Making Sure You Have the Best Mortgage Deal for You
Finding the right mortgage can be a complicated process. The ‘best’ deal will depend a lot on your circumstances, needs, etc. There are some mortgages where you can earn rewards, cashback, etc. but given that a mortgage is such a big commitment, it’s important not to be attracted by a small bonus, which may be at the expense of the best deal in the long term. Therefore this post is a bit outside of my normal reward points/cashback focus, but I wanted to share my recent experience of finding the right offer.
Given that, for most people, a mortgage will be their biggest monthly expense and largest debt, I’m always surprised when people think they have to stick with the same lender, or only contact their own bank when applying for example. From talking to people, I think not everyone understands that, unless you’re in a fixed/discount period where early repayment charges apply, you are free to switch/re-mortgage to a better deal whenever you want. It’s a bit like people who allow their TV/Broadband contract period to lapse and then pay twice their introductory price, without realising they could actively find a better deal – except it has the potential to be a lot more expensive! If you have the option to switch, then you potentially have an opportunity to save. I always put a note in my diary exactly 3 months before any contract is due to expire, so that I can have things sorted before any change in price.
London & Country Mortgages
I have a decent understanding of how to look for the best deal for my circumstances, so up until a few years ago I had always done the leg work myself. However, someone then recommended London & Country to me, and I have to say that I’ve been impressed with them.
They provide a free service, because they earn their commission from the lender. What impressed me though, was that they could access deals which I couldn’t find directly AND they will contact your existing lender to see if they can get you a retention deal. They are also very good at talking through options, and the basis for recommendations, with you – in plain English. This includes talking you through the best approach for things like considering borrowing more to have building work undertaken, or increasing/reducing your mortgage term because you need to reduce your monthly repayment or want to pay your mortgage off more quickly.
In addition to this, I was surprised that three years after I previously remortgaged, when I got back in touch at the end of the fixed term period, I got the same advisor. For a big national company, this was a big positive and immediately retained the trust I’d built up for their advice from the last time I spoke to them. He also had all the basic details from last time, which made the review much more efficient.
The actual process of switching was actually pretty easy – following an initial review, they make a recommendation and then, if you want to apply, they submit the application for you. Aside from providing pay slips, bank statements, etc. and signing the documents, there wasn’t much work to the process.
Eventually we did actually get a cashback offer on our mortgage too – but only because that made it the cheapest deal overall for the fixed period. Interestingly, I could find the same mortgage by looking directly, but NOT with the cashback. In this case that meant London and Country got me an extra £300 and did the legwork for me.
So, in short – at the very least review the options yourself if you have the option to switch or are taking out a new mortgage, but I found that London & Country were able to do better than I could, whilst reducing the work and providing helpful advice.
Get £5 Just for Completing an Online Mortgage Finder
Currently London & Country will pay a £5 Amazon voucher just for using their online mortgage finder to see whether they can get you the right deal. If you do find a better deal and apply, you’ll get a further £20 Amazon voucher – plus you’ll save money on your mortgage payments!
You just need to use this referral link
N.B. Disclaimer: This is an amateur, personal blog. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. I earn a small bonus if you use the above link, however I only recommend products/services where I have had a positive personal experience.