Starting the house buying process and wondering how long a mortgage offer will last? Our expert mortgage brokers explain what mortgage offers, and mortgage in principles, are and what you’ll need to know before purchasing a property.
What is a mortgage offer?
A mortgage offer is your final approval for your mortgage application by the lender.
This will be issued when the lender has received and accepted the property valuation report, assessed your documentation and agreed that your application meets all the criteria they have set.
The mortgage offer letter will set out the terms of the loan, including:
- The amount of the mortgage
- The interest rate
- The fees being charged and;
- Any other terms that are applicable.
What is a mortgage in principle?
A mortgage in principle, also called an agreement in principle (AIP) or decision in principle (DIP), is given by a lender early in the process to show that you may be eligible for a mortgage.
The lender will conduct an affordability check to ensure that you can afford the amount requested, and a credit check. If both of these are satisfactory, they will issue the mortgage in principle.
This is not an agreement that they will formally offer a mortgage, as a full application or documentation has not been submitted at this point. You should obtain a mortgage in principle at the start of your house buying journey as this will show that you are in a position to proceed with the purchase when you find the right property.
Many estate agents will request to see this before allowing you to make an offer on a property, or even view a property in some instances. Your mortgage advisor will be able to help you obtain one of these.
How long does a mortgage in principle last?
This does vary from lender to lender, but typically it will be 3 months.
If you have not found the right property to buy and are not yet ready to submit your full mortgage application at that point, then - assuming you have had no change in circumstances - it is usually relatively straightforward to renew the mortgage in Principle.
What do I need to apply for a mortgage?
You will need to provide some documentation when you apply for a mortgage, this can include:
- Proof of ID
- Proof of address
- Proof of income – If you are employed, this is usually 3 months payslips and possibly a P60. If you are self-employed, then typically this is your tax computations covering up to 3 years (although some lenders will allow only 1 year)
- Bank Statements covering the last 3 months
- Details of all your existing financial commitments
You will also need to have a solicitor in place to deal with the legal aspects of the property purchase and the lender will need to know which solicitor you are using on the application.
There may also be some fees that need to be paid at the point of application, such as a valuation/survey fee. Some lenders may offer to pay for this as an incentive, but if not, this usually needs to be paid at the application stage.
Some lenders may also charge an upfront booking or arrangement fee at application stage, although this is less common now than it used to be.There may be other things that you will need to provide, depending on your individual circumstances. Your mortgage advisor will let you know what is needed.
How long does it take for a mortgage offer to come through?
The timescale to obtain your mortgage offer can vary massively, from just a few days to many weeks.
This depends on many factors, such as:
- The complexity of your application;
- The time it can take for a survey to be carried out on the property;
- How busy the mortgage lender is
… and many more.
On a straightforward application for a mortgage to purchase a property, it would normally take around 2-3 weeks for the lender to fully assess the application and issue the mortgage offer.
How long does it take to get a mortgage?
This will vary depending on your personal circumstances.
It can be a matter of a few days if everything is straightforward but, if there are complications in the process such as the mortgage underwriter needing additional documentation or information or issues with the property and survey, it can take a few weeks.
How long does a mortgage offer last?
This can vary a little from lender to lender, but typically, a mortgage offer lasts for either 3 months or 6 months.
Can a mortgage offer be extended?
Many lenders will allow an extension to a mortgage offer should you require one due to a delay in the purchase of the property completing.
This is quite common with new build properties if the construction is delayed due to weather, etc. However, you may need to provide up to date documentation for an extension and in some cases, a new mortgage deal will have to be chosen if the original one has expired.
Can a mortgage offer be withdrawn?
Although this is extremely unusual, lenders do reserve the right to withdraw a mortgage offer.
This will only happen if the lender becomes aware of anything that was incorrect in the application or if your personal circumstances change between the issue of the mortgage offer and when the mortgage goes into force.
What should I do if my mortgage offer expires?
If your mortgage offer expires, you will need to resubmit a new application. This will then be assessed as of the lenders criteria and your circumstances at that time.
It will also mean that a new mortgage product will have to be selected, which may well be different to the original one. Your mortgage advisor will help you with this, should you need to re-apply.
How to re-apply for a mortgage
If you need to re-apply for your mortgage, then you will effectively be starting the process again. You will need to meet the lenders current criteria and provide up to date documentation. Your mortgage advisor will be able to help with this process again.
Getting a mortgage offer with Go2Mortgage
At Go2Mortgage, our mortgage advisors and brokers can offer specialist advice and support throughout the entire house buying process. We’ll be there from start to finish to ensure that you get the right mortgage deal for you and understand what the offer means.Get in touch today to start the purchase of your new home, for the best remortgage deals or to start a buy-to-let.