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Mortgages Guide

A mortgage is a type of loan that is used to purchase a property or land. The loan is typically secured against the property, which means that if you fail to make your mortgage payments, the lender has the right to repossess the property and sell it to recover their money.

Mortgages are usually long-term loans, typically lasting for 25 years or more, and the borrower makes regular monthly repayments to the lender to pay off the loan over time. The amount of money that can be borrowed through a mortgage is determined by a range of factors, such as the borrower’s income, credit history, and the value of the property being purchased.

There are different types of mortgages available, including fixed-rate mortgages, variable-rate mortgages, tracker mortgages, and offset mortgages. 

Each type of mortgage has its own features and benefits, and it’s important to carefully consider your options before choosing a mortgage product that is right for you.

What is a mortgage broker?

A mortgage is a professional who specialises in finding and arranging mortgage loans for individuals and businesses. They act as intermediaries between borrowers and lenders, helping borrowers to find suitable mortgage deals that match their financial circumstances and requirements. 

Mortgage brokers typically have access to a range of mortgage products from different lenders, and they can provide expert advice and assistance throughout the mortgage application process, from initial consultation to completion.

Why should I use a mortgage broker?

There are several reasons why a client may want to use a mortgage broker like Thameside Mortgages:

  1. Access to a wide range of lenders: Thameside Mortgages has access to more than 90 lenders, including some that are not available on the high street. This means they can help clients find a mortgage product that is tailored to their specific needs and financial situation. 
  2. Expert Advice: The brokers at Thameside Mortgages have nearly 20 years of experience in the mortgage industry, which means they have a deep understanding of the market and can provide clients with expert advice and guidance. 
  3. Utilising technology to make the process easier: Thameside Mortgages uses technology to make the mundane aspects of getting a mortgage easy for clients. For example, they use an online portal to manage the application process and provide clients with real-time updates on the progress of their application. 
  4. Small, but friendly: Thameside Mortgages is a small, family-run company, which means they can provide clients with a personal and friendly service. Clients can expect to deal with the same broker throughout the entire mortgage application process, which can help build trust and make the process more comfortable. 
  5. Time-saving: Using a mortgage broker like Thameside Mortgages can save clients time and effort, as the broker will handle the mortgage application process on their behalf. This can include completing paperwork, liaising with lenders, and providing guidance and advice along the way.

Overall, using a mortgage broker can provide clients with a range of benefits, including access to a wide range of lenders, expert advice and guidance, time-saving, and a personal and friendly service.

What are the main mortgage product types?

The main types of mortgages are:

  • Fixed-rate mortgage: A fixed-rate mortgage offers a set interest rate for a fixed period, typically 2, 3, or 5 years. This means that your monthly mortgage payments will remain the same during the fixed-rate period, which can help you budget more effectively. 
  • Tracker mortgage: A tracker mortgage follows the Bank of England base rate, plus a fixed percentage. This means that your mortgage payments will change in line with any changes to the base rate. 
  • Variable-rate mortgage: A variable-rate mortgage has an interest rate that can go up or down at any time, depending on market conditions. This means that your monthly mortgage payments can fluctuate over time. 
  • Offset mortgage: An offset mortgage allows you to use any savings you have to reduce the amount of interest you pay on your mortgage. Instead of earning interest on your savings, your savings are offset against your mortgage debt, reducing the amount of interest charged.

What Interest Rate can I get?

Several factors can determine the interest rate you’ll be offered when you apply for a mortgage. Here are some of the most important ones:

  • Credit score: Your credit score is a measure of your creditworthiness, and lenders use it to assess the level of risk you pose as a borrower. Generally, the higher your credit score, the lower the interest rate you’ll be offered. 
  • Loan-to-value ratio (LTV): This is the amount of the loan you’re applying for compared to the value of the property you’re buying. Lenders typically offer lower interest rates to borrowers who are borrowing a smaller percentage of the property’s value, as this represents a lower risk to the lender.
  • Loan term: The length of your mortgage term can also affect your interest rate. Generally, shorter mortgage terms will have lower interest rates than longer ones. 
  • Type of mortgage: Different types of mortgages come with different interest rates. For example, fixed-rate mortgages generally have higher interest rates than variable-rate mortgages. 
  • Economic conditions: Interest rates are also influenced by wider economic conditions, such as inflation, the Bank of England’s base rate, and market competition among lenders.

It’s important to note that different lenders may have different criteria for determining interest rates, so it’s always a good idea to utilise the expertise of a good mortgage broker before making a decision.

What are the costs of obtaining a mortgage?

When obtaining a mortgage, there are several fees and costs associated with the process. Here are some of the most common fees you may encounter:

  • Application fee: Some lenders may charge a fee when you apply for a mortgage. This fee may cover the lender’s administrative costs, such as checking your credit report or verifying your employment.
  • Valuation fee: Lenders typically require a valuation of the property you’re buying to ensure it’s worth the amount you’re borrowing. You may be charged a valuation fee to cover the cost of the valuation.
  • Mortgage arrangement fee: Some lenders charge a mortgage arrangement fee, which covers the cost of setting up your mortgage.
  • Legal fees: You may need to hire a solicitor/conveyancer to handle the legal aspects of your mortgage. They’ll charge a fee for their services, which may include things like conducting local searches, checking contracts, and registering the property with the Land Registry.
  • Survey fees: You may choose to have a more detailed survey of the property conducted to identify any potential issues, such as structural defects or problems with the roof or plumbing. There may be a fee for this service.
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT): In the UK, you’ll need to pay SDLT when you purchase a property above a certain value. The amount of SDLT you’ll pay depends on the purchase price of the property.

It’s important to factor these fees and costs into your budget when considering how much you can afford to borrow. Your lender or mortgage broker should provide you with a breakdown of the fees associated with your mortgage, so be sure to ask for this information upfront.

Should I use a broker who charges fees?

While many mortgage brokers have access to similar mortgage deals, the importance of having the right mortgage broker cannot be overstated. Paying for a mortgage broker can provide someone who is extremely experienced and qualified in the field of mortgages, providing invaluable advice tailored to your specific financial circumstances, ensuring that you make informed decisions and ultimately secure the right mortgage for your needs.

You should check client reviews, such as Google, Trust Pilot and Social Media platforms before choosing a broker, to ensure you’re choosing a firm that has your best interests at heart.

There are brokers who do not charge fees, but these could be large organisations that may prioritise efficiency and volume over personalised attention to clients, or smaller firms that lack experience in the industry and/or may not invest in systems and processes to enhance and simplify the client experience.

On the other hand, a good quality, experienced mortgage broker that charges a fee for their services can provide excellent value for money due to the invaluable advice they provide, access to exclusive deals. While this may be an additional expense, clients can benefit from personalised attention, expert advice, and assistance throughout the mortgage application process.

Therefore, it’s not uncommon for a good quality, experienced mortgage broker to charge a fee to their clients for their services.

At Thameside Mortgages, we would typically only charge a fee on receipt of a mortgage offer, which means you have peace of mind knowing you are not at risk of losing money upfront. It’s worth noting that there can be situations or complex cases that require slightly different terms, but we would always be clear, upfront, and transparent when it comes to the fees you would pay.

By charging fees, mortgage brokers are less likely to be influenced by the commission offered by mortgage lenders.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate building surveyors.

Thameside Mortgage Ltd are not regulated by The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, we do not have any involvement in the provision of this type of service / activity. We are not qualified surveyors and the information provided on this website is for informational purposes only. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, inspection, or survey.

It is important to seek professional advice and to undertake a proper survey/inspection before making decisions or taking actions related to a property.

What Our Clients Are Saying

  • Having used a number of mortgage advisors in the past, I can say that Thameside were a breath of fresh air. We have an unusual situation and were told we couldn’t get what we needed from other advisors. Thameside were able to arrange a mortgage and kept us updated constantly and were available any time to discuss all the usual issues. Highly recommend to anyone looking for a mortgage.

    Christian Willmore Avatar Christian Willmore

    Andrew and Laura were attentive to all our needs and gave us all the facts to help us make informed decisions. They were more than happy to answer our many many questions and always did so in a very timely manner. We had some issues with our solicitors taking too long to action paperwork but both Andrew and Laura chased things up on our behalf. The support and guidance along the way was definitely appreciated. We shall definitely use Thameside Mortgages again!

    Alison King Avatar Alison King

    We used Thameside Mortgages for our mgt for our new property. We had professional and brilliant service from Andrew and his team. I would highly recommend Thameside Mortgage as they go over and above what I expected from them. Thank you so much Andrew and your team X

    Kelly Carberry Avatar Kelly Carberry
  • Andrew has dealt with our mortgage and remortgage since we bought our first home 12 years ago. The service and advice is always spot on, hence why we always return without question. It's peace of mind knowing we can trust Thameside to take care of everything and give us the advice we need.

    Rhys Jones Avatar Rhys Jones

    Thameside Mortgages have been outstanding. Very helpful and prompt. They helped me when no one else would. I recommend Thameside Mortgages to anyone who is looking to get a Mortgage!

    jack foreman Avatar jack foreman

    We used Thameside Mortgages for our recent mortgage application and cannot speak highly enough of Andrew and his team. They were professional and attentive from the outset and helped us through every step of the process. Andrew consistently communicated with us throughout to ensure the process was as easy and streamlined as possible, and we felt we received a completely personal service. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Thameside Mortgages for anyone considering a mortgage application in the future and will definitely utilise their service again.

    Sarah Blanks Avatar Sarah Blanks
  • Excellent service. Helped me through the process of finding best mortgage deal. Cant recommend them enough.

    Alan King Avatar Alan King

    Thameside mortgages made getting a mortgage so easy ,even for a tech phobe like myself Laura was so professional ,always their to answer any questions I was kept up-to-date through the whole process ,no stress at all Would recommend to anyone ,5 * isn't enough Massive thank you to Andrew & Laura Well done

    Cheryl Zammit Avatar Cheryl Zammit

    Great service from start to finish, made the whole process very smooth and easy

    Chris Lewis Avatar Chris Lewis
  • I had heard great things about Thameside Mortgages before we used them to buy our new home, and they certainly did not disappoint! Andrew and his team were friendly, thorough and efficient from start to finish, which made what initially felt like a daunting process completely stress free. The team went above and beyond on multiple occasions, including to resolve a couple of unforeseen issues that we encountered with our mortgage application, proving that we couldn’t have done it without them! I will definitely be using them again for any future house purchase / remortgage.

    Michaela Peck Avatar Michaela Peck

    I am so glad that we worked with Thameside Mortgages for the purchasing of our first home. From initial enquiries, guidance whist making an offer on the house, to getting a mortgage offer & insurance options, we cannot fault their service! Jason always made us feel informed, in control and aware of all our options. 10/10 and we would definitely recommend to our friends and family! Thameside eliminated all the fears & stress we thought we would have, and made the experience easy and clear. Thank you very much!

    Sainimili Kata Avatar Sainimili Kata

    Andrew and Laura have been very helpful every time we have spoken to them. They have quickly processed our transactions and responded to any issues immediately. We highly recommend Thameside Mortgages and all the services they offer. Thank you for helping us through our recent propert purchase.

    Gilly Wright Avatar Gilly Wright
  • First class and professional service. The advice given on various mortgage products, terms and insurance options were excellent. Throughout the sale/purchase they were in constant contact with my solicitor and estate agent, and kept me up to date regularly. Would highly recommend.

    Nick Harris Avatar Nick Harris

    Thameside Mortgages have been fantastic. They helped me through the whole mortgage process and were totally supportive. I was not only trying to buy a house but also remortgage my old one at the same. I can t tell you how stressed I was but Andrew and Lydia were amazing and walked me through the whole process. They will always do their best to help you. Believe me you are in safe hands with them. Thanks Sharon

    Shaz Call Avatar Shaz Call

    This is the second time I've instructed Andrew Sheen at Thameside Mortgages to find and secure the right deal for me. On both occasions I've had complete confidence in his ability to work with my best interests at heart. So professional and personable, I hope to always work with him when moving house or remortgaging. Not to mention, he's also a really top bloke. Thank you Andrew and team. Let's do it all again in 5 years time.

    Tom Denton Avatar Tom Denton
  • Andrew and the Team were not only extremely knowledgeable in their field, but extremely professional and thorough throughout the process. I can't recommend the team enough and would strongly urge engaging the team for your mortgage and life insurance management. Thank you Thameside Mortgages.

    Matthew Harrison Avatar Matthew Harrison

    From start to finish Thameside Mortgages have been available and very helpful in guiding us through not only moving house, but also remortgaging in these difficult times. I can’t tank Andrew, Laura and Lydia enough for their care and fantastic work ethic! Will definitely be using them in the future!!

    Chris Bassett Avatar Chris Bassett

    I really can’t recommend Thameside Mortgages enough. From start to finish, the process was very well explained and completely hassle free. They found me an amazing deal and their communication, responsiveness and support was second to none. A heartfelt thank you to Andrew, Laura and Lydia; keep up the brilliant work.

    David Leece Avatar David Leece
  • We used Thameside Mortgages for the purchase of our first home. We had both a professional and brilliant service from Andrew and his team. I would highly recommend Thameside Mortgages. They go above and beyond and guided us through the whole process. Thank you so much Andrew.

    Alice Gedge Avatar Alice Gedge

    My partner and I have used Andrew and his team several times now and will continue to do so, or recommend him, wherever possible. Whether it’s a mortgage, buildings, contents or life insurance, Andrew and his team, without fail, go above and beyond in delivering an exceptional service and client experience from start to finish. Andrew and his team respond speedily by email and/or make themselves available to speak directly. Their insight is incredibly valuable and offer kindness and patience too at a time when decisions can be more challenging. Additionally, Andrew has offered suitable products where other advisers have been unable. Thank you Thameside - you are absolutely our ‘go to’ and your service is genuinely appreciated at a time when it is needed!

    Claire Shepherd Avatar Claire Shepherd

    Andrew and his team did an amazing job on our mortgage and the surrounding process. We had our offer in principle within 24 hours of contacting them. The on boarding was seamless and laura kept us updated with progress from our solicitors throughout the wider conveyancing process which means we were always well informed. I would not hesitate in recommending them to anyone

    Phil Wrigglesworth Avatar Phil Wrigglesworth
  • Can not fault the service offered by Thameside Mortgages. Our personal advisor Jason was understanding accommodating and incredibly knowledgeable. He understood exactly what we needed and was in constant communication throughout our process and the after sales care we are currently receiving is impeccable. Congratulations Thameside Mortgages you have made our dream of owning a home come true!

    Thomas Esam Avatar Thomas Esam

    Andrew and his team are great to work with! They are very knowledgeable and have been very helpful throughout the whole process!

    Yafet Cole Avatar Yafet Cole

    After the purchase of our property we were in search of a good mortgage broker and our estate agent recommended Andrew. After speaking to Andrew we were confident we had found the right person to entrust finding us something as important as our first mortgage. We provided Andrew with all the necessary details and with his extensive experience and knowledge in this field, he was able to find us a very good mortgage deal. It was a pleasure working with Andrew and he was there to help and support us from the initial stages of the mortgage to the final completion day. When we needed to remortgage, Andrew helped us find another good deal, providing the same care and support as before. I would definitely recommend Andrew to anyone who is looking for an experienced and professional yet very approachable and friendly expert broker who will help guide them through the whole mortgage process. Thank you so much Andrew and Lydia for all your help recently.

    Pam Mehroke Avatar Pam Mehroke
  • I could not recommend Thameside Mortgages More! Andrew is always fantastic to deal with, he is always extremely responsive, supportive and helpful! Thanks to the team at Thameside and Andrew for your constant support!

    Larissa Tait Avatar Larissa Tait

    Jason was very knowledgable and calm during the whole process and always available to answer my questions. I would definitely use Thameside again.

    Kerry Briggs Avatar Kerry Briggs

    I used Andrew and team 5 years ago and they were brilliant, I couldn't recommend them enough. Recently used them for my renewal and nothing was a problem and felt easy to complete. First class hassle free!!

    Shaun Bradford Avatar Shaun Bradford
  • Introduced to Mr Sheen in 2016 and using his services for me and my family since then. When I was looking for the second mortgage, I was unable to find him at his earlier employers, as he had meanwhile started Thameside Mortgages. I spent two days on internet, found him and contacted. I appreciate 7 respect his services, integrity & professionalism.

    Rajen Saraswati Avatar Rajen Saraswati

    Andrew & Laura were amazing at Thameside Mortgages. They were able to secure us a mortgage after we purchased the property, so only a few lenders were available to us. We were happy with the mortgage they recommended. The conveyancer wasn't the best, but Andrew & Laura pushed that side too. This is the second mortgage I've got through Thameside Mortgages and I will definitely use them again! Can't recommend them enough. Fantastic service, always available and happy to help. Thanks guys 🙂

    paul sharp Avatar paul sharp

    We have used Thameside Mortgages now for six of our remortgages over many years. Andrew and his team have been absolutely outstanding. They have always delivered on the best mortgage for us, based on our changing family circumstances, and also have brought ideas and advice that has been extremely helpful to guide us in making the best choice. What has been very impressive is that they are focused on a long-term relationship, not simply a quick commission, and have a few times taken us to mortgage offer stage, where we have backed out for various personal reasons, and they have not asked for any payment for much time and effort on their part getting that far in the process. I am reassured to know where to go for our mortgage advice!

    J Avatar J
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