Mortgage event boost confidence for first-time buyers

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First-time buyers in Carrickfergus have gained an insight into some of the common pitfalls when applying for a mortgage.

The ‘Get the facts, not fiction’ information session took place at Carrickfergus Rugby Club last Tuesday night.

A range of agencies were on hand for the event, including solicitors, members of the co-ownership housing association, representatives from local banks and estate agents and independent financial advisors.

Over 50 local people attended, the majority couples who were first time buyers, said organiser Mark Hoban.

“I asked each couple - not all partners, as some were parents with their son or daughter - if they felt the event was useful,” added Mark, a mortgage and protection advisor. “One father said he had been helping his daughter get her first home and found trying to get information on the web site both confusing and contradictory.”

With lack of preparation a common reason mortgages are refused, the event aimed to highlight the various stages of the application process, as well as providing information for homeowners trapped with negative equity.

“First time buyers did not realize how detailed the process was: engaging with an estate agent, making offers, paying for surveyors, spending many hours with a bank advisor or independent advisor to assess affordability, engaging with a solicitor and having to pay for stamp duty, land register fees, or searches,” Mark added. “Many said the evening saved weeks of booking individual appointments just to get information, [and] that they now feel more confident to question professionals as opposed to just accepting everything that is offered to them.”

Meanwhile, Mark also hopes to bring an education programme on financial responsibility to local schools next year.