Getting your first mortgage can feel like climbing a mountain. So, consider Finance-Store as your mountain guide. We’ll help you to navigate through the whole process (you might even enjoy it).

Buying a home is the biggest purchase most of us will make. And getting a mortgage can feel pretty daunting – complex, expensive, huge. It can be hard to know where to begin.

The good news? You can start right here. We will guide you through the following:-

  • the basics of a mortgage
  • a typical application
  • the different types of mortgage
  • support for first time buyers

We believe in the best possible service. We will ensure that your will have the lowest possible rate for your circumstances with over 12000 products to consider.

We check and confirm the application within hours of receiving it and send it off via secure channels. No more waiting for things in the post.

To speed things up we will require the following:-

  • Copy of ID
  • Proof of current address
  • Copy of payslips or tax overviews if self employed

Get your deposit ready

You’ll need to make an upfront payment on the place you want to buy – at least 5% of the property’s total value, ideally 10% and up.

We get an advisor on the case

You’ll almost always get your mortgage from a bank or building society. You can search deals from these lenders online yourself, or you can get a mortgage broker to do it for you. If you use a broker, make sure they’re “whole of market” – which means they look at every deal out there – and watch out for commission costs. Your lender or broker has to advise you on your mortgage.

(Don’t worry, this isn’t your last chance to get a broker, you can get one any time before you apply for the mortgage.)

We select a mortgage deal, and apply for an agreement in principle

An agreement in principle (AIP) is a document you’ll get from a lender, saying they’re happy to lend you the money for your mortgage.

Before they give you one, the lender may need to see some documents from you, and do a brief check of your income and credit score to see if you can afford to pay back the loan.

Before you get an AIP, you can get a mortgage in principle (MIP) from a lender or broker with no credit search or documents needed. An MIP is a certificate showing roughly how much you can borrow.

Legally you don’t have to get either, but an AIP can speed up the full application you have to do later.

Submit a full mortgage application

When you’ve found a property, it’s time to submit your full mortgage application.

Now, you get a solicitor on board – they’ll need to be named in your mortgage application.

When you submit your application in full, lenders will confirm the details you’ve already provided, look at your documents and make some final checks before they – hopefully – accept your application.

Get a property survey

The lender sends a surveyor to check the property, and you can send your own too. Their job is to check the property is worth the agreed price, and works for the lender as a security against the loan they’re giving you.

Then if you need to, you renegotiate the property price (ie the loan amount too).

The lender makes you an offer

You’ll get your official offer from the lender in writing, and sign the mortgage contracts.

Completion day!

Your solicitor sends the seller their money, and you’ll get the keys to your new home.

You need a deposit to get one

To get a mortgage, you’ll need a big upfront payment, called a deposit, which is usually a minimum of 5% of the total price of the property you want to buy. The bigger the percentage you come up with upfront, the less of the loan you have to pay off over the mortgage term. Plus, many mortgage rates reduce for every 5% you can put down in your deposit.

It’s long-term

Your mortgage can be between 5 and 40 years (most go up to 35). The number of years you take to pay back your loan is called your mortgage term. It’s usually best to take the shortest term you can afford. The shorter the term, the more you pay off each year and the sooner you become mortgage-free.

A shorter term usually means bigger monthly payments, as you have to pay off more of the loan each month. But it might mean a lower total cost over the life of your loan – ie the total you’ll have paid at the end of your term, as you’ll probably have paid less in interest. Our Advisor will be able to help you work out the best term for you.

Interest vs repayment

You can choose how to pay your mortgage back:

Interest-only: (though this is near impossible for first time buyers) every month you only pay the interest on your loan. Your monthly payments will be lower, but they won’t make a dent in the loan itself. At the end of the term, you’ll get a bill for the total loan amount, which means you’ll either need to have saved up in the meantime, or sell your home to pay it back.

Capital and interest, aka repayment: every month, you pay an amount off the debt itself (the capital) and the interest as well. Month on month, your balance (the amount left on your loan) will go down and by the end of your term, you’ll have paid the loan off in full.
Fixed rate vs variable rate

You can also choose the type of interest rate you’d like applied to your loan. Broadly, there are two types: – Fixed rates, that guarantee exactly what you pay over a particular length of time, eg 3 years or 5 years – Variable rates, that tend to be cheaper (though that’s not always the case) but are less predictable

What if I can’t pay it back?

A mortgage is ‘secured’ against the property you’re buying. That means if you stop paying back the loan, the lender can repossess your home. Usually, they’ll step in to try to help you pay it back first – if they can’t, they may repossess your home to get back the money.

Freehold vs leasehold

There are three main ways to own a property:

  • Freehold: you own the land and everything on it (eg the building you’ll live in, the garden, garage, etc).
  • Leasehold: you own your property, but not the land it sits on. When your lease runs out, you have to pay the freeholder to add years to it. The maximum amount of time you can have on a lease is 999 years – then once the lease drops to below 85 years fewer lenders start offering mortgages on those properties. There are often cost implications in leasehold too, with ground rent and service charge to pay, and charges if you want to extend the lease. If you’re buying leasehold, it’s a good idea to seek legal advice to understand all the costs involved.
  • Share of freehold: you’ll be a leaseholder, but part of a group of leaseholders that together control the freehold. You’ll often find this is the case in a block of flats – when it’s time to make decisions about the building or the garden, you can get together and vote on it. And like in leasehold, there may well be service charge and ground rent costs on top of your mortgage.
What’s a mortgage in principle?

If you don’t have a specific property in mind, that’s OK. You can still start thinking about your mortgage in broad terms, and apply for a mortgage in principle to give you peace of mind that your budget is accurate and to give estate agents when you start bidding on a new home. But you won’t be able to apply for a mortgage until you’ve found a specific home to secure the loan against.

Extra support for first time buyers

If it’s your first time buying, you can get government support to help you buy your home, especially if you have a limited deposit.

In a nutshell

A mortgage is a long-term loan. It’s designed to help you buy a property. It can sound complex and scary but it doesn’t have to be.


Remortgaging is a step taken by many homeowners for different reasons – you may want to find yourself a better deal on your existing repayments, consolidate any debts you may have or raise extra money for home improvements. Whatever the reason you want to remortgage your home for, it is important you have the best assistance available to you.

Usually, the best time to look for a new deal is about 3-4 months before your existing deal is due to expire.

Moving House

Moving house can be a very stressful process , thanks to the seemingly endless paperwork and other tasks that need to be carried out in order to complete the move. There are many different parts to a house move, but the most important is the mortgage as without that, the rest is all irrelevant.
We can get you an AIP or DIP (Agreement or Decision in Principle) within a matter of minutes – this is a vital part of any house move, as an estate agent won’t accept an offer on a house without an AIP/DIP in place, and sometimes they won’t even let you view a property without one. An AIP/DIP proves that you have a mortgage in place, which allows you to make offers to estate agents.

First Time Buyers

Buying a house can be a daunting experience for anyone, but if you are a first time buyer, it can be especially overwhelming. For your first house purchase, you need to be sure that you have the best possible help and advice from fully trained professionals.

Whilst sometimes a stressful and scary time it is also hugely exciting and we will be with you along the way taking care of everything to try and make the process as smooth and stress free as possible.

Help To Buy

The government’s Help to Buy scheme is aimed at increasing the number of homeowners around the country by offering financial assistance with the purchasing of a property. With this scheme, buyers can move into a home with a deposit of just 5%, making houses affordable even to people with a small deposit. The Help to Buy scheme is available to both first time and next time buyers and is available on old and new properties alike.

Buy To Let

The buy to let market is constantly growing due to the short term gains of an additional source of income and the long term benefits of property investment. Whether you don’t have the first clue about the buy-to-let market or you are looking to add to your existing portfolio, then Finance-Store are the ideal people to assist you with this process.

Right To Buy

The Right to Buy scheme is a policy that allows tenants of council housing and housing associations the option to buy the property they are living in at a significant discount. Since is was introduced in 1980, around 1.5 million homes have been purchased through the scheme.

Home Improvements

When living in a property, it is likely that it will need some improvements from time to time – whether that is renovations or repairs, small or large scale. Often the cheapest and most cost effective way of raising the additional funds that you need is through the equity you have in your property.

Debt Consolidation

If you want to consolidate debts and lower your monthly payments then remortgaging your home could be the ideal solution. The lowest rate of interest you will usually get is on your mortgage, so by consolidating your debt into your mortgage you can get a much lower overall rate than you would potentially have on loans, credit cards, store cards etc…


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We also offer buildings and contents cover at competitive rates

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