Sometimes it’s good to go back to basics, particularly if it’s the first time you’re considering using a mortgage adviser. You may be a first-time buyer or re-mortgaging / purchasing having gone it alone in the past. This leads us to the big question - Why use a mortgage adviser?
As anyone who has attended a mortgage meeting at a bank or applied for a mortgage directly will agree, there are more enjoyable ways to spend your valuable time. Even worse, if you don’t subsequently meet that lender’s criteria it will have been in vain and means going through the whole process again with a different lender.
At Best FP we act as a one stop shop, so after a phone or face to face meeting lasting roughly an hour we will have a solid understanding of your circumstances and goals. After doing our research and using our knowledge of different lenders we then recommend a lender who will accept you on their criteria, taking care of the application and admin on your behalf.
It’s easy to focus on the headline interest rate when comparing mortgages, but it’s not the only thing to consider. A good adviser will calculate the total cost of the mortgage over the relevant period, factoring things like fees and charges to ensure you’re getting the best deal overall. If you’re moving home or re-mortgaging this can be particularly important as early repayment charges and legal fees can also come into play.
You may also be surprised to hear but we very often charge no fee for mortgage advice, particularly for less complicated cases as the fee we receive from the lender can be sufficient.
Advice is where mortgage advisers should be earning their money. Nearly anyone can use a comparison website to look at the top deals, but a good mortgage adviser goes beyond searching for rates. By looking at the bigger picture they can advise on and recommend a mortgage which truly suits your current circumstances, future goals and objectives.
If you’re a first time buyer it can also be important to have somebody to lean on and to guide you through the stages of the house buying process.
Let’s be honest, most people don’t want a mortgage, they want a home. The mortgage process can just seem like one more barrier to reaching your desired outcome – your home! A good mortgage adviser can help remove that barrier by owning the mortgage process on your behalf. From completing the decision in principle and full mortgage application, all the way through to responding directly to the lender’s questions or requests for information on your behalf.
Maximum mortgage borrowing
Due to the way they calculate affordability or the way they assess income the amount you can borrow with different lenders can vary significantly. Mortgage advisers use their knowledge of different lenders to give you an indication of the maximum you can borrow, which saves you time researching them all individually or even worse, thinking you’re limited to the figure your own bank have quoted.
Experience with lenders
Cost isn’t the only thing to consider when applying for a mortgage. For example, sometimes speed could be the most crucial factor such as with a tight turnaround for completion.
Working with lenders day to day means that advisers know their quirks and their service levels which may not be obvious from the outside. A mortgage adviser should help make you aware if there are any wider considerations for your circumstances when using a lender.
Knowledge of criteria and mortgage pitfalls
Every lender has different criteria which essentially outlines who they will and won’t lend to and how they assess mortgage affordability. If your circumstances aren’t straight forward it’s always good to have a chat with an adviser, who will then be able to recommend suitable lenders for your circumstances.
Even if your circumstances appear straight forward, you might be surprised at some of the common pitfalls and considerations. For example, knowing which lenders lend the most on new builds, lend on non-standard construction or property type and which accept certain types of income (including employment allowances).
The wider picture – protection
Your mortgage is likely to be the biggest financial commitment you will ever make, therefore it’s crucial to make sure that you and your family well protected if the worst should happen.
Mortgage advisers should already have a great understanding of your current circumstances, financial position and goals from the mortgage process. This will mean that they can identify any shortfalls in areas such as Life Assurance, Critical Illness Cover and Income Protection.
As part of the process at Best FP we are able to advise on suitable protection policies, but even if a mortgage adviser doesn’t offer this service they should always aim to put you in touch with someone who does to ensure you’re taken care of.
Even if you don’t think you’re ready for a mortgage yet but will be in future, it’s always worth having a chat with a mortgage adviser. They should be able to help you plan so that when the time comes you have your ducks in a row, avoiding any nasty surprises delaying the process. Advanced planning can be particularly helpful for mortgages for the self-employed or Ltd company directors.
You might even be surprised to find you’re closer than you thought or already in position to go!
Get in touch
If you’re ready to speak to a mortgage adviser then please do get in touch for an informal chat to see how we can help or to arrange a free introductory review.
Written by Lewis Gosling. Get in touch with Lewis on 07790 002125 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mortgage adviser Oxford; Mortgage advice; Remortgage Oxford; Maximum mortgage borrowing; Self-employed mortgage; First time buyer mortgage.