First-time buyer | Mortgage brokers

“Mortgage brokers.”

That sounds like a boring grown-up thing, right? I spent three hours with two different mortgage brokers to discuss how to get a mortgage, how much mortgage I can get and how the entire process works from start to finish.

I won’t even lie, it was boring and many a time, I found myself getting distracted by the old ladies walking by with their puppies in prams!

Whilst it might have been boring, it’s important and I found out a lot that I didn’t know about the process of buying a house. Whilst I cannot begin to remember and relay everything that we were told, I do remember the things that he told us and we learned some very useful things about the process and especially the questions to ask as we are looking to buy a flat as we would like to be close to the town center.

From my understanding (this has been explained to me by mortgage brokers and by family and friends) a mortgage broker is like a comparison site, they will find you the best deal and do all the comparison work for you. Yes, they will charge you a fee but they will ensure that you’re getting the best deal and they will offer you a lot more advice and support throughout the process than a bank might. A bank is focused on their own products and you would have to go to a range of banks and listen to them talk about their products to ensure you are able to make a comparison. Even then you will be comparing between a much smaller spectrum as you can never look at every single lender on the market.

I do think it’s really important to go into these meetings with no expectations and no prior ‘knowledge’ so to speak. We had to appointments and even though I had done a lot of research, I went to each appointment as though I had no idea about the process and allowed them to talk me through it. I asked the exact same questions at each meeting, even though I had already been told the answers and when I was asked questions like “do you know about stamp duty?” I would say that my understanding was limited to encourage them to explain it to me. One thing I learned when I was younger was to play dumb sometimes, obviously not to be a bimbo at all times but if you allow people to explain things even though you might already have some understanding, you will get the explanation from a different perspective which can be really helpful.

After the two meetings, my boyfriend and I sat in Starbucks and compared the two meetings and the two people who we had spoke to. We both felt like it was really important to be working with someone who we felt more confident in and who we liked. It’s a very big and sometimes stressful purchase and we didn’t want to be working with an idiot. One of the men who we had a meeting with didn’t acknowledge me at all, even though I had arranged the appointment and everything was in my name, he spent the whole time looking at and talking to my boyfriend. He laughed off and glossed over my questions and we really didn’t connect with him.

Having come away from these meetings with the okay to go ahead, I have scoured right move, Zoopla and any other home sales site there is! I have booked a bunch of viewings and have fully invested myself into the process. I am going to continue to document the process and can’t wait to share more with you.

Have you bought a house? Are you planning to?

Love always,

Alice x


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