Chris Seward joins Bath Mortgages Online

  • 04 Feb, 2017

We are delighted to welcome Christopher Seward to the business!

Chris joined us in February 2017 as a Director and Lead Adviser for our new business Bath Mortgages Online ( )

After gaining a BSc (Hons) at Chichester University, Chris started working in the Financial Services sector in 2000. Chris has a vast amount of experience from several perspectives. Firstly, Chris is highly qualified in advising clients as well as being very experienced. He has a Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning and has achieved the higher qualification, Certs CII (MP & ER,  for providing expert Mortgage and Equity Release advice.

Secondly, over the past few years, Chris has been responsible for the supervision and training of other financial advisers and is an expert in FCA compliance. This knowledge will be a benefit to the whole SWMortgages Group and Chris will also be involved in both Bristol Mortgages Online and Exeter Mortgages Online.

Having lived in Bath all his life, Chris has extensive knowledge of both the residential and investment property markets in the Bath & North East Somerset area.

Chris is married with one son and In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, socialising with friends and spending time with his family.

To make an appointment to meet with Chris please call 01225 584 888

Phil Clark's Mortgage Blog

by C BLAKE-SYMES 21 Aug, 2017

Bristol Mortgages Online are based at Henleaze House in North Bristol. We have been here for three and a half years and also use it as our Head Office for our sister businesses, Bath Mortgages Online and Exeter Mortgages Online.

We think we’re in a great location as most of our clients don’t want the hassle of driving into the City Centre of Bristol, or Clifton and then have trouble parking. We can offer free parking either in the car park or on one of the local streets. Our Admin and Progressing team are also based here so it’s incredibly convenient to drop off any documents or have a chat if you have any queries.

We deal with clients from far and wide, but many of our new clients live in Henleaze, Westbury on Trym, Stoke Bishop and Redland. A lot of clients come to see us straight from work, as we are open until 7.30pm. For those working at Air Bus, Rolls Royce or Aztec West we are conveniently located along Southmead Road just off Wellington Hill West. Recently we have been helping numerous staff based at Southmead Hospital as we are literally 5 minutes away.

For many clients either working shifts, or with young families it is not so easy to come to us, so we are more than happy to come and see you at home.

If you would like to book a free consultation with us you can find us at Henleaze House, Henleaze, Bristol BS9 4PN. Our other branches are located at Bath Mortgages Online, The Guild, High Street, Bath, BA1 5EB and Exeter Mortgages Online 37a Fore Street, Topsham. Devon, EX3 0HR

For more information or to book your free consultation please visit one of our websites or contact us   0117 325 1511 email       01225 584 888 email i   01392 690 888 email


by C BLAKE-SYMES 09 Aug, 2017

We are absolutely thrilled to have just received our 100th Google Review and every single one is 5-stars!!

Having highly satisfied clients and an excellent reputation is key to our philosophy not only here at Bristol Mortgages Online but also with our other businesses in Exeter and Bath.

Many of our new clients come to us as they have been recommended. Our excellent 5- star reviews both on Google and Facebook give potential clients the reassurance that we are nice people to deal with!

We are always overwhelmed by the lovely comments.  Our MD Phil Clark often receives accolades from clients, as do our other Mortgage Advisers. However, often it is both Kamila and George who get a special mention, as clients are so grateful for the amazing progressing service they provide, leading to a smooth and efficient completion.

Some of our most recent reviews include:

PR They made the process so simple for us and put us immediately at ease, which made it a really simple process of picking the right mortgage for us.

DB  Fantastic and friendly advice over the last 7 years, highly recommended have saved me a small fortune.

 JM As a first time buyer I was a bit clueless about the mortgage process and have found Paul Kelly and team to be exceptionally helpful. Paul arranged everything for me and was able to answer my many questions, making the experience completely smooth and stress free. Highly recommend Bristol Mortgages Online.

DG I am very grateful and pleased with the service that I get from Bristol Mortgages Online colleagues Paul and Kamila. It was a very good service and it was a stress free experience.

  f you would like to read more of our Google Reviews please click here 

To book a FREE CONSULTATION with one of our Expert Mortgage Advisers please call 0117 325 1511                                          or visit

by C BLAKE-SYMES 26 Jul, 2017

We are delighted that this month we celebrate Paul Kelly, our Senior Adviser, being with us for 3 years.

Paul joined us just a few weeks after we moved into Henleaze House. Paul is a fantastic Adviser and as can be seen from the numerous 5-star Google and Facebook reviews he receives, our clients appreciate the great job he does too!

A few examples of the praise he receives are:

Excellent service! I wanted to remortgage and my adviser Paul Kelly was fantastically helpful and efficient. He found a good deal for me and was helpful and supportive from start to finish. The whole operation seems to run really well. Good value for money too - worth every penny! Highly recommend.

Myself and my wife are both first time buyers and thought it best to get some professional help. Our advisor Paul Kelly was fantastic from start to finish, where we had hurdles, Paul helped us to work through them and find the best mortgage that suited us. Can't recommend these guys enough.

Cannot recommend these guys enough! Quite possibly wouldn't have got our house if it wasn't for them! Paul really went the extra mile for us and I would recommend him to everyone buying a house, particularly for the first time! Made a very stressful process so much easier and got us on the ladder.

Our clients are always delighted with the expert advice Paul gives them, ranging from First-time Buyers, clients wishing to move house or remortgage through to experienced Buy to Let Investors.

In particular clients appreciate the fact that although Paul is based at our Head Office in Henleaze House, he frequently meets clients in their homes of an evening, or in the case of our business clients at their offices.

Congratulations from all the team at Bristol, Bath and Exeter Mortgages Online- you’re a great chap to work with!!

If you would like to book an appointment with Paul Kelly or any of our Advisers please call

 0117 325 1511 for Bristol, 01225 584888 for Bath or 01392 69888 for Exeter.



by C BLAKE-SYMES 21 Jul, 2017

As Independent Mortgage Brokers, we are not only mortgage specialists, but we can also access the whole market for your insurance protection needs too, including Critical Illness Cover, Life Insurance and Income Protection.

Many banks and building societies and estate agents are “tied” to one insurer, and therefore cannot compete with an Independent specialist like us, either on cost or benefits as they only offer one product. This is a complex area, in our view, is sometimes a more important decision than the mortgage. Whereas a mortgage deal may only last two or three years, the right protection could last a life time!

We therefore always offer a free face to face consultation with you. One of our experienced advisers will discuss your individual requirements to help us with our personal recommendations.

We have listed below a brief description about Critical Illness Cover. Please feel free to call us and we will arrange an appointment with you at home, or at our offices in Bristol, Bath or Exeter.

What is critical illness cover?

Critical illness insurance will pay out if you get one of a number of a specific medical conditions or injuries listed in the policy. But be aware that not all conditions are covered and policy will also state how serious the condition must be.

Most policies will also consider permanent disabilities as a result of injury or illness. A critical illness policy only pays out once and then the policy ends. Some policies will make a smaller payment for less severe conditions, or if one of your children has one of the specified conditions.

What is not covered?

Some serious illnesses might not be covered, for example, some cancers and conditions not listed in the policy. You probably won’t be covered for health problems you knew you had before you took out the insurance, and this type of insurance does not pay out if you die. What’s covered and what’s not, will be set out in the policy details so make sure you’re fully aware of them and that they cover your needs. We guide you through all the considerations to find the right policy to meet your needs.

Do you need critical illness cover?

State benefits might not be enough to replace your income if something goes wrong. If you’re eligible, welfare benefits range from around £70 a week to just over £100 a week, depending on your circumstances (i.e. whether or not you have children, a certain level of savings, or if your partner works).

Critical illness cover could be considered if:

  • you do not have savings to tide you over if become seriously ill or disabled
  • you do not have an employee benefits package to cover a longer time off work due to sickness

Who does not need it?

You might not need it if:

  • you have enough savings to fall back on and can adequately cover expenses such as bills, loans, medical costs or a mortgage.
  • you have a partner who can cover living costs and any shared commitments, like a mortgage
  • ·You might already have some cover included in other products or work benefits.

How much does it cost?

Your monthly payments will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • age
  • whether you smoke or have previously smoked
  • health (your current health, your weight, your family medical history)
  •  job (some occupations carry a higher risk than others and may mean you have to pay more each month)
  • the amount of cover you take out

For more information or to book your free consultation please visit one of our websites or contact us  0117 325 1511 email       01225 584 888 email   01392 690 888 email


by C BLAKE-SYMES 06 Jul, 2017

Although thinking about organising a remortgage can feel like a hassle, the good news is that mortgage rates are now at their lowest ever levels and by switching to a better deal, you could find your monthly repayments come down significantly – particularly if you've built up a decent amount of equity in your home. So, if you are soon to remortgage, let Bristol, Bath or Exeter Mortgages Online help you through the whole process from the initial quotation through to completion.

When should I apply for a new mortgage?

You should think about applying for a new mortgage two to three months before your existing deal comes to an end. It can take a month to get an offer from a mortgage lender (though this can sometimes be quicker) and an offer will typically be valid for three months or to a specific completion deadline.

Due to the fact that we are wholly independent, we will examine the mortgage market for you. We deal with many lenders over and above High Street lenders and those found on comparison sites. Many exceptionally competitive and flexible lenders only deal with Mortgage Brokers, like ourselves. As with anything financial, it pays to shop around and compare what the different providers are offering.

Once we have discussed all the options available to meet your specific needs and have recommended the most suitable mortgage product we will arrange to get you an Agreement in Principle from the lender, we will then help you to complete your application from and will see the mortgage through to completion.

How easy is it to remortgage?

If you're not moving home, switching to another mortgage will be more straightforward. We will help you to assess how much you can borrow, and this will depend on how much equity you have in your home, what your income and outgoings are, and your credit rating.

When you apply for a new mortgage, it can be tempting to bump up the term again, perhaps back to 25 years to keep repayments down. But Instead, if you can afford to, reduce the term of your mortgage to say 20 years. That way you'll save yourself five years' worth of interest.

However, be aware that reducing the length of your mortgage will increase your monthly mortgage repayments. For example, if you had a mortgage of £150,000 on a rate of 2.5%, you'd pay £673 a month over a 25-year term, but £795 a month over a 20-year term.

What will it cost to remortgage?

Some lenders will charge a booking or processing fee to secure a mortgage, typically around £100 - £150. Many mortgages also come with product fees which can cost anywhere from £500 to £2,500. Bear in mind it may be work out cheaper to opt for a mortgage with a higher interest rate but lower fee than one with a lower interest rate and higher fee. Our Advisers will give you a full illustration to show you all the benefits and pitfalls of every option.

Your new lender may charge a valuation fee for commissioning a valuation of your property (typically £300-£400). You'll have to pay legal fees to your solicitor, though you may find your lender covers some of this. Fees will vary depending on the solicitor, but expect to pay around £500.

Telegraphic transfer fees will also be charged for transferring money to your solicitor when you complete and cost around £25 to £50.

Bristol, Bath or Exeter Mortgages Online do not charge you for your free consultation, nor to get you an Agreement in Principle. Our typical fees for UK residential and buy to let mortgage advice is £490. Initially £195 will be payable on submission of your application to the lender and the balance of £295 will be due within 14 days of you receiving the mortgage offer. If the mortgage completes, we will also receive any commission payable from the lender. Fees for Expat Remortgages will vary.

Bear in mind that if you've decided to get out of your current mortgage deal early, you may have to pay an early repayment charge (ERC). Again, we will give you an illustration of whether it is financially beneficial to settle your existing mortgage so that you can make an informed decision.

What happens if I don't do anything?

If you don't apply for another mortgage before your existing deal ends, you'll be moved onto your lender's Standard Variable Rate (SVR). The SVR varies between lenders but is typically pegged a few percentage points above the Bank of England base rate. Because the SVR is variable, it can change at any time.

SVRs are also not always competitive, so you could pay out far more than necessary if you stay on your lender's SVR. The good news though is you can move off your lender's SVR at any time.

What are the best mortgages?

To get details of all costings and an exact quote for the monthly repayments, please call us to book your FREE consultation, we also do not charge for getting you an Agreement or Decision in Principle.


For more information or to book your free consultation please visit one of our websites or contact us   0117 325 1511 email       01225 584 888 email   01392 690 888 email


by C BLAKE-SYMES 30 Jun, 2017

Last September, after gaining excellent A Level results, Tallulah Clark joined the administration team, as a Trainee Administrator.

Tallulah,19, is the eldest daughter of Phillip Clark, our MD. After joining the Bristol team, based at our Head Office at Henleaze House, she started to support Kamila and her team, with some of the office duties and copious amounts of important filing and scanning files, prepared for each of our clients.

The purpose was to gain experience in a work environment. As well as working for us part-time, Tallulah also gained experience working vat a local private Nursery. Tallulah’s aim is to ultimately to work with children.

From next September, Tallulah will be going to Sheffield University to study for a BA in Education, Culture and Childhood. This three-year course is designed to prepare students for a career in education or children's services.

All the team from Bristol, Bath and Exeter Mortgages Online would like to say a massive “Thank You” for all your help and “Good Luck” at Uni!!


by C BLAKE-SYMES 24 Jun, 2017

Armed Forces Day is a chance to show your support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving troops to Service families, veterans and cadets. There are many ways for people, communities and organisations across the country to show their support and get involved, from attending an event or joining us online to throwing a party or local event.

Armed Forces Day takes place on the last Saturday each June. In 2017, it will take place on Saturday 24 June. Armed Forces Day celebrations begin on Monday 19 June when the Armed Forces Day flag is raised on buildings and famous landmarks around the country. Reserves Day on 21 June will also provide an opportunity for the country to recognise our Reserve Forces.

The National Event in 2017 will be held in Liverpool and local events will be taking place across the country. You can search or add your local event here.

Showing support for the Armed Forces provides a much valued morale boost for the troops and their families. You can find out more about what they are doing at home and around the world by visiting the official sites of the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force.

The public show their support for the Armed Forces on Armed Forces Day, but did you know the Armed Forces Covenant outlines how the Government, businesses and communities support Armed Forces personnel past and present throughout the year?

Forces Mortgages

Kevin Langshaw, our Lead Adviser at our Exeter branch specialises in Mortgages for Personnel in the Forces. Kevin has a military background, so understands the specific and unique requirements and issues faced by those in the Forces.

As well as all the usual expertise, we offer to First Time Buyers, Buy to Let investors, House movers and clients looking for a remortgage, we offer additional help to those in the Forces.

There are unique offers and opportunities relating to Forces Mortgages including:

  • Up to 95% LTV
  • Permission to Let
  • Limited UK Credit History
  • Applications Allowed from Overseas & BFPO Address

Forces Help to Buy Scheme

The Forces Help to Buy Scheme is to help armed forces personnel get on the property ladder.

What is the scheme?

Regular armed forces personnel can benefit from a £200 million scheme to help them get on the property ladder. The Forces Help to Buy scheme enables servicemen and servicewomen to borrow up to 50% of their salary, interest free, to buy their first home or move to another property on assignment or as their family’s needs change. The pilot scheme, which launched in April 2014 and has now been extended to 2018, aims to address the low rate of home ownership in the armed forces.

Who can use the scheme?

All regular personnel who:

  • have completed the pre-requisite length of service
  • have more than 6 months left to serve at the time they apply
  • meet the right medical categories

However, it is recognised that there may be instances where exceptions to the standard rules may be justifiable, especially where there are extenuating medical and personal circumstances.

How much can be borrowed under the scheme?

This scheme allows service personnel to borrow up to 50% of their annual salary, to a maximum of £25,000. This can be used towards a deposit and other costs such as solicitor’s and estate agent’s fees.

How to get it?

Servicemen and servicewomen can apply for the loan online through the Joint Personnel Administration system and can seek advice on their application through their Chain of Command and personnel agency.

If you are considering buying a home, but have not done so before, you may wish to read some general information on how to buy one and understand better how the process works.

For more information or to book your free consultation please visit one of our websites or contact us   0117 325 1511 email       01225 584 888 email   01392 690 888 email



by C BLAKE-SYMES 17 Jun, 2017

Second charge mortgages or second loans are often referred to as “second mortgages” because they have secondary priority behind your main (or first charge) mortgage. They are a secured loan, which means they use the borrower’s home as security. Many people use them as a way to raise money instead of remortgaging, but there are some things you need to be aware of before you apply.

  • You must be a homeowner to get a second mortgage, although you do not necessarily need to live in the property.
  •  A second charge mortgage allows you to use any equity you have in your home as security against another loan. It means you will essentially have two mortgages on your home.
  • A second charge mortgage can be a loan of anything from £1,000 upwards.
  •  Lenders now have to comply with stricter UK and EU rules governing mortgage advice, affordable lending and dealing with payment difficulties. This means that lenders now have to make the same affordability checks and ‘stress test’ the borrower’s financial circumstances as an applicant for a main or first charge residential mortgage.
  • Borrowers will now have to provide evidence that they can afford to pay back this loan.

Our expert Advisers will be able to help you regarding what an affordability assessment might involve, and the evidence you may be required to provide to support your second mortgage application.

  When is it appropriate to take out a Second Charge?

  • When you are already on a competitive mortgage rate
  • When you are tied into your mortgage with heavy redemption penalties
  • When you have an interest only mortgage
  • When you need a larger sum over a longer term to reduce payments
  • When your credit status has changed since your last mortgage was agreed
  • When you need early settlement flexibility
  • When you need to raise capital for a non-traditional purpose
  • When you are unable to obtain a re-mortgage or further advance
  • When soft credit searches at quotation stage is important

What can Bristol, Bath and Exeter Mortgages Online offer you?

  •  Up to 95% LTV (unlimited LTV up to 10k)
  • Very competitive interest rates.
  • Buy to Lets 85% LTV  
  • Loans between 5K and 2.5m - larger loans on referral
  • Loan term from 36–360 months
  •  CCJ’s, Defaults and Mortgage arrears considered
  • Ex bankrupts & current IVA’s considered
  • Self-employed loans available we will need proof of income using SA302, accountants' references or the last 2 years’ accounts.
  • Various income types considered including some benefits
  • Loans for any purpose

Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or other debt secured on it. The financial conduct authority does not regulate some aspects of buy to let mortgages

For more information or to book your free consultation please visit one of our websites or contact us     0117 325 1511 email       01225 584 888 email   01392 690 888 email


by C BLAKE-SYMES 10 Jun, 2017

Adapted from a Zoopla article by Nicky Burridge June 9, 2017

The UK has been left with a hung Parliament, after the Conservative Party lost its majority in the 8 June General Election. A hung parliament means no single party managed to win the 326 seats needed to hold a majority in the House of Commons and have the right to form a government.

The Conservatives remain the largest party, so they will have the first chance to try to put together a coalition government with another party. Theresa May has been in talks with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) about gaining that possible support. If this fails, other parties could try to form a coalition or the Conservatives could rule as a minority government.

Here's a round-up of how the fallout from this week's vote could impact the property market.

Prolonged uncertainty

A hung parliament creates a period of uncertainty for the UK, as it is not known if the Conservative Party will be successful in creating a coalition, and whether such a coalition would last long. The uncertainty caused by the General Election and Brexit had already put the brakes on the housing market, and activity is likely to remain subdued until the outlook is clearer.

Nick Leeming, chairman of estate agents, Jackson-Stops & Staff, said: “All markets abhor uncertainty and the housing market is no exception. The priority now must be for politicians to provide reassurance by forming a government as quickly as possible.”

A new Housing Minister

Housing Minister, Gavin Barwell was one of the casualties of the General Election, losing his Croydon Central seat to Labour. The need to appoint a new Housing Minister creates some uncertainty over how soon measures outlined in the Housing White Paper, which was published in February, will be put into action.

But all of the main political parties made housing a priority in their manifestos. The Liberal Democrats promised to build 300,000 new homes a year, while Labour pledged to build 100,000 council and housing association properties annually. The Conservatives claimed they would deliver 1m homes by the end of 2020, with a further 500,000 by the end of 2022. Their commitments suggest the issue will remain high up the political agenda.

A softer Brexit

Theresa May went to the polls in order to get a strong mandate for a hard Brexit. But her failure to increase her majority suggests the country does not back her plans. The expected coalition with the DUP is also likely to lead to a softer Brexit. Expectations of a soft Brexit are likely to be good news for the housing market. Not only does it remove some of the current uncertainty, a soft Brexit is likely to include ongoing freedom of movement. This which should support demand for UK property and, in turn, house prices.

A louder voice for first-time buyers

The increase in support for Labour has been attributed to young people coming out to vote.

Jeremy Leaf, estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “The hopelessness we are seeing on the ground about not being able to get on the housing ladder has come through. If there is one message that has come out of this election, it is that the young have voted overwhelmingly for change.”

He said politicians would now have to consider the needs of the young more than they had in the past, which could mean more help for first-time buyers.

Strong fundamentals

Despite the current uncertainty, the housing market continues to be supported by strong fundamentals. The economy has performed better than expected in the months since the Brexit vote, employment levels remain high and interest rates are at record lows.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said that while swap rates (on which fixed rate mortgages are priced) can be 'pretty volatile in response to ‘bad’ news' it does not necessarily follow that mortgage rates will rise. “The oversupply of money will likely continue to keep mortgage rates low at least in the short-to-medium term, ” he said.

At the same time, the fact that the UK is failing to build enough new homes to keep pace with demand should prevent a significant fall in property values.

Other influences

The housing market has lost momentum in recent months and, while some commentators have attributed the slowdown to uncertainty cause by the General Election, others have suggested different factors are at play. House price growth has significantly outpaced increases to earnings in the past few years, leading to affordability becoming increasingly stretched.

As a result, the current lull in activity may be caused by buyers waiting for earnings to catch up with property values. Until the UK increases the rate at which homes are being built, transaction volumes may remain subdued, regardless of what is going on in politics.

For more information or to book your free consultation please visit one of our websites or contact us   0117 325 1511 email       01225 584 888 email   01392 690 888 email





by C BLAKE-SYMES 03 Jun, 2017

What’s the latest?

House prices across the UK are tipped to rise by an average 6.1% over the next five years, increasing to an average value of almost £300,000 from their current £274,000.

This is according to the first ever Barclays UK Property Indicator report, which claims it will be buy-to-let investments and high-net worth millennials that will underpin the rise between now and 2021.

Richmond upon Thames, in south east London, leads Barclays' top 20 property hotspots with anticipated price rises of 39.1% over the next five years.

St Albans and Three Rivers, both in Hertfordshire, rank second and third, where house prices are forecast to leap by 38.8% and 34.6% respectively over the same time-frame.

  Why is it happening?

According to Barclays, millennial investors will be a key driver in house price growth over the next three to five years. Those surveyed for the research already have 41% of their investment portfolio tied up in property, which compares to 23% of those aged over 55.

Younger investors are also 'more bullish' in their approach to investing in bricks and mortar, says Barclays. Of those aged between 18 and 54, three-quarters intend to grow their property portfolio by 2021, compared to just 10% of the over-55s.

High net worth millennial investors are also likely to own more than one property. Many are already reaping the rewards of this with almost half (48%) of their annual income generated from rent.

Who does it affect?

In terms of regions, the south is expected to see the largest rise over this period.

But the Barclays report also shows property hotspots will increasingly emerge in other areas of the UK, particularly the north and Midlands which represent 'good value for money and income stability'.

Over one-third (38%) of investors who are considering buying a home in the north believe that prices will rise there, and more than a quarter (27%) cite strong rental income as their reason to invest.

Behind London, the East of England and the south east, the Midlands is tipped for the biggest annual house price growth over the next half-decade, at 1.22%.

Warwick in the West Midlands has emerged as one of the top 20 areas of highest growth, with an expected annual increase of 5.31%. This is driven by above-average earnings and favourable conditions for start-up businesses, says the report.

Scotland ranks next with anticipated property price growth at 1.15%. East Renfrewshire, just outside Glasgow, features in the top 20 UK hotspots with rises forecast at 4.37%. Its large proportion of highly-qualified residents are expected to drive up prices.

Sounds interesting. What’s the background?

The research compiled by Development Economics on behalf of Barclays involved analysing data from 12 key indicators. These include past trends on property prices, rental increases, employment levels, commuting patterns, earning levels and projected population growth.

Dena Brumpton, CEO, wealth and investments, Barclays, said: "High-net worth investors typically own three properties, and over a quarter plan to buy property because they believe it offers long-term investment security.”

For more information or to book your free consultation please visit one of our websites or contact us   0117 325 1511 email       01275 584 888 email   01392 690 888 email





More posts
Share by: