East Croydon Cool talks…Mortgages

East Croydon Cool talks…is a blog series that explores topics of cultural interest via local area experts. Buying a property is up there on the most stressful life events list for a reason. It’s a minefield of jargon, process and red tape. And the past 18 months hasn’t made things any easier…or clearer. One minute its all “interest rates are low – buy, buy, buy”, the next it’s all “house prices have shot up – sell, sell, sell” then it’s all “stamp duty holiday” this and “London exodus” that. Quite frankly, we’ve given up working out when or where (in Croydon 😉) is good to buy. What is clear, is that when the time comes to buy a home, you’re pretty much guaranteed to need a mortgage. So whilst finance might not be the sexiest of “cultural” topics…it’s pretty key when it comes to the life goal of owning property!

So to help demystify the topic, this month we spoke to Vonne, one third of Mortigo – a Croydon based Mortgage brokers. Set up by three locals, Mortigo “exists to make life easier” and was born out of “a genuine desire to make a difference by bringing a new way of thinking to an outdated industry”.

Obviously, talking about a financial product comes with lots of Ts and Cs, clauses and regulations. Most of these are at the end of the article but, as per guidelines from the FCA, we’ll start by saying we can’t personally recommend these guys (but we’re confident they know more about the topic than we do 😉).

Hi Vonne, first off – how did you get into the property finance business?
I wish I had a story with a better plot, but the reality is a boring one! After university, I simply followed in the footsteps of a very good friend who loved the profession and was seemingly thriving within the industry. Ever since then, I have not looked back! I entered the industry working for a corporate company and had success, so much so that I took the plunge into self-employment as a one-man band. I quickly built up a strong reputation but there’s only so much that one person can do! Because of this, I teamed up with two long term friends and Mortigo was born!

Lets start with the basics – what is a mortgage and how does someone normally get one?!
In a sentence, a mortgage is a loan from a bank or lender used to purchase or refinance a property. Historically, people would contact their bank to see if they meet the strict criteria of eligibility but in 2021, more and more people are seeing a specialist and are turning to the services of a mortgage broker.

What type of mortgages are there?
The most common type of mortgage is a residential mortgage. We also commonly deal with Remortgages, Buy-to-Let mortgages, Help to Buy mortgages, First Time Buyer mortgages, Right to Buy mortgages, Shared Ownership mortgages! Clients have a vast choice and it’s another reason to consider the services of mortgage broker. The professional help and advice is priceless.

Mortigo is effectively a Mortgage broker – why would you recommend people get a broker?
Gosh, how much time do you have?! There are so many reasons to enlist the services of a broker. First and foremost, when somebody purchases a property, our experience shows that typically, that property, is likely to be the client’s largest financial asset. As such, it is so important that you receive the very best advice. A mortgage broker is qualified to find the client the right mortgage. They must have a suitable qualification and must be able to not only recommend a suitable mortgage but justify their decision. Everyone has different and unique circumstances. Some banks and lenders may have stricter criteria when it comes to the self-employed for example. With that in mind, a mortgage broker can save a client significant time, money, and perhaps even disappointment, by steering them in the direction of a bank or lender who look favourably upon the self-employed. We’re on hand to help with all questions from tips before applying for a mortgage and advice on buying as a single person to mortgaging a home you earn outright and tips on paying off your mortgage faster.

There has been a lot of hype about Croydon’s regeneration – from a property perspective, why is Croydon a good place to buy in?
Location, location, location! In one direction, you can access The City in the best part of 15 minutes. If you travel in the opposite direction, you can access pretty much anywhere else in the world via Gatwick Airport and if you stay on that same train for another two stops, you can be on Brighton beach! Also, there’s something for everyone in Croydon. There’s some great restaurants and bars – you’ll often find us at Boxpark sampling the wide range of diverse cuisines available. The local schools are held in high regard, and we are so fortunate to have so much wide and open green spaces on offer, something the Borough does not get enough credit for in my opinion.

What do you think about the amount of new developments being built in Croydon?
Building new homes is never a bad thing but it is important that developments are in keeping with the local area. I can understand why some eyebrows have been raised at certain developments!

Croydon is often championed as an affordable place to buy. Any thoughts on this?
Lots of thoughts! It is so, so tough for young buyers to hop onto the proverbial property ladder, especially if you have ambitions to live within close proximity of The City. It’s great to see so many schemes up and running in Croydon to specifically cater for first time buyers but Croydon has a diverse property portfolio with opportunities for those at both ends of the ladder. For example, properties on Bishop’s Walk and Lloyd Park Avenue in Croydon typically start at over a million and last year, a house in Purley sold for close to £6 million!

Who are your typical customers?
First time buyers, 2.4 families and upsizers all recognise us as an accredited expert. If you were lucky enough to watch any of EURO 2020 at Boxpark, chances are you would have seen resident DJ Jay Knox entertaining the crowd with renditions of Three Lions and Sweet Carolina, he is also a loyal client of ours.

What type of properties have you helped organise mortgages for?
I would be utterly shellshocked if there is a residential road in Croydon I have not arranged a mortgage on! In recent months, I have assisted with quirky and immaculate properties on Davidson Road, immaculately presented properties like Sundridge Road to hidden gems on the fringe of the Town Centre that you would not even know are there, like Duppas Avenue.

Is now a good time to buy? And is now a good time to buy in Croydon?

I think so, yes. Sometimes people get caught up with timing but if you own a house already and are relying on the proceeds on that, everything is all relative. If you are buying for the first time, anything is better than paying for somebody else’s mortgage!

For more information, head to the Mortigo website HERE or follow them on Instagram HERE.

Vonne Austin – Managing Director


 A fee may be payable of up to £999.00 for our services
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
Mortigo Ltd is a company registered in England and Wales with company number 12922261. The registered office address is 1 Bingham Corner, Lower Addiscombe Road, Croydon, CR0 7AA. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate some forms of buy to lets, offshore mortgages, commercial loans or bridging loans.
The guidance/advice contained in their website is subject to UK regulatory regime and is therefore restricted to consumers based in the UK.
Mortigo, 1 Bingham Corner, Lower Addiscombe Road, Croydon, CR0 7AA  •  Tel: 0808 164 1616  •  Director: Vonne Austin  •  FCA Number: 938632
The guidance and information contained within their website is subject to the UK regulatory regime and is therefore targeted at consumers based within the UK
Mortigo Ltd is an appointed representative of HL Partnership Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Mortigo LTD is a company registered in England and Wales with company number 12922261. The registered office address is 1 Bingham Corner, Lower Addiscombe Road, Croydon, CR0 7AA

Featured photo courtesy of Insta: @aka.guedes.

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