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Best mortgage provider if you want a smooth transaction?

(23 Posts)
ecuse Fri 07-Dec-12 11:57:35

We've just had our third (yes! third!) prospective property purchase fall through. Thus far I've been using HSBC because my current mortgage is with them and they're offering me a good rate to port it across when we move.

However I've been a bit peeved with Countrywide and have heard plenty of horror stories from MN and from estate agents and my solicitor about how universally loathed Countrywide are and how frequently they manage to screw up purchases. I should say they haven't been excessively bad for us so far, but they have been dragging their feet a bit. None of the deals that fell through were directly related to their incompetence.

But we've had such bad experiences I don't want anything to jeopardise any further sale. Seriously, after 3 abortive attempts the next one has to work!

So: who would wise MNers recommend for exceptional service, smooth transaction, responsiveness etc? Has anyone got any good stories of efficient mortgage providers to tell? If so, please impart!

lalalonglegs Fri 07-Dec-12 12:47:06

The best way to find out is to use a mortgage broker. They can tell you if the deal you are getting from HSBC can be matched or beaten and give you efficiency times for different lenders (I've variously heard that Clydesdale and Woolwich are very bad). If you use a broker, they will also be good at getting in touch with lenders should things slow down/can keep you up-to-date with progress etc.

Three houses fall through! That's unlucky.

KazzaRazza Fri 07-Dec-12 13:50:50

Agree with Lala, use a broker.

Countryside are notoriously bad (won't bore you with my experience of them but safe to say the Chief Exec will be getting a HUGE complaint letter from me once my sale goes through).

At the moment all lenders are dragging their heels with mortgage applications (some more so than others). HSBC are the only lender who insist on your using their panel Solicitor for a purchase. All the other lenders allow you to choose (the firm just needs to be on their panel and most lenders have substantial panels of Solicitors).

Mrsladybirdface Fri 07-Dec-12 14:06:19

We've used first direct (a part of but separate to hsbc) they've been amazing! We are exchanging next week (touch wood) and all done and dusted in 6 weeks. We could use our own solicitor and we had our mortgage offer within two weeks including valuation.

wendybird77 Fri 07-Dec-12 14:09:10

We used Abbey through a broker. The broker had access to a better rate and Abbey were excellent and we had the mortgage offer within days of submitting the application.

middleagedspread Fri 07-Dec-12 15:15:31

We've had endless problems with Countrywide, appointed by HSBC. I would never use them again, ever.
However (from 1st August) I think HSBC changed their rules & you have to use a firm from their approved list, which many more conveyancing firms are on.
I read that HSBC are offering a 1% mortgage at the moment, although I bet with a hefty fee. It would definitely be worth approaching them.

LittleMilla Fri 07-Dec-12 19:10:40

I also had a good run with First Direct - just make sure you find a decent solicitor that isn't Countrywide and you should be fine. They were pretty good throughout.

nocake Fri 07-Dec-12 21:39:00

Our mortgage with First Direct was a piece of cake to set up and we got a deal the estate agent's broker couldn't believe, it was that good. These days banks offer their best deals to people going direct so brokers no longer have the best deals if you're prepared to do your own shopping around.

PPPop Fri 07-Dec-12 22:03:41

We are with first direct. I think they are fab.

Fuchzia Fri 07-Dec-12 22:06:51

Not Nationwide from bitter experience. They don't appear to have computers.

Tigresswoods Fri 07-Dec-12 22:08:26

Just use a mortgage adviser, they'll look at he whole market & find the right deal for you.

MrsMoles Fri 07-Dec-12 22:34:43

We used First Direct originally too. They were brilliant. Really quick and kept us updated throughout the whole process, which really helped with the FTB nerves! Honestly can't speak highly enough of them.

Unfortunately our vendor took FOREVER (just over 4 months) to find a property to buy and then we had to wait for the rest of the chain to end too. The offer we had booked with First Direct was pretty much expired and unfortunately the deals they were offering had changed.

So we had another look around the market and chose to try again with Brittania / The Co-Op. Theyv'e been ok, they said yes - which was obviously good! - and their rates were very slightly better than the original one we had with FD; but the process was quite a lot longer and definitely more disorganised.

Still waiting on the house to go through though.......... and waiting.......

Zavi Sat 08-Dec-12 01:14:48

If you can hang on to HSBCs rates then do so, they can be vey competitive. Failing that, Halifax will pretty much approve anyone with a regular income. They are known for that. That are much more flexible.

notcitrus Sat 08-Dec-12 02:36:31

Natwest have just been perfectly competent for us, better rates than HSBC.

AwkwardElfSquad Sat 08-Dec-12 07:27:31

We used Nationwide. Smooth, fast (we were moved and in, in about five weeks) and kept us updated. But we also had a good solicitor and a motivated seller!

crazyhead Sat 08-Dec-12 08:08:23

We just did a very smooth remortgage with Coventry.
A purchase with HSBC with smooth but very slow by comparison
Ours vendors used First Direct who were fast.
Brokers are probably ideal though - and often free for you, so why not?

financialwizard Mon 10-Dec-12 22:23:41

Barclays (Woolwich) were good for us. I wouldn't touch HSBC with a barge pole. Tesco have good rates at the moment. Nationwide can be slow to turn around.

The trouble you are going to have is that different lenders have different criteria's and whilst I can sit here and say Barclays were good for us, they may well not be for you because your circumstances may be completely different to mine, which may alter the way your application is dealt with.

Personally I would go to a broker.

AKissIsNotAContract Mon 10-Dec-12 22:26:55

Countrywide wouldn't even consider us for a mortgage. We went through a broker and got a mortgage with Coventry.

ClareMarriott Tue 11-Dec-12 19:54:09

It may be boring but what I would suggest is that you make sure you read the small print before taking out a mortgage. When I was checking out who to go with I read Chelsea B Soc's and in their spiel they said that if they became a mutual then any windfall due would go to charity !!! I eventually went with the Brittania as they were not beholden to shareholders and operated a sort of cash back thing that kicked in after the first couple of years but that may have changed since the Co Op took them over.

YouCanBe Tue 11-Dec-12 20:09:20

First Direct have been great for us too. And DH is self employed so we are more complex than other people I guess.

FiveFestiveFlowers Tue 11-Dec-12 20:13:52

Another fan of Coventry BS here. Depends on so many factors though - the person who arranged my mortgage was super efficient and stayed in contact throughout the process, helping to make everything run very smoothly.

MrsPnut Tue 11-Dec-12 20:18:30

We used bank of ireland which at the time were offering mortgages as the Post office. They were really quick and efficient, we had a dedicated person to call if we needed to and the lifetime rate we got was really low.

chipsandpeas Tue 11-Dec-12 20:20:11

i went with nationwide, very smooth and quick (altho im in scotland and didnt need a further survey so that helped speed things up a bit)

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