Five important first-time buyer questions answered.

1. What is an agreement in principle? (Otherwise known as a mortgage in principle or decision in principle)

This is a certificate issued by your mortgage adviser after your initial consultation regarding affordability to indicate if and how much a lender is prepared to lend you on a mortgage.

This can be shown to sellers and estate agents when viewing a property and making an offer and shows that you are ready and prepared to apply for a mortgage.

2. How much deposit will I need?

The minimum deposit required for a First Time Buyer mortgage is 5% of the purchase price. However, a bigger deposit will benefit your interest rates and monthly repayments. Your mortgage adviser will discuss this in more detail and can then advise you of your options. If you are looking to buy a shared ownership property, then your deposit will be from 5% of the actual share that you buy not the full property price.

3. I have had credit issues in the past. Can I still get a mortgage?

Yes. Every lender will have its own criteria about what past credit issues they will and won’t accept. In the initial consultation it is important that you disclose everything to your broker so that they can do the research to find a suitable lender who will be able to provide a mortgage to you.

4. How long does a mortgage application take?

Once you have had an offer accepted on a property a full mortgage application will be submitted to the lender and it will generally take around 1-3 weeks to receive a mortgage offer. The whole process from mortgage application to receiving your keys takes on average about 10-12 weeks but this can, and will, vary from case to case.

5. When should I speak to a mortgage broker?

As soon as you start thinking about getting onto the property ladder. An initial consultation is free and with no obligation and can be very useful to ensure you are doing all the right things to get your finances in order and to help you be as prepared as possible. A good mortgage broker will also help you budget properly and ensure you have everything you need in order to buy a house.