Buying a property can be a lengthy process simply because the process involves many factors. One of those factors is the time it takes to get a mortgage.
There’s no hard and fast rule as to how long it will take, but as a general rule of thumb you can expect to wait around 18 to 40 days after submitting your mortgage application before receiving a formal mortgage offer.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Mortgage in Principle?
You can get a mortgage in principle in a matter of minutes, and this will allow you to start viewing properties within your budget and put in an offer on a property.
It’s important to note that a mortgage in principle shouldn’t be taken as gospel, and there are no guarantees that you’ll be offered that mortgage when it comes to the full application.
However, it does give you a good indication of what you should be able to borrow based on some general information you provide.
The mortgage in principle can be obtained so quickly because it doesn’t look into your finances in great detail, just a rough overview. That’s why, until you have your formal mortgage offer, you cannot fully rely on the mortgage in principle, as a formal mortgage offer will dig much deeper into your finances.
How Can I Speed the Mortgage Process up?
The key to getting your mortgage offer in a timely fashion is preparation. Lenders will need lots of information from you and will require evidence to support your application.
Typically, this will include:
- Valid ID to prove your identity. A passport is ideal.
- Proof of address. A utility bill or council tax bill is sufficient.
- 3 months of bank statements. This is so lenders can assess your spending habits and get a clearer picture of how much you can afford to pay each month.
- 3 to 6 months of payslips. This is to prove your monthly income and factor in any contractual overtime or bonuses too. If you’re self-employed, you’ll need to show your accounts and tax returns.
- Proof of your deposit. A bank statement showing the funds in your account will be needed, and if any of the money has been gifted you may need a letter from the person who has gifted it.
- Details of the property you are buying.
- Details of the estate agent you are buying the property through.
- Details of your solicitor or conveyancer who will be handling the transaction.
What Can Slow the Mortgage Application Down?
If you’re unable to provide any of the information required in a timely manner, then this can be a big factor in slowing your mortgage application down. Therefore, before you even start the process it’s wise to have as much of this information to hand as possible.
Also, your credit history can play a part in how quickly the process is completed. Generally speaking, the more complex your history, the longer the mortgage process will take.
What Happens After the Mortgage Application has Been Submitted?
The lender will arrange to have a property valuation carried out. This is simply to determine if the price of the property is fair and if it’s suitable for a mortgage.
It’s important not to confuse the lender’s property valuation with a survey, which is something that is carried out separately and paid for by you, as the buyer.
Most lenders will require a survey to be carried out as a condition of offering a mortgage. You can pay for a full buildings survey or a homebuyer’s report.
The homebuyer’s report looks at the property in more detail than the lender’s valuation and takes into account any current and potential issues with the property. If the report is satisfactory then it’s likely that a lender will approve a mortgage application without the need for a full buildings survey.
The full buildings survey is a more detailed survey of a property than the homebuyer’s report. It looks at structural safety, maintenance costs and repair costs. It’s more expensive than a homebuyer’s report and it may be carried out immediately or following a homebuyer’s report that has raised concerns.
Once the lender has received the survey(s) and is satisfied with them, they’ll be in a position to make a formal mortgage offer.
How Long Does It Take to Receive the Mortgage Offer?
Once the lender has completed their checks and is satisfied with the survey carried out, you can expect to receive a formal mortgage offer in as little as a few days, and no more than 2 to 3 weeks.
How Long Does a Mortgage Offer Last?
A mortgage offer will typically last for up to 6 months. Some lenders may put a completion deadline on the offer instead of a fixed time limit, but it’s dependent on the individual lender.
If the transaction isn’t completed in time, or you’re quickly approaching the deadline then you can contact the lender to try and get an extension on the offer to avoid starting the whole process again from scratch.
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