Finding the right mortgage...
Article reviewed: 2013/01/02 | Next review due: 2014/07/21
Getting a mortgage will be the main hurdle to get over when you decide to buy a house. The subject can be a complex one, with many different mortgage providers, interest rates, products and fees. Here is a quick overview of how to go about starting the mortgage process, and where the best sources of easy and simple information can be found.
How much you can borrow, checking major providers
A good first step is working out the amount you can borrow. The best place to start is on the online sites - you enter in a salary and how much you have for a deposit, and they actually tell you how much you could borrow. The main providers are:
Comparing Interest Rates
Once you have an idea of what you can borrow and what your “Loan to Value” (LTV) will be, you can use comparison website to search for the best deal, such as moneysupermarket.com and comparethemarket.com. These rates often change weekly or even daily so it’s best to have a good look and see whether the interest rates are moving up or down.
There are many companies that provide free mortgage advice:
- Mortgages Online
- London Mortgage Advice (with specific advice for expats in London)
- Impartial Advice
- MQ Financial
These companies are free for advice and can help if you have any unique situations or circumstances. Even if you know nothing about mortgages, they'll take you through the basics. They don’t charge anything, BUT they make their commission from setting you up with a mortgage, so it's best to let them know that you're only asking advice at the moment. If you wish, they can take you through the whole process, beginning to end, helping with forms and speaking to the banks etc.
Alternatively, you could take their advice on the best mortgage offer and go directly to the bank and fill in the forms yourself – there may be a bonus offer (£500 cash back) for doing it yourself.
- London Mortgage Advice: http://www.londonmortgageadvice.co.uk
- Mortgages Online: http://www.mortgages-online.co.uk
- Comparethemarket.com: http://www.comparethemarket.com
- Moneysupermarket.com: http://www.moneysupermarket.com
- Northern Rock: http://www.northernrock.co.uk
- Nationwide: http://www.nationwide.co.uk
- Impartial Advice: http://impartialadvice.net
- Santander: http://www.santander.co.uk
- Woolwich: http://www.woolwich.co.uk
- MQ Financial: http://mqfinancial.co.uk
- Halifax: http://www.halifax.co.uk
- Natwest: http://www.natwest.com
- HSBC: http://www.hsbc.co.uk
- The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS): http://www.rbs.co.uk