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An easy mortgage may sound like an oxymoron. The mere idea of embarking on an application has struck fear into the heart of many a borrower. In most people’s dark imaginings, it is synonymous with paperwork, headaches and being placed on hold. Of course, the beautiful new home awaiting you, and that cool glass of champagne on moving day, makes it less of a bitter pill to swallow – but it can undeniably be a tedious process.
Those clients of ours who have approached other brokers before coming to Enness, or tried to go directly to a lender, often report feelings of frustration and powerlessness. One of the worst things is the uncertain timeframe – from start to finish, the process can take anything from weeks to months.
It may not feel like it when you’re on the phone listening to that hold jingle playing for the umpteenth time – but you have more control over the process than you might think. The choices you make early on can pave the way for a quick, efficient and easy mortgage.
The most important thing, of course, is to talk to the right person – singular. It may seem like a good idea to get as many people as possible working for you in the early stages, but engaging multiple brokers is one of the best ways to ruin your chances of a mortgage. Banks inevitably run a mile from anyone whose case is being presented in different lights to them simultaneously. You can find out more here.
There are, however, plenty of other things you can do to maximise your chances of a smooth and easy mortgage – some of them very simple indeed. Our top tips draw on our years of experience in the industry and are designed to help you at every stage of the process.
The Scouts’ motto is a particularly good one in this instance: be prepared. The lender will want to build up a full picture of your finances, and to that end you will be quizzed on both your income and your outgoings. You should be ready to give details on any large monthly payments you make – school fees, for example, or hire purchases (for which you will need to know the outstanding balance as well). If you give the impression of being on top of your finances, you are much more likely to be looked upon favourably by the decision makers. Having documentary evidence to hand – redemption statements, tax returns, employment contracts and payslips – will get your application moving in the right direction.
This is a straightforward way of giving yourself a head start. Lenders go through your credit history with a fine toothcomb during their affordability checks and they will uncover any blips, at best delaying and at worst derailing your mortgage. It’s therefore good practice to have as firm a grasp as you can on your credit rating. Don’t take on new credit in the months leading up to your application and be wary of online forms and comparison websites that will run a credit search each time. Before you speak to anyone, download your credit report and check that you don’t have any defaults or missed payments – any issues will be need to be resolved before underwriting, and this is something you can make a start on yourself.
This is one of the most important choices you will make during the mortgage process. The right choice and your application will be efficiently and expertly handled; you will be granted access to the very best rates on the market; and you will receive tailored support and advice from start to finish. The wrong choice and you could lose a great deal of time, incur unnecessary expense, and permanently raise your blood pressure. What you should be looking for is an independent, whole-of-market broker with a breadth of specialist experience. Fee-free brokers can be limited in their offering, whereas our fee structure allows us to access the whole market and we are therefore always on the side of the borrower. Choosing us will save you money in the long term, but it will also make a trying and complex process a lot less stressful.
Many of the conversations that take place during the mortgage process don’t involve you at all. They are between broker and lender, lender and credit check agency, broker and underwriter – but sometimes, just sometimes, the ball is in your court. Delays are often caused by the applicant failing to provide necessary particulars or paperwork. If your broker has asked you for additional information, make sure you get back to them as soon as possible and answer in full, as generally the process stalls until the lender has all the facts they need. Giving away personal information is always sensitive and for some people it is uncomfortable, but rest assured we only ask for the details lenders need in order to secure your mortgage.
Our top tip for making the process less stressful? Leave yourself ample time. Mortgages are difficult to scramble together last minute and, with so many time-sensitive components, an early start will pay dividends further down the line. Unexpected bumps in the road can jeopardise the process if timeframes are tight; if you have a few weeks’ safety net, they can be brushed off. Be kind to yourself and, working backwards from when you want the loan signed off, allow for unforeseen delays. If you do want the process completed in extra fast time, it is even more important to come to a broker like Enness. Our vast experience and ability to go straight to the decision makers means we can achieve results other brokers can’t – and deliver much more quickly.
We believe strongly in keeping our clients as informed as possible and we hope you have found this useful. For more details, please do have a flick through our guide library, where you will find in-depth, market-leading whitepapers on the mortgage process and specific product-related information.
If you have any questions about this article, or the mortgage process generally, please do get in touch below.
France is one of the most popular property markets for foreign nationals: we are all aware of the chic appeal of Paris, the enduring allure of the Riviera in the summer or the freshness of the mountains in winter.
Covering everything from search and negotiation to making an offer and the legal processes, the guide will help you fulfil your dream of property ownership in France.