Applying for a mortgage is a significant financial decision that requires careful consideration. The many choices can be overwhelming if you’ve never done it before. To help you get started, here are some questions to ask yourself before committing to a mortgage. Reviewing these questions lets you determine if you can apply for a mortgage.
1. How much can I afford to pay each month?
Taking out a mortgage is a significant and long-term obligation. It involves making monthly payments for a minimum of 25 years, and you must borrow an amount that you can feasibly pay back each month.
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When creating your budget, be sure to budget for enjoyable things, potential increases in mortgage payments, and unexpected emergencies both now and in the future. Failing to do so could result in financial troubles that have serious consequences.
If you can’t pay your monthly mortgage, your lender can take your property, and you may lose your home. Even though lenders consider your finances, it’s still up to you to decide if you can afford the payments.
2. How much can I reasonably save for my deposit?
The amount you should save each month to reach your goal depends on your current income and cost of living expenses. It is important to set a realistic goal to avoid feeling demotivated and giving up on saving altogether. You can use our savings calculator to determine the monthly amount you need to save to reach your target.
Paying a higher deposit usually leads to a better mortgage deal. However, if house prices are rising, it may be wiser to pay a higher mortgage amount and become a homeowner sooner. Besides, it’s crucial to remember that there are additional expenses besides the monthly mortgage payments. These expenses must be considered when applying for a mortgage.
To demonstrate good financial management skills to lenders, start saving a consistent amount you can maintain for a longer period. Whenever you have extra cash, you can add it to your savings. Our guide contains additional information about deposits that may be useful to you.
3. Could someone guarantee my mortgage?
If your finances are not in the best shape, having a guarantor such as a parent or close family member can increase your chances of getting a mortgage loan. While you make the repayments, your guarantor must cover them if you fail to pay. This obligation remains until the loan is fully paid off, and both parties are equally responsible for the debt.
It is important for anyone considering being a guarantor to seek legal advice to fully comprehend their obligations and responsibilities. Additionally, there are limitations and not all lenders accept applications supported by a guarantor. For further details on guarantor mortgages, please refer to the relevant information.
4. Am I eligible for any government schemes?
If you’re struggling to buy a home, especially a first-time buyer or need a larger mortgage, it’s worth exploring the government schemes available. One such option is the Shared Ownership scheme, designed for buyers who cannot afford the full deposit and mortgage payments required for a home that suits their needs. For further guidance, please refer to our help section for first-time buyers.
5. Are fixed monthly payments better than a lower interest rate?
The best type of mortgage for you depends on your specific circumstances. A fixed-rate mortgage is a good option if you prefer a predictable monthly payment and protection from potential mortgage rate increases. This can be particularly helpful if you have a tight budget.
Selecting a lower mortgage is better if you believe you can afford higher payments if the interest rates increase. This way, you can take advantage of the rates going down.
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1. Why is the owner selling?
This is one of the first questions to ask estate agents when you are looking at a property to buy. Knowing why the owner is selling can help you understand if there are any underlying issues with the property that you should be aware of¹.
2. What is included in the sale?
It’s important to know what is included in the sale of a property. This can include fixtures and fittings such as carpets, curtains and light fittings¹.
3. What is the asking price?
Knowing the asking price of a property can help you determine if it’s within your budget. It’s also important to know if there is any room for negotiation¹.
4. What is the condition of the property?
It’s important to know if there are any issues with the property that may need fixing or replacing. This can include things like damp, cracks in walls or ceilings, or issues with the roof¹.
5. How long has the property been on the market?
Knowing how long a property has been on the market can give you an idea of how popular it is. If it has been on the market for a long time, it may indicate that there are issues with the property¹.
6. What is the local area like?
It’s important to know what the local area is like before buying a property. This can include things like local schools, transport links and crime rates².
7. Are there any planned developments in the area?
Knowing if there are any planned developments in the area can help you understand if there will be any changes that could affect your enjoyment of the property².
8. What are the neighbours like?
It’s important to know what your neighbours are like before buying a property. This can include things like noise levels and whether they have any pets².
9. What are the running costs of the property?
Knowing what the running costs of a property are can help you determine if it’s within your budget. This can include things like council tax, utility bills and service charges³.
10. What is the process for making an offer?
Knowing what the process for making an offer on a property is can help you prepare for what’s involved in buying a house³.
- 25 Questions To Ask When Viewing/ Buying A House – HOA. https://hoa.org.uk/advice/guides-for-homeowners/i-am-buying/top-tips-clever-questions-to-ask-the-estate-agent
- House-viewing checklist – Which? https://www.which.co.uk/money/mortgages-and-property/first-time-buyers/buying-a-home/house-viewing-checklist-aHBHE1l3AEb9
- How to buy a home – GOV.UK. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-buy-a-home/how-to-buy