Getting your first mortgage, for your first home, can be a stressful experience, especially if you have little knowledge of the housing and finance markets. There is a lot to learn in a short amount of time and making a mistake could end up costing you for years afterwards.
Starting off with the basics can help you to make an informed decision when the time comes to commit. After all: no one wants to spend hours and hours on the paperwork when you could be embarking on an exciting first few months in your new house. The below advice from our experts should help to get you started.
Not all mortgages are created equal
There are a vast range of mortgages on the market, with different mortgages targeted at different groups. There are mortgages with rates that change after a number of years, mortgages which allow or disallow buyers with a certain level of deposit and mortgages geared for specific groups, such as recent graduates. Look carefully at your options: even if a mortgage is targeted at a group you belong to, it might not actually be the best one for you personally.
Understand the different types of mortgage
The main types of mortgage you will encounter will probably be either fixed, variable or tracker. Fixed rate mortgages stay at the same interest rate for a set period of time, whilst variable mortgages go up or down depending on the interest rate set by your mortgage lender. Tracker mortgages are similar to variable mortgages but normally go up or down in line with the Bank of England’s interest rate. There are several other types of mortgage you might encounter, as well as the targeted mortgages mentioned above, so do your research and make sure you know what you are getting.
Boosting your credit rating and deposit can help
Your credit rating and your deposit may be the biggest factors when it comes to having your mortgage application approved or denied. Though it can seem arduous, saving that extra bit of money for a few months towards your deposit can make a big difference to the mortgages available to you. Similarly, a lack of credit history or a poor credit history can limit your options.
Your mortgage is not your only cost
This is an important one to remember when budgeting and calculating your deposit. As well as the costs of arranging your mortgage (such as an application fee) remember that almost all home purchases require survey and legal fees as well. Depending on your location, mortgage provider and the condition of the property you are purchasing, multiple surveys may be required. You might also need to factor in furnishing costs if this is your first home and any extras like hiring a van or a removal company.
Get your information ready and in order
Mortgages can often require a lot of paperwork to approve, so having this ready well in advance of your application can save you a lot of time when it comes to putting your mortgage in place. Typically you will need proof of address for three years, proof of income for three months, your employment history and full details of any loans or debt you currently have. You may also need full transactional bank history and other financial details, so have them ready: it’s better that you know where they are and not need them, rather than delaying your mortgage application whilst you hunt for them.
Ask for some impartial advice
If you have done some initial research and are still bewildered by the options then it is best to seek some impartial help from an expert, who can help to make sure that all of your requirements are met. If we can help then please do get in touch via any of the methods on our Contact page and we will be more than happy to discuss your needs with you.
Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
There may be a fee for mortgage advice.