One of the questions any customer should ask is ‘Why should we use Farm and Country Finance to arrange our farm finance or agricultural mortgage?’
Of course, people have a choice and sometimes, irrespective of what we and our testimonials say, they decide to go somewhere else.
It may surprise you how many of these people come back – some of the stories we are told makes the hairs on the back of our necks stand up, because customers have often been ‘turned over’.
In other articles on our website (some links are displayed at the bottom of this page), we explained that farm bridging finance should be used only where it is appropriate and this case exemplifies this.
Farm bridging finance is short-term by its nature, and this can lead to a situation where there can be pressure to get out of it – customers should consider how a farm bridging loan is to be repaid and this is important. We have heard many stories of how borrowers were promised refinance, by brokers, only for them to disappoint and leave the borrowers with no place to go, often with very dire consequences.
Our customer, who was situated in Cornwall, found herself in some difficulties with her current bankers and needed a farm mortgage - she was under extreme pressure because there was an order for repossession against her.
The property had an agricultural restriction or agricultural tie which meant that, apart from the farm remortgage where the customer was in difficulties, there was the added challenge of finding a lender that would accommodate the occupancy restriction as well.
Refinance is essentially a means to free up the cash value from assets already owned within your business, injecting much needed capital for use in other areas. Releasing equity from your existing unencumbered tractors, combines, vehicles, machinery, and potentially even milking and dairy equipment can release funds for a building project, to pay bills, or to fund an asset that is, in itself, difficult to finance. The process is simple, and crucially, you are still able to continue using the asset(s) in question throughout the re-finance agreement. The asset(s) can be leased back as an effective management of cash flow and tax, or purchased back through a standard hire purchase, meaning at the end of the agreement, you retain full ownership.
Being a market leader in the arrangement of farm finance for some time, it is only to be expected that we should recognise the trends and be arranging finance for wind turbines. Many of our customers, in the rural community, are seeking to diversify into new areas for extra income and an investment in a wind turbine is an option.
Whilst wind turbines are a way to obtain additional income, they are expensive, need planning consent and take considerable expertise to implement as a project. Finance for a wind turbine is only one aspect of the project.
In this case our customer wanted to buy a farm and needed an agricultural mortgage, but her deposit depended upon the sale of some other land and property which fell through. In keeping with our normal policy, of only charging on acceptance of an offer, our customer had nothing to pay. Not all brokers for farm finance are the same.
As Miss Ashcroft said:
‘Thanks Mark and to you. Thank you for your help and advice which really helped – thanks! I hope you have a brilliant Christmas and a Happy New Year!’
We are grateful to Mrs K Amor for letting us have some feedback after we arranged a remortgage for a farmhouse. Arranging mortgage for farmhouses is not always straightfoward and it’s nice to know that our efforts in raising farm finance are so appreciated. We hope this gives confidence to other people, looking for farm finance, to get in touch.
This is what Mrs Amor kindly said:
‘Thank you very much for calm and courteous help with remortgaging the farmhouse. I had fantastic advice and will certainly contact you again.’
We arranged a long-term farm loan for this customer, Mr Brunt of Ceredigion, whose requirements for farm finance were made difficult by some adverse credit.
Mr Brunt was kind enough to write to us with his comments as follows:
‘Throughout our dealings I have been impressed by your professionalism and your grasp of what to others can only appear to be a tortuous and frustrating process. At all times I have found you helpful, not to mention patient, and conscientious. I was more than happy to entrust the business in hand to your care and experience.’
Our customer, Miss F of North Manchester, approached us with some difficult circumstances.
The farm, which she used for her business, was owned by her grandfather who was elderly and unwell and needed some cash. He had always planned to give the property to our customer but, as he needed some money now, our customer wanted to buy his interest, although at a reduced price. To achieve this, she needed a farm mortgage. She had applied in various other places for a farm loan, but had been turned down because of her previous bankruptcy.
Mark Bracegirdle was recently instructed to act as an expert witness in a divorce case in the Kendal County Court.
The brief was to report on the availability of a mortgage for a property with an agricultural restriction. The case, however, was not straightforward; the house was in close proximity to the rest of the farm and shared its access. Moreover the dispute between the husband and wife was very bitter and an assessment was required in relation to financial statements that had been produced. As Mark is a chartered certified accountant, he was able to bring these skills to bear as well as his knowledge of the market for farm finance, with a particular emphasis on the availability of mortgages for a property with an agricultural tie.