Shane Quinlan, head of mortgages at Bank of Ireland, takes us through the mortgage process for movers.

For most home buyers, the process of purchasing their home will involve taking out a mortgage. This element of the process can be as integral as finding the house you’ve been looking for. From the moment you punch in the figures on the online borrowing calculator until you get your keys, the mortgage process will be aligned with the buying process.

So what can you expect? You won’t get a full indication of what you can afford to buy until you meet with a qualified mortgage specialist. Sitting face-to-face with a specialist will allow you to find answers for any question you might have. It is the mortgage specialist’s job to guide you through each stage of the application process.

Getting mortgage approval will depend on a number of things, from your ability to pay the deposit to your ability to make the repayments. In order to prove that they can make the various payments, mortgage applicants will have to gather documents from various sources. If you are a PAYE employee, that means your most recent – and original – P60, your last three months’ payslips and your last six months of statements. Self-employed people must provide the last two years’ certified and audited accounts and the last six months business bank account statements. For those who are building their own home, the documentation will include a fixed price contract with your builder.

Successful mortgage applicants are sent a fully underwritten "Approval in Principle" letter. The approval in principle letter is just that: approval in principle. This is not a mortgage offer cast in stone. It is only when you send through all the documents required that you will received the formal letter of offer.

Between selling your old home and buying your new one, the next stage of the process will be one that is filled with the highs and lows of the house hunt. Putting in bids, accepting and declining bids, missing out or being successful. When the champagne corks are popped on the sale of your home, you should contact your mortgage specialist to let them know.

They will then gather all of the signed loan documentation and when you have the new home identified, they will arrange for it to be valued.

There are a couple of legal obligations placed upon mortgage applicants. Firstly, you must have buildings insurance in place to cover the property you are buying. Secondly, when you are taking on a mortgage, you are required by law to take out a mortgage protection policy. This means that if you were to die before your mortgage was paid off, the remainder of the loan would be paid off. While some buyers may not relish the extra monthly cost, a mortgage protection policy can provide invaluable peace of mind. Your family or friends won’t have to worry about paying off any remaining debt in the event of your death.

The final steps of your house purchase will involve some background work between the solicitor ad the bank. Once all of the contracts are in order and have been signed, the solicitor will liaise with your bank to transfer the mortgage amount to the seller.

It’s the end of a process, and the beginning of a new journey.

This article was first published in The Sunday Times in partnership with Bank of Ireland. Publication of this article is not seen as an endorsement of the content by Bank of Ireland.


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