Can’t live with one, can’t live without one. The only statement that really sums up what your relationship with a mortgage adviser of any kind will be. They’ll provide you with seriously invaluable information that you would literally die without being a first time home buyer, but you do have to remember that they’re working off commission, and they’ll say anything to get you signing on the dotted lines.
First time buyers are easy, fresh meat for mortgage advisers as they know that you probably know nothing, or very little. Well I didn’t at least. As my house buying process happened so quickly, I ended up choosing a mortgage adviser out of ease that was the in house one at the estate agents. Luckily, she was incredibly nice and we got on really well, but it was certainly an eye opener and I learnt a lot along the way.
First time buying is scary and you do need an advocate to be there for you, it’s just something you can’t do alone, especially the first time. If I was back to square one again, I would definitely have liked to know these bits about a mortgage adviser and I’m sure some of you will find really helpful, and help to save you time and money!
What Is A Mortgage Adviser?
Imagine a mortgage adviser as being your right hand man. They provide completely free advice before you choose them to write your mortgage for your chosen property at which stage they will start charging fees for both writing your mortgage and on the day that you exchange.
A mortgage adviser is a well of information, they’ll discuss all your incoming and out going money each month and give you an idea of how much money you can borrow on a house. They’ll give you lots of handy packs of information in the early stages to help you save and know how to prepare yourself.
When you get to the stage of applying for a mortgage, they’ll do your mortgage in principle for you (this is needed when you put an offer in on a house) and they’ll find the best deal for you, most mortgage advisers also claim to have ‘special’ deals with certain banks that can’t be obtained elsewhere.
Once you’ve applied for your mortgage you can sit back and (nervously) wait for the response whilst your mortgage adviser will do all the running around and chasing the lender for you.
Having a mortgage adviser will not only help to guide you through the whole buying process start to finish, they’ll seal the deal for you in finding the right mortgage for you and they’ll fight your corner if your case is a little tricky.
How Much Do They Cost
This is probably the most varying aspect of a mortgage adviser as I’m sure their services are more expensive in certain parts of the country, and independent advisers are probably going to be cheaper than those that work in house.
I had a mortgage adviser who worked for Countrywide, I think they offer set rates around the country, all together mine came to £400. This included the fee for writing the mortgage and on exchanging the mortgage. I *think* this is probably average, I didn’t do any real research beforehand as again it all happened so quickly that I just took the easiest option at the time which was the in house mortgage adviser at the agents who were selling the property I bought.
As I’ve said before, their advice before you start making them put your mortgage together is completely free. If you have the time before you begin looking at houses I would recommend seeing a few different ones from different agencies, this will give you an idea of the difference in what they charge. I think it’s also a big factor that you get on well with them, so it’s worth scoping them out before you buy!
Do You Need One?
No. If you have the know-how, a little bit of spare time and know what you’re looking for then you can fix your own mortgage up without having to spare another £400 + of money, why wouldn’t you?
As a first time buyer, the whole mortgage process was incredibly daunting, and without her advice I would have been an even more stressed/nervous wreck, if that’s possible! As my mortgage became a bit trickier as details of the property unfolded, I needed her guidance and the ability for her to back my corner. Albeit, I also had to spend a lot of time researching the lending issues surrounding the property and rang round a lot of banks myself, but if it wasn’t without her help I probably wouldn’t have got a mortgage for my dream property.
Remember that a mortgage advisers advice is completely FREE up until they start writing the mortgage, so use them for their information and do it by yourself if you have the spare time to do further research and arrange the whole process directly with the bank. Plenty of people do it by themselves and now that I know what I’m doing I will 100% be doing it by myself when I purchase another property or remortgage in 2 years time.
What To Watch Out For
I was naive in thinking that a mortgage adviser, literally is just a mortgage adviser. But, No. Once they’ve got you in hook, line and sinker, they’ll also start pushing contents insurance, critical illness, redundancy etc at you. If you’re anything like me they’ll see you coming and they can guarantee you’ll say yes to the £20 plus insurance x 3 because it’s the easiest option, they set it all up for you.
I reluctantly went for it because I didn’t want to faff around researching all the add ons when it could be done so simply for me. It wasn’t until afterwards that I did a quick comparison online that I found I was paying over the odds for all of my policies, sometimes £10 more a month. In hindsight I should have taken the extra time to research, but when everything happened so quickly I literally wanted the easiest option. Luckily, these policies are a 12 month contract so I can change my provider in 12 months time to a much cheaper option, hurrah! I’ve definitely learnt my lesson from it and wouldn’t want anyone else to be caught out by being a little bit lazy like me!
But don’t do the opposite and not get insured on anything, home contents, house insurance, illness and redundancy cover are so important, hopefully you never need to use it, but it’s nice having that peace of mind that there is protection there if you need to use it.
I hope this helps anyone who is about to embark their house buying journey, if you have any other questions about mortgage advisers just drop me a tweet or comment below and I’ll get back to you!