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Navigating the mortgage maze

By John Lineham - 14 March 2016

Navigating the mortgage maze

When it comes to choosing a mortgage it can be a bit of a minefield. There are so many factors to consider and let’s face it; it’s one decision that you don’t want to get wrong as it could cost you an awful lot of money.

So whether you’re a first-time buyer, are buying to let or are thinking about remortaging, what should you bear in mind when looking for the best product? John Lineham, Director of Financial Services at Beresfords, talks us through the mortgage maze.

“The most important thing to remember is that there is not a ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to mortgages. It depends entirely on what your circumstances are and where you see yourself in the future.

We always advise people that the first port of call should be to see an independent mortgage adviser. If you just wander into your local high street bank then that’s OK but they can only offer you the mortgages that they provide. We would advise people to speak to someone who deals with all the banks and all the building societies. Then they can sit down with you and ask all of the questions about your situation and exactly what you need the mortgage for.

That’s the best option if you want the best deal. Otherwise the alternative is to walk up and down the high street, knocking on the door of every single bank and building society and asking them what their best deal is. Also, bear in mind that some lenders do not have a high street presence so you’ll be missing out on those. Plus there are certain mortgage products that are not available to the general public direct and can only be obtained through a mortgage broker.

An independent mortgage adviser will also look at your future needs as well as current circumstances for example a policy that is due to pay out, and they will make sure you have the facility to pay off a chunk of your mortgage with the least hassle and minimum penalty.

On the Beresfords website, there are live mortgage tables so clients, whether they are buying a property or just re-mortgaging, can get a quick overview of the choices out there, which can be a useful tool.

Surprisingly, there are still some people who don’t shop around for mortgage deals and just go with their own bank, which they’ve usually been with for a number of years.

As everyone says, your house is the most expensive purchase of your life, yet you get the feeling that some people spend more time shopping around for the right flat screen TV than they do for their mortgage.

Lenders are trying to be much more flexible for first time buyers now and schemes like Help To Buy have made a big difference. If there’s a time to buy, then the time is now.

Try to forget what deals you’ve seen advertised on the TV, in the banks’ windows, or what rates your friends are saying they have got. You don’t want a deal that is best for the bank or the building society – an independent mortgage adviser is there to get the best deal for you, which is exactly what you want at the end of the day.”

Beresfords have appointed Flagstone Financial as their financial services partner. Flagstone are one of the largest introducers of mortgages in the UK and have experienced advisers based throughout the Beresfords branches. Advisers are able to search the whole of the market, but also due to their size, the company benefits from a large number of exclusive mortgage rates that are not available to the general public direct. Further information can be found here or by calling 0800 389 9986.