10 Steps to Home Buying | First-Time Buyers in Cardiff

Our 10 Step Mortgage & Home Buying Guide for First-Time Buyers

As an experienced and hard working team of mortgage advisors in Cardiff, we always aim to make sure that our customers are kept informed, up-to-date and prepared for the mortgage journey that lies ahead.

In this article we have put together a detailed list of the 10 steps that First-Time Buyers in Cardiff will go through during their mortgage process. It’s our hope that in this, you are closer to being ‘mortgage ready’.

There are 10 steps in the process of buying a home and obtaining a mortgage;

  1. Free Mortgage Consultation
  2. Mortgage Affordability Assessment
  3. Agreement in Principle 
  4. Find A Solicitor
  5. Make an Offer
  6. Submit Your Documents
  7. Formal Mortgage Application
  8. Valuation/Survey
  9. Mortgage Offer
  10. Completion

First Step: Get in Touch for Your Free Mortgage Consultation 

After putting in some very careful thought and consideration, you’ve now decided to take on the world of properties and purchase your very first home, obtaining a mortgage as a First-Time Buyer in Cardiff.

We can say with near certainty that this is going to be one of the most important decisions you ever make regarding your financial state. Once you come to terms with this, it can be anxiety inducing, especially when you are inexperienced with this sort of thing.

It is here where a dedicated mortgage broker in Cardiff can help you with the oncoming mortgage process. We always work hard to reduce our customers stress, doing everything that we can to ensure you come out the other side with a mortgage, positive and ready to enjoy your new home!

Once you have booked your free mortgage appointment with one of our open & honest mortgage advisors in Cardiff, we’ll gather some information from you and take a look at your future plans, before starting off your mortgage.

Second Step: Mortgage Affordability Assessment – How are you doing Financially? 

Whilst your free mortgage appointment is underway, your trusted mortgage advisor in Cardiff will take the time to go through a Mortgage Affordability Assessment with you.

This is generally a fairly quick process. Here your dedicated mortgage advisor will take a look at your monthly income, analysing any of your regular expenditures (the things that you spend your money on), to gain a better understanding of whether or not you are financially capable of paying back a mortgage.

This is crucial to your process and is something we must do before presenting you to a lender, as we need to be completely confident that you are able to afford your monthly repayments. This helps you to avoid potential debts and any future repossessions that could occur. Your mortgage lender will really want to avoid this too if they can.

A Mortgage Affordability Assessment will typically be taken out by a lender too, so our initial checks help to save the lenders time, your time and ours, from an application that could be declined if you happen to fail their affordability checks down the line.

Third Step: Obtaining a Mortgage Agreement in Principle

Once this has been done, the next step in your free mortgage appointment will be helping you to obtain a very key document called a Mortgage Agreement in Principle.

If you have been looking up mortgages prior to enquiring for First-Time Buyer Mortgage Advice in Cardiff, it is likely you will have heard of this, albeit under a few different names.

Some of these include ‘Decision in Principle’, ‘Mortgage in Principle’, as well as being shortened to ‘DIP’ & ‘AIP’. Don’t worry about this, as although it may be confusing at first, they are all actually the same thing.

The reason why making sure you have a Mortgage Agreement in Principle is so important, is because it proves that you have passed a lenders primary credit scoring system, whether that be from a hard credit search (this leaves a footprint on your personal credit file) or performing a soft credit search (which typically does not leave a footprint on your personal credit file).

Having this still doesn’t mean you are 100% going to get a mortgage, but it is definitely a step you will have to take on your mortgage journey. Another reason why it could be so beneficial, is that it shows the property seller that you are very serious, possibly leading to price negotiations when the time comes to make an offer.

Generally speaking, you will find that an AIP tends to last somewhere between 30-90 days. If your Agreement in Principle expires before you have chance to use it, we can easily renew this for you. Our expert team of mortgage advisors are usually able to obtain this for you within 24 hours of your mortgage appointment.

Fourth Step: Finding the Right Solicitor 

After you have obtained an Agreement in Principle, the next step will be to find yourself a Conveyancer who can help you with the legal aspects of home buying. The term Conveyancing is the term that is used for the process of transferring of legal ownership for a property between two parties, from seller to buyer.

Your Conveyancing Solicitor will help you out with contracts, provide you with any required legal advice, conduct local council or authority searches, deal with Land Registry arrangements and finally, the most important part, the transfer of the funds to pay for the property in question.

As you are able to see from the above information, this is a very crucial role in your mortgage process, so it’s important for you to decide carefully on who you use.

Another important thing to bear in mind, is that Licensed Conveyancers are property specialists and are not able to deal with more complex legal issues, whereas a more general Solicitors will be able to offer a wide range of services, though as such may appear to cost more.

Whilst we do not offer any of these services in-house, we do have some select companies that we know and trust, and will gladly be able to refer you to them if you would like us to.

Fifth Step: Making an Offer on a Property 

Up until this point, you’ve now spoken to a Mortgage Broker in Cardiff, passed the Mortgage Affordability Assessment, obtained an Agreement in Principle and found an appropriate Conveyancing Solicitor to help with arranging the legal side of your purchase. You’re almost done now, all that’s left is to make an offer!

As previously touched upon, with an Agreement in Principle to your name, you will be in a much better place for making any property price negotiations with the seller. Don’t be afraid to ask for a lower price, but be wary not to insult the seller with a price that is too low!

If the seller knows that you have an AIP to your name, they will be much more likely to accept any offers you make that are slightly lower than they might receive from someone who is quite happy to pay the asking price but hasn’t even started the mortgage process yet.

If you look at the worst case scenario here, the seller might say no, but it’s here where you can take a step back and either discuss a reasonable offer that you can both agree on, or take a step back and find a more affordable property that you wouldn’t mind calling home.

Once you have had your purchase offer accepted, it’s back to your mortgage advisor and onto the final few steps of the mortgage journey!

Sixth Step: Submit Your Documents 

The next step you will be taking is very important. Every step of your journey is important anyway, but this one is especially, as you’ll be submitting the necessary documents to be able to continue with a mortgage.

As can probably be expected when you are dealing with such a vast amount of funds, a mortgage lender will be incredibly meticulous as to who they will lend money too, and we can’t blame them for it. There have been lots of different instances in the past where lenders were a little less strict on the rules and it didn’t go well for them.

Your mortgage lender will require you to give them the proper documentation to prove your identity to them. They will also need to see your current earnings, where your current place of residence is and how well you are handling your finances on a regular basis.

If you’re obtaining a joint mortgage, the mortgage lender will require the same documentation that you will be providing, from the other applicant as well. This is to once again confirm their identity, address and earnings.

The types of documents that a lender will need to see include; proof of ID, proof of your home address, the last 3 months’ of your pay slips and latest P60 (employed).

They also need to see the last 3 years’ proof of earnings and Tax Year Overviews (if you are Self-Employed in Cardiff), proof of any additional income such as state benefits or maintenance, proof of your deposit and the last three months of your own personal bank statements. 

Seventh Step: We’ll Progress Your Mortgage Application 

When you have had your mortgage agreed in principle, and you have also had an offer accepted, we are now able to go ahead and help you with submitting your full mortgage application to the mortgage lender!

With everything checked and prepared by your dedicated Mortgage Advisor in Cardiff & their trusted team of Mortgage Administrators, we are ready to put forward your application to the lender and begin the waiting process of (hopefully) receiving confirmation that the mortgage is good to go.

Your mortgage advisor in Cardiff will send the lender all of the evidential documentation they have collected for this, and then all that is left is to wait and see what the outcome of this whole process is going to be!

Whilst there is specific time frame of which you can get a response, our Mortgage Administration team will be able to chase the lender to find out the answer for you, keeping on until we know for sure whether or not you have the mortgage.

Eighth Step: Property Valuation / Survey 

In-between the point where your mortgage application is submitted and when you are offered a mortgage, the lender will need you to have a valuation survey taken out on the property. These types of service tend to be carried out by accredited companies nominated by the lender (someone that they trust to be fair and honest).

The reason they do this is to accurately figure out how much the property is actually worth overall, compared to the amount that you have agreed to pay for it with the properties seller. If the lender believes you are paying more than the properties true value, they may be less likely to accept your offer.

This is because in the event of arrears and repossession, selling the property would result in them being out of pocket, as they’d be making back less than they had let you borrow in the first place. This is known in the world of mortgages as a ‘Down Valuation’.

There are a lot of different property survey types available, with the prices of these varying on which one you choose.

Some will just look at the properties value, whereas some will also document any structural concerns that you perhaps should look at, as well as any potential repairs that could require your attention down the line. Your trusted Mortgage Advisor in Cardiff will help you to decide on the right one.

Ninth Step: Receiving Your Mortgage Offer 

Now it’s time to face the moment you have been waiting patiently for. Your mortgage lender has thoroughly gone over your case and performed an in-depth assessment of all the evidence that was documented. You are now ready to be presented with your formal mortgage offer.

Our fast & friendly team of dedicated Mortgage Advisors and Administrators in Cardiff, that you have conversed with frequently and surely gotten to know quite well over your mortgage journey, will review this offer on your behalf to ensure that nothing is wrong and as you want it.

The next step after your formal mortgage offer has been received, will be for your Conveyancing Solicitor to take your purchase all the way to completion.

Tenth Step: Completing The Process 

A big congratulations is in order, you have gone from an unsure and inexperienced First-Time Buyer in Cardiff, all the way to confident and mortgage ready First-Time Homeowner in Cardiff!

From this point forward, we hope that your worries are eased and that any past anxieties and concerns you had have been put to rest. With sincerity, we hope that you are thrilled with your new home and excited to start the next chapter in your life.

The only thing left for you to do is to grab your keys and start moving in your possessions! We genuinely hope you received a top tier Mortgage Advice service in Cardiff and enjoyed speaking to our team throughout your mortgage journey.

If you have opted to go forward with a fixed rate mortgage, at the end of your particular fixed period, we will Get in Touch once again to assist with either your remortgage, or any future property plans you may have!


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www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk

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