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The different types of mortgages

There are many different types of mortgages. Our guide will help you understand what each one is all about. Once you’ve had a read through all the information below you can get in contact with one of our mortgage experts and we’ll get your situation assessed and you can move forward from there.

Residential mortgages

Residential mortgages are available for people who want to purchase a UK house in which they (and their family) intend to live. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or remortgaging, this is the type of mortgage you will need to apply for. They are by far the most popular and widely-offered mortgages in the market.

Non-resident mortgages

Non-resident mortgages are available for people who live outside the UK, but want to purchase a UK property. As the borrower lives outside the UK, mortgage lenders tend to attach a higher risk factor to these transactions.

Commercial mortgages

Commercial mortgages occur when the property that you are intending to buy is used for commercial reasons; these could be anything from warehouses to business premises.

Buy-to-let mortgages

Buy-to-let mortgages arise when you don’t intend on occupying the property yourself, but want to let it out to a tenant. In other words, you hope that the rental income will exceed the mortgage repayments.


Remortgages occur when your existing mortgage deal expires - by far the most common reason - or if you want to move from one provider or deal to another.

We use the following approach to source the best residential mortgages for our clients:

  • Understand the factors relevant to the borrower

  • Agree on the criteria of the transaction

  • Research the best deals in the market that meet these criteria

We will allocate one of our mortgage advisers to you to conduct the research; your mortgage adviser will work closely with you to agree upon a set of search criteria. Following this, they will conduct detailed search of the market to find you the best mortgage.

residential mortgages

Find out more about the mortgage application process.

Watch our video about getting a mortgage in the UK.

In this video you can find out:

  1. Who establishes how much I can borrow? (0:10)
  2. What taxes apply? (1:07)

Work out what you can afford

Use our mortgage calculator to find out how much you can borrow,
what your monthly repayment is likely to be and compare mortgage options.

Our research models

We have two models for our mortgage research:

1. Standard cases

Standard” cases are classified as those cases where:

  • You (as the borrower) have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK or possess a British or EEA passport

  • You are employed or, if self-employed, have two years’ tax returns that fit the borrowing requirement

  • The loan-to-value (the mortgage as a percent of the property value) is 80% or less

Your circumstances are likely to fall within the lending policy of most lenders; this allows us to conduct our research without needing to make special arrangements with any lender.

We will provide you with a range of deals that best meet your criteria, advising you on your best options going forward.

2. Non-standard cases

"Non-standard" cases are those cases where:

  • You (as the borrower) are not a British passport holder and do not hold ILR

  • Your earnings cannot be backed up by two years' P60 employment income in the UK

  • The proposed mortgage amount exceeds your annual employment income

  • You are a contractor using a limited company and/or umbrella company structure

  • The loan-to-value (the mortgage as a percent of the property value) is more than 80%

  • You are purchasing a shared ownership property

  • The proposed mortgage is greater than £1,000,000

  • You are not a resident in the UK

The "non-standard" route is followed where a case falls outside of standard lending policy. In these instances, we are required to spend additional time researching your case as well as time to argue it with underwriters.

Although our research is chargeable, we try to ensure that we don’t do chargeable work if the result is unlikely to yield anything. If we believe your mortgage will not be approved at this time, we will inform you at no charge and suggest that the research be performed at a later stage. In some cases, we cannot confirm whether the mortgage will be approved without doing the research. In these cases, we will give you the option to proceed or not before we begin researching.

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Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 07070528), registered in England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (1st Contact Money [PTY] Ltd - FSP no. 41900) and hold an Australian Financial Services Licence issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (1st Contact Group - AFS Licence number 335 126).

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