39-year-old relationship manager Dwayne Brathwaite and his partner bought their first property after receiving invaluable advice from MB Associates. They were overjoyed to move into their new home in time for Christmas.

Celebrating mortgages and seasonal financial planning

Tell us a bit about you and your family.

My partner Naomi and I have two kids, Theon, who is three, and Eliza, who is four months.

How did you first hear about MB Associates?

There’s a lot of history in our family with Monica Bradley, as she arranged several mortgages for my mum and dad, and I’ve known her since I was about four. I think Monica was in her teens when she first spoke to my parents and was just starting out in finance!

Tell us about your experience of getting a mortgage.

I went with another broker first. My dad suggested Monica, but because I knew this broker through a network meeting, it was natural to go with them as I was in regular contact with them. Unfortunately, things didn’t go so well. We didn’t get the mortgage or the property, so my father suggested I speak to Monica.

Monica told me about basic accounting and explained how to take control of our income and expenditure.

What happened next?

Monica told us what we needed to do, and we did it and made the application. We didn’t get the mortgage before due to our deposit not being big enough and a few other things. Monica told me about basic accounting and explained how to take control of our income and expenditure. We were earning the right amounts, but what we were doing with our money wouldn’t be favourable to lenders. We had savings; we would run our account down to zero each month. Monica said that wouldn’t look great to a lender. We also had multiple accounts we didn’t need. So she told us to close an account down.

What did you find most useful about the advice you received?

Monica was very honest and frank, and the previous broker wasn’t that thorough. Monica said: ‘If I’m going to the market and speaking to a lender on your behalf, this is what you need to do’.

Why was it so important to be in your new home before Christmas?

Eliza had just come into the world, and we felt it would be nice to be in a new home with our full family by Christmas. Also, if I’m correct, I believe the mortgage agreement ran out in January, so we would have had to reapply again, and we had secured it at a really favourable rate compared to the current market rates.

How did you find the level of service?

Monica’s team would constantly chase solicitors and kept us updated on all proceedings. Any other broker would have just left it and let the solicitor deal with it, but our solicitor said: ‘These guys are good and will keep you up to date’. In my line of work, it’s about values. Especially trust. I like people that are trustworthy and honest, and transparent, and I got that all from day one until the end. I felt like I was in good hands.

What would you say to anyone looking for a mortgage about using a mortgage broker?

Speak to MB Associates – they have a longstanding history in the community, they provide excellent service, and they do what they say; not many firms can confidently say that; the reviews speak for themselves. Anyone I’ve known who has dealt with them outside my family speaks highly of them. The referrals just come in.

Tell us about your home.

We have moved into a two-bed end of terraced house, and it’s got a garden with a garage, and it’s in a lovely village in Sevenoaks. We moved there as we felt it was an excellent place to raise a family.

What did it mean for you to be in your first home for Christmas?

It sounds like a cliché, but my family is the world to me; it meant the world to be able to have our place and our own space, with our family of four. We have lived for two and a half years with family to save to get to this point, and it meant a lot; we could be fully independent.   

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