Applying for a mortgage?

Ask Emilia

Emilia Hunt is the Sales Director at Metro Finance, the largest Shared Ownership mortgage provider. They help around 2400 shared ownership buyers per month. Emilia has been part of Metro Finance for over 10 years.

Metro Finance recently shared with us ‘Ask Emilia – My top tips when applying for a mortgage’. It helps navigate the mortgage process and answers common questions customers ask – and so we wanted to share it with you.

Emilia Hunt, Sales Director, Metro Finance

My top tips when applying for a mortgage

Every day we help first time buyers secure their first property. When I brought my first house, even though I had experience within the industry it was still an unnerving time for me as I applied for the mortgage and went through the process with the solicitors. And that was with knowing everything to expect! If you’re planning to buy a house, these would be my top tips to prepare yourself:

Know your credit profile

Get a copy of your credit file. Many offer you the ability to sign up for a 1 month free trial, and you can download a PDF to send to your advisor. This will alert you to any outstanding issues.

Understand your income

Lots of people have income made up shift allowance, flexible allowances, overtime etc. Its important to understand what of your income is guaranteed, what can vary etc. All lenders will treat income differently so important to give your advisor the accurate information so they can maximise your lending.

Be document ready

You will need to provide bank statements, payslips, ID etc. So do a check early on, does your driving licence match your current address? Is your passport in date? Make sure save posted bank statements, or that you can download your statements online from your online banking (most allow you to do this). Things can move very quickly in the housing market so its important to be ready so you don’t lose your dream property.

Be open and honest with your advisor

It might feel like your advisor is being intrusive when they ask about whether you are expecting any more children, or how long you intend to live in the property, or how much you spend on your holidays – but actually from a personal level they aren’t interested! This is to gather the correct information to ensure they are recommending the most suitable and affordable product for you. Buying a house is a major investment and commitment for you, and its important that you are recommended a suitable product. If you know there is a potential issue, don’t wait for someone to find it, let the advisor know upfront. This will make the process much quicker, and will ensure that they go to the right lender first time around. Otherwise it could cost you your precious time or money switching lenders. Don’t be afraid.

If you don’t understand anything – ask

Your advisor and your solicitors are working for you. If there is something that you don’t understand make sure you ask questions. Everyone is there to help guide you through the process. This will be one of the biggest commitments, if not the biggest commitment you’ll ever enter – so its important you fully understand what you are entering into. The process can be much more stressful if you are confused about what is happening.

Know your budget

Think carefully about what you can afford, when factoring in your other costs and make sure its comfortable for you. Important now more than ever.

Look to the future

Buying a house will always feel daunting and unnerving. Even the most experienced within the industry feel this. So utilise the experts who are helping you navigate the process, and allow them to ease the pressure. It’s what they’re there for. And always look forward to the future when you’ll have those precious keys in your hands!