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Mortgage lenders fees are often unfair / Advice on buy to let by Lawrenson of LettingFcous.com

Just recently I was working with a client whose mortgage company had written enclosing his mortgage statement and, as usual, they had included a costing for redeeming his mortgage.
I pointed out that he would do well to check the closing charge they quoted against the tariff the lender said would apply when he first took out the mortgage many years ago.
Unsurprisingly it was quite a bit higher now than it was back then.
I referred the client to my article on this: Unfair Mortgage Fees and he got a big reduction in the fee and an apology from his mortgage lender.
How many other people are being ripped off by their mortgage lender in this way I wonder?
ADVICE ON BUY TO LET
Increasingly, people are now coming to me for advice on buy to let as an investment because their pensions have been decimated and they live in areas where the local schools are so bad they have to plan for private school fees as well.
They see property as a way out – and it is - if they ignore the charlatans and do it right, that is.
What a shame our state education system is in such a mess and that these people, having saved all their lives, still face lousy returns from private sector pensions.
Many of these clients have scanned the web and are rightly concerned about some of the snake oil sellers they see who claim they can become property millionaires overnight and many are particularly curious about Buying Below Market Value and buying with No Money Down – both of which are areas I try to provide level headed advice on.
IGNORE LETTING ADS WHEN SETTING RENTS
You should think twice about looking at Rightmove or some other big property sites to gauge how much rent to charge.
Unlike in property sales, there is no requirement to take down an ad for a property that has long since been let.
So as a result, many of the ads are ages out of date and reflect rent levels that are no longer achievable.
BOOK FAIRS AND PROPERTY SHOWS
During this last few weeks I have done a bit of hobnobbing with some publishers including attending the London Book Fair and going to a Society of Authors shindig.
The Book Fair makes a nice change from property shows.
Publishing has to be one of the most unequal areas with respect to the sexes in business. It is heavily dominated by women, which appeals to me a lot, but most of the people at the actual top of the big publishers are men.
I have often been amazed at how low paid writers are - whether they write books or for papers, mags or the net. But so too are the editors and the publishers.
If you have a book in you as a new writer you have to realise that many many junior people are employed at publishers just to tell would-be writers to get lost. And you still get ignored or told to go away or ignored even if you are an experienced or proven writer!
JK Rowling was famously rejected quite a few times, so if you want to write don’t give up. But, boy, you’ll need a tough skin.
But writers are a delightful bunch. Some weird and wacky, some businesslike - but pretty well all are highly educated. And all but the lucky few are as poor as church mice.
A few months ago I was a bit bored (and had a good wine assisted lunch) so thought I would get my own back - JK Rowling style - by sending the rejection notes to all the publishers that rejected me four years ago along with my first book, Successful Property Letting - How to Make Money in Buy to Let - the KTel of books (private joke!)
But when I looked at it, the poor sods who sent the letters were all junior assistants, so I didn’t bother in the end.
ABOUT LETTINGFOCUS.COM and DAVID LAWRENSON
I’m David Lawrenson of LettingFocus.com - the property letting experts. Read Property Articles.
I’m the author of “Successful Property Letting” which for the last 3 years has been the UK’s top selling property book - buy Property Investing Book.
The new edition is for accidental and experienced landlords and is fully up to date with all the recent changes to tenancy deposit schemes, HMOs, licensing and capital gains taxes.
I’m an expert property writer and property speaker - and I run the well known property letting blog that you are reading now.
I contribute to newspapers and a host of property websites, write a number of columns in the press and I provide general advice on property letting and consulting to anyone looking to buy property for themselves or to let out. I can help private individuals with any aspect of buying property or buy to let.
What’s unique about lettingfocus.com is that we offer independent unbiased property investment advice because unlike most people in the buy to let and property “advice” business we are not linked to a property company, developer, agent or bridging loan financier and do not receive commissions from these sources.
On the contrary, we are often asked to evaluate other property investments.
Find out about some great deals we have arranged at our Landlords Links page.
Copyright: David Lawrenson 2009. This blog is updated roughly once a week.
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