Happily ever after: How one self-employed client says ‘I do’ to a mortgage

Happily ever after: How one self-employed client says ‘I do’ to a mortgage

We’ve spoken before about the trials and tribulations of getting a mortgage when you’re self-employed.

From managing your company accounts to navigating Bounce Back Loans, whether you are a freelancer, contractor, sole trader or company director – securing a mortgage when you work for yourself brings with it a few more hurdles than when you’re PAYE.

But it’s not all hassle and hard work. With a good mortgage adviser by your side, obtaining a mortgage while self-employed is far from impossible.


The happily ever after

Mortgage Confidence’s adviser, Jo Jingree, recently helped one successful self-employed business owner secure a mortgage on a 3-bedroom doer-upper in Shirley, after renting in Crystal Palace for the last six years.

Max Demetriou, 39, has run the popular wedding dress shop, Love Bridal, in Crystal Palace since 2012. Max and her husband, who’s a teacher, came to Jo after being recommended by her accountant.

The challenge? To secure a mortgage that was £55,000 more than the one their high street lender could offer. The solution? For Jo to take a deep dive into couple’s finances and reconsider how much they could afford on paper.

As Max explains: “We found a property, but the mortgage offer from our bank was for £55,000 less than we needed.

“I just thought ‘how an earth is Jo going to get us that amount, from the same info we provided to our banks?’. But because she is so forensic, Jo left no stone unturned. She went through everything with my accountant.”


The challenges

But securing this mortgage didn’t go without its challenges. “There were probably six or seven hurdles,” Max recalls.

“In lockdown we set up a second business – MALA Aesthetics,” Max says. “A lot of the issues around obtaining the mortgage came from the fact that I’d put a lot of finance from Love Bridal into the new business. This affected the profit.”

Another factor affecting Max’s Love Bridal profit was the pandemic. “Profit was different the year of lockdown,” she says. And then there was the case of the Bounce Back Loan Max had taken out on Love Bridal when the first lockdown hit.

This meant Jo had to look at Max’s previous three years of business to base the mortgage calculations on, rather than the last year.

“As long as you provide everything to Jo, she does all the leg work,” Max says. “She is worth every single penny. Having someone like her take all the stress and all the pressure – she takes that for you, and I have to say she did us proud.”

Max, her husband and their two boys have now moved into their first ‘proper’ family home in Shirley.

“We have two young boys and having this in your head that you’re going to lose your home, you’re just thinking ‘how can we make this happen’,” Max says.

“We bought a project because we like that challenge. But being able to drive home and onto your own drive with your own money and mortgage rather than rent – it’s the biggest reward you can get from working hard on your business. It’s like ‘wow we’ve worked for this, we’ve given our kids a home’.”

Jo says: “It was really rewarding to be able to secure the desired mortgage amount for Max and her husband. This is where having a mortgage adviser really comes into its own. We focus our time and efforts into each case and unpick the information and present it in a way that more accurately reflects each client’s financial situation.”

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