"Daunting", "intimidating", "confusing". Those are just some of the words we often hear used to describe the process of getting a mortgage, especially if you're a first-time buyer.
Identifying the best product, the best lender, an acceptable interest rate and suitable term is a time-consuming and complex business.
To ignore the advice from an expert is a mistake.
As consumer rights campaigner James Daley, of Fairer Finance, says:
"Making the wrong choice about your mortgage can cost you hundreds - even thousands of pounds - more than you need to pay. And because mortgages are awash with additional fees and charges, it's easy to get tripped up. That's why it makes a lot of sense to go with a mortgage broker."
Mr Daley is right - which is why almost two thirds of UK home loans are now taken out through a broker.
I grew up helping my dad - a mortgage broker of 30 years' standing - with admin work. Now I'm part of a highly experienced team at UKFCS Mortgage Specialists.
Established in 2005, we're an independent team of five whole-of-market brokers who specialise in many different aspects of the mortgage industry and boast more than 45 years of combined experience.
Our independence means we're not in it to make money for any parent company or external shareholders.
We're in it because we enjoy helping people with complicated and/or difficult situations, especially when they've initially been refused a mortgage elsewhere or don't think they can get a mortgage.
Many people go directly to their bank, especially first-time buyers, but this is one of the worst mistakes you can make as high street banks sell only a limited selection of their own products, which means you often don't get the most competitive interest rate available.
Also, maybe because you don't fit their specific lending criteria, your bank cannot help. Being self-employed or having previous debt, for example, can make it particularly difficult to get a mortgage.
Maybe you have a job and no debt problems but you just don't have the time to sift through the hundreds of products you can find on comparison sites (and, even if you do, you won't be able to see and compare the whole market).
But in many situations it is possible to get a mortgage after seeking professional advice from an expert with access to products that aren't available on the high street.
Confusion about how much can be borrowed results in people either looking at property that's unaffordable (when they wrongly believe they can borrow more than their circumstances will allow) or not looking at all because they don't think they can get a mortgage.
Confusion can also lead to paying too much for a mortgage, which in turn may result in a struggle to afford luxuries for your kids and family. One relatively small increase in the interest rate adds up - over the 25- or 30-year life of a mortgage - to a lot of money. If it's not budgeted for, it can be very stressful for all concerned.
If it's not confusion getting in the way, it's often the frustration of being turned down by a bank and not moving forward with a property purchase. People simply give up and continue renting - which is nearly always more expensive in the long run than buying your own home.
Owning your home very often becomes a hugely significant asset which boosts your financial security. Those who reach retirement age and don't own their home are less financially secure.
With a mortgage broker, you're protected. We're qualified, we know the industry and we're on your side.
Work with me, Alisha, of the UK's premier mortgage brokers and mortgage services provider, and I'll greatly increase your chances of obtaining a mortgage at a competitive rate.
I'm only a phone call away, and can visit you at your place of work or home, and you'll find that I'm always available for urgent problems. If you're exceptionally busy, the whole process can even be completed over the phone.
I'll be able to establish how much you can borrow and will take all the hassle out of getting a mortgage.
Book a free consultation today and get expert advice.
My direct number is 01892 278 381
After my divorce 3 years ago I went through a period of financial difficulty. Everything is now sorted and I'm back on track, but after approaching my local bank I realised this was going to affect my ability to purchase a new property with my partner. I got in contact with Alisha at UKFCS Mortgage Specialists who was able to put my mind at rest that I still had options available to me. From here everything was pretty much taken care of for me and my husband and I were able to purchase the property we wanted and get a mortgage in both of our names. Thanks Alisha, you made the impossible possible for me.
As first time buyers getting a mortgage was quite a daunting experience - from how much we could borrow, to what the different rates and terms meant. Online searching just increased our confusion about what was best. Alisha made all of this very easy. She listened to our needs and requirements, explained the different options available and found out exactly how much we could afford which prepared us for house-hunting. Once we'd found a property we liked Alisha guided us through each step, the application was submitted on our behalf and we were kept updated every step of the way.
I was looking to purchase my first investment property but had heard horror stories of new legislation making the process difficult for landlords. I approached Alisha at UKFCS Mortgage Specialists for advice and she provided a lot of clarity on affordability and the process involved. I'm now in the process of purchasing my third buy to let property and I know that each time I can return to Alisha safe in the knowledge that'll she'll find me the best deal available and make the process as straight-forward as it can be
Interest rates are so low at the minute that I wanted to remortgage and reduce my monthly payments, but didn't fancy the hassle of hours searching to find the best deal. After spending time speaking to me to find out my requirements, Alisha came back very quickly with a range of options available and was on hand to answer any queries I had. Not only was I able to obtain a better interest rate, but I was also able to draw out the extra capital that I needed to extend my kitchen. I would highly recommend Alisha and will return if I need advice in the future.
As an independent mortgage adviser and broker I am committed to finding the best mortgage plan for your needs.
I specialise in obtaining loans and commercial mortgages for all types of business and developments.
I shall be able to give advice regarding the amount of cover which will be necessary and which policy is the best for your situation.
As I am not tied to any one lender I can source the whole market to ensure the best available deal to suit your circumstances.
Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. UKFCS Mortgages Specialists is the trading name of UK Financial Consultancy Services Ltd. UK Financial Consultancy Services Ltd, Registered in England and Wales No.5467810 Registered Office: 33 Darnley Road, Gravesend, Kent, DA11 0SD Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or any other debts secured on it.
The overall cost for comparison is 4.4% however the actual rate will depend on your circumstances.
Our FCA registered number is 435495 and can be found on the regulators website at www.fca.org.uk/register