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Get Mortgage Valuations Direct – Cut out the Middleman says Lawrenson of LettingFocus.com

As a former strategist and project manager who worked at Direct Line and Lloyds TSB I know all the clever ways that banks have for relieving customers of money even without them actually realising they have been relieved of it.
One very smart way that mortgage firms have of making money on mortgages is by taking a juicy cut on valuations.
Here is my story. A year ago I talked to a badly briefed person at a call centre of the UK biggest buy to let mortgage companies. He said “Yes, I could arrange my own valuation direct with a RICS surveyor.” Actually that turned out to not be company policy but I took a record of the time and date of call –and so I had the lender over a barrel – so they let me go ahead and do it. The cost was £175 through E Surv surveyors.
Fast forward a year and this time I’m with another lender – this time a big high street bank – and taking out a mortgage for an identical property – but unfortunately for me their call centre is better briefed and the lender insists I do it through them. The cost is £270 – or £95 more than the year before.
Also, unlike last time I don’t actually get to see the copy of the report – if I had been offered that option (which I wasn’t as it happened) then that would have been another £25 apparently.
So there we are folks.
That is another nice earner for the mortgage lenders – making money on valuations.
Of course the lenders will say “Oh the cost of administering it is so much”
Mmmm, in these days of electronic transfer of data, I don’t think so somehow.
Sure there are costs involved but none that justify sticking 30% on the fee they are charged by the surveyors cannot do much about all this. Make a sound and they will find themselves thrown off the lender’s panel of approved surveyors. And it won’t matter which ahem “club” they are in.
My message to you is if you are getting a mortgage always try to see if you can arrange a survey direct. Try it on with the call centre. With a bit of luck you’ll get someone who is badly briefed and they will say yes. Take a note of the time of the call in case they try to dispute they ever agreed to it.
And my message to the press is it’s about time you did a story on this.
I’m David Lawrenson a buy to let experts from lettingfocus.com.
I’m the author of “Successful Property Letting - How to Make Money in Buy to Let” which for the last 2 years has been the UK’s top selling property title: buy the UK's top selling property investment book
It is fully up to date with all the recent changes to tenancy deposit schemes, HMOs, licensing, capital gains taxes and it has new sections on buying property below market value. I’m an expert property speaker and a well known property blogger and I contribute to newspapers and a host of property websites, write a number of columns in the press and I can provide help for landlords
Check out where I was recently featured in the Daily Telegraph: http://propertyclub.telegraph.co.uk/Page/View/266
I also work as a consultant helping banks, building societies, housing associations and web portals with their buy to let and property products and services and am a regular speaker at property shows.
You can read more of my blog & find details of my networking, advice, property investors networking programme at my website.What’s unique about lettingfocus.com is that we offer property investment mentoring because unlike most people in the buy to let and property “advice” business we are not linked to a property company, a developer, an agent or bridging loan financier and do not receive commissions from any of these sources.If a property investment is lousy – We’ll tell you straight and we will tell you all about buy to let and property investment - the good and the bad and we won’t make silly promises that you’ll become a millionaire overnight.
Copyright: David Lawrenson 2008. This blog is updated once a week. Permission must be sought before using the material in the blog.

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