What is a mortgage?
A mortgage is a loan that you take out and secure against your property. You will then pay back the loan in monthly repayments comprised of capital (the original sum borrowed) and/or interest.
There are many different types of mortgages available. If you’d like to know more about the different types, take a look at our Moving Home Guide or get in touch with one of our expert mortgage advisors. We will never charge you for our services.
How much can I borrow?
The amount you can borrow varies greatly depending on your circumstances, and from lender to lender. Try out our mortgage calculator for a rough guide on the amount you can borrow, but if you’d like a more accurate figure then give us a call – it’s free!
How much do I need for my deposit?
You will need a minimum of 5% deposit, but the more deposit that you can put down, the better your mortgage rate will be.
If your property is being purchased with a buy to let mortgage, you will need a minimum deposit of 20%, provided that the rental income is sufficient. However, most buy to let mortgage lenders will require around 25%.
What is an agreement in principle?
An agreement in principle (also known as a decision in principle, or a mortgage in principle) is a conditional offer from the mortgage lender that they will give you the loan that you have discussed with them.
The offer is still subject to full application and a suitable valuation on the property. It is not a guarantee that a lender will lend, and it will leave a footprint on your credit report, but it may give you a competitive edge over other property buyers when searching for a property.
What is a mortgage offer?
A mortgage offer is an official confirmation from a mortgage lender that they will provide you with a mortgage. It can only be received following full application, the submission of all necessary documents, and a satisfactory valuation of the property you are buying.
What documents do I need to apply for a mortgage?
You will need to provide us with proof of identification and current address. We will also need 3 months of bank statements (that demonstrate salary credits and other credit commitments), and 3 months of payslips, or if you’re self-employed, your last 2 years Tax Computations (previously known as SA302s) and corresponding Tax Year Overviews. Download our list in the Guides section of the website.
Are certain property types difficult to secure a mortgage on?
Lenders will always make a decision based on the specific property and its location. They can have some general restrictions on certain types of property, including new build flats, ex-local authority homes, high-rise flats, flats above commercial premises and holiday homes. The final decision from the lender, however, will be primarily based on an assessment of both the property and yourself.
Can I get mortgage if my job status has changed?
Depending on your circumstances, this shouldn’t be a problem. If you have changed from self-employed to a Ltd. company, provided that you are still in the same line of work, this should be no issue. If you have become self-employed, while most mortgage lenders will require 2 years of accounts, some may also lend with only 1 year of trading. It helps if you have a track record in the industry.
What risks should I be aware of?
As your mortgage is a loan secured against your property, if you fail to keep up with any repayments your lender could repossess your home.
House prices are also able to go down as well as up, which can have an effect on the amount of equity you have within your home.
Do I need a good credit file?
A good credit file will help you get a better rate on your mortgage as you will have access to a wider range of lenders and their respective deals. If you have had credit issues, however, our advisors may still be able to help you. All you have to do is pick up the phone and give us a call.
What fees will I have to pay?
We will never charge a fee for our services, but some mortgage products do have certain fees attached. We will always advise you on the best deal to suit your circumstances, and we will always take any extra costs into consideration when we work out what mortgage you can afford.
How much stamp duty will I pay?
You will not pay any stamp duty on any property priced at £125,000 or less. Over this value, you will pay Stamp Duty Land Tax at 2%, and then in rising increments until 12% on properties over £1.5 million. However, if you are a First Time Buyer then the rules are different and you will not pay any stamp duty on any property priced at £300,000 or less. The tax you pay will begin at 5% between £300,001 and £500,000, and thereafter rise steadily to 12% on properties over £1.5million in line with normal Stamp Duty rates.
If you are purchasing a property as a second home, or with a buy to let mortgage, your stamp duty rates will be higher. Take a look at our Buy to Let Guide for more information, or call us for free with any queries.
What insurance will I need?
Whatever type of mortgage you get, buildings insurance will be a condition of your lender. If you would also like contents cover for your home, we can help you to find the best buildings insurance policy that includes this too.
While life insurance is not a condition of your mortgage, we advise that you seriously look into protecting your income and your loved ones should the worst happen. If you fall ill, are unable work, or in the event of your death, we can help you ensure that your standard of living and mortgage payments are maintained.
What types of survey are there?
There are three key types of survey: basic valuation, homebuyer’s report and building survey (formerly full structural survey). For more information on these surveys and what they involve, take a look at our Valuation Guide.
Do I need a survey?
Your mortgage lender will always insist on a basic valuation to confirm that they are happy to lend against the property. This valuation may be offered free as a part of the deal, or your lender may charge you.
To gain further in-depth detail about the property and to ensure there are no defects, you may like to invest in a homebuyer’s report or building survey, depending on the size, age, and state of repair of the property.
How long can I take a mortgage over?
The maximum term that you will ever be able to take a mortgage over is 40 years. This term, however, is completely dependent on your age and estimated retirement age. So, while some lenders will offer a mortgage up until the age of 75, you can only get this mortgage if you aren’t planning to retire until this age.
What happens at the end of my mortgage deal?
At the end of your deal, you will drop back onto your lender’s standard variable rate. At this point it is worth us investigating what deals your existing lender will offer and maybe considering switching mortgage lender for a new deal – we will be in touch with you before this happens to help you find the best deal available for your circumstances.
Will I need a solicitor?
Yes. You will need a solicitor to provide the conveyancing service. If you don’t already have a solicitor in mind, we are happy to recommend a number of local and reputable firms. Remortgage deals often offer free standard legal or cashback towards your legal costs.
What tips can you give me for when I’m looking for a property?
Always do your research! Take a look at which other properties have sold within the area and if you might need to do any work to a property. Check the ratings of the schools, how long it might take to get to work, where the nearest shops are. Most of all, ask yourself whether you can actually see yourself living there!
How can first time buyers get help onto the property ladder?
There are many different types of first time buyer products and schemes to help you onto the property ladder, from the government’s Help To Buy scheme to shared ownership arrangements. If you would like more information on this, take a look at our First Time Buyer’s Guide, or call us for free for some advice on purchasing your first home.
What is a remortgage?
A remortgage is where you take out a new mortgage to repay your current mortgage. You might do this for a variety of reasons, whether you want to release some of the equity in your home, or you want to get a better interest rate.
When should I remortgage?
When you should remortgage is a question that is completely dependent on your personal situation. You might want to consider remortgaging when you reach the end of your mortgage deal with your current lender in order to gain a new and better deal. You might have stored up a large amount of equity in your home that you want to release for a number of reasons. You might also want to consider a remortgage if interest rates have significantly changed and better deals are available elsewhere.
I am tied into my current mortgage deal – can I still move house?
Your existing lender may let you transfer your mortgage and borrow additional funds, provided you meet their affordability and lending criteria. Depending on your interest rate, however, you might find a better deal with another lender. We will be sure to help you assess all of your options and recommend the deal best suited to you.
Can I change my mortgage term?
Yes. You can choose to reduce or extend your mortgage term at any time, but it will depend on your age at the time of application and assessment of your income.
Can I borrow additional funds to do work to my property?
Yes, but only as long as the funds to be borrowed don’t exceed the lender’s maximum loan to value and it fits within the lender’s affordability calculations.
Can I move without selling my house?
Yes, but you will need a let to buy mortgage. These are very similar to buy to let mortgages, and your current property would need to meet certain criteria to be eligible.
Do I need a buy to let mortgage to rent out a property?
Unless you are lucky enough to be able to purchase a second property with cash and no mortgage, you will need a buy to let mortgage to purchase a property that you wish to then rent out to tenants. For more information on the buy to let process and your responsibilities as a landlord, take a look at our Buy to Let Guide, or call us today – it’s free!
What is the difference between a buy to let mortgage and a standard mortgage?
A buy to let mortgage is specifically designed for landlords who are looking to rent out a property to tenants. Most buy to let mortgages are interest only, and they will not be based solely on your personal income – they will also take into consideration how much rent the particular property could generate.
You will also typically need a slightly higher deposit for a buy to let mortgage, and stamp duty charges are also higher. For more information, take a look at our Buy to Let Guide or contact one of our experienced advisors.