Tell us about yourself and your area of expertise?
I have been working in financial services since 2013, when I started as a cashier for Barclays Bank. Though it was great as a starter job, it was a role that didn’t really challenge me so I decided I would look at progressing within Barclays into a role that would be better suited to my interests. My entire family are into buying and selling properties, so the property world and mortgages is something that has always intrigued me. I decided to pay for my mortgage course and exams and upon passing the first module was offered a mortgage administrator role with a company based in Mayfair. After completing my exams and becoming an independent mortgage advisor, I finally decided that I was ready to start up on my own.
I set up Novello at the start of 2020, because I wanted to offer a service that was different from ways of old school mortgage brokers, where clients are ‘transactions’ and high fee-paying clients are more valued than others. I value all my clients, and enjoy taking a more holistic approach when looking at their circumstances to ensure they are getting the very best advice.
What are the benefits of going to an independent mortgage advisor?
This is a question I get asked a lot and before I answer, I have a question for you first – if someone was selling you a bottle of water, and there were two sellers with the same bottle of water but one would charge you 50p and the other 80p, who would you buy from?
This is of course a very simplified version to show just one of the benefits of using an independent mortgage advisor – to save you money; we can compare like for like mortgages against a comprehensive range of lenders on the market and source the cheapest mortgage for you.
There are many other benefits to using an independent mortgage advisor, such as not having to do your own research if your circumstances are complicated so only a limited number of banks can lend to you or you would like to find a bank who will lend you more money than your own bank, or if you are purchasing a property that is not acceptable to most lender. Independent mortgage advisors have a wealth of knowledge about the different mortgage products on the market and will know banking criteria inside out so can save you time and resources by sourcing the right lender for you.
Moreover, Covid19 and the lockdown has caused many lenders to cap their maximum lending limits and put temporary criteria in place making it difficult for people to know where to apply for a mortgage. Some lenders even pulled mortgage offers where contracts had not yet exchanged. Having an independent mortgage advisor on side is very handy in these situations, because you leave all the work to your advisor who will have relevant contacts at banks to be able to keep you up to date with the progress of applications and, if necessary, switch to another lender who can assist.
What are the biggest challenges for home buyers at the moment?
I would say the biggest challenges for home buyers at the moment is trying to get together minimum deposit of at least 15% for residential purchases and 25% for buy to let purchases, and overcoming temporary policies due to Covid19 where non-guaranteed income such as discretionary bonuses, overtime and commission cannot be used for affordability purposes. Luckily not all lenders are assessing in this way and an independent mortgage advisor should be able to assist you with finding a bank that can take into account any additional non-guaranteed income received.
Can you outline the recent change to stamp duty?
The changes to the stamp duty means that until 31st March 2021, there is no base stamp duty to pay on property purchases up to £500,000. This applies to everyone, not just first-time buyers, so existing home owners and landlords can also benefit from the stamp duty holiday, though there is still a 3% surcharge to pay for owning an additional home.
Can you highlight 3 top tips for people looking to buy a home?
My 3 top tips are:
- Get in touch with an independent mortgage advisor – it is a good idea to have a chat with an independent advisor before you starting looking to buy a new home so that you can determine what you can and can’t borrow depending on your income and expenditure, and your deposit.
- Regularly check your credit report – credit files can contain mistakes, so unpaid charges that are nothing to do you with you can end up on your credit report, and the sooner these are queried and corrected, the better chance you have of keeping your credit score high and healthy.
- Remember to keep some savings aside for other fees – The mortgage deposit is not the only costs you have to consider when applying for a mortgage. Other associated fees can include advisor fees, solicitor fees, stamp duty and moving costs.
Want mortgage advice then contact Nahida: firstname.lastname@example.org