View more on these topics

The Mortgage Mole

Digging the dirt in the mortgage world…

Wait for it

A sound engineer from Exeter re-cently had to re-sort to desperate measures to get his foot on the property ladder.

Ryan McLean was so keen to get hold of a flat in a new-build development in his home town that he decided to camp outside it for eight days.

The 30 year old’s determination paid off as he was first in line to put down a deposit on one of the flats, which were up for grabs on a first come, first served basis.

His persistence allowed him to snap up a 150,000 home – the cheapest in the 225m development at the Princesshay Centre in Exeter.

Crack down
Soaring house prices in cities are not only deterring first-time buyers – drug gangs are also having a tough time finding premises for their shady dealings. Last week, the Metropolitan Police released a report revealing that drug factories are becoming more common in the suburbs. The Met thinks up to 700 factories could be hidden away in the sticks thanks to shrewd dealers snapping up cheaper properties.

Mole advises brokers to be extra-wary of burly Colombians with guns looking to buy quiet country cottages and terraced houses.

Cool guy
Stingy landlords should take note of the case of Richard Naumann. Last week, this particularly cruel landlord in Cleveland, Ohio, was sentenced to house arrest in one of his own apartments with no access to heating or hot water as a punishment for inflicting similar indignities on his tenants after he failed to pay his gas bill.

Whitney Ashworth and her boy-friend had to endure the cold for two months in the middle of an icy spell of weather after they found they were left without hot water or heating.

The real-life Rigsby has been tagged and must remain housebound until he can pay the gas company the $22,300 it needs to turn the gas back on. Naumann owes the Dominion East Ohio gas company $114,000 in total.

Accustomed to an inbox full of fan mail and press releases, news editor Rebecca Atkinson was somewhat surprised when she returned from lunch on Wednesday to find an email from Catholic group Opus Dei.

Andrew Soane, the director of Opus Dei’s information office, wrote to Atkinson to put her right on all things Opus Dei.

In last week’s Mortgage Strategy, Ruth Kelly was hilariously portrayed as Silas, the evil self-flagellating assassin from The Da Vinci Code.

Soane corrected Rebecca’s caption, reminding her that the group is neither a sect nor ultra-secretive. He then invited Strategy to Opus Dei HQ to show there is nothing cloak and dagger going on.

Rebecca tells Mole she is sorry for the way she referred to Opus Dei and the team has rescheduled its Illuminati obligations to be able to visit Opus Dei Towers.


Debt consolidation via mortgages is dangerous has warned that home owners could slip further into the red by consolidating debts through their mortgages.Recent research from Credit Action shows the UK’s debt mountain grows by 1m every four minutes. says home owners looking to transfer debts racked up on credit cards, bank loans and overdrafts to their mortgages could end […]

Advantage appoints Steve Mason as sales project manager

Advantage has appointed Steve Mason as sales project manager. Mason will be responsible for overseeing the delivery of major projects for the business and ensuring that lending targets are met.He has 19 years experience in the mortgage industry, after starting his career as a mortgage broker. Most recently, he led a 60-strong operational team at […]

NAEA moves to new home

National Association of Estate Agents will be moving to new premises early this summer after nearly 30 years in its current home in Warwick.The need for more space has resulted in the purchase of a modern, 9,400 square foot office on the Tournament Fields business park in Warwick. This will provide the appropriate facilities for […]

Godiva launches fees-free deals

Godiva Mortgages has launched two fee-free products in its buy-to-let and self-cert ranges.The buy-to-let flexx, which has a rate of 6.35%, and the self-cert flexx, which is at 6.25%, are both available up to 85% LTV. Both have free valuations, free legal fees for remortgages and no early repayment charges. There is also no booking […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up