Meet the Mortgage Adviser

In our series of guest blogs, we meet those with key roles in the property industry.

Charlotte Haddow is a freelance Mortgage and Protection Adviser for The Sussex Mortgage Centre and is based in East Sussex.


How did you start your career as a Mortgage Adviser?

I fell into it! Originally, I studied for a degree in Environmental Studies and then moved into IT ( not an obvious choice, but it happened). After a stint as a telesales manager selling private healthcare, I then switched to mortgages after the product I was selling ceased to exist. I was given the opportunity to move to mortgages if I could complete the CeMAP in 3 months (it can take up to 2 years). Luckily, I passed the course within 3 months and my mortgage adviser career began. I’ve now been an adviser for nearly 20 years, and I still work with  The Finance Planning Group Trading as Sussex Mortgage Centre


Describe your role as a Mortgage adviser

I describe myself predominantly as a matchmaker – I get to know and understand my clients and what they are looking to achieve and then match them up with the right lender. Sometimes clients will have just changed jobs or they’ve started a business and only have 1 years accounts, so these scenarios require more tailored solutions. I also deal with remortgages, advising clients whether they are best sticking with their current lenders or securing another deal elsewhere. As well as helping First Time Buyers, Buy to Lets, Let to Buys, Shared Ownership, Holiday homes and all sorts of other mortgages and associated insurances.


What have your biggest challenges been?

One of the biggest challenges has been the way in which lenders have changed the goalposts. At the start of the pandemic the deals available literally changed overnight, with 95% and even 90% mortgage deals disappearing and lenders being really reluctant to lend to those who are self-employed. Now the goalposts are changing again as the cost of living, and therefore the salary thresholds to get certain deals (especially for first time buyers) are increasing.


What changes would you like to see in the house buying / selling process?

I wish the process was more like the Scottish system, where buyers have all the information up front! It feels like it would be so much easier. The length of conveyancing transactions is still such an issue – although digitalisation of some aspects has improved things, there’s still so much more to be done.

I also wish that lenders would move with the times and update their application processes – there’s far too many standardised forms to fill in which don’t allow for different circumstances. They definitely need to update their diversity policies!

What do you think is in store for the property market in the next 12 months?

It will definitely be the year of the remortgage – especially as there will more than likely be another rise in interest rates later this year. People need to have the certainty of how much their outgoings will be, especially as so many living costs are increasing.

Demand is still outstripping supply and despite lots of scaremongering I’m not convinced that the market will slow down dramatically. There is currently an average of 17 people for every property that comes onto the market which is crazy. There are lots of people with mortgage offers in place who are struggling to complete their purchases. I think there are exciting times ahead, that’s for sure!