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The most important questions to ask a mortgage adviser

Getting the right mortgage is so important. As you’re entering into what is likely to be the biggest financial transaction of your life, it’s vital that you get the best mortgage to suit your circumstances.

Whether you end up with a fixed rate, repayment or interest only mortgage is down to the professional guidance you receive. Before you sign on the dotted line you’ll need to be happy with your adviser and that they can do the best work for you. It’s key you ask them specific questions. To help guide you through we’ve broken down these core questions into three areas:

• Questions about your mortgage adviser

• Questions about the process

• Questions about the chosen mortgage

Questions to ask

Before you enter into any transaction make sure you’re happy they have the full capacity to get you the best deal. Be aware that there are two main types of mortgage adviser – those who work for specific lenders and those who are independent.

This will determine the type of advice you receive which means that the first question you ask should be:  

Are you an independent adviser?
If your adviser is independent they should cover the full market, meaning they can find your mortgage from all of the available options. If you are buying a new build, your best option is to speak to a New Homes Mortgage Adviser (NHMA). They will have an overview of the entire market and will advise accordingly, offering the best advice for your situation. By contrast, advisers tied to a specific lender won’t necessarily present you the most suitable deals, just the ones associated with their lending partners.

What are your qualifications?
Ask this as early as possible. Mortgage advisers have to be qualified to provide advice, so always make sure you check. They’ll need to have a qualification that’s recognised by the Financial Conduct Authority, such as the Certificate in Mortgage Advice & Practice (CeMap).

How do you charge your clients?
This will depend on the adviser, with some charging a set fee and others receiving commission from the lender. If it’s a flat rate, you’ll cover this charge.

Can you help me with any other products?
As a condition of getting your mortgage for your new home, you must have buildings insurance in place. It’s possible your mortgage adviser will be able to help you get a good deal on this too, although always check what they offer against the market rate.

Questions about the process

If this is the first time you’ve bought a house, you’re bound to have a lot of questions. Here, we’ve outlined a few that you’ll want to ask to ensure you’re prepared enough during the process.

What are the different types of mortgage available?
There are numerous types on the market which will impact the interest rate you pay, the value of your monthly repayments, any charges you might face and the length of your mortgage term. It’s so important that your adviser explains everything thoroughly, illustrating how specific mortgages could work for your situation.

How long will it take?
This will differ depending on your financial situation and the chosen lender. Your adviser will be able to give you an idea early in the process.

How much can I borrow?
A variety of factors play a part here, including your deposit, income and current financial situation. You’ll need to bring specific documentation with you to your first meeting to enable them to make an informed decision and establish the right way to advise you.

Questions about your chosen mortgage

Based on the information you’ve given and the conversations you’ve had with your adviser; they’ll source the most appropriate deal for your circumstances. Make sure you ask these questions to be happy with what you’re signing up to.

Why is this mortgage best for me?
Asking this question will give you the full context of why this mortgage will suit you and work for your financial circumstances.

Questions about your chosen mortgage

What will my monthly repayments be?
There are different types of mortgages. The main ones are repayment, interest-only, and combined repayment and interest-only, and a good adviser will choose the right one for you. Always check that you’ll be able to keep on top of them. This amount will depend on the mortgage value, length of the term, and the interest rate.

Before you speak to an adviser, however, there are plenty of online mortgage calculators, such as this one from Money Saving Expert, that’ll give you some indication of what you can afford and what your monthly repayments will be.

Can I have a full breakdown of costs?

Make sure you’re aware of any other associated costs with your mortgage as the last thing you want is to be hit with any unexpected fees down the line which eat into your budget.

Having the right mortgage in place will impact the rest of your life, so before you enter into anything always make sure you’re happy with your mortgage adviser, their advice and the products they can offer you.

This guide to saving for a mortgage was produced in collaboration with L&C, the UK’s leading fee-free mortgage experts.

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