Financing a property isn't something that should be undertaken lightly – and naturally you want to be as informed as possible before making a decision. When looking for a mortgage quote, you have two options: go it alone, or seek the advice of a mortgage broker.
Using a mortgage broker
A mortgage adviser is, essentially, your personal guide to the mortgage market. They are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and are required to pass exams in order to offer advice. They will use information about your income, assets, and the transaction in question to scour the market for the best products for you.
Another plus is that they tend to be familiar with the criteria of different lenders, so by following their advice you are more likely to be accepted for a mortgage. They may also be able to get exclusive broker-only deals that aren't available to the general public. On the whole, you can trust them to provide expert, well-informed advice that's in your interests – which can be a bonus if you're not familiar with the market.
In general, mortgage advisers make their money in two ways: firstly from the lender and secondly from the client in the form of a mortgage arrangement fee. Both sets of fees will be laid out to you at the outset.
Finding your own mortgage
This could be considered doing things the hard way, but a lot depends on your house-buying experience, knowledge of the market, and not least your confidence. If you're a seasoned buyer, know what you want and can tell a good deal from a bad one – and you have the time to put in the legwork – the do-it-yourself approach could be for you.
Naturally, the more time and effort you spend looking for your own mortgage, the better the deal you're ultimately likely to find.
Due largely to the FCA's Mortgage Market Review in 2014, going it alone today is a bit more complicated than it used to be. Banks and building societies have to be much more rigorous about who they lend to, so don't be surprised to see things like childcare, commuting costs and pension contributions crop up in a mortgage application interview.
Additionally, your bank is now obliged to provide you with an appointment before they can sell you a mortgage. This means that when shopping around, you might sometimes face long waits for an appointment, which should be kept in mind if your transaction is time-sensitive.