Sam Cattell is breathing fresh life into the world of mortgage advice.
Moving away from the traditional, formal connotations that you’d normally associate with mortgages, Sam’s business ‘Mindful Mortgages’ aims to do exactly what the name suggests: provide personal, helpful mortgage advice, mindful of the fact that mortgages go far beyond simply buying a house.
Speaking to the Sir Thomas White Loan Charity borrower, you immediately understand why she does what she does. Having worked as an advisor and director for a mortgage broker in Leicester for 13 years, specialising in mortgages, Sam felt overwhelming satisfaction helping people, families even, achieve their goals. However, dismayed at the market and the way that mortgage advice was provided on the high street, Sam wanted to take that enthusiasm and passion, and provide tailored mortgage advice in a different way.
Keeping her clients’ emotions, lifestyles and circumstances at the forefront of everything she does, Sam recognises that buying a house is just a small part of the process of getting a mortgage. For many, it’s obtaining a home for families; opening a chapter in a lengthy story that will create an unprecedented number of memories. For others, it’s the ability to break away from the shackles of renting and paying over the odds each month. Whatever your stage in life, it’s a huge deal.
“I wanted to break the mould,” explained Sam. “I love the home side of it, especially when families are involved. To see a couple and their kids in the house that you’ve helped them buy is amazing. After having my second child, I started to think ‘What do I do? I was a director, but I felt like I was plodding.”
It was at that point that Sam took the leap to establish ‘Mindful Mortgages’. As she openly admits, it was a bit of a risk; however, confidence in the knowledge obtained over 13 years and the plan to do things differently left Sam in no doubt that the new business would be successful.
“I set everything up whilst I was researching sources of investment in December 2017, but with only £15,000 available I knew that wasn’t going to cover my personal bills,” Sam explained. “I’d just done the mortgages for my friends and a few of their friends, and it was during that process that I discovered The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity and applied.
“Applying was a good experience in a strange way,” she added. “Because I was essentially borrowing money, it enabled me to be put in the shoes of my clients. That really helped me. I felt confident coming away from the interview with the trustees.”
That confidence was affirmed when Sam’s interest-free business loan was approved by the charity. Since then, ‘Mindful Mortgages’ has continued to grow – but Sam is keen to help more people in Leicestershire and the surrounding areas through her unique approach.
“The saying ‘home is where the heart is’ merges perfectly with the reason why I love doing what I do – it’s just that seems a bit cliché!” laughed Sam. “For me, it’s not about the money, it’s not about the finances – yes, they’re involved – but it’s all about the goal, and that’s owning your own home. Not a house; a home. I don’t want to work with people and they feel that it’s a transaction, that once the deal has been done, that’s it. I want people I work with to feel great about getting a mortgage throughout the process.
“People never wake up in the morning and say ‘I want a mortgage’,” Sam added. “Everybody says, ‘I want to buy a house’. I want to be the person that helps them get there. I don’t want people to feel like they have to go to a bank or an estate agent. I feel that I am the missing link.”
Just a quick look on the ‘Mindful Mortgages’ social media platforms can give you an idea as to why Sam’s approach is different. Despite her primary service being mortgage advice and assistance, rarely – if ever – are the words ‘mortgage’ or ‘interest-rates’ mentioned.
“It’s about the journey and the meaning behind what we’re doing,” said Sam. “Using the word ‘mindful’ in my business name comes from the empathy I have, the understanding and consciousness that comes from being in the same position before and having worked within the industry for such a long time.
“I feel the emotional side of the industry just isn’t there. Across the board, it’s very cold. We’re not!”
With constant headlines in the media highlighting the number of people still renting in the United Kingdom and struggles some face to obtain a deposit for their first home, Sam is also keen to ensure that people have a place to go for a friendly chat about steps that can be taken.
“There are so many people that may not necessarily be in the position to get a mortgage yet, but are working towards it,” she said. “That’s what I’m here for. For those people, we can meet for a chat and make a plan, whether it’s for two years or five years it doesn’t matter. Just make contact and hopefully keep that contact, so that we can form a long-term relationship where I can help with your first house and the property journey from there.”
For more information on ‘Mindful Mortgages’, please visit their website at www.mindfulmortgages.co.uk
For more information on The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity’s business loans, which are available to the value of £20,000 to people aged 18 to 45, please click here