Whether you are looking at your options as an inexperienced first-time buyer in Cambridge searching the market for your first home or are looking to move home, it’s likely you will have discovered that some of the larger estate agents and builders would prefer it if you used their in-house mortgage advisor and conveyancing services.
As a standalone mortgage broker in Cambridge, we have spent many years working hard to help out our customers. We are free from any business relationships with banks, building societies or estate agents.
This means we have no ulterior motive, we are here to help home buyers get their dream home and a favourable mortgage deal. That’s at the heart of our business and what drives us.
On a regular basis we’ll hear from a large amount of customers who have felt themselves being pressured by an estate agent to opt into that companies personal financial services. Here are just some of the instances we’ve heard from people who get in touch;
A lot of estate agents across the industry have a reputation for refusing to put an offer forward if you pass up on their in-house mortgage advisor and go with an external mortgage broker instead.
As if this act wasn’t bad enough, some have even gone as far as to refuse putting an offer through because another client who actually said yes to their in-house service has also made an offer on the same property.
Something else we hear all too often is the ridiculous quotations they have been known to give for their services. Unfortunately there have been customers we’ve spoken to who weren’t aware these were overpriced and went forward with them. One notable customer was charged £1,500 for a simple purchase with a particular estate agent.
A member of our dedicated mortgage advice team got right onto this and we were able to get this cost down. Off of this incident, we recommended that the customer use another conveyancer in the area near the property and we were able to drop the cost of the service to a significantly less £750; the estate agent was charging double this amount!
Once you’ve made an offer on a property, the common train of thought would be that pretty soon you’ll get a phone call detailing whether or not your offer has been accepted. What often happens with estate agents instead, is they will call up and demand to know the conveyancer you have chosen.
Their questionable methods don’t end there, as following this they have a habit of refusing to take the property off the open market until you agree to use their in-house mortgage services.
As touched upon earlier, though these will be far overpriced, many crumble under the pressure and simply agree to please the agent and avoid losing their home (even though that shouldn’t happen). This is common with first-time buyers in Cambridge who want their first mortgage experience to go smoothly.
As you’ve seen here, estate agents are notorious for making the process difficult and bordering on near harassment. A dedicated mortgage broker in Cambridge can help you with these situations and in some cases, bring the costs of other services down to a level that is fair. Now to answer a question you may be thinking at this point…
Absolutely not. These are highly illegal ways to conduct business. As a customer, you have the right to use whichever companies you would like during your home buying process. You have full freedom to use any mortgage broker or conveyancing solicitor that you wish to, it’s your personal process and personal choice.
Unless you explicitly sign a contract in the beginning to say you will only use their services (which you won’t be offered anyway), you have zero obligation to use their services for anything other than the sale process between yourself and the seller of the property.
Please always remember, when negotiating on the purchase price of a property; Should the people selling the property you’re looking to buy really know your personal financial circumstances, as well as the amount a lender is willing to let you borrow? This is a fact they will use to their advantage when pushing their in-house services.
Be wary and if you definitely don’t want to use their service, put your foot down and do not succumb to the pressure. Your future family home and financial situation all depends on how well your mortgage process goes.
We will always have your best interests at heart, keeping you informed throughout and jumping through those hoops on your behalf, so you can stay relaxed and happy. The information provided here is based on a genuine history of tactics used, that we wouldn’t wish others to go through if they can avoid it.
For all your mortgage needs, please do get in touch and we’ll do our very best to help you out, hopefully securing a great deal and your future family home in the process.
Good news for military personnel, according to Army Families Federation Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace. The Help to Buy Scheme, that helps military personnel get onto the property ladder, has been announced as being extended.
The £200 million scheme was introduced in 2014 to offer a boost to anyone from the armed forces who needed help buying a home. Originally intended to end in December 2019, the government extended the scheme until the end of 2022, as a thank you for their commitment to their service and dedication to the country.
This works by accessing a borrowed deposit that is summed up to half of your annual salary (a maximum of £25,000), without any interest involved, then the deposit can be used to purchase a first home or to move into a new home.
A benefit of the scheme is that you don’t need any current savings to get yourself on the property ladder. The money raised from the loan can partly be used to be put towards your deposit or other costs:
Another advantage that benefits forces personnel is that the majority of lenders will accept the loan towards the deposit for a new home. More relaxed than some other schemes, the Forces Help to Buy loan can be paid back over a period of 10 years, so you don’t have to feel as rushed.
Even if you were unsure that you would have a chance, if you are able to match the criteria (length served, service term left and medical categories), you are eligible to purchase your home using the Armed Forces Help to Buy Scheme.
Click here to read through further details from the government site.
From the minute you call up until the completion and beyond, our knowledgeable mortgage advice team in Cambridge has your back. They will make sure you are taken care of and are determined to find you the best option for your circumstances.
For your fast and friendly customer experience, get in touch today and see how we might be able help you with seeking your dream home.
Please note, the Forces Help to Buy is not the same as the standard UK Help to Buy scheme.
Here you’ll find out the basics that you need to know about agreements in principle, including the pros and cons of getting one. For more information, get in touch and speak with one of our expert Mortgage Advisors in Cambridge today. An Agreement in Principle (also known as an AIP or Decision in Principle) is where you pass a Lender credit score to qualify for a mortgage.
By obtaining an Agreement in Principle, you prove that you are ready to support any offers you make as a First-Time Buyer in Cambridge. It may also help negotiate a lower price if you have one of these, as it shows the seller you are serious and have the means to continue with the process.
The more commonly seen methods of credit scoring are via soft searches rather than a hard search. These may still affect your credit score, though a hard search will usually be more likely to do this than a soft search.
Reasons come down to a hard credit search that can leave a credit footprint, whereas a soft search does not. Regardless, you can rest assured that whichever is used by the Lender is done with the best intentions.
Having your credit checked via a hard search every so often should not make too much difference. It becomes an issue if you take too many of these within a small amount of time. On the flip side, if you know you have a good credit score and the best path to take with a lender, this should not be a problem.
Whilst the prospect of this would be excellent, there are no guarantees that having an Agreement in Principle will allow you to get a mortgage. The Lender will still require seeing all your documents, and only then will an Underwriter make the very final decision.
Often we find that customers contact us after they got declined at the application stage due to missing some small print in their Agreement in Principle. You will need to provide ID to prove that your identity, payslips to prove your income and bank statements to prove you are smart with money before a lender offers your case.
Though you can make an offer without an Agreement in Principle, we would not advise doing so. Any credible Estate Agent will want you to prove you can progress onward.
It is possible to obtain an Agreement in Principle within 24 hours of getting in touch with an experienced mortgage advisor in Cambridge.
Typically, an Agreement in Principle will expire after 30-90 days. The good news is that this doesn’t mean you should apply for the first house you find. If your Agreement in Principle expires, it’s not difficult to obtain another ahead of making an offer.
Finding a mortgage only to be declined a mortgage can cause understandable disappointment. With this in mind, we recommend getting an Agreement in Principle as early as possible.
The mortgage market has been heavily hit by the coronavirus and it’s still recovering. The whole economy has been affected; everyone has felt the impact of the virus in some way or another. On the mortgage market, lenders are only really offering 90% mortgages (10% deposit), which can prove quite expensive, particularly to First Time Buyers.
However, there are still ways to get onto the property ladder with a 5% deposit. As an expert Mortgage Broker in Cambridge, we thought that it would be within your best interests to know how this can be achieved using the Help to Buy Equity Loan or the Shared Ownership scheme:
With the Help to Buy Equity Loan, you can put down a deposit of 5% or more and then the government will top up this deposit percentage to a total of 25%. The percentage that they loan you is the Equity Loan, which will also need to be paid off along with your mortgage. During the first 5 years of living in your new home, this loan will be interest-free, however, if you don’t manage to pay it off within these five years, you will start receiving interest on it starting at 1.75%.
So, yes… it’s still possible to obtain a mortgage with a 5% deposit through the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme and now you know this, we bet you are wondering what the requirements are. To qualify for the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme you need to know that:
Based on these requirements, do you think that you qualify for the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme? If so, it could be the perfect time for you to start the mortgage process and begin your Help to Buy mortgage journey.
There are two ways you can go about doing this, one is by doing everything on your own, the other being approaching a Mortgage Broker in Cambridge. Getting Help to Buy Mortgage Advice in Cambridge could take all of the stress that comes with mortgages off your back. An Advisor will walk you through the whole process and tell you exactly what is going during every step of the way.
The Shared Ownership scheme can also help you get onto the property ladder with a 5% deposit. This scheme allows you to purchase a percentage of your mortgage and then pay the rest on rent. This percentage is usually between 25%-75%. As you only own part of the property, you share the rest of the property with the government. The percentage of the property that you own can be increased at a later date if you want to.
Like the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme, you have to qualify for this scheme and meet certain requirements. Here are the rules that you will need to adhere to in order to qualify:
If you are struggling to obtain a normal mortgage, the Shared Ownership Scheme could be the best option for you. If you want Shared Ownership Mortgage Advice in Cambridge, you should approach a Mortgage Broker as they will tell you everything about the scheme and check whether you qualify for it or not. Talking to a Mortgage Broker in Cambridge could be exactly what you need.
Even though your options may be limited when trying to get a mortgage in the current climate with a 5% deposit, these two schemes could be great options to consider. Both schemes are still holding their weight in the mortgage market. Whether it’s the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme or the Shared Ownership scheme, we are here to help you with both. Firstly, we will see if you qualify for a scheme and whether it will suit your personal and financial situation or not. If everything looks good, we can get the ball rolling.
Getting Mortgage Advice in Cambridge off a professional advisor could be within your best interests, especially in this day and age. The mortgage market is up in the air at the moment so getting advice will be extremely beneficial for your mortgage journey, especially if you are a First Time Buyer in Cambridge. Feel free to get in touch so we can discuss your mortgage options.