Finalising Your First Mortgage

Published on
1 January 2021

You've found your dream first home, you've got an Agreement in Principle from your first mortgage appointment and you've put in your offer on the house. Now it's time to make your mortgage official, but what happens next? Read our handy guide below to find out...

Getting your first mortgage is easier than you think and we are here to guide you through the process.

By the time it comes to applying for a mortgage, you should have already spoken to one of our mortgage advisors at an earlier stage and are likely to have an agreement in principle.

Once our mortgage advisor has completed all of the details on your application, they will then ask you to sign it. At that point we’ll get the process started straight away. We will arrange for a mortgage valuation to be carried out on your property. This will confirm whether the property is suitable for us to lend on.

This is also the point where you have to arrange for a conveyancer to get the legal work started for you – of course, we can suggest a few conveyancers for you to contact.

The mortgage offer

Once your application has been processed, you will then receive a mortgage offer. Success! This means that your mortgage has been agreed.

Check over the details in the offer carefully to make sure that it matches what you agreed with the mortgage advisor. After you have received a binding mortgage offer, you have at least seven days to think about whether or not this is the right mortgage for you.

A copy of this offer will also be sent to your conveyancer, together with instructions from us for them to act upon. Now you need to let your conveyancer know that you are ready to go ahead – most of the work from this point is in the hands of your conveyancer, and they should aim to complete the purchase for you as quickly as possible.

Signing the contract

In England, once your conveyancer has completed all the necessary checks, you will be asked to sign a contract. When you have signed and exchanged this contract, you are legally bound to buy the property.

You can pull out and cancel your mortgage application at any stage before you have exchanged contracts, but you might lose some of the money depending on how far through the process you are. It is better to cancel now though than risk committing to a mortgage that you might not be able to afford.

If you discover any problems at this stage you should discuss them with your conveyancer and take their advice. At this stage, you may be asked to pay a deposit of at least 5% of the property price. You’ll also be asked to agree a date when your conveyancer will finalise all of the paperwork and send the balance of the money to the seller’s conveyancer.

This is what people call the “completion date” and will normally be the day when you can move in. Remember the process is different if you are buying a property in Scotland.

What to bring to your application meeting

Proof of identity Passport or driving licence.

Proof of your current address
Sometimes tricky if you are not a home owner already, but tax statements, and physical bank statements are accepted, as well as utility bills if you are renting.

Usually your most recent two payslips.

You may also be asked for a P60 if you have bonus income.

Council tax statement
If you have rented, then you will have received this. It can be acquired from your local council office.

Bank statements
Most lenders require the past three months' bank statements.

Life Assurance
If you have Life Assurance we will need to see the policy.

Self employed?

Business Accounts
Bring two years of accounts with you.

Bank Statements
Most lenders will want to see 6 months of statements for your business account.