week admin day. I spend time once a week to update our website with mortgage sourcing, best-buy tables and downloads. I tidy up our data base for our monthly newsletter. I then go through updates on current cases with the admin team. It is already mid-afternoon and I spend the rest of the day calling clients and discussing options or updating them.
My diary is busy with client meetings: two straightforward re-mortgages with like-for-like lending and a buy-to-let product switch as the rent does not fit the lenders' new rental calculations, so their only option for a reduced rate is to remain with the current lender.
The last one is a new pair of clients. They are first-time buyers – an existing client’s son and their partner. I feel old now I am arranging mortgages for my clients' kids. I run through the whole process start to finish and explain everything including stamp duty, the solicitor’s role, when and how to offer, the rate types and fees. These are always longer appointments, but it is important to run through in that extra bit of detail with them when it is their first home.
The end of the week. I have a new enquiry through our website. Two investors are considering buying to let and want to know whether it is best to buy via a limited company or not. We go through their options about the benefits of limited versus personal, the different rates the lenders will offer, who will lend, showing the new tax changes with the calculators now available from some lenders, the rental calculations, the fees and charges. Next I have a provider meeting to go through new products and lending criteria and changes coming into effect. Then off to the pub to catch up with the lads for an hour before the weekend fun starts – involving football and dancing for the girls.