The Aftersales Advice Service from Expat Mortgages
After helping expats in the Netherlands get a mortgage for over 12 years, Expat Mortgages has found that clients really like the way the company keeps in touch with them, answering all of their follow up questions.
Expat Mortgages even proactively contacts existing clients to check if their situation has changed and updates them on new opportunities to negotiate better mortgage conditions with their bank.
Introducing Aftersales Adviser Selina van Beek
In the last two years, Expat Mortgages has grown significantly, therefore, a dedicated person to answer clients’ questions, and potentially help them to improve the terms on their existing loans, has been appointed: Aftersales Adviser Selina van Beek:
I was born in Amsterdam and when I was 10, I moved to Almere, where I still live with my husband and kids. In my spare time, I like to go ballroom dancing, read a good book in the sun, and support my soccer-playing sons from the sidelines! I have been working in the banking and mortgage industry for over 20 years.
I started my job at Expat Mortgages in 2014 and have had four amazing years there. At the end of 2017, I was promoted within the team and I am now the first Aftersales Adviser, dedicated to taking care of our existing clients.
What does an Aftersales Adviser do? Isn’t everything done when you finally get your mortgage and buy your dream house?
Well, yes and no. You got your mortgage at a particular time in your life and we helped you get the very best deal then. But you change all the time and the market changes too. Maybe your family is bigger now and you need some extra renovations done to create a better living space, or you would like to have a new kitchen or bathroom. At the while, the interest rates might have dropped significantly, as they have done so in the past two years.
Can't get a better mortgage after all? Expat Mortgages will not charge you a consultancy fee!
I proactively contact our existing clients to check if their situation has changed. The most important possible change is that the value of your house may have gone up and, consequently, the proportion that is part of a loan has gone down. This could lead to a better interest rate.
There are two ways to get a better interest rate. One way is to prove that the value of your house has increased significantly, meaning the risk for the bank is lower. We call that the Loan to Value (LTV) rate.
For example, say you take out a mortgage for 320.000 euros at an interest rate of 3,3 percent and two years later an appraisal report shows the new value of the house is 415.000 euros.
With these numbers and some extra administration work, we can convince the bank to remove the initial mark-up and classify your mortgage as lower risk: this could lead to a discount of 0,5 percent (or even higher) on your existing interest rate.
You will have to invest 750-850 euros (a specially-discounted 249 euros consultancy fee for existing customers + 499 - 599 euros for valuations) but this might save you 1.500 euros a year or even 10.000* euros for the rest of your fixed interest rate period.
However, this does not just apply to the existing clients at Expat Mortgages, new clients are more than welcome to contact me as well to see if there are any possibilities for them to adjust their mortgage with their bank. We would love to help you, with a free consultation meeting and a slightly higher administration fee. And if you can’t adjust your mortgage, we charge no consultancy fee.
Breaking your fixed interest rate period
In some cases, the LTV adjustment won’t work. However, there may be another option available to you – break your fixed interest rate period. This is actually the only option for mortgages with the NMG (National Mortgage Guarantee), as they are already considered part of the low-risk group.
The penalties for this kind of change are usually pretty high, but the final decision will depend on your interest rate and the size of the loan (note that these penalty fees are tax deductible). I will make all the calculations, you can then decide if it is worth doing or not. Again, no win, no fee.
What do you think about working with (mostly) existing Expat Mortgages clients?
It’s a real joy. It is so much easier to work with existing customers, who have experienced all the steps of getting their mortgage, buying the house and living in the Netherlands. Some of them have even become our friends and ambassadors.
I like it most when people approach me in Dutch in their emails, showing how well they have settled into their new life here. I am offering them an extra service with the potential to reduce their monthly costs, so you can imagine that most of my clients are extremely happy to hear that. This makes me happy too and I genuinely love my job!
Any advice for your future customers?
Every year, new rules and regulations affect your mortgage and connected services. Your work and family situation are probably also fluid. The only way to know if your mortgage still fits your needs is to contact me. I will gladly look into your file and advise you on the available options. So, don’t hesitate to get in touch (even if you don’t dare to do it in Dutch yet!) with Expat Mortgages!
*The numbers given in this article are approximate and may vary for every individual situation