Mortgages for first time buyers

Independent Expat Mortgage Brokers

For British nationals living in a different country, the ties that keep them coming back to the United Kingdom are varied and deep, from various family members, which could include grandkids, sons, and daughters, to business matters that need to be kept abreast of in order to retain success. All these reasons, and more, make the need, for some, to purchase a residential property in England, Wales or Scotland, while still living abroad, very important. Here at Avail Mortgage Brokers, we understand this need which is why we offer expat-mortgages packages that can ensure you still have a footprint in the UK, your country of origin.

If you’re tired of poor service and a one-size-fits-all approach, then you should get in touch with us here at Avail Mortgages. Why? Well, because we can offer a bespoke, friendly service that is knowledge-led and is created in such a way to empower you to make the right decision for you and your loved ones. Our team of advisors understands that life is busy enough as it is, without having to deal with an expat mortgage for UK property too, which is why they work around you to ensure that you always feel in control.

Whether it is mortgage products or specific insurance policies that you’re after such as Landlord Insurance or Over 50’s Life Insurance, we’re confident that, from the moment you meet us, you’ll feel happy that you’ve made the right decision.


As expat mortgage brokers, we have a great deal of experience helping people with their property purchases while they are living in another country such as Germany, Australia, Norway, Denmark, or The Netherlands. As well as experience, we are backed by key legislation and guidance, our team of experts and financial advisors are committed to the Treating Customers Fairly initiative* laid out by the Financial Conduct Authority* (FCA). As clients of Avail Mortgages, this should give you peace of mind knowing that the advice and options we give you are impartial, fair, and ensure you have access to all the relevant market information to make the right decision for you.

So, if you’re a British expat living abroad, live in places such as Huddersfield or Bradford and have plans to become an expatriate and want to understand the expat mortgage market a little more, or want to know more about how we can help, then please get in touch with us at Avail Mortgages by phone on 0330 118 0383 or email us [email protected]. We’d be delighted to chat and help you understand the property journey involved in this niche, but no less important, service. Our team will take the necessary time to work through the process and application so that you feel in control the entire time.

Need competent advice and guidance in finding the right deal for you? Visit our online mortgage calculator to initiate those first steps into securing the solution you need.


What Is An Expat Mortgage?

Mortgages for expats are a specific range/type of mortgage deals that are for British people who want to purchase a property, or properties, in the UK while they reside in another country. As we’ve touched on, the reasons for wanting this are plentiful and range from emotional ties, and business connections, to a desire to benefit from UK property investment while living abroad.

Definition: What Is An Expat?

An ‘expat’, ‘ex-pat’, or ‘expatriate’ is a term that describes someone who lives and works outside of the country in which they were born*. Someone who is considered an expat can be either temporarily, or permanently, living in another country for a variety of reasons. They can also relinquish their citizenship from their native country entirely and still be classed as an expat. For example, if someone was born in the UK and moved to The Netherlands to pursue a particular career, they would be considered an expat or expatriate. 

Traditionally, expatriate mortgage packages aren’t made available by the most popular mortgage providers because they are, for reasons such as customs, legislation, and foreign currency exchange, far more complicated to complete than normal mortgages for properties in the UK. Also, credit history search applications for expat mortgages are harder to source for people who live outside the UK and, as a result, there are very few mainstream expat mortgage lenders. So, if you live abroad, or intend to very soon, and want to submit a mortgage application of this type, you need to work with specialist expat mortgage advisors such as Avail Mortgages.

Sometimes, there is confusion between this type of mortgage and another similar product – overseas mortgages. This mortgage type does involve purchasing an overseas property but, crucially, it is specifically targeted at countries that you weren’t born in* or are native to. A good example of an overseas mortgage would be if you lived in Italy, were born in the UK, and wanted to buy a property in France.

Back to this range of mortgages though and the reasons high street lenders are reluctant to offer this mortgage term is because of the risks involved. The usual procedures that are involved in ensuring that mortgage applicants have sufficient minimum income to make the necessary repayments over a period of time are far more difficult when someone has been living abroad. If they do offer it they may charge higher interest rates to offset the risk.

Thankfully, when you work with an expert team such as the one here at Avail Mortgages, you can rest easy knowing we have access to specialist mortgage lenders and knowledge about, these expat products.

Avail Mortgage Brokers

How Can Avail Mortgages Help Me?

While niche, the popularity of purchasing properties using an expat mortgage has grown in recent years thanks to more people moving from the UK to other countries. To date, around 5.5 million UK citizens are living in other countries across the world, which is around 1 in 10 of the population. On top of that, there are around 500,000 British people that live and work abroad for a portion of the year, before returning home. Australia and Spain have the highest concentration of UK expats with around 1.3 million living down under, and just over 760,000 living in the popular European holiday destination.

These numbers, then, show the need for a service such as this is very important. We have helped several expat clients with mortgage enquiries such as this and our mortgage brokers can help expatriates to secure a suitable deal for their own set of circumstances.

Our process begins by understanding your individual situation and lending criteria, establishing all the facts and figures so that, going forward, every party is on the same page, and our team is able to retain a high level of service that ensures the proceedings are as smooth as possible despite the added complexities involved.

From there, we use our relationships with specialist expat lenders to source competitive rates and terms so that you can apply for the most appropriate mortgage with ease. As an independent mortgage advisor, we’re committed to ensuring this process is as streamlined and no-nonsense as our other residential mortgage products such as our Buy-To-Let Mortgages and New Build Mortgages.

How Much Can I Borrow?

Much like a regular mortgage, the amount you borrow depends on your proof of income, the amount you have saved as a deposit, and the annual interest rates that are put on the original loan. The only difference is that these may need to be higher in value because of the complexities involved. If you have the budget and income to meet the repayment basis, and a sufficient deposit then, in theory, this type of mortgage is no different to a ‘normal’ mortgage.


Key Factors To Consider When Making These Mortgage Enquiries

While tricky, there is absolutely no reason you won’t be accepted for a product of this type. Proper planning, an understanding of all the factors, and help from specialists such as the ones you’ll find at Avail Mortgages, are all key elements to consider and can help you on your way. That said, there are a couple of key factors that we consider important when it comes to being accepted for an expat mortgage.

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Credit History

Credit searches are key for mortgage lenders as it allows them to see the kind of applicant you are and gives them an indication as to whether or not you can make repayments. Having lived abroad, your UK credit history may not be as up-to-date as a lender would like, however, this does not mean you won’t be accepted. All you need to do is ensure that the UK credit history you do have is strong and thorough, even if its a few years old, as long as its evidenced and clear, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

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Keeping A Financial Tie To The UK

As an expat, it is often beneficial to that person to keep some sort of financial connection to the UK. This connection can range from owning a business to having a credit card that is registered with a UK address. This shows that you have at least some connection with the country in which you were born. There are, however, potential tax implications to this which is why we advise speaking to a tax specialist too.


The Different Types Available

In the main, there are two types of expat mortgages that mortgage applicants can apply for – residential mortgages and expat buy-to-let mortgages. Both are unique and have their own pros and cons, the right one for you is dependent on your situation, and questions need to be asked during the process to ascertain which is most appropriate. Here, we’re going to explain the contents of both in a little more to help inform your decisions.

Interest only mortgages for first time buyers

Buy-To-Let Mortgage On A UK House

Expats also opt for a mortgage on a buy-to-let property for a number of reasons too. These can be loans that are interest-only – this means that your monthly payments only cover the interest charged on the loan, not the loan itself.

If you’re looking to remortgage your current property in the UK on a buy-to-let basis so that you can earn rental income while abroad, have the consent to let on a UK property but need to remortgage it on a buy-to-let basis or want to raise money on a UK property that you’re renting out – then a buy-to-let expat mortgage may well be suitable for you.


Main Residential Mortgage On A House In The UK

Here at Avail Mortgages, we offer a range of potentially suitable residential mortgages such as these. You may want this type if you intend on coming back to the UK in the near future and want a property to move into once you land back on British soil. Another common reason is if you live abroad but you have family or friends that live in the UK and you want to purchase a house for them to live in. We offer these residential mortgages on a repayment or interest-only basis. Often, we find that people opt for the former category because they tend to purchase a property that, eventually, is going to become their permanent UK residence at some point and they want their balance cleared upon retirement.

estate planning from Avail

Our Tailored Expat Mortgage Service

Here at Avail Mortgages, taking time and care in understanding our customer’s requirements, personal circumstances and property goals is essential to everything we do and how we operate. We ensure to consider your financial situation and utilise our wealth of experience in locating a suitable lender to cater to your mortgage needs. For us, no situation is too complex. With a dedicated team of mortgage brokers who are passionate about helping people, there is no shadow of a doubt that we will find a solution that works for you.

Get In Touch To Learn More

While we are discussing expat mortgages here, we also offer other mortgages and insurance policies for people and businesses in areas across the UK such as YorkLeeds, and Harrogate, as well as further afield. For more information about our service, and how we can help, get in touch by phone on 0330 118 0383 or email us [email protected].