How did the Your Perfect Financial Solution come about?
I have been a mortgage advisor for 17 years, I started my career at the Halifax where I worked for 10 years, I have also worked in Estate agents and at the post office. I decided to go self-employed when I was made redundant and this led me to Your Perfect Financial Solution.
What makes Your Perfect Financial Solution unique?
I work with four other self-employed ladies who really care about our client’s. We all work extremely hard to deliver an amazing service and the best possible outcome for all of our clients. I have previously worked in an extremely competitive and cut-throat environment so to now be working with people I can honestly say are supportive and likeminded is like a breath of fresh air. Life is too short to not love what you do and the environment you work in.
We are all extremely experienced in helping clients through difficult circumstances including divorce, it is something that we deal with on a daily basis.
Are you able to work with anyone across the UK?
Yes I have learnt through lockdown that the power of Zoom is amazing, although it isn’t quite the same as being face to face it is the next best thing. We now live in a world where technology makes anything possible, documents if required can be scanned and emailed instantly.
Do you have people coming to you who are scared or feel intimidated by the whole process – how do you help them?
Yes definitely, obtaining a mortgage can seem very daunting, especially if you are applying for the first time or if you are going through a divorce and already feeling vulnerable. People often worry that they cannot get a mortgage for various reasons, affordability or maybe previous adverse credit. I always explain that I am whole of market and search all lenders so they are in the best possible place to get a mortgage. I’m also aware that I need to put my clients at ease by explaining in a non-jargon way so that they understand the process. I’m an approachable person, taking the time to get to know my clients and their needs. I like to make them comfortable and at ease and will always keep in touch every step of the way.
Is there still time for people to take advantage of the reduction in stamp duty? What are the rules?
I am currently pre-waring my clients that I will do everything I can however, they need to be mindful it is not guaranteed their mortgage will be through in time, conveyancers are already warning us of this. It is only fair we are completely transparent and honest with our clients. I think conveyancers are currently snowed under with the flood of buyers due to the stamp duty relief. I also think things are slower with lenders due to the pandemic, people working from home and the back logs they have.
You are eligible whether you are a first time buyer or if you have previously owned a property and you will only pay stamp duty on the property above £500,000.
How are you able to assist someone getting divorced?
There may be a couple of scenarios – buying a completely new home – with a couple selling the family home and buying two from the proceeds or one half of the couple buying the other one out?
The first thing I do with every client is take the time to understand the full situation and their future aspirations as It helps me to know the full picture when I am giving them advice. Whatever the client’s situation is I can look at their affordability across the whole market of lenders, some lenders lend more than others in certain situations. Depending on the clients’ situation, as everyone’s circumstances are different, I can find them the lender that best suits their needs and circumstances. Every lender has different criteria therefore what doesn’t fit with one lender may fit with anther. An example of this might be for self-employed clients i.e. some lenders need two to three years income, some are quite happy to accept one years’ income.
I analyse my clients needs and circumstances and I then analyse the lenders to find them the best fit, I also take the hassle out of the whole process as I am there to chase the lender/solicitor all the way through to completion for every client.
Are you able to pick-up with something which really isn’t right for a client?
Do you sometimes advise that someone is taking on too much?
Yes, what I look at when I am talking through expenditure are not only the normal bills, loans, childcare etc but what do you enjoy doing? Whether it be holidays, nights out, take-aways or days out in the country, I look at how much they spend and I always advise my clients to make sure that they can still do the things they love. Owning your own home is an amazing achievement, however you still need to be able to enjoy life.
Do you have a success story for us?
Or a great review?
Yes here is some feedback from a client I have now helped twice. I originally helped them get their foot on the property ladder and I have recently helped them borrow extra funds to extend and convert the loft as they now have a gorgeous baby girl and need more space.
Buying a house is stressful enough, especially if you have to go through the mortgage process by yourself. Thankfully, we had Emma of Your Perfect Financial Solution acting for us which took all the hardship out of applying for a mortgage for us. She is excellent to work with, always keen to push for the best deal and takes on the brunt of the work so you only need to do the essentials. I highly recommend her – thanks again, Emma”
Do you ever have to deal with people who are really upset and going through divorce or bereavement and forced to change their mortgage or downsize?
How do you help them to cope?
Absolutely, I have dealt with clients who are going through a divorce and have felt comfortable enough to open up to me in an appointment. I am an extremely empathetic and approachable person. Sometimes people just need someone to talk to especially in a situation like going through a divorce. I also help them cope by keeping them in the loop and being there to answer any questions, I will keep in touch with any third parties and take the burden away from them where I can. One of the most important attributes I have is that I am discreet and anything the customer divulges will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Is equity release becoming more popular?
What do people generally use that for?
I would say yes, I have had parents or grandparents wanting to take money to gift for a deposit for a house, I have also done one recently for parents wanting to gift to their son to help him through a divorce so that he does not lose the house and can afford to buy his ex-partner out.
Do you find that many people don’t remember to change their will after divorce?
Why is it so important?
A will is always on my agenda to discuss with client’s, it sets out what you want to happen to your estate when you die. It is extremely important to keep it up to date so that your estate which you have worked hard for goes to the right people. If you have children, it is really important as you can have your wishes for your children written in there i.e. who you would want to look after them if you are not around to.
How can unmarried couples protect each other financially?
- Have any life insurance written in trust so that the money is paid out to the right person and not next of kin.
- If you are cohabiting have a cohabitation agreement drawn up by a solicitor.
- If you buy a house and one person puts down more deposit let your conveyancer protect your funds by drawing up a legal document.
- As their mortgage broker a can point the client in the right direction with any of these matters.
What other financial matters/products should someone look at or consider after divorce?
I would advise looking at any protection you have, your Will and any trusts you have set up as well as any joint bank/savings accounts.
A full financial review is always a good idea after a divorce to ensure you have everything in order.
And after bereavement, what should someone consider?
I would say as above
If someone comes to you, newly divorced, they have their settlement and want to know what to do next;
Are there maybe 5 main questions or topics you look at first?
Do you put a plan of action together?
I would find out what their plans are, ie are they wanting to buy their ex out or are they wanting to move onto a new property. I would then need to know above the finances ie income/expenditure and what kind purchase price price/loan amount they would need to either keep the house they are in or move to another property.
A big thank you to Emma for telling us all about she helps people to navigate their way through difficult, life changing situations.