First Time Buyer in London

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RANorman's review of HSBC Mortgage


“First Time Buyer in London”

Written on: 27/08/2013 by RANorman (1 review written)

I recieved a Mortgage in Principle from HSBC on 5th July using HSBC's over the phone service. This service comes without advice, but having researched rates myself, I felt confident. HSBC do offer an advice service in you go into a branch.

Shortly after recieving this I put in an offer for a property and contacted HSBC to go through the process of beginning a formal application on about the 12th. I had been offered a MIP for £205,000, but only required a mortgage of £175,000.

The only difficulties in the process were really not HSBC's fault. As I have banked with them from a young age, they had no proof of identification, so this delayed the process by a few days. My mortgage offer came through by the 25th July.

I was attracted to HSBC by their very attractive fixed rates, and received an offer on a 5 year fixed rate at a LTV rate of 70%.

HSBC have been very helpful and pleasant throughout the process.

However, the difficulties I have had have related to the use of Countrywide, who appoint your solicitors and conveyancers if you choose to use their recommended panel. The advantage of this is that they are able to represent both you and HSBC.

I was given phone numbers for Countrywide before my mortgage had come through, and was appointed to Howes Percival in Milton Keynes. I had signed with them by the 16th July.

The conveyancing side of this, which was handled by Countrywide was perfectly adequate, however, Howes Percial themselves have been terrible.

They have missed two deadlines for exchange of contracts, and have been very evasive about why this is the case, effectively trying to blame other parties for the delay. Having been in contact with the sellers, the seller's solicitors and with HSBC, it is abundantly clear, the delays are being caused by Howes Percival.

The majority of the work is called out by legal assistants and paralegals, and work only seems to get done if you call and harass them. The sellers in my case are friends with a partner in Howes Percival and called to make a formal complaint.

The contracts I received were ammended in pen and were only emailed to me after I demanded to have a copy - Howes Percival claimed they were in the post for a week.

I would suggest that getting a Mortgage with HSBC is well worth trying for as they have excellent rates. It seems they don't always honour the top end of their MIP, however, from other reviews, although I did not have a problem.

I would suggest, however, that you find your own solicitors to act on your behalf.

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