Redwood Bank’s willingness to find a way to say ‘yes’ rather than simply sticking to a more obvious ‘no’ has allowed a landlord to refinance a large property portfolio and grow his business.
Victor Singh, owner of KBA Homes Ltd, has amassed a £5.6million portfolio of more than 60 properties, snapping up homes at auction, before quickly renovating them and letting them to tenants within weeks.
Despite travel problems at several thousand feet caused by storm force winds, which threatened to ground any potential deal, and the headwinds caused by COVID 19, he has now been able to refinance an existing lend onto more favourable rates offered by Redwood Bank.
Mr Singh has followed in the footsteps of his entrepreneurial father, who made a living selling goods out of a suitcase, having moved from India in the 1960s before successfully turning his hand to property, buying up buy-to-let homes and factories in Glasgow.
His own Dumfries-based portfolio consists of 64 properties, made up of 41 houses, 20 flats and three commercial properties, plus two pieces of land. Mr Singh was looking to free up the land from the portfolio, so they could be developed or sold to release equity to allow him to grow his portfolio.
Redwood Bank was introduced to the deal by Martin Lee from brokers, Bespoke Business Finance, who were looking to refinance the existing lend onto more favourable rates.
Redwood agreed to a 10 year interest-only facility which allowed the release of the requested land and also reduced Mr Singh’s monthly loan repayments.
Redwood Business Development Manager John Hall said:
"This was slightly outside of our normal appetite due to the small commercial element in the portfolio. However, the strength and dedication of Mr Singh in respect of his background warranted our support.
"Meeting the customer face to face made all the difference, as you could see his passion for his portfolio and the potential therein. His plans to develop the portfolio were realistic, strengthened further by his reputation in the local market."
Redwood’s flexibility to take into account Mr Singh’s background, his dedication and determination to retain and make his portfolio work for him, warranted support despite the personal sacrifices he had to make. Taking all aspects of the £3.44million loan into account sufficiently mitigated any potential risks.
All three parties involved in this deal, Redwood, the broker and the client, were fully on board with the complexities of the loan – and constant communication – including face-to-face meetings – proved key.
However, those meetings were not without their own drama, with extreme turbulence on John’s flight home from Glasgow threatening to scupper the deal before it had even got off the ground.
John Hall, Business Development Manager
John Hall added: "Mr Singh was a sheer delight to deal with from start to finish and fully understood the Bank’s position regarding certain aspects of the requested lending and respected this .
"The broker also played a key role in the transaction and kept in constant contact with all parties throughout. It was this ability to work with the broker and Victor’s cooperation that enabled us to understand and mitigate the risks and to get comfortable with the deal. Just remind me not to fly to or from Scotland in storm force winds in future!"
Mr Singh’s experience of the buy-to-let market ensures he is now in a good position to further expand his portfolio in the years to come.
Broker Mr Lee said: "From the start of the transaction it was clear that Victor needed a bank that would understand the nature of his business and his plans to expand. Having taken the time to fly to Glasgow to meet the clients, John quickly got to grips with the portfolio and also Victor’s current and future needs, and structured a package that would suit all parties, in a short space of time.
"It is fair to say that the journey from credit approval to drawdown threw up a few challenges along the way and it was the swift handling of these hurdles that most impressed both myself and Victor."
Mr Singh said: "We just want to thank Redwood for their work and commitment during the pandemic. Even during these unprecedented times they were there to help our business grow to the next level. Things were so professional from start to finish. John was always on the end off the phone for advice during the rebanking process. We can’t thank Redwood Bank enough and look forward to the future."