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06 Oct 2022

A Full Guide to the Mortgage Process

The mortgage process can be daunting for those experiencing it for the first time. Not only do you need a lot of documents, but you need to understand what you can afford and the best type of mortgage for your circumstances.

It’s a lot to take on, but we’re here to ease that burden. Our online mortgage advisors have experience in all types of mortgages and circumstances to answer all your burning questions and make the process that little bit less stressful.

So if you’re applying for a mortgage but don’t know what to expect, we can help. This blog post will run through the main stages of the process to break down the steps so you can understand how it works, from start to finish.

How To Prepare for a Mortgage

For a smooth process, getting yourself prepared as soon as possible will make your life easier down the line. There are a couple of steps you can take to get ahead of yourself, which include the following.

Find Out What You Can Afford

One of the most important aspects of a mortgage is understanding your budget. This will determine the type of mortgage you can apply for and what cost bracket you’ll be looking for when it comes to house hunting.

Your budget will include your deposit, which is the amount you can afford to put down and is usually a minimum of 10% (or 5% for first-time buyers). Your second budget will be how much you can borrow which will be based on your salary. Lenders are usually able to lend 4.5 times your income, but this can vary.

Use our mortgage calculator to help with the maths.

Are You Mortgage Ready?

To be ready for a mortgage, you need a strong financial profile. Basically, your credit score needs to be up to scratch, you need a decent income and able to prove your financially reliable in order to get a good deal.

You can improve your score by paying off any debts and repaying your credit card on time to show you’re reliable. Read more on how to improve your credit score.

Get Your Documents Ready

Do the admin now to save yourself a headache later. The main documents you need to collect can vary from lender to lender, but you’re likely to need the following:

  • ID
  • Proof of address
  • Payslips and P60s, if employed
  • Two – three years’ worth of tax returns if self-employed
  • Bank statements from the last 3 months

Speak To An Advisor

Mortgage advisors are crucial for first-time buyers as they can guide you through the ever-winding roads of the mortgage process. They’ll be able to help choose the right deal for your finances, as well as using their knowledge surrounding extra fees and what lenders look for in an application. This will provide you with a better chance of getting accepted for the best possible deal.

Contact us to start the process on 03300 58 60 58 or

The Mortgage Process

Okay, so now that you feel more prepared, we can run through the mortgage process itself.

Applying For a Mortgage in Principle

Before you apply for a mortgage, getting a mortgage in principle will set you up for a smoother process. This certificate is provided by a lender or broker and will show how much you’re able to borrow based on your salary, deposit and your monthly outgoings.

Having a MIP will show estate agents and lenders that you’re serious about buying.

However, it’s worth noting that this isn’t guaranteed and can change by the time you apply for your mortgage.

Find Your Dream Property

Once you have a MIP, you’ll have a better understanding of what property you can afford. This is the fun part! You can start the property hunt, go to house viewings and visualize yourself inside these homes until you find one that’s perfect for you.

When you find one that’s right, it’s time to make an offer. Your MIP can help push your offer over the edge.

Agreement in Principle

An Agreement in Principle (AIP) is the first step to your official application and is similar to a MIP, but is more detailed.

Using your income, outgoings, the details of the property you want and credit checks, lenders will decide whether you will lend a specific amount of money to you for a mortgage.

Once you provide all of the information, it can take up to a week for a lender to get back to you.

Get a Solicitor

With an AIP in place, you can then start getting solicitors and conveyancers involved.

A solicitor will make the following checks before exchanging the property over to you:

  • There are no faults or issues with the property
  • You will be able to afford the property and you understand the legalities
  • The property is worth the amount you’ll be paying

Once these checks have been completed and your mortgage is accepted, the solicitor will finalise the deal on behalf of you with the seller.

The Official Application

One of the final steps is getting all your documents together and passing them over to your mortgage lender, officially making your mortgage application.

There’s not much more you can do after this, your lender will be checking your details and doing the final checks before accepting or rejecting your application. This part can take anywhere between one month to six weeks, so hold tight.

If you’ve had a MIP and AIP, you shouldn’t need to worry about getting rejected unless you’ve had a sudden change in circumstances. Other reasons why you could get rejected could be a problem with the property or a financial problem has been uncovered.

If this happens, your mortgage broker will be able to run you through why and prepare you for the next application.

Exchanging Contracts

The time has arrived! Once you get an official offer, you can exchange contracts and go ahead with moving in.

Need Help?

Ready to start the mortgage process? Or are you still unsure about where you stand? No matter your financial situation, we’d be happy to help. Get in touch with us today or start your journey here.


Andrew Montlake

As Managing Director, Andrew looks after the strategic goals that drive the vision and culture of the company, maintaining and promoting our Brand, Marketing, PR & Communications, as well as looking after our Corporate, Introducer, and Lender relationships.

He is the author of a highly acclaimed Mortgage Blog and host of our successful Mortgage & Property Podcasts and he has also won 8 major industry awards; Best Press Spokesperson (twice), Best Marketeer (twice), Mortgage Personality of the Year (twice), Mortgage Strategist of the Year and most recently Best Business Leader Broker (11-50 brokers).

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