Back in August I wrote a first time buyer’s guide to choosing a mortgage broker. Within the post I talked about how my friend Chris had used an online mortgage broker called Habito and was really happy with their service. Not only did Habito not charge him a penny, he said they also made the application process effortless, convenient and strees-free.
At the time, I already had a mortgage offer that I’d gotten through my estate agent’s broker, but just weeks after hitting publish, the developers got in touch to say that my flat’s completion date had been pushed back again to mid-October. This was frustrating to hear for two reasons:
1 . I’m desperate to move out of my parents’ house asap
2 . My mortgage offer was set to expire at the end of October!
When I originally made an offer on the flat, I was told it would be completed between June and August. So I took the new completion time with a pinch of salt. It dawned on me that if the completion date was pushed back again and my mortgage deal expired, I’d be left having to panic-apply for a new mortgage deal last minute. If I didn’t get it in time, I could potentially lose my 10% deposit, waste thousands on solicitors’ fees unnecessarily and be left looking for a new home all over again.
So, I decided to get to work and focus on getting a replacement mortgage as soon as possible. The thought of going through the mortgage application process again made me feel a little bit sick but I tried to see the positive side – this was a great opportunity to get an even better mortgage than I already had on the table.
If you’d like to use Habito as your mortgage broker, sign up with my refer a friend link and you’ll earn £100 cash on successful completion of your mortgage. I’ll earn £100 too for recommending them.
Contacting Habito and getting an initial mortgage search
After my friend Chris’ glowing recommendation of Habito, I didn’t really want to carry on using my estate agent’s broker. I gave Habito a call to explain the situation and spoke to a guy called Patrick. I explained that I wanted to do the following:
- Borrow more money than my original lender had offered me (to leave me with more money for furniture etc)
- Fix my mortgage’s interest rate for five years instead of two (interest rates are at an all time low, so it makes sense to lock myself into a good deal for as long as possible)
Patrick had a quick look on his fancy mortgage searching tool and found a couple of deals that fitted my criteria. Equipped with this information, I got in touch with my estate agent’s mortgage broker and explained that another broker had found me a great deal and asked if she’d be able to find me an even better one. Long story short, she was about as useful as a chocolate teapot. So, I dumped her. It felt great.
Creating a Habito account
I created a Habito account online within a matter of minutes and Patrick sent me a list of documents he needed. This list included bank statements, pay slips and proof of deposit.
I think it was pretty obvious how anxious I was about the whole thing because he kept reassuring me that everything would be okay. He explained that we had plenty of time to get a new mortgage and, since my financial circumstances hadn’t changed since I’d gotten my first mortgage offer, it was unlikely my application would be rejected.
Sending over documents and choosing the best mortgage deal
I took photos of the documents and sent them over to Patrick. He got back to me really quickly with an official list of potential lenders and mortgage products. The list highlighted the best deals on offer and calculated the ‘true cost’ of each mortgage. The true cost section works out how much each mortgage deal would cost me over a period of 60 months, taking into account interest rates, monthly repayments, fees and any cashback offers. He recommended which 5 year fixed rate deal he thought was best for me and we decided to proceed with the application.
Delayed agreement in principle (AIP)
Patrick informed me that my agreement in principle had been referred to an underwriter and there’d been a slight delay. Obviously at this point my heart was pounding and I was terrified of losing my 10% deposit and having to rent a grotty spare room in the roughest part of Manchester for the foreseeable future. Again, Patrick reassured me that everything would be fine. He explained that the lender had probably referred my application to an underwriter because I’ve lived at three different addresses over the last three years.
Finally getting my AIP
Two days later I found out that the lender was willing to proceed and offer me an agreement in principle. Patrick explained that the lender had reduced its interest rates slightly and if I was happy to proceed at the new rate, he’d send off the application immediately. Obviously I agreed to this.
Resending my documents
A week later the lender announced that they were unhappy with the photos that I’d taken of my documents and wanted photocopies. This was frustrating to hear at this stage but I used the photocopier at work and sent them over.
Answering the lender’s questions
Habito got in touch to pass on the following questions from the lender:
- Please confirm that you wish to borrow £X amount
- Please confirm the amount you’re putting down as a deposit
- Please provide proof of the large payments paid into your bank account on X dates
- Do the solicitors hold your 10% deposit still?
- How have you accrued your savings?
- Please provide details of ground rent and service charges of the property you’re buying
I answered the questions as best as I could and spent the next few hours anxiously waiting.
An approved application
I finally got the message I’d been waiting for… my application had been approved! I received the offer letter by email immediately and it outlined all the financial details relating to my mortgage offer.
Would I recommend Habito?
If you’re ready to buy your own home and you’d like to make sure you get a good mortgage deal, I’d definitely recommend using Habito as your mortgage broker.
Since I had to resend my documents over a couple of times and the lender had so many questions, the process wasn’t as smooth sailing as I’d hoped, but it was a blessing to be able to deal with it all online rather than having to book time off work or endure lengthy phone calls. As soon as I got an email or message through Habito’s chat function, I could quickly respond as if I was talking to a friend.
The team at Habito were also really helpful and often kept me updated outside of office hours, emailing on Bank Holidays or sending messages through the chat function in the evenings. It was reassuring to know that they were easily contactable and, unlike my last mortgage broker, I was never made to feel like I was bothering them by getting in touch.
If you fancy using Habito as your online mortgage broker, you’ll be glad to know that they won’t charge you a single penny. And, if you sign up using this refer a friend link, you’ll earn £100 cash on successful completion of your mortgage. I’ll get £100 cash too.
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