Mortgages  

Mystery shopper: The Maidstone area

This week the mystery shopper visits the Maidstone area. He is seeking mortgage advice on behalf of his mother who plans to move home and rent out her existing property. She is 50 years old, in employment, has savings and holds a residential mortgage on her existing property.

Adviser (Independent):

Invicta Independent Financial Advisers Limited

Article continues after advert

Invicta, Falcon Court, 73 College Road, Kent, ME15 6TF

Speed of response: Time of call: 2.50pm. The call was answered after two rings. 5/5

Telephone manner:

Friendly and thorough. 4/5

Relevant qualifications:

Mortgage adviser (CeMap). 5/5

Payment method:

£600 for traditional home purchases. The adviser said that she would offer a discount if she was tasked to secure two mortgages. 5/5

Guidance given:

The adviser was comprehensive in her guidance. She said the shopper’s mother should establish whether her existing mortgage lender would consider “consent to let” requests. The adviser suggested consulting with an estate agent to determine the likely monthly rental income the property should command as well its sale value. 4/5

Knowledge:

The adviser was demonstrably well versed in her field. She gave a brief overview of the regulatory changes to the buy-to-let marketplace, including the hike in stamp duty. 4/5

Email/web presence:

laura.atkins@invictaifa.co.uk

www.invictaifa.co.uk 5/5

Verdict:

The adviser delivered notably detailed and helpful guidance. The shopper was impressed.

32/35

Adviser (Independent):

Financial Advice & Services Limited

5 Tolherst Court East, Turkey Mill, Ashford Road, Maidstone, ME14 5SF

Speed of response: Time of call: 3.07pm. The call was answered after two rings. 5/5

Telephone manner:

Courteous and helpful. 5/5

Relevant qualifications:

Mortgage adviser (CeMap). 5/5

Payment method:

Minimum fee of £1,250. The adviser said the chosen provider would cover a percentage of the fee through commission.

5/5

Guidance given:

The adviser kicked off the conversation by asking the value of the shopper’s mother’s existing property, how much she aims to spend on a new property, whether she was in employment and her age. On the latter, the adviser explained that the majority of providers are willing to lend up to age 70. Taking out a let-to-buy mortgage could be an ideal solution for the shopper’s mother, he mused, adding he would not know for sure until he had a greater discussion with the shopper’s mother. 5/5

Knowledge:

Very good – the adviser was particularly detailed in his explanation of let-to-buy. 5/5

Email/web presence:

davidhiggins:financial-advice.co.uk

www.financial-advice.co.uk 5/5

Verdict:

A strong performance from the adviser. The shopper was more than satisfied with the guidance he received.

35/35

Adviser (Independent):

The Metcalf IFA Consultancy

Regus, 26 Kings Hill Avenue, Kings Hill, Kent, ME19 4AE

Speed of response: Time of call: 3.16pm. The call was answered after two rings. 5/5

Telephone manner:

Friendly. 5/5

Relevant qualifications:

Chartered financial planner. 5/5

Payment method:

Unspecified hourly rate or fixed fee. 4/5

Guidance given:

The adviser explained the firm outsourced mortgage brokerage to another company, but it helped clients by having a wider conversation to identify solutions to meet their needs. He asked if the shopper’s mother was in employment and her age, adding many lenders would seek repayment in full once the borrower reaches age 65. 3/5