Why Online Mortgage Companies Are Better For Everyone
I don’t know about you but mortgages have always flummoxed me. Before I had one, I had no idea how to get one and once I got one, I had not idea what to do next. I consider myself incredibly lucky to be able to get a mortgage, especially in London, but it wasn’t just luck that made it possible. Online mortgage brokers, such as Habito, are popping up all over the place and they’re becoming increasingly successful for one reason: they’re making mortgages easy.
Habito is levelling the playing field when it comes to managing mortgages. The financial industry is dominated by men and suffers from a dated, dusty reputation. Think of a mortgage broker and you think of a middle aged man, wearing a suit in an office where house plants go to die. In contrast, Habito is accessible, sexy and it doesn’t discriminate when it comes to gender: their brokers don’t ask if they should wait for your husband to turn up.
Our mortgage was up for renewal in January of this year and we genuinely had no idea what to do. Does that make us sound stupid? Probably. We’re made acutely aware of our failings when it comes to adulting, on a daily basis. I’d noticed Habito popping up on my Instagram feed so decided to look it up - to be clear, at this point there was no paid partnership deal on the table. I’d simply been ‘influenced’ by social media to try something I happened to need at that time. Despite that, sorting out my mortgage from the comfort of my own home, with a glass of wine in hand, at a time of the day convenient to me (in the evening when the kids had gone to bed) seemed like a service that was too good to be true. Surely, it wasn’t possible to conquer this behemoth of life admin with just a few clicks of my mouse?
Well, as it turns out, it was. Customer service from our mortgage expert Raj and case manager Samreen was exceptional, thoughtful, empathetic and not once did they laugh at me when I asked a stupid questions like, “Will I get kicked off my mortgage because I earned less this year than last year?” (Answer: no) and “What if we decide to move house before the term is up?” (Answer: it depends on your product). I chatted away happily to Raj using their online chat room service and not once did he make me feel clueless, even though I was pretty much in the dark. Once I’d got my financial paperwork together, the whole thing took a couple of hours and that was mostly because Jimmy and I couldn’t decide what deal to go for. Habito handled everything and it was so easy, I almost expected it to be a scam. It wasn’t.
After much deliberation we decided to remortgage with our current provider for 2 years with a fixed deal. Annoyingly, our mortgage is up for renewal at the end of January which, incidentally, is exactly when our tax accounts are due. Of course, if we weren’t total idiots and rubbish at adulting, we’d have our accounts done and dusted so that we were ready to refinance. That obviously wasn’t the case so after some long nights buried in receipts we found ourselves remortgaging with zero wriggle room. For this reason, it was always going to be quicker to stay with our current provider and it was fortunate they they offered the most competitive deal but it was a lesson: get your finances in order to give you the time you need to make the best decision. Switching providers takes time and during that time, we would have defaulted to a much more expensive variable rate.
Also, as we are both freelancers, it makes our life much easier if we know exactly how much we need to find every month so we always take fixed deals. In an ideal world we wanted to take the 5 year deal but it was significantly more expensive than the two year deal (I can only imagine that the uncertainty surrounding Brexit is affecting long term fixed-rate interest deals in general) and we had been talking about the possibility of leaving London anyway so, two years it was. It’s annoying that we (read: I) have to go through the process just two years from now (although thank god for Habito) but it means that we do have more flexibility and, if we’re more organised with our own tax returns, we may be able to strike an even better deal with another provider. A two-year deal gives us a focus when it comes to making big life decisions as well - assessing where we are and what we want to do with our lives is something we do every couple of years anyway. If we needed to release some money or borrow more to follow dreams or change direction, two years times is a good time to talk about it.
Habito is a free service offering first time buyers, those renewing their mortgage, or those wanting to release equity a service that takes the stress out of managing your property finances and I cannot recommend it enough. There’s no doubt that they are working for you and they spend time making sure you make the right decision. Habito are proving everyday that mortgages don’t have to be soul-destroying, eye-wateringly boring or hard work. With some thought and attention to detail, you can manage your mortgage, get the most out of it and almost enjoy doing it.
This article was a paid partnership with Habito