Even if you’re buying a flat you can barely swing a cat in without RSPCA intervention, it’s still a significant financial decision.
The average mortgage debt in the UK is around £85,000 , so buying a home is likely to change the structure of your finances significantly. That’s why it absolutely pays to get it right.
“Buying a house is usually by far the largest lifetime purchase a person makes,” says David Gibson, of Gibson Wealth Management.
“Getting the right advice when making such an important decision is critical, not only to confirm that the house will be affordable over the longer term, but to ensure that the buyer gets a competitive deal which matches their attitude to risk and capacity for payments to increase.”
So why should I consult a specialist adviser rather than just use a website, my ordinary adviser or my friend down the pub?
Perhaps your friend is a mortgage expert, but chances are she’s not. And unless you’re disclosing your entire financial history over a pint, she’s unlikely to know what other assets and debt you’ve got.
Similarly, a mortgage website, while it may find you a good interest rate, won’t take into account your plans, life goals and that desire you’ve always had to buy a sports car when you turn 40.
A general adviser may not know the best deals available in a fast-changing mortgage market.
What will a specialist adviser do for me?
A specialist financial adviser should be able to cover all of the above (minus the pint). They do a different job from pure mortgage brokers, who simply consider the best mortgages available for you.
A good specialist adviser or wealth manager will be able to look at your home in conjunction with your pension and investments, as well as ensuring you’ve got the right life insurance.
They could also speed up the home-buying process, so that the seller knows you are serious.
What qualifications should I look for that others don’t have?
Anyone who advises on mortgages needs to have an appropriate mortgage advice qualification recognised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
There’s a list of them https://www.handbook.fca.org.uk/handbook/TC/App/4/1.html though it doesn’t make for fun reading.
You can also use our Find an Adviser tool to look for an adviser local to you. Or you can use unbiased.co.uk or vouchedfor.com to search for a specialist adviser – just tick the ‘mortgages’ box.
Ready to take the next step? Read buying tips for your first property.