You are getting a mortgage but are unsure how to find the best deal available to you, so you decide to consult a mortgage advisor. In order to benefit the most from their advice, it’s a great idea to have a list of questions prepared. Here are some of the best questions we recommend asking them when you sit down for your first meeting.
Make sure you check whether your mortgage advisor is registered with the financial conduct authority before engaging them. Also, find out if they are charging you a fee and what kind of deals they have access to. Once you have engaged them, ask what type of mortgage they think is best for you and how much you can borrow. When they offer you a deal, make sure you look into the mortgage terms and conditions carefully before accepting.
Why You Should Use a Mortgage Advisor
Taking out a mortgage can be a daunting task, especially if it is your first time buying a house. You want to make sure that you get the best deal you are eligible for. But with so many options on the market, it can be a good idea to consult a mortgage advisor. After all, you don’t want to take out what you think is a great rate and suddenly be hit with expensive fees that you were unaware of.
Mortgage advisors are experts who can help you find a great mortgage deal that you otherwise might miss out on. Some mortgage brokers have exclusive deals that you won’t be able to access by yourself. Others are trained to scope the whole market, doing all the legwork for you.
If you decide to consult a mortgage advisor, you will want to get the most out of your time with them – especially if you are paying them! Below is a list of 7 questions that you must ask your mortgage advisor.
1. Are You Qualified to Give Me Mortgage Advice?
Companies that provide mortgage advice are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK in order to protect people from being taken advantage of through dodgy deals. All credited mortgage advisors are registered with FCA and are subject to strict procedures and guidelines, as well as being assessed regularly by the FCA.
The first thing you want to do before engaging a mortgage advisor is check whether they are registered with the FCA. The last thing you want is to be the victim of a mortgage scam. If you are unsure whether to trust your mortgage advisor, set your mind at ease by checking on the FCA website. It details which companies are registered with them. Some are listed as appointed advisors for a company who is registered. This is also legitimate because they are subject to the same guidelines.
2. What Kind of Deals Do You Have Access To?
Before appointing a mortgage advisor you also want to check what kind of deals they have access to. Some mortgage advisors only represent the companies they work for, such as a bank or building society.
They will only be able to offer you deals from their company. Others are mortgage brokers who can offer you a range of different deals, depending on how their brokerage works. These are the 3 different types of mortgage brokers:
- Whole of market brokers can search the entire market for a mortgage deal for you because they aren’t tied to a specific company. They can offer a comprehensive search, making sure no stone is left unturned. However, they are less likely to have any exclusive deals.
- Multi-tied brokers have a specific portfolio of lenders that they work with. These can range from only a few to tens of different companies. They are more likely to have special deals which aren’t available on the market as part of their contract with their clients. However, they won’t be able to search the full market for you.
- Single-tied brokers have an exclusive deal with one company that they represent. This is less usual because lenders usually provide mortgage advisors themselves, but they can exist.
It is generally better to use a whole of market broker because you get the widest amount of options available to you. But if you need a specialist mortgage for a listed building, for example, there are multi-tied brokers who specialise in different mortgage areas. You might find a great deal with one of these.
One of our favorite brokers is Habito who has access to over 90 lenders and 20,000 different mortgages.
Buying a home and arranging a mortgage is a complicated process. Habito is a free service that makes buying a home easy. They have access to over 20,000 mortgages from 90 lenders allowing you to get the best deal on a mortgage.
Best of all, the service is free as Habito gets paid by the lenders.
- Free mortgage comparison service
- Provides a complete home buying service
- 4.8 Stars on Trustpilot (8,374 Reviews)
- 20,000 Mortgages and 90 Lenders available
3. Am I Paying for Your Services?
Some mortgage advisors are free, but others charge for their services. If your mortgage advisor is exclusively employed by or representing a particular lender, they are less likely to charge you outright. Instead, their services might be free, or their fee may be added onto the total cost of your mortgage. It all depends on what deal you decide to go with them, if at all.
Mortgage brokers are more likely to charge for their services because they need to make money from each mortgage deal. Their fees can vary between companies. Some charge you a set rate for their services, others only do so if you decide to go with them. The cost may be payable upfront or at a later date.
A few mortgage brokers are completely free to you; they make a commission from the lenders when you decide to go with them. However, they may not be able to provide you with exclusive deals under this financial model because the lender has to pay them for gaining your custom and won’t be able to offer a discount on top of that.
Habito, who we mentioned above is free as their partners pay them a commission when you take a mortgage.
4. How Much Can I Borrow for My Mortgage?
Once you have decided which mortgage advisor to go with, you should ask them how much they think you can actually borrow for your mortgage. This is really important because you may have your eye on a dream home, but in reality, you might not be able to borrow enough to afford it.
You can typically only borrow up to 4.5 times your personal income because your mortgage lender will want to be certain that you can afford the repayments. Depending on your personal circumstances and the size of your deposit, this may actually be lower. Your mortgage advisor will be able to tell you whether they think you should look for a cheaper house, save up for a bigger deposit or even cut down on some unnecessary spending to access more money.
You can use our mortgage calculator below to get an estimate of your monthly payments.
5. Which Type of Mortgage is Best for Me?
The complex range of mortgages can be confusing, especially if you are a first-time buyer. But don’t worry, your mortgage advisor is there to help. Ask them which type of mortgage they think is best for you, based on your personal circumstances.
The basic range of mortgages they may talk you through includes a fixed-rate mortgage, which is where you fix interest and a repayment plan for a number of months or years.
Fixed mortgages usually start at one year and there are often fines for ending them early. A variable mortgage has a variable interest rate that can go up and down at the lender’s discretion. The amount you repay each month also varies.
On the upside, there are usually no fees for overpaying and you can switch providers whenever you like. A tracker mortgage is also variable because it follows the Bank of England’s base rate, but is less likely to fluctuate when the economy is stable.
Your mortgage advisor will help you find a deal that suits your lifestyle, taking into account any major changes you might expect in the near future.
6. What Are My Mortgage Terms?
Your mortgage advisor has found the perfect deal for you. But before you get carried away and sign on the dotted line, you need to fully comprehend the terms and conditions. Ask them to talk you through exactly what the mortgage entails.
You want to understand your interest rate and how it changes over time. If you are taking out a fixed term deal, for instance, what happens when that deal ends? You may also wish them to go through the fine print with you on restrictions to overpaying your mortgage, fines for late payments and whether your mortgage is transferable if you move home.
7. What Fees Can I Expect to Pay?
The final thing you need to ask your mortgage advisor is about the fees you will have to pay. This isn’t just about fees to them, your mortgage lender will probably also charge you administrative or mortgage arrangement fees.
These can differ massively between lenders. Sometimes deals with better rates charge you more in fees, so you could end up paying more than you thought you would.
Note: You should also take into consideration how much you’ll need to pay for other important services, like a solicitor, surveyor and moving van.
A mortgage advisor can be a big help for house buyers who feel overwhelmed by the large amount of options on the rental market. But in order to get the most out of your experience, you should know exactly what questions to ask them. It’s also good to note that you don’t have to go with the deal your mortgage advisor finds for you. It is okay to shop around and if you find a better deal yourself, take it.
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