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Field work is invaluable, qualifications only go so far – Star Letter 06/12/2019

  • 06/12/2019
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Field work is invaluable, qualifications only go so far – Star Letter 06/12/2019
Each week Mortgage Solutions and its sister title Specialist Lending Solutions select the best contributions from readers as Star Letter.


Commenters were in reflective mood when responding to our story on industry exams: Dated ‘generalist’ exams fail to keep pace with mortgage market – JLM 

LankyDes kicked off the discussion saying: “Plenty to agree with in this article. However, I passed CeMAP in 2003 and it was no sort of preparation even then. There’s lots of stuff that I’ve never used since. 

“I found the switch from working for a bank to whole-of-market very tough for six months or so and I was lucky in that there weren’t many declines in those days.  

“No exam can teach the feel for what a lender might or might not do, the ability to second guess the daft obstacles which will unnecessarily be put in the way, and the knowledge of who the lenders with integrity are; who do what they say they will.” 

A K Narey agreed, adding: “Any exam will only take you so far. A good general education in mortgages and the mortgage market is essential but the knowledge gleaned from years in the field is much more valuable in doing our job. 

“Layers and layers of ever more specialist exams are not a substitute for actually meeting with clients and helping them with their particular problems and requirements.” 


Staying put when young is surprising 

Meanwhile, Andy Wilson raised an eyebrow at the rise in average length of occupancy: Homeowners stay 20 years on average – Changing Shape of UK Mortgages Report 

He said: “20 years is a significant increase on previous averages.  

“If the average truly is 20 years as suggested by the report, it means as many people are staying in their homes longer than that, as are moving more quickly. 

“I see a lot of equity release clients who have lived in their homes for 30- to 40-plus years and seeing lengthy occupation of their own homes by clients of advancing years is not unusual, but seeing younger borrowers not moving on more quickly is a surprise.” 

He added: “The most mobile group in my own business are the 30- to 50-year-olds. The younger ones have growing families and need more space, and the older ones are preparing for retirement by buying properties that no longer need to house a large family but do need to provide for later life living. 

“They can often hit any mortgage borrowing hard during their last 15 to 20 working years, when their incomes are at their highest, by moving home somewhere around their fifties.”  

“Tax costs are mentioned, but the most obvious are the higher rates of stamp duty. These can be enough to put anyone off moving unless they desperately need to,” Wilson said. 

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