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Our 10 Step Mortgage & Home Buying Guide for First Time Buyers

Here we have put together a comprehensive list of the 10 steps that you will go through during your mortgage process as First-Time Buyers in Sunderland, hopefully allowing you to be as prepared as possible ahead of your mortgage journey.

First Step: Get in Touch for Your Free Mortgage Consultation 

Buying your first ever home and taking out a mortgage on it as a first time buyer in Sunderland, will likely be one of the largest financial decisions that you make throughout your life.

Once you come to realise this, the thought of it can be a little off-putting, especially when you haven’t done this before.

It is here that you will truly benefit from the assistance of a dedicated mortgage broker in Sunderland, who will be ready to step in and help you through your process.

We will always aim to reduce your stress and do everything within our power as your mortgage broker in Sunderland, to make sure that you come out the other side with a mortgaged first home, happy with the deal we found for you.

When you contact us for mortgage advice, you’ll be booked in for a free mortgage appointment with an experienced mortgage advisor in Sunderland.

During your appointment, we’ll gather some information from you and take a look at your property owning plans, before starting your mortgage process.

Second Step: Mortgage Affordability Assessment – How are you doing Financially? 

During your free initial mortgage appointment, your dedicated mortgage advisor will be able to run through a mortgage affordability assessment with you.

This is where your advisor will have a look at all of your monthly income and regular spendings, to figure out whether or not you have the ability to afford the monthly repayment costs for how much you are looking to borrow for a mortgage.

Doing this is incredibly important as we need to be completely confident before we put you forward with a lender, that you have the ability to afford your monthly repayments.

This is done to avoid potential arrears and your home being repossessed. Your lender will desperately try to avoid this situation occurring.

A Mortgage Affordability Assessment will typically be checked by the lender in their own time, so in doing our initial check, we will hopefully save both your and the lenders time from an application that may potential fail, due to being unable to afford the mortgage amount.

Third Step: Obtaining a Mortgage Agreement in Principle

Once you have gone through this step, the next step for you to go through will be to get a Mortgage Agreement in Principle, to back up any offers you make.

If you’ve been doing some research regarding mortgages before enquiring about first time buyer mortgage advice in Sunderland, you may have seen this under a handful of different, but fairly similar names.

These names may include ‘Decision in Principle’, ‘Mortgage in Principle’, as well as a few shortened versions such as ‘DIP’ & ‘AIP’. These are all the same thing, only their names are different.

The reason for having a Mortgage Agreement in Principle is to create a record that you have passed a lender’s primary credit scoring system, either via a hard credit search (which will leave a credit footprint on your file) or a soft search (which will not leave a credit footprint on your file).

This will not be a guarantee that you will be accepted for a mortgage but will be essential on your way towards your final goal. Another perk of your AIP is that it will show the seller that you are serious, and may even help with price negotiations.

A standard AIP will typically last between 30-90 days, and you can renew it once it expires. We are usually able to obtain one of these for you within 24 hours of your initial mortgage appointment.

Fourth Step: Finding the Right Solicitor 

Following on from obtaining your Agreement in Principle, you will need to set about finding a Conveyancing Solicitor (Conveyancer) to help you sort out all of the legal proceedings of your home buying journey.

The term Conveyancing is the name given to the transfer of legal ownership of property between the involved parties, whether you are the buyer or seller.

Your Conveyancing Solicitor has the ability to handle contracts, provide you with the necessary legal advice, conduct local council/authority searches, deal with Land Registry and last of all, transfer your funds for the property payment.

As you might expect from that description, this is a very crucial role in your process, so you will need to make sure that you choose your conveyancer carefully.

It’s also important to bear in mind that Licensed Conveyancers are property specialists who are not able to deal with more complex legal issues, whereas a more general Solicitors has a larger range of services, but in turn may cost more.

Whilst these services are not something that we ourselves offer in-house, we do have a few trusted companies that your dedicated Mortgage Advisor in Sunderland will be able to put you in touch with.

Fifth Step: Making an Offer on a Property

Now at this point you will have had a chat with a Mortgage Broker in Sunderland, passed the Mortgage Affordability Assessment, gotten yourself an Agreement in Principle and hired a Conveyancing Solicitor to deal the legal side of things.

This means that now at this point, you are halfway there and the next step for you to take is to make an offer on the property that you desire to make a purchase on.

As touched upon previously, with an Agreement in Principle on hand, you will have a better chance in negotiating the property price.

Keep in mind not to low ball the seller, as this may offend them, though you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for a lower purchase price.

Knowing that you have a mortgage Agreement in Principle, it is more likely that the seller will look to go with you, over someone who is happy to pay the exact asking price but is not prepared for the mortgage process.

The worst-case scenario is that the seller won’t accept your offer, but once that has happened, you can simply work out a more reasonable offer that you can both agree on, or walk away and find another property for yourself.

Once you’ve had an offer accepted, it all comes back to your mortgage advisor, as we head into the final leg of your mortgage process.

Sixth Step: Submit Your Documents 

Now as we delve more into the mortgage aspect of your journey, it’s time to look at an important factor; submitting the necessary documents.

As you could probably come to expect when you are dealing with such a large amount of funds, a mortgage lender is not just going to lend to anyone, they’re going to be understandably picky.

You will be required to provide the lender with a handful of documentation that will prove to them your identity, your income, your current place of residence and how you as a potential borrower tend to conduct your finances.

If you’re obtaining a mortgage jointly with a friend or a partner, they will require both of you to provide this documentation.

The types of documents that a lender will need to see include;

Seventh Step: We’ll Progress Your Mortgage Application 

Now that your mortgage has been agreed in principle and you have had an offer accepted, we can now get onto the next step, which is to submit your full mortgage application.

Once everything has been checked by your dedicated Mortgage Advisor in Sunderland & their hard working team of Mortgage Administrators, we can move onto submitting an application to the lender, hopefully resulting in you getting your mortgage.

Your advisor will send off all of the different documentation that they collected from you to the lender, and then it’s just a matter of patiently waiting for their response, informing us as to whether or not the application has been accepted.

Whilst we can never confirm a specific time frame as to when that response may be, our Mortgage Administration team will regularly chase up the lender and try to find out for you.

Eighth Step: Property Valuation / Survey 

In-between arranging your mortgage application and the point of being offered a mortgage, the mortgage lender in question will require a valuation survey of your new home to be taken out.

These surveys are typically carried out by accredited companies that will be nominated by the mortgage lender (this is basically just someone who they trust).

The purpose of doing this is to gain an understanding of the true property value, versus what you and the seller have agreed on as a purchase price. If you’re paying above what it is actually worth, the lender may be less willing to work with you.

This is because in the event of arrears, the lender could quite possibly end up out of pocket and unable to make back the full amount they let you borrow for the property. This type of process is known as a ‘Down Valuation’.

There are various types of property survey available to home buyers, with these differing based on price. Some will just want to check how much the property is worth, whereas some will inform you of any structural concerns and possible necessary repairs.

Your Mortgage Advisor in Sunderland will be able to help you figure out which property survey is best for you to take out.

Ninth Step: Receiving Your Mortgage Offer 

Now enter the endgame of your mortgage process. At this point your lender has had a look at your case and analysed all the evidencing documentation, meaning all that is left is for them to present you with your Mortgage Offer.

From here, our dedicated team of expert Mortgage Advisors and Administrators in Sunderland, that you’ve become quite friendly with throughout your journey, will have one last check over the offer for you, to ensure that it is right.

Once you have received your mortgage offer, it’s the job of your Conveyancing Solicitor to complete your mortgage process.

Tenth Step: Completing The Process 

A congratulations is now in order! You have officially graduated from being a first time buyer in Sunderland to a first time homeowner in Sunderland.

With any stresses that you have had all throughout now firmly behind you, we hope you’re pleased with everything and ready to begin your new life, in your brand new home.

All that is left is for you to get your keys and move in! We hope our expert team were good to you and that you received a top quality, fast & friendly Mortgage Advice service in Sunderland.

If you have chosen a fixed-rate mortgage, once your mortgage term reaches its end, we will be in touch to give you a hand again with your Remortgage! 

Date Last Edited: 13/01/2023

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