When Should I Apply for a Mortgage?

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Buyers often underestimate the amount of time it can take to get a mortgage request accepted – a pre-approval of a mortgage from a lender is not the same as an offer.

A pre-approval only agrees to the amount that you could borrow in theory. A full mortgage application can only be made when you find a property you want to buy. The lender will then arrange for a qualified surveyor to inspect the property you’re looking to buy and provide a valuation to ensure you’re paying the correct value of the property taking into account factors such as similar properties, age, condition and location.

You should start the process of applying for a mortgage before you seriously start to look for somewhere to buy. The average time from mortgage application to offer can take between 18 – 40 days.

Here’s how to put yourself in the best possible position when buying a property with a mortgage

  • Find out how much you can afford.
    You may have already put your details into some online calculators, but until you speak with a lender you won’t have a firm figure of what you can afford to borrow. Many people over estimate and are then left disappointed.
  • Get the basics in place.
    Many buyers lose out on the property they want due to delays and problems with the mortgage. Getting the process started as soon as possible should speed up the process when you do find your dream home and put in an offer.
  • It puts you at an advantage.
    Sellers will prefer a buyer who is further down the road in the mortgage application process. It shows you are serious about making an offer on their property and means you can potentially move faster than buyers who don’t have a mortgage in principal.