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