Celebrating 10 years in my ‘Dream Job’as Mortgage and Protection Manager at HSBC Chester

Having moved to Chester in 1991 when my husband relocated with work, I have been able to raise my four children and forge a successful career with HSBC. All in and around this gorgeous city

We are blessed in Chester, there are a number of areas where new communities are being developed:  ‘Christleton’, ‘Farndon’ and ‘Westminster Park’ – and not forgetting more established areas like Hoole and Hanbridge

All these housing developments and communities have easy access to the historic City Centre and the North Wales coast. With well-regarded local schools and a top class university, welcoming both British and international students – Chester is well and truly a cosmopolitan city. From Michelin star restaurants to innovative gastro pubs there is something to suit every taste and budget.

The historic Roman fortified city with its beautiful rows of shops, our spectacular cathedral and certainly not forgetting the famous ‘Eastgate’ Clock (which I may add is right outside my office window) – I could spend all day telling you reasons why I would want to live in Chester

Spring is the season where things explode into life, whether that’s the bulbs in the garden, or people getting a spring in their step due to the warming weather and the lighter evenings. It’s my favourite time of year!

It is also the traditional start of the house-buying season where people look to move up the housing ladder, or start the exciting journey of buying their first home. Getting on the housing ladder provides a mixture of feelings from enthusiasm and anticipation to apprehension and confusion about the house buying process.

First-time buyers have a lot to think about, firstly the area they want to live in. The now common phrase ‘location, location, location’ came about in the mid-1950s when Lord Harold Samuel exclaimed “There are three things that matter in property: location, location, location” which is recognition that location is a key to the value of land and a house -and there can’t be many better locations than Chester

There are many things you can change about a home, its location is not one of them. Location will affect the resources around you, but for a number of people nowadays it is about how close you are to shops, to transport links or the catchment area for local highly-prized schools.

Secondly, whether you are moving onto or up the housing ladder you need to know how much you are able to spend, so getting a real idea of how much you can borrow is pretty essential before you proceed with a serious house-search.

Whether you get a formal Decision in Principle so that a mortgage figure is agreed by your lender, or you start the mortgage process in earnest once you find a place that you love. For most it can still be a bit of a mystery.

I am able to provide my customers a number of options when buying their home. I am proud to say that working full time in the city centre branch for the past ten years has enabled me to help hundreds of customers purchase properties locally. From young families to new professionals who are taking their first step onto the property ladder, it is a privilege to be able to make such a difference to people’s lives.

We are lucky here at HSBC with a number of specialists on hand ready to help you navigate through the process – helping you to get on the right track with a mortgage that suits your financial needs and your home buying aspirations.

At any given time there are numerous mortgages on the market to choose from. Do you go for a 2 year fixed to make it slightly cheaper for you, or do you look for longer term certainty and fix your interest rate for ten years? Then there is the option of a Tracker mortgage which tracks the Bank of England Base rate, or mortgages where there is no up-front fee.

Having helped many people buy their first or next home I know that having someone there to hold your hand through the process towards buying or developing your new home can be invaluable.

HSBC has made fundamental improvements to the house buying processes to provide a much smoother experience. We have taken action to address widely recognised challenges that many home-buyers, including first time buyers faced when buying a home of their own – deposit shortfalls, upfront costs and affordability, which have in the past resulted in customers finding it harder to gain a foot on the housing ladder. HSBC has increased its maximum lending term to 35 years and now also offer 95% mortgages. We have some of the most attractive interest rates on the market, and with a fee-saver mortgage many people can now get onto the housing ladder with very little upfront cost. These changes will go a long way to helping people satisfy their aspiration for home ownership in and around Chester

That brings me on to those customers that I’ve got to know over the years, who have told me they will never ever leave Chester. From extending their existing properties, to downsizing ready for retirement, the bespoke service individually tailored to my customers brings them back time and time again.

Reflecting over the years, the most frequently questions my customers ask me are;

Q: How soon can you see me?

A: Well we are open Monday to Saturday 9-5, so whenever is convenient for you.

Q: What can I afford?

A: Probably more than you think.

Q: What is involved in the process?

A: I do all the hard work for you

Q: How much does it cost?

A I’ll make sure it’s affordable for you.

I have made so many friends and built many long standing relationships with my customers. I have helped families to relocate and professionals move into the city. I have supported many of my customers coming up to retirement looking to downsize and help their own families with their first step onto the property ladder.

It has been a privilege to have worked in HSBC Chester looking after my customers for the past 10 years. With all the new developments in and around the city I am excited to be in a role where I can make such a difference to peoples’ lives.

I am really looking forward to the next 10 years forging new relationships with my customers and helping make house buying dreams come true.