Mortgage Broker in Chester le Street

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In this episode of the Mortgage and Protection podcast we meet Ian Middlemass from Pia Financial Solutions based in Chester-le-Street, who talks us through the role of a mortgage broker.

What exactly is the role of a mortgage broker?

Ultimately the job of a mortgage broker is to save you time, effort and money in finding and comparing financial products. We look at what will best fit your needs and circumstances. 

As you can imagine, there are hundreds of lenders out there, all offering mortgages. A mortgage broker saves you the effort of running up and down the high street going to every bank. 

Each lender has different levels of criteria and borrowing limits. We know them all and will be able to match you up with a lender that will be able to provide a suitable deal. 

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

One of the main advantages of working with a broker is that we get exclusive deals. Lenders recognise that mortgage brokers deliver most of their business – around 70%. 

In the old days a person would walk into a bank and see their bank manager, but today most mortgages are arranged online through a broker. 

Halifax, for instance, will give me as a broker a better rate than you would get direct. We  also look at the whole picture. When we sit down with you, we do a full fact find so that we can research the options across fifty lenders. If you go to a high street bank, they might only have one or two products to offer you. 

Imagine sitting in the bank for an hour’s appointment, only to fail a credit check or the lending criteria. Then going to the next bank and spending like another hour the same way. Instead, we do all that background work for you and provide a tailor-made service. 

What services does a mortgage broker offer?

We support your journey from start to finish. For a first time buyer, for example, we’ll start by looking at how much they can borrow to set their budget. Once they find a property, we will liaise with the estate agent to provide the Decision in Principle. We’ll make sure they pass the credit check, check the valuation is done promptly and liaise with solicitors to keep the process moving. 

It’s a full, tailored service right up until you collect the keys to the new house. Then at that point it’s really important that you keep that house – so we look at certain protection products such as life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection if you’re unable to work.

When should I see a broker? At which stage in the process? 

Talk to us right from the start. You need to get an idea of how much you can borrow based on your circumstances – everyone is different. We’ll work with you to see how much you can afford to pay each month and how much deposit you will require. 

We will give you advice on whether it’s best to save up more money or if you can get help from your parents etc. The worst thing you could do is view a home that you totally love, but when you speak to your mortgage broker you find that you won’t be able to get a mortgage to buy it. 

You’re based in Chester-le-Street, but can you help people elsewhere in the country?

We have clients from all over – from Scotland down to London. One thing that has changed a lot is everyone’s confidence with technology, especially the likes of Zoom and Teams which make it much easier to meet up. 

It doesn’t have to be face to face, you can share documents on the screen. So it doesn’t matter where you are based, we can help.

Why is Chester-le-Street a popular location to live in and buy property?

I’m probably biased, because I’ve lived here all my life. But house prices are still generally cheaper than anywhere in the rest of the country – plus it’s a great part of the country to live in. Chester-le-Street is a small town but it’s well connected. By train you’re five minutes from Durham, eleven minutes from Newcastle and it’s just a 25 minute drive to the beach. So we’ve got everything!

Tell us about Pia Financial Services at Chester-le-Street

Pia has been running for more than 10 years, and I’ve been with the company for six of those. The head office in Chester-le-Street has been here for five years now – previously it was based in Sunderland. We moved to bigger premises as the company’s gone from strength to strength. We now have brokers nationwide, with more than 50 advisers within the company.

I’ve been happily advising for close to 15 years now and Pia is a great place to work.

What does it cost to work with Pia Financial Solutions?

There’s no cost at all for an initial consultation, where we will look at your circumstances and your options. There may be a fee payable at the point of application depending on your needs, but your adviser will tell you all the details at the first meeting. 

Buying a house is the biggest financial commitment that you’re ever going to make – so it really helps to get professional advice and support at every step.

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

Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up with your mortgage repayments. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate some Buy to Let Mortgages.

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