Property Buying FAQ
Have questions? We have the answers. Frequently asked questions about our property buying services.
Property Buying FAQ
How much can I borrow?
All mortgage lenders have strict criteria on how much they will lend, based on affordability guidelines. Before we advise you on any mortgage, we will assess your current financial position, your incomings and outgoings, consider how much will be affordable and therefore how much you may be able to borrow.
How do I know my repayments will be affordable?
Before any mortgage application, we will assess your complete financial situation and ensure your mortgage payments are affordable. It is important to avoid any problems repaying your mortgage in the future, so we are always careful to ensure whichever mortgage you take out is affordable.
How big a deposit do I need?
Typically, the minimum deposit for residential mortgages is 5% of the property value. Generally, the larger a deposit you can provide, the lower your mortgage rate will be, so we are likely to explore ways in which you could raise a larger deposit to reduce your monthly mortgage payments if this is affordable to you. The Government’s ‘Help-to-Buy’ scheme can help provide an equity loan or mortgage guarantee for those with a small deposit and we will help you take advantage of this scheme if we believe it is in your interest to do so.
How quickly will I get approval?
The process of applying for a mortgage can be complicated and time-consuming but we are on hand to handle all the paperwork and administration. After submitting the application, assuming all necessary paperwork is available, the process for completing a mortgage can take anywhere between five days and six weeks, but the average time is around 18 days.
Should I choose an interest-only or a repayment mortgage?
This is a difficult question for many people and will depend on your circumstances. We will provide you will full advice on which option is best for you and explain why. Where we recommend an interest-only mortgage, we may also discuss an investment product which you can use to build up funds to pay for your property in the future.
Are you tied to certain mortgage providers?
No. We will search through all available mortgages and recommend the best deal for you. As we’re independent, we have access to the entire mortgage market (including some special deals only available to mortgage brokers) so we can always find the very best rates and terms for your mortgage.
Will I have to complete lots of paperwork?
There is a fair bit of paperwork to complete for mortgage applications, but we help keep this to a minimum and guide you through the application and procedure step-by-step.
Should I take advantage of the Government's 'Help-to-Buy' scheme?
This scheme can be a great help to many people looking to purchase a property. Whether or not you should use this scheme will depend on your specific circumstances and this is something we will advise you on. Once we understand your financial situation and mortgage requirements, we can explain whether the ‘Help-to-Buy’ scheme would be of benefit to you.
Can you help me get a mortgage even if I'm not an existing NorthStar client?
I've had credit issues in the past. Can you still help me get a mortgage?
Mortgage lenders will always consider your past credit history before lending you money. This is usually assessed with a credit score based on your past financial transactions. We can help assess your credit rating and look at ways this can be improved prior to applying for a mortgage. Some lenders are more willing to lend to those with lower credit scores so taking expert, impartial advice may really boost your chance of getting a mortgage.
What can I do to improve my chances of getting a mortgage?
For those struggling to get a mortgage, we can help with tips and advice on getting ‘mortgage fit’. This may be how to improve your credit rating, help with budgeting, advice on how best to save for a deposit and how to structure your finances so you can afford your repayments. Whatever you need to have the best change of being approved for a mortgage, we’re here to help.
Why don't I just go to my bank to get a mortgage?
Most high street banks provide mortgages and typically have a mortgage adviser in each branch. These advisers can usually only give advice on their own range of mortgage products. This may means that you miss out on much better deals available elsewhere. Only by using an independent mortgage adviser can you be sure you’ll get the best possible deal as only they can ensure that every available mortgage is considered.
Would it be cheaper to get my mortgage online?
There are many online mortgage search tools now available. After entering in your details, a list of the lowest cost mortgages will be shown. This is great for people who know exactly what they want, but we find that most people need impartial advice on the best options to choose. Should you use an interest-only or capital repayment mortgage? What repayment term should you select? Is it better to pay a big upfront mortgage fee to secure a lower interest rate? Should you use the Help-to-Buy scheme? Are some mortgage providers better than others? What level of deposit should I put down? What about the small print in the mortgage applications? How do I know how much I can afford to repay? Questions like these can’t easily be asked through online mortgage comparison tools. This is where the experience, skill and judgement of an independent mortgage adviser comes in. By taking impartial, expert advice you will be sure you’re getting a mortgage that is just right for you as well as the very best deal available.
Is buy-to-let property a good investment?
Many people believe buy-to-let investments are a great way to make money. A well managed property portfolio and the best value mortgages can produce excellent returns for many landlords. However, buy-to-let investing is not for everyone and certainly isn’t without risk. Our advisers can talk you through the pros and cons of property investment and help you decide whether it is right for you. If you do decide to buy a property and become a landlord, we can source the very best mortgage to help you along the way.
Do you give advice on Sharia home purchase plans?
Yes. We can provide advice on sharia-law-compliant home purchase plans should you require a way to buy your home in a way that doesn’t involve paying interest. This type of product can be complex and there can be a big differences in what providers offer, so it is really important you take expert, impartial advice from our team of expert advisers.
I've retired. Can you still help me get a mortgage?
We can help most people to get a mortgage – even those that are retired. There’s no real cut off age for an older borrower although most of the major high street lenders have lower maximum ages and tougher criteria. However, many of the smaller building societies take a more sympathetic view and can look at terms that go up to a borrower’s 90th birthday and sometimes beyond. The key factor (as always) is affordability so we need to carefully assess your incomings and outgoings to ensure the mortgage you take out is within your means. If it is, even if you are retired, there should be no problem in getting a mortgage.
Can you answer another question that isn't listed here?
Certainly. First, you might want to check out the other FAQ pages to see if your question has been answered already. If not, please contact us or use the ‘live chat’ at the bottom right of every page. We’d love to answer any questions you have about NorthStar and how we can help you achieve your financial goals.