Home Renovation And Construction

Frequently Asked Questions

Understanding the ins and outs of financial services, and what it means for you.

Whether you’re new to the process, have been on this road before, or looking to expand your financial solutions, it’s not always easy to know where to start – or what to expect.

Here are answers to the most commonly asked questions and concerns we hear from our customers.

Mortgages

What is a mortgage broker?

A mortgage broker (otherwise known as a ‘mortgage adviser’) is a fully qualified professional who specialises in finding you the most suitable mortgage product for your individual circumstances.

Typically, a mortgage broker has a diverse network and can access a wide range of mortgage products for their customers.

What can I expect from a mortgage broker?

A good mortgage broker will help you navigate your journey to your new home. They’ll work to understand your current situation and future goals, and source suitable products. From there, a mortgage broker will help you apply for a mortgage, complete the process, and may offer you support throughout the home-buying process.

Ox & Hart specialises in an holistic approach to your mortgage and financial advice, and can provide you with hands-on guidance as you take your next step. We also complete a majority of the paperwork for you, and we will liaise with third-parties as required to save you time.

When should I contact a mortgage broker?

Our advice is always the same: as soon as possible! Finding a reliable, trustworthy mortgage broker will help you long-term, so you should aim to speak with someone before any other stage of the buying journey – regardless of whether you’re a first-time buyer, moving home, or simply remortgaging.

A mortgage broker can help eliminate immediate stressors and uncertainties, introduce you to the process of buying a home (if it’s new to you), and set you up for success.

Importantly, many estate agents won’t even show you properties if you’ve not been financially ‘qualified’ for a mortgage by a mortgage broker first.

Will I need a significant deposit to buy a home?

This is different for everyone. Your deposit will be dependent on a few factors, such as the type of home you’re looking to buy, how much you’re willing to pay against your mortgage each month, whether you’re buying alone or with someone else etc.

Government-backed schemes such as Shared Ownership could enable you to secure a new home with a lower deposit amount. However, if you’re going down the traditional home-buying route, you might expect to pay a deposit of 10-25% of your new property’s value.

This is something we can guide you through when you’re ready to start looking to help maximise your purchasing power.

What about other costs?

Regardless of whether you’re new to the buying process or haven’t done it in a while, you’ll likely already know that buying and moving home can be costly. You may need to pay a fee to apply for a mortgage, in addition to valuation and building survey fees, solicitor and estate agency fees.

Rest assured, we’ll discuss all of this and a few other details with you during your no-fee, no-obligation call, so you know precisely what to expect before making any important decisions.

Do I really need a mortgage broker?

It is neither mandatory nor a legal requirement to have a mortgage broker, however, taking advice from a regulated adviser may lead to a more cost-effective and suitable product for your unique situation, potentially saving you thousands of pounds over the mortgage term. Not to mention gaining access to unbiased guidance and advice.

Insurance & Protection

What’s the difference between ‘assurance’ and ‘insurance’?

On face value, there isn’t too much of a difference between assurance and insurance. Both are designed to help keep your assets, possessions, income, and/or yourself and loved ones as safe as possible.

Typically speaking, assurance refers to financial coverage for an event or circumstance which is guaranteed (or in other words, assured) to happen, such as a death.

Insurance is based on something that may happen during a specified period of time (again, such as you passing away).

Find out more about the different types of insurance and protection services we offer here.

What types of assurance and insurance are available?

There is a wide range of services available for various needs and circumstances. These might include Buildings & Contents Insurance, Mortgage Protection, Income Protection, Life & Critical Illness Protection, Disability Coverage and more.

The coverage available to you will depend on your individual needs and circumstances, so why not get in touch to find out more about your options.

How much can I expect to pay for coverage?

This entirely depends on the level of coverage you’re looking for and your eligibility. For most types of protection, you can expect to pay a monthly premium over a shorter period (e.g. 12 months), or a longer period (e.g. 35 years)

Unlike some other financial services, you usually won’t be asked to pay a fee to the provider when applying for protection. Similarly, Ox & Hart does not charge a fee for advice given for your cover, but we may receive a commission payment should you choose our recommended insurer.

How do I know what type of protection is right for me?

In some situations, it might be simple. If you’re a contractor or self-employed, for example, you might be looking for income protection. Most people will also have some level of building and/or contents insurance to protect their home in the event of a burglary or damaging incident.

In other situations, it’s possible you’ll have a range of options to choose from, particularly if you’re looking for coverage against serious illness, accident or loss of life.

We can work with you to explore your options at Ox & Hart, and select the right type and level of coverage for you and your circumstances at no obligation.

What happens if I change my mind?

With most types of protection products, you’ll be given a ‘grace period’ in which you can withdraw your coverage at no cost. This is typically between 14 and 30 days, and some insurers may refund you the amount of your first payment – if you cancel within the grace period.

After this time, you will be asked to cancel your coverage. This means that you will no longer be eligible for any protection, even if you have paid several monthly instalments, and will not be eligible for a refund. Additionally, you may need to pay a cancellation fee.

Formally cancelling insurance or protection is a big decision and can result in a significant loss for any individual. So if you’re experiencing financial difficulties, we recommend you speak with us as soon as possible for expert, unbiased advice.

Do I really need protection?

There are very few insurance types which are strictly mandatory. Unlike vehicle insurance which is a legal requirement in the UK, you aren’t obliged to have something like contents insurance because you are claiming full liability should loss or damage occur. The exception is buildings insurance which the lender requires and will be a part of the mortgage offer. This is to protect the lender in the event the property is damaged and can be repaired, thereby protecting their loan to you.

Having said that, most UK residents will have some form of coverage, and it’s one of the best ways to ensure you and your loved ones aren’t caught out by challenging life events. So if you want to explore your options with no obligation, give us a call or send us an email today.

Business Solutions

What are ‘business solutions’?

Precisely what they say on the tin. Our Business Solutions provide companies and individuals a range of financial advice and services for their professional needs.

This includes Landlords Insurance, Buy-To-Let Mortgages and even Capital Raising for investors and developers. We also engage with Openwork partners who provide advice on commercial mortgages. You can find out more by visiting our Business Solutions page.

How are these any different from ordinary financial services?

There are a few notable differences between personal and business financial solutions. As with most financial services, this all depends on your circumstances, the business in question, and the financial products available.

Take mortgages, for example. Oftentimes, a professional mortgage is seen as a lower risk to lenders in comparison to a personal mortgage. This is because income from a company or corporation is generally seen as more reliable – in addition to a few other factors. This could mean lower borrowing rates and fees, and a more simple application process.

At Ox & Hart, the advice you receive will be tailored to your business’ needs. We’ll look carefully at your company’s trajectory and provide you with considered, meaningful advice to take you and your venture to its next phase.

Do I definitely need financial advice and services for my business?

While this will all depend on the type of financial advice or services you’re looking for, most businesses will have an obligation to attain the right financial solutions in order to operate compliantly.

For example, if you are a professional landlord, it’s highly likely that you will need to have valid Landlords Insurance prior to leasing a home to an individual(s). Similarly, most types of businesses will need to be insured against accidents in the workplace.

This is just a drop in the ocean, so if you’re unsure what your business needs or requirements are, you can give us a call today to chat.

Can you work with my accounting team?

The short answer is: yes. If you already have an accounting team or individual in place in your company, Ox & Hart can work alongside them to better understand your business’ finances, and ensure your services work holistically with any existing solutions you might already have in place.

We’ll still need to speak with you, or the key decision-maker (if that isn’t you) to finalise details and complete your paperwork.

How We Work

Why choose Ox & Hart Financial Services?

Ox & Hart is a popular, award-winning financial advisory service.

Since our very beginnings, we set out to change how you and thousands of others across the UK think about, feel about, and access financial services. We’re built on over 15 years of industry and market knowledge, by Alexander Peters-Bean.

Our personal, consultative approach to financial services, means we’re committed to supporting your financial health and strength. We’ll work alongside you to truly understand your overall situation and determine the very best solution for your needs, goals, and future ‘what-ifs’.

If you’d like to find out more about Ox & Hart, how we work, and what we can do for you, visit our About Us.

Where are you based?

Our offices are based in Oxford, but we support individuals and businesses across the county and further afield in the UK.

By contacting Ox & Hart, am I obliged to use your financial advice and services?

Absolutely not. Our initial consultation is fee-free, no obligation. If you’re shopping around for the right financial advisor for you, or aren’t sure what services you might need, we can arrange a call to discuss without any contract or commitment.

We’ll talk about your current financial situation and what you are hoping to achieve, any considerations or challenges you think we should know, and what could be the best next steps for you and your finances. We’ll also briefly introduce the way Ox & Hart works, and what you can expect from us.

If you’d like to arrange a call to find out more, you can do so by contacting us here.

Do you have a set fee?

Our fee is dependent on your financial needs, and the level of support you’re looking for. This is something we always discuss with you during our very first call as part of our commitment to frank, open conversation and honest partnerships, and to ensure you have all the information you need to proceed with confidence.

Do you receive commission from financial lenders?

This entirely depends on the solution or product, and which lender/provider your offer is with.

As a rule of thumb, financial advisers receive what’s known as a ‘procuration fee’ from lenders once your property purchase has completed. This is usually a small percentage of the loan amount. This is something we will always discuss with you prior to any contract being signed.

Commission on insurance is paid, based on the assumption that the policyholder (in this case, you) continues to pay the premiums over a period of 2-4 years. Should you choose to cancel your policy, this commission can be partially or fully ‘clawed back’ by the provider.

Can I just use a comparison site?

Comparison sites can be handy when you’re starting out on your journey to gauge a better understanding of the market, and what could be available to you. But there are some notable downsides.

For one, they’re a generalised summary of what’s out there, using only a few pieces of information about your circumstances. Typically speaking, comparison sites only have access to a handful of products which are available to the public, some of which will demand very specific underwriting criteria. Meaning they may not be right or available to you at all.

This is why Ox & Hart use an holistic approach to the advice and services we provide customers just like you. We look carefully at your overall financial needs, goals and challenges, and use specialist market knowledge to provide the best possible deal.

Plus, we have exclusive access to deals not directly available to the public.

How do I get started?

If you’re ready to find out more about how we can support your financial goals and health, or simply want to have a chat and get to know us better, schedule your consultation call today. Fill in the form below, or give us a call using the number on our Contact page.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Ready to strengthen your financial outlook and help protect what’s most important to you?

Then let’s get started. For simpler, straight-forward financial services, and a process that’s truly personal, get in touch today to book your initial fee-free, no obligation consultation call.

+44 (0) 7931 866 359

alexander.peters-bean@oxhartfs.co.uk