Your mortgage is probably the biggest financial commitment you will ever make, and one of the longest – it’s likely, this will be beaten as a marathon only by your commitment to paying into your pension.
Mortgages look simple enough in principle. They are just a long-term loan that lets you pay off the sizable cost of your home month by month.
But when you get down to the details, complications emerge. Rates vary. You might need a guarantor, or a particular size of deposit. You will certainly have questions to ask.
‘Do I have the most suitable type or mortgage?’
‘Can I afford it?’
And perhaps most worrying of all, ‘Am I paying too much?’
To get the answers, you need an expert. The mortgage adviser in your local bank or building society (assuming you still have one) can tell you all about the mortgage products offered by their employer, but they can’t and won’t tell you about anything else on the market – even if it would be a more suitable solution for you.
For that you need an independent financial adviser.
So how does an independent financial adviser help in the mortgage world?
There are several ways that your IFA will help you through the mortgage maze.
First, they’ll work with you to understand your circumstances – your income and savings. This lets them work out how much you can borrow and what sort of mortgage you need. An independent mortgage advisor will have access to many lenders when looking to find the most appropriate solution for you if your situation is out of the ordinary, for example, if you’re freelance or self-employed, or have just started a new job. They may also help you if you have a poor credit rating.
If your income falls short of qualifying for the size of mortgage you need for the property you want, they may be able to find a solution – approaching alternative suppliers or using a different type of mortgage.
Then, they’ll use their expert knowledge of the mortgage market to assess deals you’re most likely to qualify for. They can access the entire market, including deals that are not generally advertised, and search through suitable products faster than you’ll be able to yourself.
In most cases, they will come up with a shortlist, to let you compare offers from various lenders.
Comparing offers can be more complicated than it appears. There is more to it than simply looking for the lowest rate. Hidden fees can bump up the real cost of your home loan. Your advisor will be able to point out the pitfalls to help ensure you get the best value.
Then they’ll also help with your application, saving you time as well as money – as well as avoiding the frustration of having an application returned for trivial reasons.
Helping you build a mortgage strategy.
Simply getting the mortgage that lets you buy the home you want is reason enough to use an independent advisor, but the benefits don’t stop there.
Over the next 25 years or so while you are repaying your mortgage your circumstances – and probably the home you are buying – will change. Your mortgage needs will change too.
Your advisor will be able to help you build a strategy to save you money at every step of your house buying journey.
They can help you take full advantage of introductory offers from various lenders, cutting the cost of monthly repayments with each one, and transferring to another lender’s introductory discount with a remortgage when the time comes. They can help to ensure that your repayments stay at the minimum, keeping an eye for reductions in rates as they become available as you build the proportion of your home that you own, for example.
And if things become challenging – you need to take a mortgage holiday, or switch to an interest-only deal your advisor will be there to help.
Get the help you need to access the most appropriate deals when buying your home.
Getting the help and advice of an independent mortgage advisor can help to guide you through your journey as a home buyer and give you the peace of mind that your best interests are fundamental to any advice you get.
To find out exactly what an expert, independent financial advisor could off you, call us at Continuum today.
The information contained in this article is based on the opinion of Continuum and does not constitute financial advice or a recommendation to suitable mortgage products, you should seek independent financial advice before embarking on any course of action.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
You may have to pay an early repayment charge to your existing lender if you remortgage.