Finding your dream home is usually the simplest part of the house buying process! Once you see somewhere you want to put in an offer for, you’ll want to move fast. It helps, therefore, to have your mortgage sorted before you find somewhere you want to buy.
You can choose a lender and mortgage, apply for the loan and get your mortgage ‘approved on principle’ before you even start looking for a house. This means that you know what your budget will be and can be fairly certain that your mortgage will be accepted. The lender will still want to see the valuation survey, however, and there may be other checks that have to be completed before the deal is closed.
While most people used to take out their mortgage with a building society or bank, these days there are a number of other options to consider. Smaller, specialist mortgage providers can offer good deals and are sometimes more flexible about terms.
Banks and Building Societies
Since the market has become much more competitive, the larger finance houses have adapted their practice to become much more flexible with their mortgage deals. You will have the advantage of knowing that a reputable lender provides your mortgage, and local branches can make your day-to-day banking more convenient.
Some companies now offer their own range of mortgage products, which can give good terms, along with insurance products and investments. Legal and General are a well-known example. Check that you are not committed to taking out insurance policies with the lender along with your mortgage.
Specialist and Centralised Lenders
Generally this type of lender operates from one location – you won’t be able to visit a local branch, but they may offer lower rates as a result of having fewer overheads to cover. Virgin Direct and Mortgage Trust are two lenders who can offer particularly flexible mortgages. Telephone and internet banking make this kind of borrowing more convenient.
Council house residents may wish to apply to their local authority for a mortgage. There are also some mortgages available from some authorities for people who wish to renovate derelict houses – contact your local council for more information.
It’s good practise for a lender to subscribe to the Mortgage Code – this is a voluntary scheme that means the lender has promised to uphold commitments to good service.