Anna Reveals Her Deepest (Mortgage) Secrets

Step into a real life case study.


Welcome to our interview series! We feature women who are willing to talk about money. Our goal is to break the taboo around money, share experiences and learn from the community. Please meet Anna this week!

Hi Anna!

1.     Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I first moved to the UK from the US about 10 years ago and did one move back for business school before realising that London felt like home. I am in my early 30s and currently work as a management consultant focused on education strategy.

2.     We will be focusing on mortgages today. So may we ask what are the details of the home you are buying and the mortgage you chose?

  • Property value: £665,000
  • Loan amount: £578,500
  • LTV (Loan-To-Value): %87
  • Rates (Fixed/Floating): 2-year fixed – 2.64%
  • Duration (years): 35 years
  • Term (Capital and Interest?): Both
  • Monthly Payment Today: Prefer not to say
  • Mortgage Fee: £999
  • Did you use any government-backed scheme? No

3.     Solo or joint ownership? Freehold/ leasehold?

Solo ownership, leasehold

4.     How did you manage to save for your house deposit?

I effectively put my bonus directly in savings every year for the past 4 years. In the 18 months before I bought I also more carefully tracked expenditures to make sure I could put away enough each month to eventually put down the deposit. I had very little savings before I did my MBA so had to almost start from scratch. It was hard to do it on my own, but doable!

5.     What has been the process of finding your dream home?

I started tracking the market about a year before I made the plunge to buy, to get a sense of what I could get for my money, the neighbourhoods I liked and then also to look at pricing to ensure I understood what an acceptable price per square foot was. I was then quite open when I started seeing things in person and decided to just blitz and see something like 10-12 properties a day for a couple of Saturdays. The first day I was able to understand what £50K differentials looked like in terms of space and quality, this was definitely important. I was also clear about the trade-offs I was willing to make – I prioritised kitchen and reception room space over bedroom and I wanted outdoor space if possible. Then I saw two potential flats on one day – maybe property 35 and 36 I had seen – put down two offers and there it was.

6.     How long did it take to get your mortgage approved? What is the process like?

I think it took less than 24 hours. Or felt like it! I found it straightforward – I provided the documentation required (have your pay slips, account statements, etc. at-the-ready) and it was turned around quickly. I also switched my broker at the last minute as I got a much better deal. Shop around – the best rate will save you tens of thousands of pounds.

7.     Were there any additional costs you did not expect?

There was very little additional costs that I didn’t expect – maybe a bit more on the searches. Otherwise nothing hidden – just know that it is going to take a while and to be patient.

8.     Any house hunting tips?

Know what your trade-offs will be, be open to new neighbourhoods (I didn’t buy where I looked initially) and I recommend trying to see as much as you can stomach.

9.     Are you worried about the rise in interest rates?

Not really – I’m confident when I refinance I’ll still be able to get a good rate.

Thank you!


*This interview was prepared by Vestpod with the help of Coreco – we want to show you real case studies and examples of what women do with their money. Please note that this is not a sponsored post and Vestpod cannot recommend any specific firm.*