There is a dizzying array of mortgage deals and offers available and it is very easy to become confused about what exactly to look for, who offers the best deal and what extra costs you are likely to face so just where should you start? I want to be clear from the beginning that this article is not designed to advise you on a specific product but rather to help you think about what you want from a mortgage and how to locate the information you need to get some expert financial advice.
What do you want from your mortgage?
Perhaps the most important thing to identify is what you want in a mortgage do you wanted to have a regular idea of your monthly payments in which case pursuing a fixed rate mortgage may be appealing, or perhaps you are happy to risk a variable rate deal in the hope that over the term of the mortgage the interest rate changes incurred will roughly balance each other out.
There are so many mortgage products on the market in reality that the old days of just choosing between fixed and variable rate mortgages have gone, which a good thing for consumers as this means more choice and enables you to find a mortgage deal that is better suited to your specific needs, after all what have a first time buyer and someone who buys to let have in common? The downside being that it becomes increasingly difficult to make a choice, particularly as lenders can only advise on their own products.
Get independent financial advice
Whilst it is tempting to visit your high street bank and sign up for one of their products they are likely to be biased, my first tip is to find an independent financial adviser as they will be able to advise you on all available products available on the market and after conducting a short interview about your expectations concerning the mortgage often take away a lot of the hassle of trawling through hundreds of products and can narrow your search to a handful of products that are suitable so that you can make the ultimate choice. If you don’t know how to find an independent financial adviser then visit http://www.unbiased.co.uk/ this is the homepage of IFA Promotion, who are the industry body responsible for promoting independent financial advice in the UK. Just enter your post code and a few other specific pieces of information and they will identify reputable IFA’s in your area and help put you in contact with them. An especially good feature of the site is that you can request firms that employ female as well as male advisers if you are concerned about inviting a male into your house.
Check out with the company what their fee structure is, most won’t charge you anything as they make their money from the organisation with which you take up the product.
Online Mortgage Advice and updated mortgage offers
If you are comfortable with searching out your own mortgage deal online then it’s worth going to some reputable sites which provide comparisons of mortgage offers.
Firstly check out www.moneyfacts.co.uk or go directly to the mortgage section of the site via the following link http://www.moneyfacts.co.uk/mortgages/default.aspx. This site offers up to the minute comparisons of mortgage deals from all the available mortgage products and what’s great about it is that it categorises the best offers depending upon the type of mortgage you want for example; 100% mortgages , buy to let mortgage deals, variable rate mortgages, first time buyer mortgages (discounted variable).
The site also has a user guide section which takes you through a step by step approach to each of the different types of mortgage available and the terms used within the products. This is great if like me you didn’t know the difference between a capped rate mortgage and a flexible mortgage.
There’s also a handy little calculator on the site which lets to type in the amount you want to borrow, the term over which you want to borrow it and the interest rate. It then estimates your monthly repayments.
A second site to check out in finding great independent mortgage advice is www.moneysavingexpert.com. This site was set up by Martin Lewis a journalist who now specialises in the money saving arena. His site has lots of information and handy hints on identifying the best mortgages and explanations for complex financial terms.
Top tips before you commit to a new mortgage
1. Be clear about the purpose of the mortgage
2. Get Independent Financial Advice from a reputable expert, and check their qualifications
3. Check out www.moneyfacts.co.uk and www.moneysavingexpert.com to check out the latest mortgage deals.