Experienced builder and property professional
The client was intending on using a bridging loan to purchase a mixed-use commercial property in a predominantly residential area. They planned to apply for a change of use and convert the property into a 5-bedroom detached Buy-to-Let.
They were progressing through the application with their lender when the Coronavirus lockdown came into force. In reaction to the risk of the pandemic, the lender swiftly changed their criteria to lend against only fully residential security and pulled the offer. While the client hadn’t exchanged or paid a deposit at that stage, they had incurred valuation and legal costs, and more importantly, did not want to miss out on the investment opportunity.
Recognising West One for their experience in complex bridging finance cases, the client’s broker approached us to discuss the case.
Within 24 hours of the in-depth conversation between ourselves and the client’s broker, we provided the broker with a set of terms.
Due to the imposed restrictions of the lockdown, no physical inspections were allowed of the property. However, as the client had already had a valuation report carried out, we were able to get the report re-addressed to us and reviewed by our internal property team due to it being carried out by a non-panel firm.
The rest of the process was relatively straightforward, except for the legal documents being witnessed incorrectly with 2 days to go before completion. Luckily, the borrower and broker lived within a reasonable distance from one of our BDMs (Matt), the client resigned the documents which were then collected by Matt and couriered back to the West One office on the same day.
This case speaks for itself. While many lenders quickly backed out of the market during the property lockdown, our doors remained open to borrowers. With a wealth of experience in complex scenarios and stable lending criteria already in place, we were able to take on our broker’s case despite the wider economic uncertainty. As with the majority of bridging cases, speed was of the essence – and we wasted no time in progressing the application. With a complete, transparent application from our broker, and a huge amount of teamwork between solicitors, surveyors, intermediary and borrower, we were able to achieve the desired outcome for the client.
With a fast turnaround on the case, our broker was able to deliver to his client even in such an unusual scenario. The client was then able to purchase the property and start making progress on his plans.