The Mortgage Branch expert insight: How a broker can help you buy your dream home

If the thought of applying for a mortgage fills you with fear, it might be time to consider enlisting the help of a broker, as Miles Wallace from The Mortgage Branch talks us through the process.

The Mortgage Branch explains why brokers can be better than the banks when it comes to buying your home.
The Mortgage Branch explains why brokers can be better than the banks when it comes to buying your home.

Aside from having a child and remembering to pay your bills every month, buying a house is about the most grown up thing you can do! But, with product fees, deposits, interest rates and a mortgage offer all things to consider, it’s no wonder that many find the process overwhelming.

Explaining why a broker can take the pain out of the application process is Miles Wallace, a director at Cheltenham’s The Mortgage Branch. Promising to put its clients first, the broker even plants a tree for each mortgage that completes using its services.

For more information, visit directly.

People sometimes assume that they have to go to the bank to get a mortgage, but that’s not the case with a broker. Can you explain what it is you do?

Our job is to make sure clients know exactly what they’re able to afford across a wide range of different mortgage providers. We help them discover exactly what type of house they can afford, and also, we make sure their repayments will be affordable in the future too.

We use 50 different lenders across the market, but if we need to, we can also access over 100 different lenders by going off panel. That means that customers are getting the best deal with the best lender, and we offer independent advice so we’re not biased towards certain banks and providers.

Why would you recommend using a broker rather than a bank?

Using a broker saves you a huge amount of time. To start with, booking an appointment with an advisor at the bank will give you a wait time of roughly two weeks. Your appointment usually has to be between the hours of nine and five on a weekday, or maybe a Saturday morning. The meetings take about two hours and then you’re only able to borrow based on that one bank’s criteria.

If you compare that to us, we’ll book an appointment convenient for the client, so that could be in the evening at home, or they could come to our branch in Montpellier. We’ll also give options from 50 different lenders, which would take 100 hours if you were to go around those banks yourself!

Using a broker means you’re getting the best deal with the best bank, so we know our clients are being well looked after.

What advice do you have for people who are really worried about the mortgage process?

Well, that’s another reason that using a broker is so good. We manage the entire process. So, we’ll deal with banks on a direct basis, we speak to the underwriters, we have access to business development managers if a deal falls into trouble, and we know what to do to get things back on track quickly.

We can also speak to estate agents and solicitors, and anyone else who’s involved in the process. It takes a huge amount of stress and anxiety away from our clients, and saves them time too, because we manage absolutely everything from the first meeting through to completion.

You also offer financial protection. What kind of thing does that include?

When someone buys a house it’s the biggest purchase of their life, so it’s important to make sure people can keep that asset or family home if things went wrong unexpectedly.

Life is expensive, so if someone was to break a leg and not be able to work, or if they became seriously or critically ill, we’d ensure they had policies that could pay off the mortgage in full, or give them an income while they’re unable to work.

Things like life insurance or income protection mean they’re fully protected, and they can maintain that lifestyle that they’ve worked so hard to build up.

Is it expensive to use a broker?

We usually have an appointment over the phone where we have a chat about what the person needs. Then we’ll bring them in for a face-to-face meeting that takes about an hour and a half.

That first appointment is free with no obligation, but we then charge a fee of £495 upon application.

Once we’ve looked through all the options and can recommend a mortgage, we’ll detail that all in an email and highlight any product fees, fees from solicitors, stamp duty… and that gives clients a great indication of how much everything costs, so there’s no nasty surprises.

What makes The Mortgage Branch different to other local brokers?

It’s difficult to compare brokers, but The Mortgage Branch does offer a genuine first-class service.

We look after clients on a one-to-one basis, they have direct access to us on mobile or via email anytime of the day or night. We also have admin support in place so there’s always a point of contact in an emergency.

From a social and environmental stand point, we feel we want to give back and support the local environment. So, we plant a tree locally with the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust for every mortgage that completes with us.

For more information, visit directly.

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