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Buying your first home? Get an idea of how much a mortgage lender could be willing to lend you.
To use our affordability calculator you’ll need to know:
A first-time buyer is someone who has never owned a property before anywhere in the world.
Some lenders offer specific mortgage deals for first-time buyers, but many deals are available to all buyers.
A remortgage is when you take out a new mortgage to repay an existing mortgage debt on a property you own.
This is usually done to save money when your initial mortgage deal – which could be a fixed or variable rate – ends.
When you move house, you can often take your existing mortgage with you – this is known as porting your mortgage.
If you don’t have a portable mortgage or you find a better deal elsewhere, you can take out a new mortgage, but you may have to pay early repayment charges or exit fees.
A buy-to-let mortgage is for people who are buying a property for the purpose of renting it out.
With a buy-to-let mortgage, lenders look at the rental income you’ll get from letting the property into account when deciding how much to lend to you.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage
A mortgage is a loan from a bank, building society or other lender that you can use to buy property. It is paid back with interest, usually over a long period of time, and is secured on the property you’re buying.
This means that if you can’t repay the loan, the lender could take back (repossess) and sell the property to get their money back. However, the lender would only do this as a last resort.
A mortgage allows you to use the property as soon as the purchase has been completed. You don’t need to pay the property’s purchase price in full to start living there or renting it out to a tenant.
However, being able to continue doing so depends on you keeping up with the repayments every month.
Mortgages are typically taken out for 25 years, but the term can be shorter or longer. If you opt for a longer term, your costs will be more spread out meaning your monthly repayments will be lower.
However, it will also take you longer to repay the mortgage, and you’ll pay more interest overall.
The LTV, or loan to value, is the ratio between the value of your property and the amount you're borrowing. All mortgage deals have a maximum LTV – the maximum percentage of the property’s value they can fund.
Typically, the higher the LTV, the higher the interest rate you’ll pay on your mortgage.
First-time buyers tend to need to borrow a higher percentage of the property’s value than existing homeowners who have often built up equity in their property by the time they want to remortgage or move home.
First-time buyers often pay higher interest rates than other borrowers as a result.
APRC stands for Annual Percentage Rate of Charge and is a way of comparing different mortgages. It takes the overall rate charged over the lifetime of the mortgage, including any fees, and gives you a baseline comparison rate.
Mortgages generally offer a lower interest rate for the first two to 10 years then revert to the lender’s – usually higher – standard variable rate (SVR). The APRC is a way of taking both these interest rates into account to show the cost over the whole term. This helps you to find out whether the deal with the lowest initial rate is really the cheapest overall.
However, as it assumes you’ll have the mortgage for the whole term it’s not always a useful way to compare deals. It’s usually best to switch to a new deal at the end of the initial period to avoid paying your lender’s SVR. For this reason, looking at the total cost over the deal period can be a better way to find the cheapest option.
Last updated: 27 September 2022
One of the most important factors for people buying a home is working out how much the monthly mortgage payments will be. The payments depend on both the amount you need to borrow and how much you have as a deposit, which will in turn determine the interest rate you can get.
Once you know the size of the loan you need and can afford to pay back, you speak to a mortgage broker who can compare mortgages to find the right deal for your circumstances.
There are various aspects of each mortgage you’ll need to compare. Ask yourself:
How much will my monthly mortgage payments be?
What set-up fees will I need to pay?
And, if you choose a variable-rate mortgage, how much will it cost if interest rates rise?
The answers to these questions will help you find out which mortgage deals will be best for you. You should factor in the fees as well as the interest rate to see which is the most affordable option overall. The easiest way to do this is to look at the total cost over the deal period.
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The details we require include the property price, your deposit, whether you're looking to live in the home or rent it out, and others.
Lenders generally take income, deposit and affordability into account
You can get an idea of what you could afford by using our mortgage affordability calculator.
Mortgage lenders will usually want to see up to six months of bank statements. They will want proof of the income you have coming in regularly and will also look at your expenses to get an idea of how much of your income you are spending each month.
If you spend a large amount of your monthly income you may be seen as a riskier prospect by the lender.
In the run up to applying for a mortgage, it’s therefore sensible to make sure you are budgeting properly. Look at all your spending habits before you even start comparing mortgages. Ask yourself:
Are there any standing orders or direct debits you have been paying for years that you could do without?
Can you cut down on your weekly shopping spend or any other outgoings ?
Start by checking your regular outgoings – the more you monitor your spending, the more likely you are to cut back on the little things.
To make the home buying process smoother, you should consider getting a mortgage decision or agreement in principle (AIP).
Getting an AIP means that the lender or broker has assessed your circumstances and credit rating and would, in theory, approve you for a mortgage of a certain amount.
Rather than going through the entire mortgage application process from scratch once your offer on a property has been accepted, an AIP usually means your application will be at a more advanced stage at this point.
As a result, your mortgage will be more likely to be approved, so there's less chance of encountering problems further down the line.
Last updated: 27 September 2022
Mortgage interest works in a similar way to interest on any other loan product. When you borrow money, you have to pay it back with interest (extra money on top of the amount you borrowed), which is how the lender makes its money.
However, the interest rate is even more important on a mortgage because it’s likely you’ll be paying it off for a long time – often as long as 25 or 30 years.
So how is interest calculated on a mortgage loan? Mortgage interest rates are worked out quite differently than for other types of credit and loans.
If you take out a credit card, you can use the annual percentage rate (APR) as a guide to calculate how much you would pay once you start borrowing outside of the interest-free period. Whereas with a loan, you’re more likely to have a fixed amount to pay each month for three to five years.
However, with a mortgage, you have to start paying interest immediately, and if you’re on a variable rate, the rate you’re paying can go up or down depending on the Bank of England base rate or your mortgage lender's SVR.
Most people also switch to a new deal when their current one has ended to avoid paying the lender’s SVR, which is generally higher. The new deal is likely to be at a different rate from the first one.
Mortgage interest rates are usually lower for people with higher deposits as this is less risky for the lender. So, if you've saved up a decent chunk of the property value, you’ll be rewarded with lower interest rates.
Mortgage interest rates have been rising recently, and deals are changing quickly as a result. If you're applying for a mortgage, you might find that the rate you initially look at is no longer available by the time you're ready to apply.
Dean Wickett, Mortgage Expert at Mojo Mortgages, said: "Once you’ve found a rate you’re happy with, move quickly in order to secure it. In some cases lenders are only providing a couple of hours’ notice before increasing rates, so have your documents ready and get them to your broker as soon as possible.”
The table below shows some of our cheapest fixed-rate mortgage deals available right now.
|Maximum LTV||2-year fixed (initial rate)||5-year fixed (initial rate)|
|90%||Coventry Building Society - 5.2%||Bank of Ireland for Intermediaries - 5.94%|
|80%||Bath Building Society - 4.64%||Bath Building Society - 4.84%|
|70%||Bath Building Society - 4.64%||Bath Building Society - 4.84%|
|60%||Bath Building Society - 4.64%||bath Building Society - 4.84%|
Next update due: 6 October 2022
Table excludes mortgage deals for existing borrowers or customers only, for first-time buyers only, remortgages, those available in branch or via lender only, those only available in specific areas and shared equity mortgages.
Please note that mortgage rates and deals may have changed since this table was last updated. THESE DEALS MAY NOT BE AVAILABLE AT THE POINT AT WHICH YOU ARE READY TO SUBMIT AN APPLICATION.
With a mortgage, your interest rate is dependent on a few factors, including the Bank of England bank rate, which is often referred to as the “base rate”.
The bank rate is the interest rate the Bank of England (BoE) – the UK’s central bank – charges when lending to other banks. The base rate is set according to the demands of the wider economy.
As a general rule, the lower the BoE base rate, the lower the cost of borrowing and returns on savings will be and vice versa. The Bank of England has raised the base rate several times in 2022, resulting in increasing mortgage interest rates.
There are several mortgage interest rate options that determine whether your rate changes in line with the Bank of England base rate.
The two key types are fixed-rate mortgages and variable-rate mortgages. As the names imply, fixed-rate mortgages give you an interest rate that is fixed for a set number of years, while variable-rate mortgages give you interest rates that are subject to change.
Mortgage rates in the UK depend on market competition and the base rate of interest set by the Bank of England.
The best mortgage rates also vary according to your circumstances and how much deposit you can put down. The best rates will generally only be available to those with the largest deposits.
Last updated: 3 October 2022
|Based on borrowing||£170,000 over 25 years|
|Initial rate||5.63% fixed for 2 years (24 instalments of £1199.81pm)|
|The overall cost of comparison||5.61% APRC Representative|
|Subsequent rate (SVR)||5.43% variable for the remaining 23 years (276 instalments of £1014.98pm)|
|Total amount payable||£309,393.04|
There are two different mortgage repayment types: repayment and interest-only. The one you go for will determine how you repay your mortgage.
Most residential mortgages nowadays are repayment mortgages. With a repayment mortgage, you pay back some of the capital (the amount you borrowed from the lender) and some of the interest every month.
In this way, you pay back the entirety of the capital and interest by the end of the mortgage term, which is usually 25 years. At this point, you own the property outright.
With interest-only mortgages, you only pay the interest on the mortgage each month – you don’t pay anything to clear the capital until the end of your mortgage term when you're must repay the full amount of capital owed.
As a result, you end up paying back more interest overall as you’re paying interest on the full capital amount for the entire mortgage term.
For example, if you had a mortgage of £200,000 at 5% over 20 years, the interest would be a total of around £116,876 if you took out the mortgage on a repayment basis. If you took it out on an interest-only basis, however, you would end up paying £200,146 in interest and would still owe £200,000 capital at the end.
If you paid off the capital and interest together, as you would with a repayment mortgage, you would have higher monthly repayments but would have paid the mortgage off by the end.
With an interest-only mortgage, you still need to repay the capital at the end of the mortgage term. As it can be hard to raise enough to pay back the capital, interest-only mortgages are not as widely available as they used to be due to the extra risk they pose to lenders.
Buy-to-let mortgages are often interest-only, as landlords can sell the property at the end of the term to repay the capital.
Fixed-rate mortgages cement your interest rate for a set period of time, usually two to five years. Your rate won’t go up if the Bank of England base rate does but you won’t benefit if it goes down either.
This is the lender’s standard rate that your mortgage will revert to once your initial deal has ended. As it’s usually higher than the rate you were previously paying, it’s best to switch to a new deal at this point.
With discount mortgages, you get a discount on the lender’s SVR for an initial period. Your rate can go up or down with the base rate, but there is no guarantee that this will happen or by how much.
During the initial deal period, your mortgage rate is pegged at a certain level above the Bank of England base rate and follows its movements, matching it as it rises and falls.
With offset mortgages, you can use your savings to offset the amount on which you pay interest, so you pay less. For example, if you have a mortgage of £200,000 and savings of £50,000 you only pay interest on £150,000. You won’t earn any interest on offset savings though.
Last updated: 31 August 2022
A mortgage lender will need to do its own property valuation before offering you a mortgage, but you can get a good indication of what this is likely to be if you arrange for a survey that includes a valuation.
Whilst some mortgage providers use a surveyor to do their valuations, a drive-by valuation or desktop valuation is common these days. Your mortgage provider will combine this with Land Registry data, information about recent sales in the area, macroeconomic data and house price indices.
Before you take out mortgage protection insurance, ask yourself if you really need it. If you lose your job or fall ill and find yourself unable to pay your mortgage, do you have enough savings or is a spouse or family member able to help cover bills for a few months?
Or do you have another safety net, such as income protection insurance? Also, check what protection you have through your employer.
If you feel it’s worth having, make sure you compare mortgage protection insurance policies carefully. Some policies may be ill-suited to your circumstances and needs, so you should read the details closely to see exactly what is and isn’t covered to find the right cover for you.
Generally, premiums tend to range from £15 to £50 per month, although they can occasionally cost more. The price depends on:
The cost of your mortgage repayments
How long the policy pays out
Your age and medical history
There are also many other factors at play when comparing mortgage protection insurance.
Last updated: 27 August 2022