Mortgages

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Mortgage Broker London

Richard Campo introduces the company and talks us through the services offered by a mortgage broker.

What’s the role of a mortgage broker?

Our role is to get the best outcome for a client. It’s not even about finding the best mortgage rate, as that’s something that is easily done online. Different clients have different drivers – for some it is just about finding the cheapest deal possible, while for others it’s about borrowing as much as they can to achieve a certain purchase.

Although I’m a mortgage broker, I know that no one wants a mortgage! Our goal is not to just help you today, but to establish a long term approach to get that mortgage paid off as quickly as possible.

What’s the difference between going to a mortgage broker and your high street bank?

With a broker, you’re our client: we work for you. If you walk into any high street bank, the person you speak to has the bank’s interests at heart rather than yours. A Halifax branch is never going to tell you that Santander across the road has a better deal.

People are very focused on what the cheapest deal is, but that isn’t always the right approach. As we sit here today at the start of 2022, interest rates look like they’re going to rise. So it might be better for a client to take a slightly more expensive, longer term product that will save them more money over the long term.

A final point is that over 80% of people use brokers now. Banks realise that giving advice is cumbersome and difficult – they’d much rather outsource that to us. If you’re refinancing with your bank, it’s often cheaper to come through a broker to go back to your bank than go to them directly.

It sounds strange but when a bank gives advice, that’s where the risk is, so they’re quite happy to outsource us.

What can I expect when I meet a broker?

We talk about you and your plans. What are you looking for today, and what are you thinking for the long-term? What’s important to you? What do you want to get out of this?

With a bank that experience is completely different. If you went directly to Halifax, you have to watch a five minute video to explain what mortgages are. Then you have to book a meeting with an adviser which could be a couple of weeks down the line. Then there’s another meeting to talk you through the offer – which is a time-consuming and a rather patronising process to go through.

Meanwhile, as a broker we can usually have a consultation with a client and get a mortgage offer out in the time it takes a bank just to book the first meeting.

What services does a mortgage broker offer?

Brokers are probably the only party that can talk to everyone involved in a property chain. If you come to a broker we can obviously deal with the mortgage companies, but we can also organise a survey for you, deal with the estate agent and liaise with your solicitor.

Our clients are short on time. They don’t want to be having to juggle five different paper trails with different people. That is the number one service that we offer as a broker – being a single port of call from before you ever talk to a bank right through to when you get the key to the property.

And do your clients come back time after time?

One thing I’m particularly proud of is that we’re one of the highest rated mortgage brokers in the UK according to Google. Take a look at our reviews – people do stick with us for a very long time, through the whole life cycle of a loan.

That means from first getting in contact with us to the day the mortgage is paid off, we’re here for you. Within that time you might move house, you will almost certainly remortgage, you might decide to buy a Buy to Let or even get into property development.

Our client retention is very high and we do lots of remortgages. We always hope that the first time we talk to someone isn’t the last. I’m even getting to the point where I’m dealing with my clients’ children, which makes me feel old!

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Our key aims are to fully understand what you are looking to achieve, create a solution tailored to your needs, deliver results through an excellent service and build a relationship for life.

How do you assist clients with larger or more complex incomes?

We have a lot of successful clients who run their own businesses or have senior jobs. And that often means their compensation package tends to be more complicated.

An example is where someone says they earn £250,000 a year and they want to borrow £1 million. It’s nice and easy on paper, but when you explore how a lender looks at the income it gets tougher. That £250,000 package might break down to £100,000 basic salary, £100,000 cash bonus and £50,000 in stocks.

Some banks will simply take your income as £150,000, disregard the stocks and only accept half of your bonus. That £1 million then starts to look quite challenging. But what we can do is go to banks that we know will include 100% of your bonus and allow for stocks.

These clients accept that their situation is more complicated, and they don’t want to waste weeks and months approaching different lenders when we can actually go to a suitable provider at the outset.

Do you advise on mortgage protection?

Again, our clients that work for big corporations have fantastic benefits. They might have lots of life cover. Some of them already have critical illness cover, income protection, private healthcare etc. For these clients there isn’t much of a need for insurance and protection.

But if like me you’re self-employed, you don’t have anything unless you’ve set it up yourself. This is certainly an area where we can help. We’ll explore what you have, what you need, if there are any gaps.

We’ll just have a grown up conversation exploring what happens if you were to die unexpectedly or are unable to work due to illness or injury. It’s a hard conversation to have, but we deal with intelligent people that understand why this is so important.

When should I see a mortgage broker, at what stage in the mortgage/ housebuying process?

As soon as possible – even before you even think you’re in a position to buy. Any good broker is happy to have a ten minute conversation with you. You might be thinking of buying next year and want to understand if that will be possible.

People are often very surprised at what you can do. For example, you can buy with a 5% deposit. You can borrow five or even six times your income, which might open the door to more options than you thought – or you might be able to buy sooner than you thought.

Right now, at the start of 2022 it’s a real sellers’ market. I’m looking at moving myself, and vendors are having open days for 30 people at a time, and the property is sold on the spot. So if you haven’t got your finances in order, the estate agent will put your offer to the end of the queue. Someone better prepared will beat you to the house.

One thing we do is we put your offer in the best light possible. We get you ready to go so that an agent will take your offer more seriously. Nobody wants to miss out on the property of their dreams.

You’re based in London, but can you help somebody if they’re based elsewhere in the UK?

We’ve always been central London-based with international clientele. We were already doing video calls before Covid hit. You don’t have to be based in London at all, we can onboard clients really smoothly with online processing and video meetings. We can be pretty flexible in that regard.

Why is London a popular location to live and buy property?

It’s an interesting one right now because London isn’t quite as desirable as it’s been in the past. If you look at house prices over the last year it’s actually the South West that’s taken off. People’s working patterns have changed and there’s been an outflow of people from London – typically people with families.

London house prices really haven’t moved on since 2016 because Brexit was such a big factor. So prices have been fairly steady here and they’re just starting to pick up now.

That creates a huge opportunity – your money will go further in London than perhaps you thought. People who thought they can’t possibly afford to live in zone 1 might be surprised to find they can.

But the pull of London isn’t going to stop, for all the reasons why it became a major city. It’s the cultural element, it’s how much business is based here. There’s a huge buying opportunity right now because of Covid. Everything’s a bit upside down, people think they can work from home forever. But that’s not going to be the case.

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Our key aims are to fully understand what you are looking to achieve, create a solution tailored to your needs, deliver results through an excellent service and build a relationship for life.

Tell us more about Rose Capital

My first job was in 1999 at Cheltenham & Gloucester. I had a whale of a time and part of my job was to call on brokers John Charcol around the corner. I got talking to the brokers and realised they were earning four times my salary. So I joined John Charcol in 2003 and worked my way up in various firms to the point where I became basically unemployable!

This is when most people start their own company and that’s how Rose Capital was born. I felt that many firms in London weren’t looking after clients in the right way. A lot of the firms were charging very large fees for not the best service, or it was very transactional.

So I set the company up to be client-focused. Our clients are first and foremost and we think about them above everything else. We don’t charge big fees. We deliver very highly on service and we care about people.

We started in 2014 and worked with a few high end estate agents. We still work with them but primarily our clients now come through referral. We don’t really advertise and the one thing that’s kept it all together is looking after clients and doing the very best we can for them.

Where did the company name come from?

My daughter’s middle name is Rose and there’s a story behind that too. My best friend’s wife, Rose, set me up on the only blind date I’ve ever been on in my life – and at the time she said ‘if you marry this date, you have to name your child after me’.

And, of course, that’s what happened. When I was looking at naming the business I only had one daughter at the time, so I chose her middle name.

What does it cost to have an initial chat with you?

Absolutely nothing. It’s completely free to talk to us. It’s free to get an Agreement in Principle. It’s free to apply for a mortgage. The only time we charge is on receipt of a mortgage offer, as long as we’ve done the job you’ve asked us to do.

We have endless dialogue with clients for months or years before they even buy and that’s fine – we want to make sure you’re in the best shape possible when you do come to buy. We’re not about charging people to talk to us, I think that’s ridiculous.

Do talk to a broker as early as you can in the process. If you have another broker or are with a bank already, feel free to ask for a second opinion – not all brokers have access to the same products.

Having a broker in your corner will save you tens of thousands of pounds over the lifetime of your loan. We’ll show you how to manage the debt down as quickly as possible because that extra money is far better spent on your family or investing for the future. Don’t just bolster the bank’s profits.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage  or any other debt secured on it.