A mortgage agreement in principle (AIP) is more or less a preliminary confirmation from a mortgage lender, that should everything proceed as planned, they would be happy to grant you a mortgage.
This not only shows you have passed a mortgage lender credit score and are creditworthy, but shows the seller of the property that you are in a better position to proceed than other buyers who perhaps don’t have an AIP, meaning the sale is likely to occur faster. This is enticing for most sellers.
Whilst having an agreement in principle is a very good indication that you will be able to obtain a mortgage, it is important to remember that this is still not guaranteed. A mortgage lender will still have to conduct further background checks at full application stage.
An agreement in principle is useful for more than just showing estate agents and sellers that you are in a position to proceed. Typically, an estate agent will actually require this before you can make an offer. When it comes to making an offer, it can also help you negotiate on property price.
We would highly suggest getting an agreement in principle as soon as you possibly can in your home buying journey. As a mortgage broker in Durham, we are typically able to obtain a mortgage agreement in principle for you within 24 hours of your initial appointment.
As briefly touched upon, there are a few main reasons why it is beneficial for those who are looking for a first time buyer mortgage in Durham, to get themselves an agreement in principle. These are;
When you are ready to go ahead and start making offers you are ready to make an offer on a new home, you will need to show the estate agent that you do in fact have the funds to proceed with the purchase.
This will be needed in the form of bank statements and also an agreement in principle certificate that we are able to obtain for you. Once you have shown the estate agent this documentation, typically they will stop marketing the property and place either a sold or sale agreed board outside.
The prospect of going into the process of making offers when a mortgage has already been agreed in principle, is an attractive one to sellers, as it shows you have carefully thought about your plans and know exactly how you plan to make the purchase, as opposed to being spontaneous.
We sometimes find that in these cases, a seller might actually be more willing to accept an offer that is below their asking price, as you are very much ahead of other buyers who haven’t prepared themselves like you, making it a much quicker sale for them.
Unfortunately with the home buying process, we find that some customers tend to act before they think, making offers on a property without being certain they have the means to proceed financially or if they even can get a mortgage at all.
This can of course lead to customers finding themselves quite disappointed when the mortgage application ends up failing, especially at a point where they may already have had their hearts set on a potential new family home.
The easiest way to avoid that disappointment is to simply get in touch with an expert mortgage broker in Durham ahead of time. Oftentimes there can be little things that are stopping a mortgage from going your way, that with a little time and TLC, can see a mortgage going in your favour.
Common occurrences that we hear of include issues with credit reports, perhaps even some type of phone bill dispute that can easily be fixed in short order. Another one is your electoral register information being either incorrect or non-existent, which again is easily sorted.
In some cases, a first time buyer in Durham may not even be able to get a mortgage at all, but it is definitely better to check with a mortgage advisor in Durham in order to make sure you know where you stand. They will also be able to provide you with tips to improve your credit-worthiness in the future.
For many budding home buyers, they might think they have got it all figured out. You’ve got a good credit score, have never been declined for credit, all your electoral register information is correct, all your payments have been kept up. So what else could see you struggle?
In truth, approaching 10 different mortgage lenders could give you 10 different outcomes. Each one will have their own specific mortgage lending criteria and you might find yourself being offered a different maximum mortgage amount from each. They all calculate affordability in different ways!
For those who are self employed in Durham specifically, it can become quite confusing, as some mortgage lenders take net profit and salary, whilst others take dividends and salary, some take the latest year, some want to see an average of 2-3 years.
It’s important in any case to understand your borrowing limits, so that you can plan ahead for the future. Getting a mortgage agreement in principle can help outline to you the maximum a mortgage lender is willing to let you borrow, so that you know ahead of time.
A trusted mortgage broker in Durham will also be able to help you determine how much you could be paying back per month on your mortgage repayments, so that you are armed with all the key information you need to take on the next steps of your mortgage journey.
Book a free mortgage appointment today and we will see how we can help.
Last edited 08/12/2022