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  • Writer's pictureThe Cedar Crest Team

Meet The Team: Sam Harley

Updated: Aug 30, 2022

Sam Harley, Mortgage Adviser

This past week, we connected with the company's first mortgage adviser and most senior member of the Cedar Crest: Sam Harley. A British expat living in Hong Kong who's passionate about hiking, writing, and all things personal finance, Sam can do it all. In our latest interview, he gets personal with us and shares more on what it's like being a mortgage adviser in Hong Kong.


What led you to choose this profession?

Sam Harley:

I have always been interested in personal finance, investing, and in building wealth through real estate so I decided to go into the mortgage and property space. As a mortgage adviser, I have the great opportunity to meet clients from a wide range of backgrounds, help them buy their dream home or simply assist them throughout their investment journey.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Sam Harley:

I love a challenge! Sourcing a solution for a client that may have particularly complex circumstances and may have been turned away from a couple of banks already for a mortgage or any property financing, is very gratifying. It's a great feeling when I am able to turn a "No" into a "Yes" for a struggling client.


Who is your business icon?

Sam Harley:

Steven Bartlett, the man does it all! He is as an Entrepreneur, Speaker, Investor, Author, BBC Dragon, and has one of the most successful podcasts, 'The Diary of a CEO'. I respect him a lot from a business perspective.


Who do you most admire?

Sam Harley:

My parents.


About yourself...

Sam Harley:

I am a British expat who's been living in Hong Kong for the past 3 years and before that, I lived in Shanghai for 1 year. I have also lived in the US and Europe which has given me a "global outlook" on life.


About your role...

Sam Harley:

I am based in Hong Kong so the majority of my role is focused on helping expats and Hong Kong nationals finance UK investment property. An increasing portion of my day is also spent helping people finance a UK home for them to live in, whether they are still in Hong Kong and planning a move or have recently moved to the UK.


If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?

Sam Harley:

For sure it would be something else within the personal finance space.


Why did you choose to work for Cedar Crest?

Sam Harley:

Helping overseas clients finance UK property is quite a niche space and one that Cedar Crest specialises in. Focusing on this demographic has been very appealing and relatable for me.

As an expat myself, living in another country brings many opportunities. However, I share the frustration when trying to arrange my financial affairs in my home country, everything becomes more difficult or restricted. So working for Cedar Crest allows me to provide solutions to people that share similar challenges.


Best advice anyone has given you?

Sam Harley:

Happiness is a choice not a destination.


What are your future aspirations?

Sam Harley:

To become fluent in Chinese, make work optional by age 45 and travel more with family.


What are your hobbies outside of work?

Sam Harley:

I have a few. I enjoy going to the gym, hiking the beautiful countryside of Hong Kong, educating myself on all things financial planning and learning about Asian culture and international relations.


How does your work benefit the business and, more importantly, clients?

Sam Harley:

Cedar Crest is a fairly young business and we have been working hard over the last few years to build partnerships and relationships with other businesses in the UK real estate industry to ensure we can continue helping clients overseas for the long run. We create value for money for clients by understanding the unique challenges of expats/foreign nationals and providing them with an efficient service from the point of first meeting to the completion of the property.


Best financial tips you have gotten?

Sam Harley:

The conventional advice around budgeting and reducing expenses in order to save more will only get you so far. Focusing on increasing your income and number of income streams has more upside.


What motivates you to do the role well?

Sam Harley:

Buying a property is not only a huge financial investment, it can be an emotional rollercoaster for the client and that’s only up to the point of choosing a home or an investment property.

Getting the purchase financed and the purchase completed is another level above. For clients that live overseas there are further layers of complexity and I am motivated to smooth out the journey for our clients, find a solution, and give them assurance they can afford the property they want to buy. When a client messages to say they have received the keys for their home or investment, it's very satisfying to have played a part in that.


Your opinion on rising interest rates?

Sam Harley:

We have lived through a golden age of almost non-existent interest rates for the last 13 years. Many property owners may have never paid mortgage rates of above 2% on their home. It is important to always zoom out and look at long term trends in interest rates when considering if you can afford a property. In my opinion it is better to wait a little longer and save more before buying than to be over leveraged and not be able to handle an increase in interest rate.

If you want your assets to be safe if anything were to happen to you, having adequate life insurance in place is essential, especially if you have a mortgage.



Get in touch with Sam to discuss your mortgage options.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

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