When looking for a mortgage most new clients we speak to are focussed on getting the lowest mortgage interest rates or the best deals in the market. However, there is a difference between finding the best and finding the right home loan for you.
The marketing surrounding mortgages in the UAE, and most places in the world, is generally heavily centred around rates and the newest products available. Lenders and banks will often shout about their lowest rates and the additional extras they might be offering with a certain product. For most people, your mortgage repayments will be one of your highest monthly outgoings, so it is definitely vital that when taking a mortgage you get the best rate available, but it is also important to remember to look beyond this.
We have put this guide together to help give you some tips on how you can find the best mortgage rates and products available to then decide which home loan is right for your circumstances.
As with most important purchases in life, it is a good idea to do some research to ensure you are making the right purchasing decision. For example, if you were buying a flight ticket, in most cases you would use a price comparison tool, search different airlines or even consult a travel company to find out what options are available.
This is no different when looking for a mortgage. There are over 20 different banks in Dubai and the UAE offering both conventional and Islamic finance options. All banks have different criteria on which they assess applicants and they will have varying appetites for risk which will affect who they lend to and the rates the rates they offer. It is essential that you shop around and do your research to know which banks have products that better suit your position.
The first step for most people when looking into financing a property purchase is to approach their current bank. This is completely understandable as it is the easiest place to start. Consulting your bank will help you understand what mortgage products they can offer and can provide a good benchmark on which to compare other lenders.
Some clients are inclined to proceed with their current bank without further research as it can seem like the simplest and quickest option, and their bank may even offer excellent mortgage rates. However, before committing to any bank, we would suggest that you shop around to see what other products are available on the market as these may be better suited to you for a variety of reasons.
You can read our article here on why the interest rate is not always the most important aspect of a mortgage.
Ask the difficult questions
When looking for a mortgage interest rates are not always the most important aspect. There are many other factors which need to be taken into consideration as they too can affect the suitability of a mortgage product for you. This is why it is important, when shopping around for a home loan, that you ask the difficult questions. Speak to an advisor at the bank and make sure you find out both the pros and cons of the products that are offered. For example, are there any other costs, what is the length of the term and is a salary transfer necessary.
When speaking to advisors at the banks, you need to keep in mind that you may not always be given a straightforward answer. This is not because they want to trick you, but because they spend all their time looking at these products so there may be certain aspects which are obvious to them but not necessarily always clear to you at first glance.
In cases where you have spoken to an advisor in the bank but you are still unsure about the ins and outs of a mortgage product, it can be worthwhile requesting a copy of the terms and conditions so you can read the small print to get the answers you need before proceeding. Once you have taken a look through the terms and conditions, do not be afraid to speak to the advisors again to clarify any aspects that you are uncomfortable or unsure of.
Take your time
Whilst it might be easier to go with the first bank you speak to, it is important that you take your time to fully research the options available in the market. You can then assess which of mortgage options best meets your requirements in the short term and your objectives in the longer term.
It can seem like a never ending task as it is time consuming having to go through the process of speaking to several different banks about their products and then to sit down to compare and assess them all. However, we are of the view that taking the time now to fully investigate all the options available to you will not only save you money but also help avoid potential issues later down the line.
Ask for help
Even if you feel you have the time and the capacity to search the market for the right mortgage, it is advisable to engage with a mortgage professional as banks are constantly changing products, so what appears to be the most attractive offer one month might not be the next. Using a mortgage consultant will also allow you to focus your efforts on the more exciting property search!
Our team of experienced mortgage consultants take the time to understand your circumstances and search all available products to find the right mortgage for you – rather than what the market declares as the best. We are empanelled with all the banks in the UAE and are aware of what products they specialise in. We are also able to take advantage of exclusive products which are not always available if you approach the banks directly yourself.
An initial consultation with a member of our team is free and we will provide you with unbiased advice so that you can be comfortable knowing that you are getting the right finance for your property purchase.