Don’t Bet The House Without A Broker

James Muncaster of Capricorn Financial tells John Horton why a good broker is worth their weight in gold

With mortgage rates at historic lows, taking advantage of a rock bottom rate is at the top of the priority list for our buyers. Horton and Garton’s Director John Horton talks to Hammersmith local James Muncaster, Mortgage and Insurance Adviser for Capricorn Financial Consultancy, about how to find the right mortgage product for your personal circumstance. As one of west London’s top advisers, he’s in the best position to give our clients in Hammersmith, Chiswick and Shepherds Bush the most informed advice on securing the right product for your property.

John: “What is the most common asked question from a new or existing client?”

James: “There are two common questions. First is ‘What is the best rate you can source for me?’ In an ideal world, everyone would get the lowest rate but you also have to factor in costs for the mortgage such as arrangement fees and survey fees, to name just two. You may get a temptingly low interest rate but if the fees are high, it is sometimes logical to go for a slightly higher rate but with low fees – meaning you ultimately pay less over the fixed rate period. The second most common question is, ‘How much can I borrow?’ The answer to this is very much lender dependent as each bank or building society treat a customer’s income and expenditure differently. Loan amount can also be determined, with some banks, by how much deposit you have. Explained simply, the more you put in, the more the bank will lend. As you can see, it makes sense to access a broker who has an accurate and up-to-date picture of the wider market.

John: “How long does it typically take to remortgage and release equity?”

James: “With the right bank and solicitor, this could be as little as 2 weeks. However, on average, I would allow 4-6 weeks from application to drawdown of funds.”

John: “If one of our clients remortgages their property and then wants to sell, will they have to pay exit penalties?”

James: “Not necessarily. Many banks offer ‘penalty free’ rates, so that is one option. Another option is ‘porting’ your mortgage, or taking it with you when you move. This would also avoid an exit penalty.”

John: “We have many prospective buyers who come to us on very low tracker rate, so why should they remortgage?”

James: “The consideration buyers must bear in mind with a tracker rate is that there is just as much chance it will go up as there is of it going down. With fixed rates starting at 1.03%, even those tempting low trackers of pre-credit crunch days aren’t attractive as they once were!”