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How long does it take to get a mortgage?

Buying a home is a tricky business. You’ll want to get your mortgage advice, deal, lender and offer as soon as possible so you can act fast. We look at how long it takes to get a mortgage, how long that offer lasts, what factors can delay your application and how to speed things up.

How long does it take to get a mortgage

How long does it take to get a mortgage agreement in principle?

The first, and simplest, step in getting a mortgage is getting a mortgage agreement in principle.

A mortgage agreement in principle (sometimes referred to as a mortgage decision in principle) states what a lender is likely to lend you based on information you give them online or over the phone about your income and a credit score. You can usually get one instantly.

A mortgage agreement in principle is useful because it helps you know what you’re likely to be able to borrow. It is also helpful to share with estate agents to show you are a serious buyer. But it’s not a 100% guarantee you’ll get the full mortgage until all the paperwork has been done at a later stage.

See our guide on mortgage agreements in principle for more information.

How long does a mortgage application take?

In terms of securing a mortgage offer, there’s no hard and fast rule over the time it takes, but, in normal circumstances, most of us can expect to wait 2-4 weeks from application to mortgage offer – provided the process goes smoothly and your application is relatively straightforward.

See if you can get a mortgage agreement in principle now with our free mortgage advice service

What has COVID meant for getting a mortgage?

As we return to a world with far fewer COVID restrictions, the mortgage industry is back to normal business as well.

If you’re applying for a remortgage or mortgage while on furlough or having been on furlough, then you may find it harder to get your mortgage approved. In the main, lenders will now want to see that borrowers are back at work and can evidence that with payslips.

So if you are looking to see how much you can afford, start sooner rather than later.

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Why does a mortgage application take so long?

In normal conditions, mortgages can take a while because they involve a huge number of checks and information processing.

There is a range of information the lender will have to check, so make sure you have the following to hand so you are “buyer ready”:

  • 3 months of pay slips, bank statements, last P60 and/or self-assessment returns (if self-employed) to verify your earnings
  • Details of your outgoings, including childcare costs, so the broker can assess your financial commitments
  • Proof of ID and current address. Being on the electoral role helps
  • Proof of deposit (a gift from parents needs to be backed up with their bank statement and letter confirming it is a gift)
  • Details of your solicitor who’ll carry out the transaction
  • Details of the estate agent you are buying through

The lender will then want to conduct a mortgage valuation survey (not to be confused with a building survey) of the property you want to buy.

How long from valuation to mortgage offer?

Depending on how busy the lender’s surveyors are it can take a few days or more than a week to get your mortgage offer once the mortgage valuation has been carried out.

If the lender is happy with your personal financial situation, and the outcome of the valuation survey, they will make you a formal mortgage offer.

How can I speed up my mortgage application?

A mortgage broker can help speed up the mortgage process, because they are already familiar with the mortgage products on the market, including the specific criteria each lender looks for. This can considerably cut back on the time you’ll spend doing your own research and having to make appointments with or speak to individual lenders directly.

You can help speed up your mortgage application by having all the documents you’ll need handy and sending them through as soon as possible. It’s also a good idea – but not a stipulation – to make a list of all your financial outgoings as well as your income because your broker/lender will want to know that you’ll find the mortgage affordable.

Speak to our award-winning fee free mortgage brokers at L&C now

How long does a mortgage offer last?

You’ll find a standard mortgage offer is typically valid for up to six months, whereas a re-mortgage is usually valid for three months (although it can also be six months). The difference is down to the fact that a purchase will typically take longer from application to completion.

Some lenders have a completion deadline instead of a time limit. If you go past this you can still use that lender for a mortgage but your criteria will be re-assessed so you’ll be starting from scratch again. If your circumstances have altered you may be offered a new deal.

Use our online mortgage finder, or speak to our award winning mortgage brokers for free expert advice, to start getting the best deal today

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