First Time Buyers: What you need to know

How do you prepare for your first call with your mortgage advisor?

There are many stressful things in life (welcome to adulthood!), but one of the most regularly stressful things is moving house. But if you thought moving home from one rental home to another was stressful, you might need to prepare yourself for applying for a mortgage!

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Of course, there are ways to make buying your own home easier. Finding a good mortgage advisor is a good start and we can definitely help you, so be sure to book in a call.

What happens on the first call?

The initial call will be about 45mins – 1 hour, depending on how complex your case is. It could be done on your lunch break, but it’s worth bearing in mind that it could run long, so if you plan to do it then, make sure it’s a quiet work day, so you’re not distracted!

The first call is a fact-find, take the time to gather this information before you get on the phone, as your mortgage advisor will be asking about:

What information to prepare for your mortgage advice?

There are numerous ways to prepare for your first call with your mortgage advisor, but nothing can be as time saving as having all needed documents at hand. From salary to self employment status here are some useful questions to help you better prepare.

1. What is your salary?

Do you have any bonuses or commissions that should be factored in. Are you expecting a pay rise any time soon?

2. What is the status of your employment ?

Consider providing information on your employment : whether you are a full-time or part-time, on probation, a fixed-term contract or permanent employee

3. What is your self-employment status?

If you’re self-employed, things are a little different, your mortgage advisor will need your accounts and the self-assessment forms SA302s.

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Debts and a budget planner

Do you have any debts? This can include everything from student loans to credit cards debts to money owed on a large purchase, like a sofa. If you’re not a first time buyer and have any other mortgages, this is also the place to mention that!

Make sure you have all of that information to hand, including how much is owed and how much has been paid off. Approximations don’t cut it here, so make sure you know, down to the penny! 

Even things you don’t consider ‘real’ or ‘official’ debts should be mentioned here. If your mum loaned you the deposit for your current flat and you’re paying her back each month – that counts!

A budget planner refers to your outgoings, so make a list of all your outgoings before the call. This should include regular payments like your phone contract, gym membership or any direct debits to charities. 

The budget planner is usually where things get missed, as people tend to forget direct debits and loans, so it’s really useful for advisors if you go through your finances before the call and have it all in front of you, ready to share without missing anything.

What should you have to hand for your mortgage appointment?

Ideally, have copies of your recent payslips and bank statements to hand. Payslips are important at this point because your mortgage advisor needs a breakdown of your income. 

For example, you may earn around £50,000 a year, but your basic salary is £20,000 and the rest is made in overtime and commissions. This is something that your mortgage advisor needs to know about. 

In case you’re thinking you might be able to fudge the numbers to get a little more from a mortgage – don’t! Mortgage lenders are incredibly thorough and will find everything out eventually, so it’s just not worth it!

Now you’ve gone through all that, you’ll want to get an AIP, so you can start your search in earnest!

What is an AIP and how do you get one?

An AIP is an Agreement In Principle. This isn’t your mortgage, you’ll sort that out once you have a property you want to buy. But this is an agreement that you can get a mortgage, which is the stepping stone you need to start your search!

In order for our mortgage advisor to fill out the AIP form, they need:

  • ID: This can be your driving licence or passport 
  • 3 months of payslips
  • 3 months of bank statements
  • Proof of deposit. Lenders won’t accept screenshots of your accounts, so you will need to download PDFs. Unfortunately, if you have your savings spread across multiple accounts, this does mean providing a PDF from each source

If you’re a portfolio landlord, rather than a first time buyer, you will also need to provide a breakdown of your existing properties and mortgages. 

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What are the next steps after your mortgage appointment?

After the call, you’ll need to provide the necessary information for your AIP. While we sort that out for you, you can start booking viewings. Technically, you can start looking before you have your AIP, but now you know exactly what you can borrow, so you can refine your search. 

Our mortgage advisor will send you a document called ‘Our Promise to You’ which is a data protection document, which outlines how you prefer to be contacted, so this needs to be signed and sent back to us as soon as possible.

Getting a mortgage, whether it’s your first or you’re remortgaging, can be daunting. We’re here to help with any questions or concerns you may have. 

It can be a long process – this is just the first step, before you even start looking properly! But getting on the property ladder, owning your own home, or investing for your future, is one of the most rewarding things you can do and worth every penny!

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