Mystery Shopper  

Mystery Shopper: Kensington

Knowledge: The adviser had a wealth of knowledge on lending criteria for the shopper’s circumstances, among different lenders, alongside practical examples of how shared ownership had worked well for clients. 5/5

Email/web presence: 5/5

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Verdict, Shopper's choice: 

While the fees were highest of the four, Alex De Silva & Co is perhaps reassuringly expensive. The adviser gave the most comprehensive information for the shopper to consider.

Total score/35:



Adviser: Charles Wade Finance (Independent)

Address: Sydney House, Woodstock Road, W4 1DP

Speed of response: Three rings, adviser answered direct. 12.26pm 5/5

Telephone manner: Professional and to the point. 4/5

Relevant qualifications: Fully qualified IFA 5/5

Payment method: No fee, paid only by commission from lender. 5/5

Guidance given: As one of the starting points, the adviser recommended the shopper to check Santander’s Mortgage Calculator to get an idea from at least one lender. He also gave initial guidance on the ongoing costs of shared ownership the shopper would need to be aware of. 3/5


The adviser had sound knowledge of the lenders whose criteria for shared ownership properties would suit the shopper. He also advised how the Help to Buy Isa could provide a leg-up. 4/5 

Email/web presence: 5/5 

Verdict: The adviser recommended research tools and identified lenders with a strong track record of lending to first-time buyers in shared ownership schemes. The shopper would, however, have liked more information on initiatives for first-time buyers.

Total score/35:



Adviser: DWM Mortgages (Independent)

(Head office of parent company, Lifetime Wealth) 28 Victoria Street, Paignton, Devon, TQ4 5DN

Speed of response: Time of call: 11.46am. Shopper was told the adviser would call back in hour. After 90 minutes elapsed with no call, shopper called again. 3/5

Telephone manner: Professional and courteous. 4/5

Relevant qualifications: CII 5/5

Payment method: No fee for mortgages over £300,000. Below this threshold, fees charged on sliding scale, for example, £295 fee for mortgages between £200,000 and £250,000. 3/5

Guidance given: The adviser explained the borrower should be aware that outstanding student loan and credit card debts could be factored into affordability checks by mortgage lenders. On shared ownership, the adviser said the shopper would have to consider the ground rent, standard rent and service charges, and that this option is dependent on properties available via housing associations. 4/5

Knowledge: The adviser had good knowledge of the deposit level the shopper needed for better mortgage rates and full costs involved in shared ownership. 4/5

Email/web presence: 5/5

Verdict: The adviser provided useful information about costs and ongoing expenses that should be considered. However, extra information on the buying outright option would have been more helpful. 

Total score/35: