The enormous array of UK mortgages available to homebuyers means there is almost certain to be a home loan that will suit your situation. The trouble is, it is exactly this abundance of choice that makes picking the best mortgages such an overwhelming task. Just where do you start?
A trawl up and down the high street paying a visit to the myriad of mortgage lenders you will find there can be as good a place as any. This way you will find out how much you are able to borrow, what rates are on offer and which lenders are able to cater to your particular needs. Your own bank might offer its existing customers improved interest rates or increased borrowing power.
Many high street banks allow graduates who have banked with them through their student days the chance to borrow a higher multiple of their salary, with some offering as much as four times the graduate's salary.
Another option is to place yourself in the hands of a mortgage broker. It's important to find a reputable, independent broker - although beware, a broker calling him or herself independent may only offer the products of a handful of lenders. Equally important is the cost involved as a broker may charge a flat fee for the arrangement of your mortgage, or they may charge a percentage of the amount you borrow. Always ask - remember it's your money and if they earn 1% for the life of your loan, how do you know they are not recommending a deal that's not the best available for you.
The advantage of an independent broker is the ability to sieve through the many unsuitable products until they reach the right one, which means that the amount you pay them could pale into insignificance compared to the amount of money they save you on your mortgage.
What's more, increased buying power can often mean they can offer favourable deals on loans, perhaps valuation fees waived or a lower rate of interest. Many brokers and lenders have an internet presence, and some offer you the opportunity to apply for mortgages online. However, some financial advisers feel that using the internet to apply for what is probably the most important financial commitment you will make is not such a good idea.
A bit of good old-fashioned communication with another human being, even if it's by phone, could save you from making a rather drastic mistake.