Buy-to-Let and Residential Mortgages for UK Expats Explained | WIS Mortgages
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20th October 2023

Buy-to-Let and Residential Mortgages for UK Expats Explained

For British nationals residing outside the UK, the prospect of investing in property back home or acquiring a residential space can be particularly appealing. Whether it's for investment purposes or a future return to the homeland, obtaining a mortgage from overseas comes with its unique set of rules and challenges. In this article, we explore buy-to-let and residential mortgages available to UK expats, detailing the requirements, challenges, and tips for securing a loan.

The Appeal of Investing in UK Property

Before diving into the mortgage options, it's a good idea to understand why UK expats are increasingly drawn to invest in the UK property market. There are many reasons why you might want to invest in UK property while living abroad as an expat, such as:

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Buy-to-Let Mortgages for UK Expats

Buy-to-let mortgages are loans specifically tailored for purchasing property intended to be let out. As an expat, you'll find that many UK-based lenders offer buy-to-let mortgage products designed for your unique needs. However, there are specific considerations to keep in mind. These include:

Eligibility Criteria

In order to obtain a buy-to-let mortgage as a UK expat, you'll need to meet the eligibility criteria outlined by the loan provider. This tends to include things like:

Additional Costs

Alongside the eligibility criteria, you'll want to factor in some of the additional costs associated with a buy-to-let mortgage for expats. These costs include:

Residential Mortgages for UK Expats

If you're looking to buy a home for your personal use or for family members residing in the UK, a residential mortgage is your go-to option. When it comes to getting a residential mortgage as an expat, you'll need to factor in eligibility requirements and potential challenges. So, let's go over these below:

Eligibility Criteria

As with buy-to-let mortgages, there are going to be some eligibility requirements before you can undertake a residential mortgage as a UK expat. Some of the most common requirements include:

Restrictions and Challenges

There are also a few additional hurdles to overcome if you're looking to obtain your residential mortgage as an expat. So you'll need to consider the following constraints:

Tips for Securing a Mortgage as a UK Expat

When it comes to securing your mortgage as a UK expat, there are a few things that you can do to make the process a little easier. So, take a look at the tips below to make securing your mortgage as a UK expat as smooth as possible:

Professional Guidance

Consulting with a mortgage broker who specialises in expat mortgages can save you time and money. They can guide you through the complex landscape and help you secure a mortgage with favourable terms.


Prepare all necessary documentation in advance. This typically includes proof of income, credit history, and identification. Some lenders may require additional documents like utility bills or rental payment history.

Currency Planning

If your income is in a currency other than GBP, you may need to plan for exchange rate changes. Some people opt for a multi-currency account to manage their mortgage payments efficiently.

Know How to Secure Property Financing as a UK Expat

Investing in UK property as an expat offers many opportunities but comes with its own set of challenges and complexities. Whether you're considering a buy-to-let investment or seeking a residential mortgage, understanding the eligibility criteria, associated costs, and market restrictions is crucial. Employing the services of experts and preparing comprehensive documentation can go a long way in helping you secure a mortgage tailored to your needs.

If you require assistance navigating the different mortgage products available to you as an expat, reach out to our team at WIS Mortgages today for tailored advice and guidance.

As a mortgage is secured against your home/property it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with the mortgage repayments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Am I able to secure a buy-to-let mortgage if I live outside of the UK?

A. Yes, you're absolutely able to secure a buy-to-let mortgage even if you live abroad. In fact, it's a very popular form of investment for British expats as it provides good income and secures the property for the future.

Q. How much of a deposit will I need for an expat mortgage?

A. Generally speaking, lenders will ask you to put down a larger deposit than normal if you're an expat. Deposits of around 25 % are standard, but if you can put down more then you'll be in a better position to get a mortgage with better interest rates.

Q. Can I live in the buy-to-let property I've obtained?

A. Unfortunately, as the property has been mortgaged as a buy-to-let, it can't be used as your own residence. This goes against the terms of the loan, so you aren't able to live at the residence if it's a buy-to-let.

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