Monday, June 27, 2011

International Mortgages – Better than ever and easier than you think?

by Stephen Burdett Cert PFS DipFA, MBL Financial

With global interest rates at an all time low and international real estate prices at rock bottom, has there ever been a better time to buy a property? There is a common misconception that as an expat living overseas, it can be almost impossible to get a mortgage, especially in the current economic climate. The reality is that the opposite is the case. Several major UK banks have international subsidiaries providing the internationally mobile expat with a range of services, including mortgages for an investment property or a holiday home overseas.

Available in a range of currencies and for properties in most developed countries, including Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Dubai, the UK and Europe, mortgages are being offered at rates from as low as 1.69%.

But what about a deposit? Following the aftermath of the recent banking crisis and the issues that came out of the woodwork with revelations of banks poor credit policies, lenders have been forced to tighten their qualifying criteria. However, most see this as a return to the norm of traditional lending policy, such as the requirement for a 30% deposit. However, it is possible to use equity in an existing property or investment portfolio and mortgages are available for up to five times income. Some lenders will also use to 50% of any rental income too. Interest only mortgages are also available, particularly useful for investment properties or for tax and estate planning...

Read more at Expat Focus: Money

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