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We’ve been homeowners now for almost five years.
When we moved back to the UK from Australia in 2012 we promptly set about finding a place for our new little family to live. We bought during the post-crash property market and we’ve enjoyed rock bottom interest rate since we bought; I think we are the lucky generation of home owners.
Rather than fixing our payments, we’ve been riding the wave of low interest rates via a tracker mortgage all this time. We paid 1.99% over the base rate initially and re-mortgaged to another tracker at 1.79% over base which subsequently went down to 1.54% when the interest rate went down. We like it because unlike fixed mortgages, which often have caps on overpayments, we can pay as much extra into the tracker as we want to, helping us pay down our mortgage quicker.
But time is up. I want to move on to a fixed deal ahead of the interest rate rise which I don’t think is too far away.
I’m going to be using Habito to arrange our re-mortgage. Habito is a digital mortgage broker; they deal with first-time buyers, people who are moving, remortgaging, or simply those taking back control of their finances.
I never knew a digital mortgage broker existed! I confess to not using a broker when we first bought this house because I mistakenly thought that there would be a cost to us. But brokers get their commission from the mortgage lenders not from the homeowner. The older and wiser me knows it is a great idea to get a broker’s advice on what offers are out there and where to get the best deal. They have sight of a far larger range of mortgage providers than the comparison websites – which was what I used to do my research 5 years ago!
Habito has access to over 10,000 mortgage products from over 70 lenders and is able to analyse the market in a matter of seconds. I wonder whether I would have used a different lender if Habito had existed five years ago…
Fight mortgage stagnation!
Are you someone who has come to the end of your mortgage’s fixed rate and you’re now on your lenders’ standard variable rate? Are you paying your mortgage provider’s ‘loyalty penalty’ for your inaction? Or now you are a homeowner, is monitoring your mortgage costs firmly in to the ‘too hard’ basket because its requires either making an appointment which needs to be fitted in an already jam-packed schedule, or compiling lots of paperwork?
This mortgage stagnation could be costing you hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds per year and I’m hoping that the ease of using a digital mortgage broker could make finding a cheaper alternative easy for you.
You could be missing out on the historically low deals currently available. HSBC recently found those on their lender’s standard variable rate could find themselves overpaying by more than £340 a month, compared to switching to a fixed-rate deal. A £300,000 loan on an average 3.74% SVR costs £1,541 a month, compared to £1,150 on a two-year fix at 1.14%.
How does Habito work?
If you are a regular reader you will know that I am embracing technology which makes life easier. Whilst the Habito product isn’t available from an app yet, you can access from any connected device – smartphone, tablet, laptop etc – 24 hours a day. I have been using it easily from my smartphone.
When you sign up, initially, you’ll have a simple ‘virtual’ conversation with a digital mortgage adviser – a chatbot. Based on your answers, over 10,000 products from over 70 different lenders are scanned by the unique Habito technology to find you the best product for your individual circumstances.
Once you’ve gone through this initial screening and identified the right mortgage product for you, at this point you are directed to a human mortgage expert. Their team of mortgage experts work around your schedule, and are available for live online chats and phone calls on weekends and evenings. If you decide to proceed, your mortgage adviser can take care of your entire mortgage application from this point to its conclusion. If you prefer, you can alternatively do the entire application without an ‘human’ input!
How much does it cost?
The service is completely free to you; the commission that Habito makes is paid by the lender who you take your mortgage out with. You will always be told exactly what the broker is getting paid at the point of your application.
Disruption in the mortgage industry
Disruption is happening all around us as the world of digitisation progresses and with it comes opportunity for all of us. The challenger banks are gaining ground with the public at large but the same level of disruption isn’t as obvious in the mortgage industry yet. There is no other service like Habito in the mortgage market currently.
I think Habito’s model of mortgage broking offers a fantastic solution for time poor people who want to get the best deal on their mortgage. Talking to humans to get things done is going to be a thing of the past. Have a look at Habito here with no obligation and find out if you could save yourself significant amounts on your mortgage repayments each month. If you successfully complete a mortgage via this link you will receive £100 cash – I’d love to hear in the comments how you find the experience. I’ll be letting you know how I get on with our re-mortgage in a later post.
This Habito review post has been written in collaboration with Habito.