A few weeks ago we were helping a long-standing client arrange what should be their final fixed rate mortgage. Whilst we were chatting about what’s been happening in their life since we last spoke, the penny dropped. They were one of our first clients. We arranged their first mortgage in 2001. And 20 years later they’re still with us. That told us two things:
i) They’ve been happy with us for a very long time, which is always excellent to hear; and
ii) We’re about to celebrate our 20th anniversary. Gulp.
It’s fair to say that the past two decades have presented their fair share of ups and upheavals. So forgive us if we indulge in a little nostalgia, and quickly revisit a timeline of KMA.
2001: We throw open the doors of Key Mortgage Advice for the first time. Then we quickly close them again because it’s January and it’s cold outside.
2004: We celebrate becoming directly authorised by the Financial Services Authority (later the Financial Conduct Authority).
2005: Appropriately enough, it’s time for us to find a home of our own. We set up a new base in Lostock Hall.
2007: The financial crash. Just thinking about it still brings us out in a cold sweat, as banks and other lenders withdraw mortgage products so fast that every application becomes a race against time. Happily, we weather the storm.
2013: We move to our current premises in Bamber Bridge…
2014: …and open a second office in Garstang…
2017: …and then a third in Southport.
2020: COVID-19 presents the biggest challenge the market has faced since the financial crash, but this time the entire property market grinds to a halt as we endure lockdown. Combined with the many other health, social and financial implications it’s a year none of us will ever forget.
2021 and beyond
After the most challenging of years, the end of 2020 has brought some encouragement. One vaccine is now being distributed. More are set to follow and as 2021 progresses the pandemic should subside. Searching for a new home in 2021 should feel far more ‘normal’ than it has done for some time. And whilst there are some things that may stick post-pandemic (Zoom has proved a big hit with lots of clients and that’s unlikely to change once normality resumes) it will be great to get back to days where we don’t have to socially distance, and where we can talk face to face about finding the mortgage that’s right for you. Because that’s what we do best.
Whether you’ve been a KMA client for 20 years or you’ve just discovered us, thank you for being part of our journey. We really, really appreciate it.
And if reading this has reminded you that you need to get your mortgage sorted, talk to us.
Last month, we welcomed a new receptionist at Key Mortgage Advice Preston - Jane Davis. Now she's had a little time to settle in, we thought we'd give Jane the opportunity to tell you a bit about herself! Here's her story:
"Having a constant yearning to travel from a young age, I went to live in Israel at 21, much to my family’s horror. A year later I went backpacking around Asia and Australia, where I eventually settled for 15 years.
Due to my passion for travel, I spent most of my time in Australia working within the travel industry for independent Travel Agents and Airlines alike. I then made a career change when I moved to Sydney and worked in local government dealing mainly with town planning issues, which was surprisingly interesting in an ever-growing city such as Sydney.
Eventually, I decided to move back to the UK in 2006 for family reasons and continued working in the public sector for a local Council, where I worked for seven years.
At the age of 40, as part of my mid-life crisis, I decided to go to University part-time to study Law and after five long years, I graduated with LLB Honours. I briefly worked in a Solicitors office but decided quite early on that it wasn’t for me. I ended up moving in a completely different direction and spent nearly five years working for an Estate Agents, which for the most part I thoroughly enjoyed. As a people person, this really suited me, having lots of direct contact with customers.
I’m now looking to use those customer service skills gained over many years to bring a cheerful and professional manner to the reception desk at Key Mortgage Advice Preston.
I live on my own with my two daughters, enjoying lots of family time and socialising with friends. My passion for travel has now been reduced to mini breaks in Europe. Although my long-term plan is to retire to either France or Spain."
If you're considering using an independent mortgage advisor, head over to our team page to meet our friendly, expert mortgage consultants and mortgage processors. If you'd like to talk to someone about your options, get in touch or visit our offices in Preston, Southport or Garstang.
Clare is the newest addition to our team, having joined us in 2018. She is an experienced consultant and has worked in the Financial Services industry for 12 years. In that time, Clare's passion for helping people meant she naturally gravitated towards consulting on mortgages.
Clare is married with two children - outside of work, she loves spending time outdoors with her family and walking with their dog. Her role as a mortgage consultant at Key Mortgage Advice involves travelling between our offices in Preston and Garstang, discussing clients' needs and circumstances, and helping them to find the best possible mortgage product:
When I help someone achieve the purchase of their first property or dream property. The journey to get there can often be long and stressful, so when you can step in and help in the process, it gives you real satisfaction in your job.
I think what makes it most attractive to house hunters is that it's a great central place for commuting to many of the major North West cities, without the high cost of living in one of them. Of course, it's also attractive to potential landlords with its large university campus.
As for what I like about the area, I just love the people here and the fact that there's always something interesting going on in the city.
Come and speak to us in order to understand your borrowing capacity. Also, take a look at your credit report and try to reduce your outstanding debt as much as you can. That way, you'll have the best possible chance of being accepted for a mortgage loan.
At Key Mortgage Advice, we’re proud of our people. We believe our personal approach to mortgage advice is what makes us one of the most trusted consultancies in Lancashire. If you’re looking to secure a mortgage in Southport, Preston or Garstang, our team can help you to find the best deal. You can get to know our advisors and mortgage processors on the Our Team page. When you're ready, contact us for more information.
At Key Mortgage Advice, we’re proud of our people. We believe our personal approach to providing mortgage advice is what makes us one of the most trusted consultancies in the North West.
If you’re looking to secure a mortgage in Southport, Preston or Garstang, our team can help you to find the best deal. Get to know our advisors and mortgage processors below, and read an interview with the newest addition to our team, Clare Ferreira:
Sharon is the company’s director, having founded Key Mortgage Advice in 2001.
After 17 years advising clients, specialising in lifetime mortgages and commercial finance, her role now sees her primarily involved with strategic planning, management and business development, ensuring we maintain our position as a leading provider of mortgage advice in the North West.
Although Sharon is not as involved with day-to-day advice as she once was, she is very much seen as an expert on residential mortgage matters and frequently assists in complex cases, as well as mentoring her team.
Sharon lives in Little Hoole, near Preston with her husband and son and relaxes outside of work by spending time with her family and horse riding.
Melanie has been with Key Mortgage Advice since January 2011 and has previous experience with working with an estate agency.
She is responsible for managing your mortgage application from point of application through to completion and offers a friendly, professional service.
Melanie has 2 children and enjoys walking, attending music concerts and watching football in her spare time.
Samantha has been working with Key Mortgage Advice since 2017 and has over 10 years’ administration experience.
She is part of the mortgage processing team and prides herself on delivering a personal and efficient service.
Samantha has 2 young children and, in her spare time, likes to socialise with friends, go camping, and often travels to Spain to visit family.
Brigid has worked as a mortgage processor for Key Mortgage Advice since 2016.
Prior to joining our team, she worked for an estate agent for almost 20 years. Her work is predominantly focused on securing mortgages in Garstang, Preston and Southport for our customers.
In her spare time, Brigid enjoys going on holiday, watching football and spending time with her young grandson.
Angela has over 20 years’ experience in the Financial Services industry, working for major high street banks and estate agents, predominately as a mortgage consultant. She now provides customers with mortgage advice in our Southport office.
Angela came to Key Mortgage Advice because she wanted a personal and family-orientated working environment with strong customer values at heart. She prides herself in her professional but friendly approach to providing clients with mortgage advice, whether they are a first-time buyer, home mover or looking to remortgage.
Angela has one child who she enjoys going on holiday and travelling with.
Clare is the newest addition to our team, having joined us earlier this year.
She has worked in the Financial Services industry for 12 years and, in that time, developed a preference for working on mortgages. She now provides customers with mortgage advice in our Garstang and Preston offices.
Clare is married with two children, and loves spending time outdoors with her family and walking with their dog. She also has a passion for travel and enjoys visiting new places.
Which part of your job as a mortgage consultant do you enjoy most?
"The thing I enjoy most about my job is when you help someone achieve the purchase of their first property or dream property. The journey to get there can often be long and stressful, so when you can step in and help in the process, it gives you real satisfaction in your job."
What do you like about Preston and what makes it attractive to house hunters?
"I think what makes it most attractive to house hunters is that it can be a great central place for commuting to many of the major North West cities, without the high cost of living in one of them. As for what I like about the area, I just love the people here and the fact that there's always something interesting going on in the city."
What's your top piece of advice for those about to apply for their first mortgage?
"My advice would be to come and speak to us in order to understand your borrowing capacity. Also, take a look at your credit report and try to reduce your outstanding debt as much as possible. That way, you'll have the best possible chance of being accepted for a mortgage loan."