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Table of Contents
Adam Nunn introduces Limetree Financial Services and talks us through the services offered by a mortgage broker.
When was Limetree founded?
Limetree was founded in the early 2000s. We’ve always provided mortgage and protection advice and have built a really good reputation for our personal, honest advice and customer focused service.
We help each client from the first initial conversation through to the completion of their mortgage and beyond – it could be a purchase or remortgage. Then each year we’ll catch up with you on your current protection and mortgage needs.
How long have you been in your role?
I joined the financial services sector straight from college in 2012 so I’ve been in the industry now for 10 years. I came to Limetree in 2016, initially as a trainee and now I’m a senior mortgage and protection adviser.
What is the role of a mortgage broker?
We work with you to understand your needs and objectives. We access a very comprehensive range of products and mortgage lenders, which means we can give you fair and honest advice. We make suitable recommendations based on your specific circumstances and requirements. We also help you understand what you need and why.
At Limetree we’re all highly experienced advisors that deal with all types of clients and circumstances. You might be a First Time Buyer, interested in accessing one of the government’s property schemes, or a property investor looking for advice on Buy to Let properties, Limited Company properties or holiday lets. Or you might have complex income requirements – you’re self-employed, are a student receiving a stipend or are in a contracting role. We’re here to review the whole market and what’s available to you.
What’s the difference between going to a mortgage broker like Limetree versus your local high street bank?
A broker is there to build a long-term, personal relationship with you. We get to understand you and work with your best interests at heart to find and recommend the most suitable mortgages and protection products. We’ll review your needs regularly to make sure that the products you have in place are suitable and adequate.
Every lender or insurance provider has its own set of criteria. So with a broker, you can be sure that they have explored the options with a multitude of providers to find something that best meets your needs and circumstances.
If you go direct to a bank you will only have access to their criteria and products – you’re limited to what they can offer you – including insurance. Banks are often tied to a single provider.
You might even find that the bank you approach won’t lend to you. A broker will quickly eliminate those that won’t accept you. In Cambridge particularly, the big question is how much you can afford to borrow, and no two lenders have the same affordability calculator – there’s huge disparity in how much you can borrow.
There’s also a big difference in the level of service between a bank and a broker. With us, you’ll speak to the same advisor each time and build up a relationship. In a bank they will just arrange the mortgage, they won’t talk to estate agents or solicitors for you or spend time discussing the property you want to buy. These are all additional services that we offer.
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What services does a mortgage broker offer?
Every brokerage will have a slightly different service level for you. At Limetree, we want to give you a helping hand right from the start and through to the end. You’ll receive mortgage and protection advice, and we will also recommend solicitors and surveyors. We even have a will writing service as part of the package.
The advisor and admin team will substantiate your offer on a property with an estate agent, getting a Mortgage in Principle via a credit check with a lender. We will provide that – and often we just speak to the agent. They know us and trust us and so they are happy to verify you as a buyer to the seller.
From an admin point of view our team is on hand to chase up the lender and update you, chase solicitors if things are slow and talk to insurance providers.
When should I see a mortgage broker? At what stage in the mortgage application process?
The sooner the better, especially if you want to make use of all our services. You might not even be ready to buy yet, but we’ll be happy to talk you through.
We start with a fact find to understand your situation and your property plans. We then start to gather proof of income, deposit and credit report to check there’s nothing in the background that will affect your mortgage chances. Then, you’ll know exactly how much you can borrow and where you are in terms of buying a home.
You’re based in Cambridge but can you help me if I live elsewhere?
One of the positives that has come out of the past two years is Microsoft Teams and Zoom – before that it felt like we could only work with people face to face or over the phone.
Now, we can help anyone anywhere in the country. New technologies like electronic verification of ID mean there are no barriers at all.
Why is Cambridge a popular location to live in and buy property?
It’s a lovely place – and people love what’s in and around the town. There’s lots of innovation in the area. We’ve got the science park, the universities and lots of software and technology jobs.
If you’re an investor there’s good potential for rentals – people relocating, students needing accommodation and lots of avenues for both residential homes and investments.
Does it cost for an initial consultation?
No, the initial meeting is always at our expense. It’s a time for us to get to know you and to show you how we can help you. You’ll be able to decide in that meeting whether we are the company for you.
Our service is very comprehensive, and we do have a fee structure. In the initial meeting we discuss how that works and later down the line, if you decide to use us as your broker a fee is payable once you’re ready to make a mortgage application.
Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debt secured on it