Post-lockdown, the UK housing market is currently experiencing a mini-boom as a result of pent-up demand and the new stamp duty payment holiday. According to the latest Bank of England figures, the number of mortgage approvals for house purchase in August increased sharply to the highest level since October 2007.
With increasing competition for houses, fewer products available, less mortgage deals, and the potential of increasing rates, borrowers need to put themselves in the best position possible.
Below is our 5 step mortgage checklist to get your application moving as quickly as possible:
- Eligibility & Affordability – Check your basic eligibility and mortgage affordability with a qualified mortgage broker such as Samantha Allnutt from WBW Mortgages. Initial consultations are free of charge and no obligation. This will identify any issues early on and help you to start to get any necessary finances in order. This may include gathering a larger deposit together. Those looking to buy a new build property may benefit from a Government Help to Buy loan. Whereas help from a family member may be a way to quickly boost a deposit and / or affordability. For more information about the options of help from family members please contact Sam Allnutt;
- Mortgage Consultation – Book a consultation when you’re ready – the sooner the better and no need to wait until an offer is made on a property. This will help to get the paperwork for a full application ready, for example, you may require employment references or proof of Government funding if you’re self-employed;
- Mortgage Agreement – Get an Agreement in Principle (AIP) with the help of a mortgage broker – this is a pre-application, not a confirmed agreement to lend you the money but can help to show sellers and estate agents that you are a serious buyer. The AIP is usually valid for 90-days but may vary;
- Mortgage Application – Get the paperwork ready – as soon as an offer is agreed, a mortgage application can be completed for you by your mortgage broker. Underwriting may take longer than normal, and having comprehensive paperwork ready with no missing details will get processed more quickly; and
- Valuation – COVID-19 is challenging valuers’ ability to gather and analyse key information, creating unprecedented valuation uncertainty. The need for valuers to assess risk and ensure adherence The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) – standards and guidance is, therefore, greater than ever. Different lenders use different surveying firms to conduct their valuations and some may use virtual valuations instead of physical valuations. Brokers can ask the mortgage lender about the current timescale on valuations and if a virtual valuation could be completed instead. If there is an issue with valuations, brokers can usually also help to find out more information from the lender in order to liaise with the estate agent and conveyance during the sales process.
A mortgage broker can be a useful shortcut for all of these stages, as they usually know lenders’ criteria and requirements from experience.
If your circumstances change at any point during the process, the mortgage application will need to be reviewed and your broker can help you with this. Often the broker will also have access to additional lender contacts, helping to solve problems that may arise or clarify queries as quickly as possible.
The hardest part of buying a new home quickly is managing the chain of other buyers and sellers in the process. Buying a property without a chain has the significant advantage of removing these issues. In all cases though, having good communication with all those involved in the chain will help to keep the purchase on track.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.