Belfast Telegraph

A guide to mortgages for the first-time buyer

The home buying process can often feel a little overwhelming, especially if you’re a first-time buyer.

A mortgage is the largest financial investment any of us will ever make, so it’s normal for the journey to have emotional ups and downs. But you’re not alone, Bank of Ireland UK is there to help you make sense of everything and equip you with sufficient information to make the right choices.

At Bank of Ireland UK we want to simplify things for you. So, our mortgage adviser, Patrick Greene, has outlined a step-by-step mortgage guide to make the whole journey for first-time buyers as stress free as possible.

1) First thing’s first…What even is a mortgage?

The short answer is that it’s a loan. The longer answer is that it’s a tailor-made loan that is used to purchase the home you’d like to buy. No one expects you to have saved £150,000 in cash, so a mortgage loan allows home buyers to avoid paying the entire value of a house in one go. Instead, you can pay a percentage of the total property cost up front, usually around 5% or 10%, and a bank or mortgage lender covers the rest.  You then pay back the loan, plus interest, over a period time, maybe around 20-30 years, until you own the property outright (of course providing you do keep up with your mortgage repayments).

2) Where do I start?

As with anything, a good place to start is at the beginning. Work out what savings you have or will have for your deposit, then make sure you have a clear understanding of your income, or both incomes if you’re applying for a joint mortgage. It’s important to take into consideration if your monthly income includes things like bonuses or overtime. Next, be aware of your credit score, there are plenty of websites to help you check this. Finally, a great way to get a rough idea of what size mortgage might be available to you is to use an online mortgage calculator, just be aware that this is rough guide.

Patrick Greene 2 - Bank of Ireland - Mortgage expert.jpg
Patrick Greene, Bank of Ireland Mortgage expert

3) The first mortgage appointment checklist!

After you’ve searched high and low to find your dream house it’s now time to officially start the mortgage application process. Pull together basic info prior to your first appointment with your mortgage adviser and have the following to hand: pay slips, address history, employment history, property history and solicitor contact details.  Bank of Ireland UK has lots of helpful mortgage advisers in branches or at the end of the phone to answer any questions you might have in the lead up you your first appointment, so don’t be afraid to get in contact.

4) Tips to remember!

Try to keep your credit commitments to a minimum in the 12 months leading up to the application.

Save, save, save! The bigger the deposit, the smaller the mortgage will be. Pull together the basic info needed for your first mortgage appointment, remember to share any and all credit details, even if they aren’t great. Finally, if there is anything you don’t understand or don’t know the answer to, just ask, we are always happy to help.

5) Common mortgage worries:

Entering into a mortgage agreement is likely to be the largest financial commitment you make in your lifetime, so it’s only natural to have some worries and concerns. Being asked to dive deep into your personal finances could make you feel that you don’t earn enough or that you don’t have a big enough deposit, but the most important thing is that you feel in control and comfortable with the details. Keep in mind that there are mortgages available that just require a 5% deposit.

Bank of Ireland UK wants to work with you to better understand your mortgage requirements and to help you find a mortgage that best suits your needs – we understand that it’s more than a mortgage.

For even more helpful tips about buying your first home, visit www.bankofirelanduk.com/mortgages/

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