Questions to ask a Mortgage Broker

With the Irish Property Market entering a new phase it will be vital, if you are in the market already or planning to enter it, that you have a few key professionals on side. The people you will ideally work with are a Solicitor, a Broker, and an Estate Agent. In order to separate the wheat from the chaff you should be armed with a few questions. I have to warn you, some of the questions I’m posing here may be interpreted as being ‘rude’ but there are good reasons for asking them and you should mention the reasons you ask if any of the professionals you are speaking to seem to get offended. The best defence in the current market is a good team.

I’ll start with questions to ask a Mortgage Broker because this is the one I know the most about! Over half of the mortgages done in the Irish property market are placed by brokers, and while there are those who are extremely savvy in the area of finance and who don’t need a broker, there …

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Lose your collusion… Irish Banks show just how little they care.

As George Bush once said ‘Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice…shame…well you’re not gonna fool me twice’. Banks however have done this and so much more in the last few weeks that how it’s not front page news has me flabbergasted! Are the Irish public meant to really believe the picture we are seeing unfold? Apparently so…..

Let’s look at the picture so far and put it in a time-line, then we can look at that time-line and try to discern if it was sheer co-incidence or opportunism that has lead to the moves in the market.

Tuesday 4th December: Ulsterbank cut brokers income by 50%, no explanation, and done by email. It would be laughable if it were not so serious.

Tuesday 11th December: PermanentTSB announce brokers income will be cut, to be fair they gave a lot of warning, because of the size of PTsb this action kicked off an industrial dispute, nobody cared about ulsterbank but PTsb was a market giant.

Then came the waiting game, to see what the result of the industrial …

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Ulsterbank and First Active pinch on the back of RBOS woes.

This week Ulsterbank again made news in announcing that they were ‘leaving the broker market’ as of the end of May 2008. From the perspective of this brokerage you ‘can’t leave something you didn’t have’, Ulster had less than 5% share of the market and they never really secured a product/service offering that gave them significant inroads into the broker arena, for that reason, getting out of a channel they would never be able to operate in successfully is a wise decision.

In a statement they mentioned that they will instead focus on their existing client bank, what that means is that if you hold an Ulsterbank Account you can expect a phone call some time soon inviting you for a ‘financial review’ or something along those lines, while it is an excellent idea to review your finances always be aware that direct product producers such as Ulsterbank are not obliged to let you see what is available on the wider market, in fact, their advisors need only offer whatever limited options the bank create. Its like having a sweet-tooth …

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