We have recently made an offer for a house and had it accepted. We went to see a mortgage advisor at Burchill Edwards estate agents. I believe they are only a West Midlands based company but I cannot recommend them highly enough. When we first saw them, we were given a copy of the mortgage code of practice and the guy we saw explained to us how much money he was going to make out of us, how he was salaried and not on commission so he wouldn't be selling us one mortgage over another. He was very straight forward and wrote everything down in little examples for us. It was a little like being at school. He asked us if we were interested in any company in particular and showed us the rates and packages they offered. Then he advised us which was the best on offer for first time buyers. We felt very encouraged by him and that we trusted him and the company he worked for. We have since done a little research of our own on the sly and we cannot match the deal he gave us. I thought that the last place in the world I would be going was to a mortgage broker - I am very cynical and don't trust estate agents at all. In this instance, I was proven wrong. As a broker, they buy many mortgages per year, whereas you or I will only buy one every now and then. Consequently, a broker has more buying power than we do. We have been given a Nationwide mortgage on a deal that we would not be able to get if we walked into Nationwide ourselves. At least try a broker. Remember, they only have to do one credit search for quotes from 300 different companies so your credit rating will look healthier too.