I was advised by my estate agent to see its inhouse mortgage broker who found me a Cheltenham & Gloucester mortgage. This was my introduction to the benefits of brokers and had a huge effect on the rest of my career.
My last mortgage was taken out in March 2005 when I bought a home in Spain. I got a 70% loan through Spanish bank, Bankinter. It took less than seven days to complete from first contact.
The bank valued the property at 100,000 more than the purchase price and lent on this. In England they always lend on the lower of the valuation or purchase price so this was refreshing.