So, the first post. Where to start? We’re launching the company, and I’ve thought about nothing else for the last year. What I want to do is sum up why; why we want to make getting a mortgage easier, cheaper, faster, and more transparent, but also why I started down this path in the first place.
The beginning then. Fortunately it’s a simple story: I bought a house, and the experience was horrific… Not because of any one person, or any intrinsic malevolence working against me or my dreams, but because things which are important evolve complex systems around them with many stakeholders - from regulators to lenders, brokers to surveyors, estate agents, buyers and sellers. At the time I didn’t realise how badly the individual buyers were represented in that system. I had found the house I wanted and had an offer accepted. My deposit was ready to go and it was my time to achieve the impossible — homeownership in London. Mortgage application submitted, mortgage application declined.
The mortgage broker had made a mistake, including me once and my partner twice on the application. So a week later we tried again: application submitted, application declined. This time I was missing, but my partner was still there… twice.
Another week goes by. Application submitted, application referred!? The lender needs three years of P60s (what is a P60, I wonder?). Our seller starts to get impatient, threatens to pull out and wants to see bank statements and credit reports. Our dream home is fading from view while we’re buried in paperwork.
In the end we made it, thanks to some bike couriers and sympathetic ears in the HR departments of old employers. I couldn’t believe this was normal in the 21st century, until I looked at what was going on in the market. The bigger surprise was just how many people I spoke to had similar frustrations with this antiquated industry. Not only that, it turns out one in four homeowners in the UK are on the wrong mortgage and could save, on average, £4,000 per year.
Entrepreneurs look for broken things that matter to people. Holes in the fabric of life that could be patched with ingenuity and a bit of effort to make life easier for everyone. So I learned all I could about this world of brokers and banks, fax machines and building societies, and discovered a simple truth — it doesn’t have to be this hard.
So welcome to habito. We’re going to get you the right mortgage, and we’re going to do it without jargon, misinformation or the hard sell. We’ll show you the facts and then we’ll stand shoulder to shoulder with you while we focus on getting you into your home, or finding the right re-mortgage if you’re already there.
I said it was simple. We found a problem, set out to solve it and here we are — the journey involved much scrawling on whiteboards, drawing pictures, writing software, meeting regulators, talking to lenders and, most importantly, listening to the stories of friends and family who’ve been on this journey.
Now, we think we’ve cracked it: a simple, honest way to find and apply for the best mortgage available for you. Which is the point of this blog. As we do this we are going to communicate with you like a person, because the only way to win your trust is to build a business which puts your interests first.
I’d love to hear what you think of what we’ve built and how we can do better, you can let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
So once again, welcome to habito. We’ll be seeing you very soon.