The mortgage process can be a confusing one, especially for first-time buyers who have never been through the experience before.
To help you understand what to expect from the process, we have broken down each stage so you know exactly how it works and roughly how long it can take. This is never set in stone as every scenario is different, but it will provide a general idea of how the process works step by step.
There are also different avenues to go down when looking for a mortgage, such as using a traditional broker or choosing to use an online mortgage advisor. An online advisor can make the process work whilst also having access to more lenders, meaning better deals.
The Pre-Approval Stage
A mortgage pre-approval sets you up for a smoother mortgage process. It reassures real estate agencies that you will be able to get a loan and that you’re ready to buy, making the process move faster.
This will calculate how much loan you can qualify for. Your credit report will be looked at where the lender will be able to see your financial history and credit score. This can help save a lot of time in the process as you can prove how much you can afford, only looking at houses in this budget.
However, it’s important to note that even if you have a pre-approval in place, that doesn’t guarantee that exact deal from a lender.
Once you have a pre-approval mortgage in place, this can give you an idea on what property you’ll be able to afford. You can then start the house hunting process.
You should only look at houses or flats in your budget. You can find houses online or at local estate agents. Once you’ve visited a house that you love, you’re ready to make an offer.
Before you apply for the loan, a survey will need to be conducted of the property to make sure there aren’t any problems which could affect the value of the home. One survey will be done by the lender to make sure the property is worth what you are paying.
You can then arrange your own property survey to make sure there aren’t any underlying issues which will affect the value. If you come across things that you know are going to cost money, you can renegotiate the price with the seller.
Next, it’s time to apply for a mortgage loan. This may be the most time-consuming part of the process as a lot of documents will be needed. You will be told what information you need to provide with your application, but they may already have some of this from the pre-approval stage.
It’s important to provide all information asked for. Take some time on this application as any errors will need to be rectified, adding time to the process.
To speed up the process, you could use an online mortgage advisor. This allows you to sort out your mortgage in your own time and space. They also have access to more lenders which can increase your chances of getting a better deal.
While your application is reviewed, solicitors will review your information and process it for the underwriter.
Underwriters will review your credit history and how likely they are to repay the monthly mortgage payments, checking for accuracy and any potential fraud. They are the key decision maker in whether you accept or deny your mortgage application.
You will receive a decision, and sometimes you may be asked for written explanations in regards to any late payments.
Once the application has been approved, you can review the documents to make sure you are happy with it. You will need to sign the contracts to complete the sale after going through it with your solicitor.
The final stage is for any remaining money required to buy the property to be transferred from the solicitor to the seller’s solicitor. Any additional bills will then be paid, such as your solicitor’s bill and account fees.
Once this has all gone through, it’s official – you have a new home. You may have made arrangements with the seller about when you can move in, so you can start to pack your things and get ready to move in.