Receiving good advice is essential when it comes to picking a buy to let mortgage. Northern Rock has always recently been a powerhouse in the advised market – really supporting mortgage brokers with excellent products, service and criteria (such as first time buyer buy to let). Now they have been bought by the financial juggernaut Virgin Money it’s great to hear that their support for financial advisers will be unwavering. Let’s look at some of the history and their commitments.
Virgin has also promised not to dual-price any of its products, giving intermediaries access to all rates offered to direct customers. It said it promised to listen and respond to feedback from intermediaries, to put the needs of intermediaries at the heart of the decisions it makes as a business.
This powerful commitment early means that customers who visit a specialist buy to let adviser will not only receive advice and help with mortgages from a range of specialist lenders not available on the high street (such as Paragon) but they can be sure that the rates on offer from Virgin Money will be the best possible through their advisers.
It might seem that Virgin Money have purchased Northern Rock with little intent to change strategy so little will change about the lender’s position in the market. That’s not entirely true – whilst strategy might be similar the fact that the Northern Rock brand was fatally tarnished by the credit crunch and a government bail out has no doubt had a significant impact on their sales figures. Compare that to the vibrant, jet-setting brand that is Virgin. This opportunity to combine the excellent service, criteria and knowledge of the Northern Rock team with the untarnished and vibrant brand Virgin is huge.
Some unique selling points at present of the Virgin (Northern Rock) buy to let product range include support for first time buyer buy to let and remortgages on a buy to let property on day one. With all but the most specialist buy to let lenders refusing to remortgage a buy to let property within six months this stance by Virgin Money is significant. Let’s hope it’s a sign of some good innovation to come.