Remember the days when you had to go for a face to face interview with your bank manager each time you needed a loan? There was no online banking and definitely no call centres in countries you had never even seen. There was that nervous feeling, that worry you might say something you shouldn’t, perhaps let something slip, you are on your guard.
Well sitting at our kitchen table on Saturday morning with the mortgage broker was a bit like that. Whilst I had ‘known’ him for over 5 years, it had been via email, so there was an element of the unknown as he started to trawl through our financial past in minute detail.
Most people, when asked for their addresses over the past 5 years, give one or perhaps two different ones, we gave four. In fact we showed him the list of houses we have lived in since 2000; it’s 13. That’s 13 moves we have made in 17 years, five of them because the landlord wanted to sell the house we were renting. That’s why we want to buy a place of our own.
Then we went through our income, outgoings, debts, credit cards, loans; every single piece of our dirty financial laundry was hung out to dry.
But the broker was confident. He had found a company who was willing to lend to us despite our ages and with a fixed rate that meant we wouldn’t face an interest hike due to the Brexit fallout.
By the time he left we felt buoyed and quite positive.
On Wednesday I was at an all day workshop so my phone was switched off. I picked up my messages during the lunch break. There was a message from the mortgage broker saying quite bluntly that the lender had refused the loan due to the section 157.
It wasn’t just the carpet that had been pulled out from under me, it was the whole house. Having been so close, been reassured it would be plain sailing that we met the criteria, it was a local housing restriction that had put the spanner in the works.
It made no sense, even if they had to repossess the property, with the size of our deposit they would easily get their money back. The section 157 was simply a measure put in place to stop second homers which I didn’t disagree with, but no matter what I said, it all fell on deaf ears. The decision had been made by the lender and there was no going back, no possibility of reversing their decision, no chance of them changing their mind.
After waiting so long, getting the small lifeline that meant we could finally get back onto the property ladder, what had seemed so close was once more a very long way away.
I returned to my workshop with a very heavy heart.