Gone are the days of making an appointment to see the local bank manager in Hayling Island or Havant (who your dad probably played golf with) for a little chat about sorting you out with a mortgage.
Now it feels that sometimes you can’t breathe for TV and other adverts for mortgage services, some from companies you’ve never heard of! Typing ‘mortgage UK’ into Google ‘only’ brings up 123,000,000 results. So how do you find the right mortgage for your personal circumstances? You could visit every high street bank or building society or spend hours on comparison sites researching the whole of the market. How will you know if the product you are buying online is right for you as a first time buyer or if you are looking to re-mortgage? As the choices increase, an option that is becoming more and more popular when you are looking to move home is to take on a mortgage broker.
Essentially, a mortgage broker is a middleman between the mortgage lender, banks or building societies, and the mortgage borrower, you! The first time buyer, looking to re-mortgage or taking your next steps up the property ladder to a new home.
If the mortgage broker is a ‘middleman’ why aren’t people trying to avoid using them at all costs? Let’s have a look at a few reasons why they are a great option:
When you have a mortgage broker working for you, they can search the whole market and are not just finding the mortgage you have described to them that you are looking for. The broker will have to be able to justify why they are recommending a particular mortgage product for you as a personal solution. This is an advantage over taking a mortgage directly from a high street lender. They will offer advice, but ultimately you may ignore this advice and end up not being able to afford the mortgage you have taken out. There is still some legal backup here as the Mortgage Market Review rules state that it is the lenders responsibility to ensure affordability. Taking on a mortgage that has been personally recommended by a broker however has an extra level of protection as if their advice isn’t up to standard, you can complain and be compensated.
While trying to find the cheapest fixed or tracker mortgage you can might become a bit of an obsession if you are trying to source the mortgage product for yourself, whether in banks or building societies in Havant or Hayling Island or online; this is not always the best choice for you to make. Sometimes it needs someone more experienced to point this out for you! Mortgage brokers are required to be qualified to give you mortgage advice. If you ring a call centre of a lender or go into a branch, you may not always have your first point of contact with a person qualified to give you mortgage advice. When you say you want to talk about a mortgage product, they must refer you to an appropriately qualified person.
Believe it or not, an independent mortgage broker is on your side and is looking for the best mortgage for you and your situation across the whole market. It is generally agreed that they have access to many more mortgage products than an individual would have going direct to a bank or building society. They give unbiased advice and have access and knowledge of additional products such as different insurance products that they may well be able to source a great deal on for you. This can be especially useful if you are new to property buying as a first time buyer, or looking for a very tailored product such as a re mortgaging mortgage.
Criteria and restrictions relating to mortgage products have changed so much over the last few years, the latest being the Mortgage Market Review. The requirement for borrowers to be able to prove they can afford a mortgage product, even with a rise in interest rates, is at the forefront of the new restrictions. These checks are understandably time consuming. For this reason alone, a mortgage broker with their knowledge and qualifications could make the difference between buying your dream home or not. A qualified mortgage advisor will only put your details forward for a mortgage you will qualify for. Just imagine jumping through all of the hoops and at the last minute loosing out on your house purchase because you do not match the requirements of the small print, preventing you from moving home.
Another reason why the knowledge of a qualified mortgage advisor is pretty much vital is that the broker works with the mortgage lender on a daily basis – they will know the application process for each one and will know how long the mortgage will take to reach offer. A qualified mortgage advisor should also be able to access specialised knowledge for the area you are trying to buy in and whether there are any restrictions on the mortgage product you are looking to buy. Within the Havant and Hayling Island areas, there are properties of non-standard construction. Your qualified mortgage broker will know which mortgage products are suitable for you without having to go through all of the details before realising this.