Buying your first home is not only exciting and life changing, but can be a daunting experience, and probably one of the most stressful decisions you will ever make. There is however a lot you can do to make the process easier and I believe it starts with talking to a trustworthy and knowledgeable independent mortgage broker.
This should absolutely be your first step.
Once you have discussed your options with a broker, you will not only know your maximum budget for buying, but also what the process entails, from monthly payments to upfront charges.
Not only does this show commitment to any agent whose property you enquire to see, it goes a long way in making any vendor feel comfortable that they are dealing with a serious buyer who won’t be wasting their time.
You will be able to view properties within your budget, make a confident offer based on real figures and find your new dream property.
1)Make sure you are on the Electoral Register.
In the UK there is no mandatory ID system in place and lenders rely massively on the Electoral Roll for confirming your identity. This will massively increase your credit score. Some lenders will not lend unless you are registered on the Electoral Roll. Call your local council and make sure you are registered. Make sure your address is accurate and your FULL NAME is spelt correctly.
2) Make sure your address is consistent.
The checks the banks do are electronic and involve third party records. Machines cannot distinguish between variances in address and often reject alternate versions. E.g. 60A Dennis road vs. Flat A, 60 Dennis Road vs. Ground Floor Flat, 60 Dennis Road, are all different…
Amend your address so your bank statements, electricity bill, electoral roll, etc. ALL match exactly.
3) Check your credit report.
Banks will refer to your credit report to check whether you have been paying your commitments on time. www.experian.co.uk and www.equifax.co.uk will provide them with this information. Check with both service providers and make sure everything is there and up-to-date. Fix what is wrong, and make sure your records are accurate. Your “Credit Score” is not what matters. Your Credit Report is.
4) Have all your documents in order.
Several paper documents are required for any mortgage application. Passport, bank statements, payslips and proof of address being the most important. Make sure you have all these in order, your address correct, name spelt right. Paperless is becoming more popular, but sadly, this is not always feasible when applying for a mortgage. Your broker will tell you exactly what is required and it is worth knowing this well in advance.