Mortgage Broker Kent

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Meet your Mortgage Broker Kent

Graham Sharkey from Status Mortgage Services based in Kent joins the Mortgage and Protection Podcast to introduce the company and talk us through the services offered by a Mortgage Broker.

What is the role of a Mortgage Broker?

Primarily, it’s to ensure that you secure the most suitable and competitive mortgage product for your circumstances. But we’re also there to remove the stress of a house move or mortgage review, by holding your hand and being a trusted point of contact throughout the process.

A broker will also ensure that you can stay in your home if things go wrong, by recommending relevant insurance products which we refer to as protection insurance. That means things like life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection.

Lastly, brokers can build a relationship with a client that lasts throughout the lifetime of their mortgage. We review your mortgage and insurance arrangements at appropriate intervals to ensure that they are always relevant to your current circumstances.

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

There is a huge difference. Your high street bank advisor can only offer their bank’s products – and no high street bank is consistently the most competitive, as the market is constantly moving.

Meanwhile, we don’t work for a lender, we work for the client. We aren’t tied to anyone, so having assessed your circumstances, we’ll recommend you the most suitable and competitive product across over 15,000 products from over 70 lenders.

The other difference is you generally need to go into a branch during business hours, whereas we’ll either come to you at a convenient time face-to-face – which could be an evening or weekend – or we’ll conduct a video call with you. You can log into the meeting from two different locations if you’re at work – you don’t even need to be in the same room together.

What other services does a mortgage broker offer?

Our core service is obviously advising on the most suitable mortgage product. But once we’ve made our recommendation, we then take care of all the administration of the application: lenders’ queries, updates from estate agents and solicitors and obviously ensuring the mortgage offer is produced as quickly as possible.

We also advise on the most suitable protection insurance package, and again take care of all the application administration involved. It’s a legal requirement from the lender that your property is insured, so again we can recommend an adequate buildings policy and deal with solicitors to satisfy this requirement.

We’ve aligned ourselves with trusted partners to ensure we can cover all aspects of the process. These partners include estate agents to sell your current property, surveyors to ensure you understand the varying different levels of detail you can get in a survey and make sure you get a competitive price.

We’ve also got a panel of solicitors to allow us to not only broker your legal costs but compare service levels to ensure that you get a good service at a fair price. We also recommend you update or create a will, especially for married couples buying together, so we have a firm of will writers that can look after that.

Will writing is not part of the Openwork offering and is offered in our own right. Openwork Limited accepts no responsibility for this aspect of our business. Will writing is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Lastly, we can refer you to a financial adviser if you need any pension or investment Advice. Our whole proposition is designed to give you trusted support for every part of the process.

How can a Mortgage Broker support First Time Buyers?

First Time Buyers often need a lot of advice and assistance and we’re pleased to help. There are a lot of government schemes today, and our knowledge can assist you in getting onto the property ladder.

Some lenders also offer niche products designed to assist people with limited or no deposit – which can sometimes be the biggest barrier to buying a home.

We invite you to sit down with us for a coffee in the comfort of your own home and let us organise and manage everything, right through to collecting the keys to your new home, stress free.

When should I see a Mortgage Broker? At what stage in the house buying process?

It’s best to get our advice right at the beginning of the process. We’ll review your circumstances and work out what’s affordable for you. We’ll explore all the costs and implications of moving or buying your first home to set your property budget.

For existing homeowners, contact a mortgage broker for a review if you haven’t had one for a long time, especially if you think your mortgage product has expired or is close to expiring, or your circumstances have changed considerably since the original mortgage was recommended. Perhaps your credit score has improved or your property has increased in value – now is a great time for a review.

Do I need to live in Kent to use your services?

I’ve lived in Kent all my life and if you needed mortgage advice in this area then I’m the perfect adviser to help – but we also have a nationwide reach through video appointments. We’re spread out geographically – we have an adviser in Loughborough and another one in London so we can deal with clients wherever they may be in the UK.

Why is Kent a popular location to buy property?

An important reason is of course the commuter links to London. A lot of people that work in London choose to base themselves in Kent because property prices are cheaper here.

The COVID effect and remote working might widen the commuter belt, which may push prices up for us in this neck of the woods. That’s more difficult for First Time Buyers, but positive once you own a home and your equity begins to grow.

Tell us about Status Mortgage Services?

I came into financial services in 2001 and after being made redundant in 2004 as a qualified mortgage adviser, I decided to set up Status Mortgage Services. We’ve never really advertised – we’ve grown organically through word of mouth, and I like to think that’s because we’ve offered good service and quality advice.

Now here we are 17 years later, having weathered a credit crunch, still looking after clients that have been with us for the duration of that time. We now have five advisers within the practice and between us we’ve got more years of experience than we probably care to admit. There’s not many client circumstances that we haven’t looked at during that time!

How much does an initial consultation cost?

Nothing! All initial consultations are free. There is a cost to our time and expertise but this doesn’t become chargeable to the client until the point of application. This is calculated fairly and competitively based on the level of work we believe will be involved.

Our charge will be offset by the commission we receive from the lender. Rest assured that we are only looking to cover the cost of our time for the service.

There is a genuine benefit to having a trusted mortgage and insurance broker that knows your circumstances. Not just when you buy your first home or are looking to move, but throughout your mortgage life, because a regular review could ensure you aren’t paying more than you should be. And most importantly, we help make sure your family is protected, should something unforeseen happen.

Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up with your mortgage repayments.