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First Time Buyers

Buying a Home – Your Questions, Answered

Couple Getting Keys to House

Buying a property is a big and important decision for anybody, that requires a lot of careful consideration and planning. The same questions often arise about the process, how it works and what you need to do, so here’s our run-down of the most common questions about home buying, answered.

  • How much can I borrow?

This depends on how much you have saved as a deposit; 5% is the usual minimum, but we like to encourage potential buyers to have at least 10% which, of course, depends on the cost of property in a given location. You can usually borrow the full cost of the property, not including your deposit, but this figure changes on an individual basis and can be affected by your credit score and financial position. There are also various schemes that can help first-time buyers get on the market with lower deposits or who may not be able to borrow what is needed for purchase.

  • How can I ensure my mortgage is the best available value?

Determining the best options depends on the individual potential buyer’s personal circumstances, ranging from the size of the deposit to the type of property being purchased. Independent advice from experienced specialist mortgage consultants can tailor products to your specific need and help you get the best mortgage for you, which can be one that’s is not necessarily the cheapest/best value.

  • What information do I have to provide?

Personal data that needs to be provided by the buyer includes employment and salary details, together with an estimate of monthly expenditure, including car loans, credit card usage, as well as average food shopping, travel and entertainment. Supporting evidence, including bank statements, would be required; all material is held securely. This helps the advisors and lenders to decide what would be the best option for you and what you can best afford at your current circumstances.

  • How long do I have to wait for approval?

This depends on the complexity of an application, but approval for a mortgage can usually be secured in principle during initial discussions. Final approval would be subject to verification of the information provided but is usually available within days, following the formal valuation and property survey.

  • How long is a mortgage offer valid?

This depends on the offers terms, and whether circumstances change, for example, a job change, or a property purchase falling through and an alternative second property requiring a valuation or survey. However, under normal circumstances, the in-principle approval would remain valid for 6 months, although we would always recommend revisiting options during that period if appropriate.

Making preliminary enquiries by dropping into your nearest Mortgage Centre to secure the best advice on your purchase, and help to alleviate concerns about your options, as soon as you start planning a purchase or move.


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