It’s hard to know who to trust when it comes to buying property in the UK. It’s a complicated process, where competition is very high and there are many people out to profit at a buyer’s expense. This is where interesting new start-up Plentific comes in, an online service that aims to revolutionise the process of buying property. Started by seasoned financiers Cem Savas and Emre Kazan, Plentific has already proved a very detailed and considered system that helps buyers understand budgeting, property searching, and sourcing advisors and ties all of this information together to reduce confusion and save time. Savas has said of Plentific: “We don’t have the data yet. But if a typical house purchase takes four or five months at the moment, it we can cut that down to two or three, that would be a success”.
Clicking onto Plentific, you begin like any other property related website. Plug in a budget and a postcode and review the properties available. The differences however become clear when you begin to mark a few as favourites. Plentific allows you to compare properties side by side, calculating the commute times, distance to local transport, mortgage costs, you name it. It’s a refreshing approach, making it easy to narrow down a search.
Of course after you have chosen a property, there is far more ahead of you and Plentific’s next stage tackles this. Their knowledgebase is extremely detailed and covers every aspect of the property purchase. Whilst this is too much information for some, it is a great feature. As a qualified mortgage broker, I’m often frustrated at the one-sided approach to property advice, but Plentific have clearly had a huge amount of input from solicitors, mortgage brokers, estate agents, surveyors and a whole host of other property professionals. Their buying guide allows you to skip these parts if you choose, but otherwise lays out everything in a step-by-step fashion from which buyers get a very clear picture of what happens when and what to look out for at each turn.
For me, where Plentific really delivers is in their calculators. They have a very effective affordability calculator that perfectly echoes the Financial Conduct Authority’s (the mortgage regulator) attitude towards realistic borrowing. Instead of simply taking an income multiple, it factors in day-to-day expenses, and considers how much disposable income a buyer will have to commit to the new mortgage payment. They also have a great deposit calculator that estimates how long it will take to save a required deposit, factoring in the increasing house price and interest on your savings. This ties in nicely with the budget calculator, allowing you to see how much you have available to save now and how long that will take to allow you to realise the funds to secure your dream home.
What I like the most about Plentific is that it serves such a broad spectrum of users. Many of my clients have to ask me to reverse a little, and ask me to explain things in more detail. Often I forget they don’t always know what order things should happen in or what a solicitor, broker, lender will actually do through the process. Plentific provides extensive and clear guides to all of these issues. Those who already understand the process can benefit from the powerful tools that allow them to plan, or to be more efficient with the cash and budget they have and those who are new to the whole process can be assured and talked through everything at their own pace. Talking about the future with Cem, it’s clear further integration and development of these tools is on the cards, which is both exciting and desperately needed.
When I started AALTO Mortgage and Property Solutions I did so with the aim of creating a transparent service. I believe clients should be given all the information they need – all the tools and advice that they require to do the best for themselves. I like Plentific because it echoes these sentiments and, as a result, I have no doubt it will become a key part of any homebuyer’s toolkit.
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