Published: 29/06/2021Practice what you preach. It’s good advice but not everyone abides by it, including mortgage brokers. Some may perhaps have the odd dalliance with a buy to let and their own home, but that’s it. Jean-Pierre however, spent 10 years at the coal face as an Estate Agent in London, whilst developing and investing in his own property projects. Undeniably this gives him an edge; he’s worn the now threadbare t-shirt and can relate to his clients anxieties or concerns. Often acting as a confidante, he guides them on the pitfalls and advantages of each offering to maximise the benefits of their lending, as they traverse the property ladder.
So what made you give up agency to become a broker?
“Well, before I did that, I opened a burger bar in Bicester.”
As you do!?! I have to ask, why?
“I worked in Mcdonalds when I was 16 so I always thought I’d end up back here, flipping burgers.” he jokes.
No, but seriously, why?
“There weren't any joints around here at the time and I fancied a change of lifestyle.”
Really? So what happened?
“I didn’t like the smell.” We are conducting this interview on the phone but even I can tell he’s grinning from cheek to cheek. You get the sense Jeanpierre enjoys life and doesn’t believe in sweating the small stuff.
“The real reason is I qualified for my ceMAP before moving up but we just had our son so I put things on hold as I fancied a change. When returning to the fray I decided that brokering would enable me greater flexibility for our family. Plus people like mortgage advisors, as an Estate Agent I always had to overcome the inherent distrust. ”
So 10 years in as a broker, what have you noticed in the past few months. There has been lots of headlines about 95% mortgages, have you seen a dramatic uptake in these?
“Not really, the thing is the interest rate on them is still pretty high at the moment. As time goes on these will reduce but for now your repayments are sizable. I suspect they are keeping them high at present so the market isn’t further inundated”
In London during the Pandemic and with the news of corporation tax increases in 2023, the media speculated that landlords wouldn’t be buying any new stock, have you noticed this?
“No. I have plenty of clients who are still buying buy-to-lets during and post lockdown. There is always opportunity to be found.”
For anyone looking who doesn’t think they can get a mortgage or knows the process, what would you say to them.
“Don’t assume a bad credit history means no mortgage - there is literally a mortgage for everyone, so don't despair. It is even possible to get a mortgage if you're bankrupt. (it's not cheap mind you!) The initial process takes 10 minutes and costs you nothing. I can have a Decision in Principle to you the very same day.”
Is there anything you would suggest buyers don’t do?
“Don’t bother looking at any property till you have a Decision in Principle. It’s a waste of everyone's time if you can’t afford the property.
Also, don’t base your lending power on Compare the Market - price comparison sites are great for getting an idea of what is out there but they are far from the complete picture and their affordability calculators are notoriously optimistic in order to get the business. There are many factors that will affect a mortgage and most are not taken into account by Meerkats.
Importantly, make sure you compare the whole market - I have access to over 90 lenders. All the high street brands and loads of banks most people have never heard of. Many of them only work with brokers and so they don't advertise on price comparison sites. So, even if you've banked with Nationwide for 20 years and think you will get a great deal if you stick with them for your mortgage and some Meerkats agree, it really can pay to check there isn't something better out there...saving £100 a month over a 5 year fixed rate deal adds up to £6,000! And it's free to ask me to check.”
If you are looking at remortgaging or financing a build, Jeanpierre won’t just provide you with quotes and offers but a steady, and humorous, hand to steer you clear on your borrowing journey.