Self-employed mortgage for expats returning to the UK

I recently worked with a husband and wife who had been living and working in Brazil, but had now returned to the UK and needed a self-employed mortgage. Both were in their early forties; the wife was a Brazilian national on a spousal visa.

Instead of buying a new property, my clients wanted to remortgage a property they already owned. They had a current rental property in Twickenham, and wanted to change their mortgage from a buy to let (BTL) to a residential. They hoped to raise funds to finish home improvements, and then move into the property. The property was worth £950,000 and my clients were looking for a loan of £400,000.

They initially approached high street banks. The husband is self-employed, which can cause problems but is rarely an insurmountable hurdle. However, the wife was unable to find a bank who would take her income into account. She had no credit footprint and no history of UK income; she had also only been in her current employment for three months.


To borrow the amount needed to finish the refurbishments, we needed to take her basic salary and combine it with her husband’s self-employed income. Fortunately, I was able to build a relationship with a lender, explain my client’s situation, and make the lender aware that the wife was definitely in a permanent, full-time contract. I ensured that the lender had direct contact with me throughout the process, to ensure that everything progressed smoothly.

I managed to secure my clients a 5 year fixed rate at 1.94%. They were very pleased with this, as it was cheaper than their current product.

In building a relationship with my clients, I discovered a further issue that needed to be addressed. As the husband was self-employed, he had no cover in case of sickness. We put in place a serious illness policy to ensure that if he was too sick to work, he would still have the money to cover the bills. Furthermore, the property was in a flood risk area, and my clients had a lot of high value possessions that needed specific cover.  We used a specialist insurer to make sure my clients had full cover.

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