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UK/US language barrier problem for homebuyers

Specialist overseas lender British Mortgage Abroad says while many UK residents dream of owning a home in Florida, language and culture may be a barrier.

An online survey of 250 British people by BMA, part of Abbey National&#39s First National Bank, carried out last month found British understanding of 40 commonly used American words is low.

It reveals less than a third of respondents know a courgette is called a zucchini in the US. Only only one in five know a sophomore is a second-year undergraduate. BMA says the same lessons apply in the mortgage buying process with different US terminology.

The lender helps clients through the process of buying a house in the US and says while most US mortgages are long-term, fixed-rate deals, commonly for 30 years, it offers mortgage options familiar to UK homebuyers. These include a British style fixed-rate mortgage for three or five years and a flexible tracker linked to Bank of England rates.

BMA sales director Ron Howell says: “Buying a new home can be daunting, especially when differences in language can lead to confusion.”

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