Choosing a mortgage can be complicated. The mortgage market in UK is extremely competitive but lenders are also a lot more demanding now. There are so many different mortgage options to pick from and numerous factors to consider, which is why most of us turn to a mortgage broker for help.
However, how do you find the right advisor for your needs? Here are some of the most important questions you need to ask when approaching a mortgage advisor.
1. What are your specialist areas and do you cover the entire market?
The key word you need to keep in mind when looking for mortgage advisors is ‘independent’. Some mortgage advisors work on behalf of mortgage providers or companies, which means they can only search for options from those specific companies, whereas an independent advisor can (and must) provide impartial advice on a range of mortgages from different lenders.
An adviser must also tell you if they cover the whole market or if there are any limits on what they can recommend. These can simply be that what you’re looking for isn’t in their area of expertise or that they only work with a selected group of lenders. Asking this question early will help you understand whether your potential advisor can give you the information you need.
2. What are the different mortgage options?
Now that you know whether your advisor covers the whole of the market or only certain providers, it’s time to start looking at your options in more detail with them, whether you are a first-time buyer, home mover or looking to remortgage. There are many different mortgages types, rates and repayment options and all these different options will have their own specifics depending on your your circumstances, but an advisor will go through them with you.
3. How much can I afford to borrow? What about the size of the deposit?
Your advisor will carry out a number of affordability checks and will ask you questions about your circumstances. After carrying out these checks and questions, your advisor will only recommend mortgages that you can afford and will break down the different costs involved.
It’s important to note that you cannot use a credit card or loan for a mortgage deposit so try to get a rough idea of how much you can afford to put down by looking at your savings and other income before consulting an advisor.
4. Are you regulated?
Mortgage advisors are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This means you are protected if you are mis-sold a mortgage or poor advice. The FCA also has a full register of organisations and individuals who are regulated, which provides information such as main contact details and trading names.
It’s vital that you only choose an FCA-regulated advisor as you will be covered by protection schemes such as the Financial Ombudsman Service should you encounter any problems.
5. How do you charge your clients?
Last but not least, it’s important to know your advisor’s preferred way of charging. Some advisors have a set broker fee, others will only take commission from the lender, some will use a combination of the two. The fee can be requested upfront, when you have the mortgage offered or upon completion so it is important that you know when to expect these costs.
Asking this question upfront will allow you to have a transparent relationship with your advisor from the first meeting and will also help narrow down your search. Your mortgage is likely to be your biggest outgoing and your home may be the biggest purchase you'll ever make so it is very important to find a broker that will find you the right mortgage for your situation.
Understand your mortgage options with Fairview Financial
As an FCA-regulated independent mortgage broker, we can help you make sense of your options and handle the mortgage application process for you from start to finish. We draw on our knowledge and expertise in a variety of areas providing a solution tailored for your needs.
Call us today on 01242 697821 or click here to request a call back and we will help you find a mortgage that is right for you.