Mortgages Online: Online or Internet Mortgages explained.

I heard countless anecdotes about online mortgages over the past few years and to be fair I felt that people were fundamentally right about things, that the mortgage market would go to the web to a large degree the way so many other things have.

Dunnes Stores strongest growth area is Internet shopping and I think Tesco would likely say its a big growth area as well, no need for retail space, people can browse as they see fit etc. so surely the same thing would happen across countless sectors? Right? Even finance?

Wrong… Well, not fully right anyways. If you look for an online-mortgage the likelihood is that you will be asked to fill in some information and ultimately a human being will still contact you and you will then send in documentation to them etc. it won’t be ‘online’ in the sense that buying a plane ticket is ‘online’ (i.e.: zero requirement for human interaction/intervention), however in this article I will outline the possibility for mortgages online and how I think the successful players will approach it.

Firstly …

Read More

How to get cheap Mortgages

Getting a cheap mortgage is perhaps one of the main concerns people have, price seems to be the primary focus for the majority of clients in making a decision about which mortgage to go for. Mortgages do have certain things that can be included as ‘added extras’ but unlike cars or houses these add-on options are not always the thing that attract a person to a loan type, certainly in our experience it is price oriented considerations.

The things that might be possible to include as ‘extras’ would typically be things like being able to take a mortgage break, this is where you make no payment for (generally) up to three months. Off-setting savings against the mortgage is another one that is becoming more popular, this is where you can use any money on deposit as an ‘offset’ against the principle. In basic terms imagine the following: you have savings of three thousand and a mortgage of two hundred thousand, you pay the same monthly amount but the interest is calculated on one hundred and ninety-seven thousand (200k – 3k …

Read More

Mortgage Companies in Ireland

In Ireland there are several methods of getting a mortgage, you can do it directly with a lender, or via an Intermediary (which is what Irish Mortgage Brokers are). Both lenders and Intermediaries are regulated by the Financial Regulator and they are the ones who set policies and regulations that all financial companies must adhere to.

If you need a mortgage ‘do some research’ would be the first piece of advice anybody should give you. There is nothing that can replace doing your own research, for such a massive undertaking as most mortgages are – the vast majority will make up more than 20% of your net income for quite some time – it is tantamount to irresponsible if you don’t try to familiarise yourself with the process and what it involves.

After that you need to work with a firm that you are happy with, sometimes you might know a person in the industry or maybe you will pick a company out of the Golden Pages but in any case make sure that you are satisfied the person you …

Read More

The best mortgage rates & How to get them.

What are the best mortgage rates? Good question. The best rates or the best ‘rate’ are kind of a subjective thing because they depend on your personal situation.

For instance, the best ‘rate’ at the moment might be the Bank of Scotland Tracker at 4.55% but that may as well be pie in the sky if you are a first time buyer. Why? Simple, its because there is an LTV restriction on that of 50%. Which means that if you are buying a house for €400,000 you can get this rate only if your mortgage is €200,000 or less.

So What’s the point in communicating to a First Time Buyer the ‘best mortgage rate’ if its one that they are not really likely to qualify for? Naturally a broker will jump at this rate on behalf of their client if they are anywhere near qualifying for it however the percentage of First Time Buyers putting down a 50% deposit is surely quite small.

So in answer to the question I always here of ‘What is the best rate’ or ‘what …

Read More

The best mortgage rates & How to get them.

What are the best mortgage rates? Good question. The best rates or the best ‘rate’ are kind of a subjective thing because they depend on your personal situation.

For instance, the best ‘rate’ at the moment might be the Bank of Scotland Tracker at 4.55% but that may as well be pie in the sky if you are a first time buyer. Why? Simple, its because there is an LTV restriction on that of 50%. Which means that if you are buying a house for €400,000 you can get this rate only if your mortgage is €200,000 or less.

So What’s the point in communicating to a First Time Buyer the ‘best mortgage rate’ if its one that they are not really likely to qualify for? Naturally a broker will jump at this rate on behalf of their client if they are anywhere near qualifying for it however the percentage of First Time Buyers putting down a 50% deposit is surely quite small.

So in answer to the question I always here of ‘What is the best rate’ or ‘what …

Read More

China may start to listen.

I haven’t take my hat off to Steven Spielberg since E.T., and that’s not just because I don’t wear a hat any more. I officially put one on today just so I could take it off in honour of him. The reason is that he is stepping down from role as Artistic Advisor for the Beijing Olympics because of Darfur in Sudan.

Darfur is a modern day catastrophe and it will be another part of history where people said ‘We should have done something, why didn’t anybody do something?’ the same way we say that now about Rwanda, and likely we will say it about Kenya and the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo – formerly Zaire). It’s simply not good enough to sit comfy in the developed first world and allow genocide to happen.

Our company went to Krakow on a Christmas trip and part of it was a tour of Auschwitz, a strange choice for a Christmas trip you might say but a powerful reminder of the need to be thankful for what you do have and to be …

Read More

Permanent TSB? More like Permanent inability.

Permanent Tsb are in the financial news again, this time its not for ripping off brokers though, its because their sub-prime mortgage wing ‘Springboard’ have had their funding pulled by Merrill Lynch. Springboard is a joint venture between PTsb and Merrill Lynch, the question now is ‘what does a mortgage company who can’t lend money do?’. I suspect they will be standing in line with the Woodworm who specialises in concrete only products.

The same thing happened several months back to another lender and they swiftly left the market. The concern now is for the IL&P share price, Dennis Casey will have some serious wangling on his hands to avoid disaster because he now has a war on several fronts, in fact, if I could raise Bismark from the dead and get a decent Prussian translator I would do it and let the original ‘Mr. Blood and Guts’ lay down some facts for the beleaguered CEO of Permanent Tsb.

Today’s news is about the fact that a major bank (Merrill Lynch) is pulling funding from Springboard, they are not pulling …

Read More

How to get a Mortgage, getting a mortgage is easy…

If you want to get a mortgage the process is fairly simple, it’s a big undertaking for certain but that doesn’t mean that everything surrounding it is overly complex. A mortgage is a security backed loan, this means that there is some actual asset that a lender has a lien on (lien: this term means ‘ownership of’ so if a lender has a lein on your property in the form of a mortgage then they own the property ahead of you owning it until you pay them off) and its generally called ‘the security’ or just the ‘property’.

The biggest concern for any bank or building society when considering a mortgage is the clients ability to pay back the loan, this is sometimes referred to as ‘repayment capacity’, or if you want the hardcore underwriting terminology its the ‘debt service ratio’ and its normally a calculation that decides numerically if a person has the ability to service a loan obligation. There are different ways of doing this, some banks use a multiplier, for instance: you can borrow four times your …

Read More

Sovereign Wealth Funds to the Rescue

Sovereign Wealth Funds were a topic of this blog last year and they are coming to general attention again. A Sovereign Wealth Fund or SWF are (for the most part) the surplus money that developing countries have, sometimes this is due (like in the middle east) to oil revenues, other times (like China) its from industrial output, but in any case it is a fund which is owned and controlled by a countries government, some people are quite sceptical of them claiming that they can interfere with markets on different levels even as far as being the cause of geopolitical risk .

Since last year many of the banks that should have gone out of business are still treading water thanks to these funds, they have been the healing salve to the wounds of the sub prime mortgage fiasco. Citibank and Merrill Lynch were both saved by SWF’s. (China and Abu Dhabi). Maybe this is a signal that capitalism is working but for some countries such as France they are an unwelcome guest, Sarkozy recently promised to protect France from …

Read More

Things can only get better

Don’t be too unhappy, because although January was the worst stock market since the January of 1990, the S&P was down by 6.1% and the MSCI world index said goodbye to 7.7% of its value, markets in India and China are down (at one stage India actually had to suspend trading on their market), despite all of these things the good news is that bad times don’t last forever.

Market commentators sometimes remind me of psycho ex-girlfriends who just can’t let go, (if you want to see one of the old Internet comic phenomenons type ‘psycho ex-girlfriend into your search engine) they are the type where by the time they realise whats happened its like the whole world is falling and its never going to get any better, they’ll NEVER love anybody again! Keep the faith.

Around the world the reaction was indeed just that, a reaction, it was reactive to results and not pro-active. The fed held an emergency meeting and slashed 75 basis points off rates and then at a regular meeting they cut another 50 basis points. …

Read More