We had a lovely first-time buyer couple come to us after they had been looking at properties for 6 months. They had spoken to their bank and had a brief chat to get an idea of what they could borrow. That’s a good start, right? Wrong! I’ll come on to why shortly, but unfortunately the problem was they just couldn’t find a property that they wanted to buy within their budget and after 6 months of trying, they felt a little deflated!
Why every first time buyer should pick a mortgage brokers brains?
They only had a rough idea of their borrowing from one lender, not even two or three...just one!
Don’t get me wrong, these first-time buyers did a lot of good things. The fact they actually tried to get a clear idea of how much they could borrow before they viewed properties was great.
They weren’t to know that there is a good and even better way of getting a mortgage or establishing what they could do! The main trouble of not using an independent mortgage broker for this couple was:
- They only had a rough idea of their borrowing from one lender, not even two or three…just one!
- Their bank did not even thoroughly assess their payslips! The bank just gave them a rough idea!
- When we started looking at it, the amount they could borrow varied (by a lot) from lender to lender. It goes to show, that just speaking to one bank really limited their options!
After 6 months of being underwhelmed by the properties in their price bracket (that they thought they could afford), they spoke to us following a recommendation.
Why an independent mortgage broker made all the difference to them:
To understand what an independent mortgage broker is, the easiest way to try and describe it is a bit like seeing all the banks in one go! It sounds strange, right? But it’s true.
Of course, there are the odd deals that banks keep to themselves and only offer to exclusive clients; maybe the one's with three legs, do a handstand when they walk into their branch or just have a special current account!
So although it’s impossible for any independent mortgage to claim they have access to 100% of all the deals in the marketplace, they do have access to the whole market; lenders you might not have heard of, smaller building societies that aren’t local to you, specialist lenders who don’t want to deal with the public (don’t worry anything personal), high street lenders, and high street lenders who have exclusive deals through brokers (that happens too)….yes your bank may have a better deal if you went to a mortgage broker and not to them direct…they won’t tell you that of course!
Not only that an independent mortgage broker will know or be able to find out, all the lenders lending criteria. This is the key point and made all the difference for these clients, because;
- We were able to look at their payslips in detail and maximised every element of income.
- We were able to look at the whole of the market (all the lenders) to find a lender who would offer them the maximum borrowing amount. You might be surprised to learn how different it can be!
In the end, we found a mortgage that was affordable, fitted within their monthly budget, and interestingly, allowed them to borrow £35,000 more than they thought they could!
How a first time buyer can really benefit from independent advice?
This made a huge difference! Suddenly they could look at properties they thought were out of reach. These properties were always on the market, but of course, they never considered them. Within 2 weeks they found their first home, made an offer, and 6 weeks later moved in!
If only they had chatted to us earlier, they would have saved themselves 6 months and lots of time and energy looking and viewing properties. They would have avoided the initial frustration and disappointment of not finding the right property or thinking they couldn’t afford what they wanted.
If you are a first time buyer what should you really do when getting a mortgage?
The simple moral of this story is to make sure you speak to an independent mortgage broker, get an accurate idea of what you can do, and don’t settle for a rough idea.
Sure there are mortgage calculators on our website and this is great to start getting an idea, but please don’t rely on these or anyone just giving you a rough idea.
When you are a first-time buyer you need to know exactly what you can do, not roughly, not approximate; not hopefully...exactly!
The only way to do this is for someone to thoroughly assess your evidence of income and your mortgage broker will be able to guide you on what they need. It's just not possible to be accurate without this…period!
If you want to take shortcuts and not do it properly, I wish you all the luck, but in the long run, you will end up wasting time, energy and probably end up disappointed.
I like to think that if you want to do something, do it properly and then the rest becomes easy!