Well, that’s week 1 of Lockdown nearly done and I want to keep my followers updated over the coming weeks with my thoughts, some serious some not so!

Working From Home

Both Claire, my wife, and I have worked from home for a number of years now, so that has been OK for us. 

Nothing new, except of course you cannot nip out to John Lewis (Mrs S) or go and grab a coffee or a beer with a business pal (Mr S). 

On a lowish moment last week, and we will all get them, I was reminded by a friend to keep that discipline in place. For me it is wearing work attire and then changing at the end of the day. Just a personal thing but whatever works for you.

What are lenders doing regarding new business? 

This is not the credit crunch of 2008. 

The money is there but sadly the people who work in the lenders are not. Some are poorly (may you recover speedily) and many have been moved to look after existing customers. 

This has led to lenders pulling products or raising rates to stem demand. 

I think this will steady in time and my advice is just be patient and when things start to improve lenders will be keen to sell their well-priced wares again, but it will take time. 

The second problem is that valuers cannot, nor should they be expected to be, valuing houses meaning many lenders are pulling high loan to value deals and using automated, desk top valuation software to reach their conclusions 

Our own speciality area, Holiday Let Mortgages, has had a tough week. 

Lenders have either pulled all the products or raised the rates or want more reassurance that a holiday let mortgage will be payable even without customers in the property. 

My advice… patience, things will return to normal. 

More news on lenders next week. Many of their staff are now helping existing customers.

Payment Holidays 

It is good news that lenders moved quickly to help customers who are struggling to pay their mortgage. 

Goodness, now is the time most of want help in some form or other. 

But a word of advice. 

Best not seek payment suspensions unless you really need them. I read earlier it was akin to food hoarding; seems a great idea at the idea but it can come with consequences. 

Most lenders have said your credit score will not be impaired when you next want a mortgage. That should be the outcome of course but I have been doing this job for a long while so excuse my slight hesitancy. 

It is obvious to say that not paying say £800 a month to your loan will add £2400 to the balance in 3 months and this may move you into a higher loan to value bracket. Fine for now but not so good for future borrowing needs.

Our Business

We remain open for all enquiries. My diary for next week is ¾ full and Joe is dealing with a lot of enquiries from the Short Stay Show we did a couple of weeks ago.

(What timing!) 

It would be easy to turn to making funny vids for WhatsApp or playing monopoly marathons but that will not help us when we pull through this. I honestly think it will be very busy and we will be here for our customers. 

A strange week

I will never take small pleasures for granted again and I hope I won’t baulk at a chore like, for example, a long drive to and from and a customer meeting. 

Football and other such pleasures have temporarily gone and I have found myself pulling brambles in the garden and doing some decorating (no, not like Michelangelo!). 

Mrs Stallard has the garden manicured to within an inch of itself. But sadly no one to come and visit it.  

I have seen every funny joke and comic sketch made this week I am sure. Who makes these ditties? 

We have tried to contact a friend or two every way and we have walked Mortgage Dog Pepper’s legs off.  

Tomorrow I am threatening a bit of Joe Wicks!  Healthy body, healthy mind and all that. 

Thanks 

We offer our enormous thanks and praise to NHS workers and everyone keeping us safe, emptying our bins, keeping us fed and much more. You are real stars.

Have a good week all and remember every day is one day nearer the end. 

Stay safe and we wish you and your families all the very best in very different and difficult times.