Getting a mortgage can be a confusing and expensive process. But a new online mortgage broker called Habito is promising to help customers get the best mortgage possible, opening up the path to home ownership.
Habito CEO and founder, Daniel Hegarty, spoke to RewardExpert about the benefits of using their services. “Habito was set up to make getting a mortgage easier, cheaper and faster,” he said.
Turning a Personal Experience into a Business
Habito was started after Hegarty encountered frustrations buying a house in London. After going through the process, his mortgage application was denied due to a simple paperwork error made by a human.
“This error and the back and forth that followed, nearly ended with my wife and I losing our dream home. After researching the market and realizing just how many people have a terrible mortgage experience, I then began building what has become Habito,” said Hegarty.
How It Works
Habito’s technology works by scanning the 20,000 mortgages available in the UK market with more than 90 different lenders, exposing customers to the true array of options available.
“Our customers know they are getting the best possible mortgage that they can get—rather than just going into their local bank branch and only being offered the mortgages that that bank can do,” stated Hegarty.
Habito does all this free of charge, with 24/7 availability on mobile. Plus, the amount of time needed to search for loans is only a fraction of the real world time. Customers can mortgage quotes in seconds instead of the hours and days it used to take.
Managing the Application Process
Habito not only scans the available mortgages, it will also manage the application process once a loan is selected. That means calling stakeholders on behalf of the customer, communicating all updates, collecting documents and filing relevant information.
“[Habito] will let [the customers] know exactly what we need and when we need it, making sure they are never lost or left behind. All that’s left is for them to sit back, relax and enjoy their free time!” stated Hegarty.
One customer base that Habito is dedicated to serving is the first-time homebuyer. When buying a home, many customers can be confused as to the overall process, the down payment required and more. Hegarty points out that becoming informed beforehand is critical.
“Getting on the right mortgage can ensure you don’t overpay by thousands of pounds over the lifetime of the loan,” he said. Habito also advises on UK government programs designed to stoke home ownership like the Help to Buy program. “Would-be first time buyers should speak to a mortgage broker who can help them work out the best mortgage for them,” he said.
Getting the Right Mortgage
Habito is not just a mortgage broker for homebuyers. It can also help current homeowners secure a lower rate on their financing. “For people who already own a home, the biggest challenge can be remembering to remortgage before your introductory rate finishes (usually after 2, 3 or 5 years). If you don’t switch, you are automatically moved onto your lender’s more expensive variable rate,” said Hegarty.
He points that out that remortgaging can save customers a good deal of money, perhaps as much as £300 a month. It also keeps tabs on moves by central banks. For instance, a rate hike by the Bank of England could result in an extra £45 in monthly payments.
Building a Client Base
Started just in 2016, Habito is focused on the UK market for the time being. It’s already helped more than 140,000 mortgage clients and has nearly 100 employees. And Daniel Hegarty sees more room for growth on the horizon including possible expansion and a push into insurance.
“We noticed that buying life insurance (which often goes hand in hand with buying a property) just wasn’t built with the consumer in mind—consisting of huge forms and invasive medical examinations. So, we’re developing a simple and easy to understand life insurance product that is free of confusing jargon and hopefully a better experience all around,” he said.
To get free mortgage advice, check out www.habito.com.