Mortgages are complicated to begin with. Add to that a brisk post-lockdown housing market fueled by the Stamp Duty Holiday and historically low-interest rates, and you have a recipe for disaster. When you add over 4000 mortgage options to the mix, as well as 70+ lenders with varied requirements, where do you start if you want to purchase your next house (or your first, or an investment property for that matter)?
Unless you have enough money in the bank to pay for it up front, you should typically start by speaking with a mortgage adviser to get an idea of where you stand and what you can afford (really, even if you have enough money in the bank, meeting with a mortgage expert is still a good idea!).
On that note, here are three questions to ask your mortgage adviser to make the most of their expertise and experience:
Question 1: Should I take advantage of Stamp Duty Holiday?
If you’re really considering purchasing a home, you’re probably aware of the Stamp Duty Holiday, which has been fantastic and has sparked a lot of activity in the property market in recent months.
Just to refresh your memory, all homes under £500,000 are now free from Stamp Duty until March 2021, saving purchasers up to £15,000. (i.e. the amount of Stamp Duty you would previously have paid on a half a million-pound property). This means that over 90% of purchases will be free from Stamp Duty, saving an average of £4,500 throughout the UK. (according to Zoopla)
So, it’s easy in terms of numbers – but it’s not just about numbers; it’s also about knowing what it means to you and how you can make the most of it. This will change based on your circumstances; for example, consider the following scenarios:
- First and foremost, you may save up to £15,000 (depending on the price of the house you’re buying) – put it towards your next vacation or that conservatory you’ve always wanted!
- Second, you may apply your Stamp Duty savings to your deposit, which can help you in two ways (and here is where a competent mortgage counsellor can help a lot):
- More money towards your deposit might imply a greater budget for your next house – which could bring you a property that was previously out of your grasp, depending on your income and affordability, and by pairing you with a suitable lender. So, that property you’ve been ‘wishfully’ looking at on Rightmove may now be yours!
- Even if you don’t want to extend your budget to buy a more costly house, putting more money down on a deposit can help you get a better mortgage rate and lower your monthly payments.
- Third, if you intended to move to a larger house but were put off by Stamp Duty charges and were considering investing your money on an addition instead, now is the time to reconsider and act swiftly!
A mix of the above may apply to you, and it’s critical to hire a professional mortgage counsellor to figure out how to make the most of this wonderful opportunity.
Question 2: What can you offer that is not available on High Street?
The apparent benefit of utilising a broker over going straight to a lender is that the lender will only have a handful of its own products to offer, but a broker will have a wide range of products from various lenders. This will, of course, enhance your chances of obtaining the ideal mortgage for your scenario. A broker may also have access to unique discounts that the lender would not give directly.
If you’re still early in the process, your adviser may help you get your ducks in order and make yourself more appealing to potential lenders. This might include things like voting, paying off credit card bills, and altering specific spending habits.
Finally, mortgage applications are time-consuming; you must supply several papers and complete extensive forms. Your broker will assist you in this process and ensure that you do it correctly, making the procedure as painless as possible.
Question 3: Can you help me with anything else?
Let’s put it this way: you’ll only have to go through the mortgage procedure a few times in your life. After their initial purchase, the average British homeowner moves between 2 and 4 times over their lifetime, according to a Savills study (reported by the BBC).
Your mortgage adviser, on the other hand, certain processes more mortgage applications in a week than that! As a result, they know exactly how the procedure works, and it’s important obtaining all the guidance you can; and if there’s anything you don’t understand, ask them to explain it to you.
Your adviser can also link you with reputable estate agents (if you’re selling your home to purchase another) and conveyancers, as well as explain what to expect in terms of processing timeframes and other details. It is important to have competent estate agents and mortgage experts on board during the process.
Moving house is also an excellent opportunity to evaluate all of your other important financial matters, such as life, health, and income protection insurances, pensions, wills, and investments. Most mortgage advisors have a strong financial network and can assist you with all of these issues directly or through trustworthy partners.
We’d love for you to pick our brains about the topics listed above and more! So, if you’re thinking about buying a home, contact us right now! You can read more about our services on this page Mortgage broker Coventry.