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Advice on finding a mortage adviser.


The first step in the house-buying process is to find out whether you can afford to move. And yes, I know, it’s a jungle out there. Does finding a mortgage that suits you from a choice of roughly 8,000 mortgages offered by 150 lenders make you want to lie down in a darkened room?

You could take a week off work and go and see every mortgage adviser in every bank and building society on the High Street, then hire a skip for all the leaflets and brochures and print outs that they will press on to you. Don’t forget to call in at the chemist for a packet of extra strong headache tablets while you’re passing as well.

Whilst most mortgage advisers in banks and building societies are usually well-trained and knowledgeable about their own products, their job is to represent their employer not you.

Six out of ten borrowers head straight for a mortgage broker to help them – but how do you know if you’ve found the right mortgage broker? There are even more of them to choose from. And where’s the best place to look?

Mortgage advisers in estate agencies can often have a conflict of interest. The estate agent represents the seller (or vendor) so if you are a buyer and the mortgage adviser is an employee, is he really going to have your best interests at heart? It is against the law for the estate agent to insist (or even imply) that you must use their adviser in order to buy the property so if anyone does this to you report them at once to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA)!

The best advisers are those that are recommended – they’ve been tried and tested and have come up trumps (unless it’s a recommendation from your worst enemy of course!).

A 25 year mortgage is a long commitment so it has be the right one. 25 years ago, Margaret Thatcher was still Britain’s first ever woman Prime Minister, Back To The Future was released, the minimum wage for an agricultural labourer was about £48.50 per week, inflation was hovering around 10% and the Bank of England base rate in January 1985 was 14%!!

It’s important then that you find the right person to hack away at the financial jungle with a very sharp machete – after all, your mortgage is probably the most money you will ever borrow so a mistake will cost you dearly. To help you, here are a few questions to ask your potential best friend:

  1. Ask him about his qualifications and experience in arranging mortgages.

  2. TIP: All advisers now have to have the Certificate in Mortgage Advice And Practice (also known as CeMAP) or the equivalent Mortgage Advice Qualification (MAQ). Advisers with more experience may also have the Financial Planning Certificate (FPC) which is a qualification for financial advisers. Use your gut instinct about his knowledge by asking his opinion on interest rates, the housing market etc and see how impressed you are with his answers.

  3. Does he have access to the whole of the mortgage market? If the answer is yes, then ask if he gets paid by all the lenders.

  4. TIP: Some mortgage broker firms allow their advisers access to the whole market but will only pay them if they use one of a pre-selected panel (no prizes for guessing where your mortgage will be placed!).

  5. If both answers are yes, then ask if he has favourite lenders. How many different lenders has he used in the last 6 months?

  6. TIP: Some advisers get stuck in a rut of using only the lenders they are familiar with – great news if they also happen to have the right scheme for you. Best buy deals change daily so if he is arranging mortgages for a wide range of people he should have used at least 20-25 lenders in the last 6 months.

  7. Helping you to choose the right mortgage is only part of the adviser’s role, getting it to the lender quickly is the next step, ask him how he sends the application and when it will arrive on the lender’s desk.

  8. TIP: Most lenders now have the facility to accept applications submitted electronically which means your application can be worked on immediately, however some companies have an unwieldy system which means that the adviser has to send all the completed documentation to a central office where it is logged and only then sent to the lender. Your mortgage application can be in this system for up to a week before it actually reaches its destination.

  9. Ask your adviser who will monitor the progress of your mortgage once it has reached the lender, who will make sure the right steps are taken at the right time, who will keep you informed and how often.

  10. TIP: The majority of ensuring a stress free experience with your mortgage is in the hands of the person monitoring it, if your adviser is not doing it himself, make sure that you will be allocated a named contact who will update you at least once a week.

  11. Ask your adviser whether he has a system in place to contact you in future years to make sure your mortgage stays competitive.

  12. TIP: You can save thousands of pounds in interest payments on your mortgage if you move it around from time to time. A good adviser should contact you to let you when to do this and he should be there to guide you through the process.

If you are happy with his answers, then choose the one who speaks your language without confusing the issue with a lot of jargon – some advisers will deliberately try to confuse you so that you allow them to make the decision as to which mortgage is right for you. Mortgages are not difficult to understand when you have an adviser that is willing to take the time to explain the different aspects. Here at Blue Moon, we take this philosophy very seriously and always go the extra mile for our clients. All of our advisers are fully trained, have years of experience and only use plain english when explaining anything. If you would like to know more, please dont hesitate to get in touch, free, on 08000 11 20 21.

Our independent mortgage advisers are not tied to any lenders and are working for you. Not only do we offer independent mortgage advice, we can also source all your mortgage related insurance needs from a range of insurance product providers.

For a quick, no obligation mortgage quote simply click on the 'Mortgage Search' below or give one of our helpful advisers a call, free, on 08000 11 20 21.

Please feel free to have a look at our 'Mortgage Jargon Explained' and our FAQs for more information.


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