Self-employed brewers land dream first home

Published on 19 September 2017

James and Leah found the perfect home to move into, but were worried that James’ self-employed status would hamper their chances of getting a mortgage.

James had stepped up to become director of the brewery he had worked in for the past nine years, whilst Leah managed its taphouse.

Here’s the Kirkby Lonsdale couple’s story…

What was your situation?
“We were first time buyers who were looking to buy but with James having recently become self-employed we struggled to find a mortgage despite the fact he was working for the same company that he had done for years.

“We went to smaller lenders who asked for guarantors and reams and reams of information from anybody willing to be our guarantor.

“We were in a position where we had fallen in love with a house and had our deposit but no means of getting anything else without accounts dating back further than we had.

“After speaking to The Cumberland, we were able to arrange a mortgage and move into the house quickly.”

Is the Cumberland a good choice for self-employed people?
“Yes and I have recommended it to friends who are starting the search for houses. Our mortgage adviser, Ruari, was available and it’s great to have somebody guiding us through the process, which can be daunting when you first start out and commit to a payment plan.

“Having a branch not too far from us meant that you were talking to a person, unlike other banks who have taken all of their mortgage advisers out of branch.”
Are self-employed people right to be worried about getting a mortgage?

“Sometimes people think it is going to be impossible and in so many different places we were jumping through hoops just to get to a point where we could apply.

“I think that self-employed have misconceptions but I don't think that they are ill-founded: somebody who is salaried is equally as likely to not be able to make repayments but you are seen as a significantly higher risk to lenders.”
Give us a tip for other self-employed people looking for a mortgage…

“Have your accounts in order, more information is always better than less and make sure that you feel comfortable with the deal that you are getting and the company you are investing with: it is possible and it’s so worth it when you can finally close your own front door behind you!”

Tell us a little bit about yourselves…
“James has lived in this area since he was very young and I'm from not very far away. I moved away for university and then a job so we were living very separate, disjointed lives for a while.

“When the opportunity came up for me to join the business (though a ridiculously hard decision) we figured it would be a way for us to start our lives together.

“We both love the lakes and enjoy being in the calm hills and valleys surrounding us. James is keen on his biking and loves sailing so being close to the lakes without being in the centre of the tourist hub is perfect for us.

“Though I loved being in the city, being back here and having our own space means that we can have time and space to entertain and be part of the local community.”

If you're self-employed and need a mortgage, we could help.