Help to find your way through mortgage maze
Here, the Bureau's director and independent mortgage adviser, Keith Parnell, answers a few questions to help those new to the buying process on their way.
Why choose an independent adviser?
With constant product and criteria changes, it is more important than ever that customers ensure they receive independent mortgage advice. An independent adviser will have access to products from lenders regardless of whether they are available on the high street, via the Internet, or only through a mortgage broker. The significance of this is that customers will have more options when choosing the product to suit their needs.
Banks and Building Societies will only be able to provide you with information about their range of mortgage products. Certain intermediaries only have access to a limited panel of lenders.
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An independent mortgage adviser will also guide you through the home buying process and offer advice on protection and general insurance.
How can I be sure I'll get the best product?
Regardless of how, or where, you find an attractive rate, the truth is that the best rate available will be dependent on your circumstances. Assessing affordability is a crucial factor.
I'm a first time buyer – what deposit do I need?
In most circumstances the minimum deposit is 10 per cent. However, there are various options available to help first time buyers get a foot on the property ladder including vendor paid deposit and shared equity schemes as well as the Government's Home Buy Direct shared equity scheme.
My parents would act as a guarantor – would this help?
Acting as guarantor, or helping with the initial deposit, are becoming more prevalent in the first time buyer arena. Seeking financial and legal advice is essential.
What is an Agreement in Principle?
If you have seen an attractive rate, your adviser can arrange an Agreement in Principle which will certify exactly how much that particular lender will be prepared to offer you. Once you have this, you are free to put in an offer on a property.
What else will an adviser do?
To use my own offerings as an example, a customer could benefit from home, income and family protection advice, free Buyer's Protection insurance, instruction of a solicitor, and the chasing of relevant parties during the buying and remortgage process to make sure everything goes through smoothly.