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How To Get A Mortgage: Coreco’s Mortgage Guide

This guide was last updated 16 February 2024

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or looking to remortgage, we know moving house can be exciting. That’s why we’ve got you covered in our simple, 10-step jargon-free guide. We’ll help you make the right turns and ensure a stress-free and smooth mortgage process but if you have any questions, be sure to get in touch.

01: Documentation – get it in order!

A mortgage application can take time so it’s good to start early! While you’re exploring new homes, getting your documentation in order will help to smooth the process out. In general lenders like to see your last three years address history (no gaps), your last three months’ payslips and last P60 or two years accounts depending on the nature of your work, your last three months bank statements, and full details of any loans or credit cards you have.

02: Are you creditworthy?

Just like credit cards and personal loans, all mortgage lenders want to make sure they are lending money to someone who is highly likely to pay it back. We can carry out this check for you, or you can go online and a credit reference agency will offer you a check for free/a free trial of their services.

Here’s a top tip – simple things like paying all your credit cards on time and making sure you are on the voter’s roll at your current address may help improve your credit score.

03: How do I find a mortgage broker to help?

Sometimes, researching the most suitable mortgage options yourself can be a little overwhelming. With so many to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? That’s where we come in. If you want professional advice, speak to a professional Mortgage Broker such as Coreco and we’ll do the work for you! What is more, we promise not to use loads of boring jargon or make it more complicated than it needs to be. Down-to-earth, friendly advice, that’s us.

04: Secure an Agreement in Principle

To make sure you have the best chance of securing a house you make an offer on, we suggest that you secure a mortgage Agreement in Principle (AIP). This is something we can obtain for you and it will confirm in writing how much a lender will be prepared to lend you, subject to them checking the information provided. This AIP can then be used to confirm to the vendor your creditworthiness and that you are a serious buyer.

05: Time well spent: submit a full mortgage application

Yep, it’s true. Submitting a full mortgage application can be the most time-consuming part of the process as some lenders require very detailed applications. Often, they’ll want full details of your employment or business, your existing loans or credit cards, bank account details, and of course full details of the property you wish to buy. This is the first stage that any money is actually transacted as some lenders will also take a non-refundable “administration” fee. They may also want payment for the valuation fee as well.

06: What about underwriting?

This can be the most frustrating part as the timing of this varies from lender to lender. Firstly, they’ll check all the documentation you have sent them including pay slips, bank statements, accounts, etc. They may also ask for further information should they want clarification on something in particular. If your preparation has been right, however, this stage can be very quick.

Secondly, they will need to carry out their own valuation of the property. This will look at the overall condition and marketability of the property. From that, they’ll then produce a valuation figure.

07: Securing a mortgage offer

Once underwriting has been successfully completed, finances checked and a valuation figure accepted, the lender will produce a full mortgage offer which will be sent to both you and your solicitors. This will detail the amount to be loaned, the full monthly payments, and the terms of the loan. It will also detail any special conditions that need to be met by you and/or your solicitor.

08: Is financial protection available?

When buying a house, the mortgage offer is not the only financial consideration you should be concerned with. Once the property is yours, it is very important that you consider whether you will be able to keep your home should anything unfortunate happen. Life cover and income protection are important insurances to consider.

Ensure you take into account ways of protecting yourself and your family should you suffer an illness, redundancy, or become unable to work. You will also need to arrange buildings and contents insurance to protect the property and your possessions ready for exchange.

09: Do I need a solicitor?

When purchasing your new home, you’ll need a solicitor to represent you as the buyer. You can either find one through the recommendation of friends and family or speak to your Coreco adviser. We have a select panel that has been through our rigorous due diligence process.

Once the solicitor receives the full mortgage offer, they will complete a “Report on Title”. This will include looking at Local Authority Reports to ensure are no unexpected surprises further down the line! They’ll also check that the lease is all in order for leasehold properties and answer any specific questions the lender may have raised. Once complete this is then sent to the lender for review.

10: Exchange & Completion

This is it – the final stretch!

Once all parties; the lender, solicitor, and buyer (i.e., you) are happy with the terms, an exchange and completion date are set. Exchange is the first date after which neither the buyer nor seller can pull out of the transaction without large financial costs. In other words, the property is yours.

Last but not least, the completion date is when you actually receive the keys and start moving those boxes!

…now where’s the fizz?

Mortgage application timescale

Under normal circumstances, application to Mortgage Offer times varies depending on how busy the lender is and the complexity of the deal. As a rough guide, at least 2 to 3 weeks should be allowed. Depending on the current market situation and work required by the solicitor after this point, a whole transaction from beginning to end requires around 4 to 6 weeks, although under certain circumstances and due to some welcome technological advancements, we can move quicker. It is important to let us know your timescale at the outset so we can plan accordingly to meet your deadlines.

The more efficiently presented a mortgage application is, with the full documents required prepared in advance, the quicker this process can be. With the help of an efficient mortgage broker such as Coreco, we’ll provide a highly personal service that can help you streamline the process.

It’s also worth noting that some lenders do move slower than others, especially if they have the very lowest rates and are exceptionally busy. Timings should be taken into account when deciding on which lender to proceed with. Sometimes taking a slightly higher rate to meet the required deadlines will make all the difference in securing your dream home.

Give us a call on 020 7220 5110 or fill out the form below to arrange a no-obligation chat!

    Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

    There may be a fee for mortgage advice. The actual amount you pay will depend on your circumstances. The fee is up to 1% but a typical fee is 0.3% of the amount borrowed.

    Andrew Montlake

    Written by Andrew Montlake

    Andrew Montlake, better known as Monty, began his journey with an Hons degree in Economics & Politics before starting in the mortgage industry in February 1994. As a main founder of Coreco in 2009, he successfully grew the brand, marketing, and communications, and was made MD in 2019 focussing on the overall vision, strategy, and culture of the company. As Coreco’s media spokesperson, Andrew can often be seen or heard on TV and radio as well as regularly commenting in the national, local, and trade press. He is the author of this acclaimed Mortgage Blog and is well-known for his social media, podcasts, and public speaking. Andrew is now proud to serve as Chairman of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, (AMI) as a cheerleader for the Mortgage Industry as a whole and continues to work at the coal face, writing mortgage business and advising clients.

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