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Getting a Mortgage in the UK

Getting a Mortgage in the UK

Perhaps you want a house in the UK to live in, as an investment, or to simply use as a holiday home. Whatever your reason, you will need to comprehend the different types of mortgages available in the UK, and the steps needed to get a mortgage arranged.

Type of Mortgage?

As with any mortgage you still have the choice of whether you want a fixed rate, or variable rate mortgage. Fixed rate mortgages will guarantee the same interest rate will be applied for the duration of the agreement - usually only up to five years.

Variable rate mortgages, can cost more or less depending on when and how the interest rates change.

Different banks will offer different products depending on your circumstances, and not everyone can access all that is on offer.

Bank or Mortgage Broker?

In the UK you can arrange a mortgage directly with your chosen bank. However, expert advice from a qualified mortgage broker is always a good idea as they will take the time and trouble to explain your best options rather than sell you a product; it may save you in the long run.

A mortgage broker is obliged to work in your interests and explain in detail why they recommend a specific product for you. If you're unhappy with their services, you can lodge a formal complaint.

Legal requirements getting a mortgage in the UK as a foreign national or UK Expat

Foreigners, resident or not, can legally buy property in the UK. As an expat or foreign national you can also apply for a mortgage, although individual banks will set their own terms. As a foreign investor you could find that the terms you are offered are less than favorable.

Getting a mortgage in the UK is relatively straight forward, but subject to checks (as you would expect) to ensure that you can afford the loan.

Availability of finance will always depend on your circumstances.

The paperwork you'll need will depend on your mortgage lender but typically will be:

All of these documents will be needed to get a mortgage in principle, which means that they agree how much they'll lend you if you find a suitable property. Once you have an offer accepted on a property, you will need more paperwork, such as a property valuation and survey to prove that it is priced fairly.

To get a mortgage in the UK, you will usually have to follow these steps:

  • Explore your options for a UK mortgage
  • Choose a mortgage that suits your needs
  • Hand over the paperwork requested and get an offer in principle
  • Find a property within your budget and agree on a purchase price with the seller
  • Choose a local solicitor who will help with the legal aspects of the purchase
  • Pay your deposit to secure the sale, and agree a completion date
  • Commission searches and surveys as required by your bank
  • Once the surveys are complete, you are then free to complete the sale.

    Arranging a mortgage in the UK will mean you have to have fees to pay such as administrative fees and legal costs. The exact costs will vary depending on your circumstances, but when you add it all together, it's a costly transaction. In addition, you have to consider stamp duty, which is a progressive duty, based on the value of the property, and is more if you're buying a second home in the UK.

    As a specialist finance broker we have extensive experience in finding mortgages for foreign nationals and British Expats: Call us on +44 1843 791606