Thursday 17 October 2019

Your mortgage journey - the guide for first time buyers, switchers and movers

'The mortgage process can seem daunting, but there is always help available'
'The mortgage process can seem daunting, but there is always help available' Newsdesk Newsdesk

While there may be many commonalities, everyone's mortgage journey will be different. Here's our handy step-by-step guide to mortgages, whatever your situation.

Buying your first home

Unless you have millions of euro hidden away somewhere, then it is inevitable that you will need to get a mortgage in order to purchase your first house! When taking out your first mortgage, the whole application process may seem daunting. But it doesn't have to be - here's everything you need when applying for your mortgage, to ensure the process runs smoothly and as stress free as possible.

First things first

The secret of going ahead is getting started quotation. Life, success concept. Vintage key on wooden background
The secret of going ahead is getting started quotation. Life, success concept. Vintage key on wooden background

Before you can borrow from a lender, you will need to contribute some of your money towards the property price - this deposit is at least 10% of the total cost of the property. Be confident with your savings and consider how much the deposit is and how much you will need to borrow. KBC have handy calculators online ( to help you work this out. Whether you have a single or joint account, you can start to think about how much you will need to have saved and how much you need to borrow. Regular saving is key and it may be best to set up a standing order to take a set amount from your salary each month as soon as you're paid.

Getting everything in order

Getting a mortgage is about showing your ability to repay a mortgage, so it's important to have your paperwork in good shape - banks will generally want to see proof that you have a regular income and proof of employment. Many of us get a weekly wage or monthly salary that goes directly into our bank account. We check it's gone in, that it's the right amount and then forget about the payslip. Now that it's time to apply for a mortgage, you'll need to go digging for those payslips, and a few more bits and pieces.

One thing that might appear obvious, but is really important, is that if it's a joint application you're making with a spouse, partner, sibling or friend, you both need all of the below. You'd be surprised how easy it is to overlook these things in all the excitement of a mortgage application! If you're making a joint application and one of you is self-employed, don't worry, there is a self-employed guide to getting a mortgage on to help you with that too.

Work bits

First things first, if you have a job, you'll need to get an original, up-to-date Employee Status Report from your employer to confirm it. They'll be well used to this kind of request, as it's a standard document which confirms your annual salary, any additional payments and the structure of your employment (full-time, permanent, part-time, contract, etc). Your employer must have stamped or signed it within the last six months of you presenting it to your mortgage advisor. You'll also need two consecutive payslips dated within the last six months to prove your salary. Then, you just need your most recent P60 and that's that bit sorted.

Bank bits

If you are applying for a mortgage with your own bank, they probably won't need you to provide all of the following, as they can see it on their own system. If you are applying to a different bank, however, you'll need to present six months of continuous current account bank statements, dated within the last three months. You'll also need six months of savings statements and six months of credit card statements (both dated within the last three months). The bank needs these to see that you are have good savings habits, and are receiving a steady income that could easily handle your mortgage repayments.

Life bits

In many ways, applying for a mortgage is just the same as applying for anything else. One of those ways is proving that you really are Mary from Dublin. For starters, if you're married, you'll need to have your original marriage certificate. You'll also need identification in the form of a current and valid passport, or a current and valid Irish, UK or European drivers licence (with photo). Finally, you'll need to prove where you're currently living. You can do this with a utility bill dated within the last six months, with your name on it, a bank or building society statement issued in the last three months, or your original household or motor insurance documents, as long as they're fewer than 12 months old.

Find it, scan it, file it

If there's a person that likes doing paperwork, we've still to meet them! That said, most of these are standard documents that you probably have lying around the house, so they shouldn't be too hard to find. If they're not close to hand, then search your email, hit those websites or simply ask your mother (because she knows where everything is!). Things like marriage certificates and insurance policies take a little bit longer and may add an additional cost to your budget, but they're just as necessary. Once you get all the above together, scan everything. While it might be a little bit time consuming, if you do it once, it's done for life. Then, simply file it all away because if something gets misplaced during the mortgage process, having it to hand is so much easier.

Getting approved

Before a seller or a real estate agent will accept an offer on a house, you will need an Approval in Principle (AIP), which is an approval which gives you a budget with which to shop around for your ideal property. The AIP lasts up to six months and it gives you the confidence to go searching in the housing market, knowing that you have taken a massive step towards receiving a loan offer. It also puts you in a strong position to be able to put forward an application for property, to work with a vendor or an estate agent.

Get yourself some protection

You'll be required to have mortgage protection insurance on your mortgage. Simply put, it's designed to pay off your mortgage in the event of the death of you or your joint applicant before the end of the mortgage term. It might also be a good time to think about income protection insurance. You may have delayed doing so before but with any impending mortgage commitments, it really makes sense at this point.

Listen to the experts

The mortgage process can seem daunting, but there is always help available if you are still unsure about your options. Make an appointment with a mortgage consultant at your local KBC hub. The consultant can look at the deposit you have in place and discuss with you exactly what you can borrow over the term, and also look at the repayment structure - whether you're looking at fixed-term or variable (see the box on the right for more details). Whether you're a first time buyer, home mover or switcher, there is something that fits all categories.

  • For more information on the mortgage process, visit or call 1800 51 52 53
  • Lending criteria, terms and conditions apply. Security and insurance are required. The maximum mortgage is 90% of the property value. KBC Bank Ireland plc is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Sunday Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News