7 February 2019

7 Essential Tips for First Time Home Buyers from Bank of Ireland UK


First-time buyers in Northern Ireland are taking advantage of what continues to be the most affordable home-buying region in the UK. The average first-time buyer in Northern Ireland will get a loan for £101,000*, so getting that first mortgage is not only a milestone for first-time buyers, it’s a necessary step for their financial future.

But while buying your first home is an incredibly exciting time, just like anything you do for the first time, you aren’t expected to have all the answers. Your mum, dad, granny, friends and Margaret who lives across the street, will ALL have a mortgage story and it’s great to talk out the process with your nearest and dearest, but it can quickly become quite overwhelming. However, with the right mixture of prep and help from professionals, it can be a really smooth and stress-free process. Bank of Ireland UK knows mortgages and even though they can appear complicated, and explanations can sound like ‘financial jargon’, Bank of Ireland UK wants to simplify things for you and map out some simple to follow tips and advice to make whole journey for first-time buyers as trouble free as possible.

1) Making financial sacrifices: Anything worth having, is worth saving for… isn’t that the famous quote? We all love spending money, but when you’re saving for a mortgage it’s important to prioritise and budget your finances in the correct way. Try and keep those credit commitments to a minimum in the 12 months leading up to the application, this shows the bank that you’re able to manage your finances effectively – it’ll all be worth it in the long run.

2) Deposit, deposit, deposit: Although this is one of the most obvious pieces of advice, it’s also one of the most important. When buying a property, you will need to pay a deposit up front, this is a chunk of money that goes towards the cost of the property you’re buying. Typically, this is anything between 5-10% of the total property cost and essentially the larger the deposit you can put down, the smaller your mortgage will be. So, when you’re dreaming of leaving that rental property behind, saving for your deposit is usually the first port of call and it is key to ensuring you can get the home you want. At Bank of Ireland UK we understand it’s more than just a mortgage, it’s about finding a house that you can make your home. Bank of Ireland UK has lots of different options available and while most mortgages require a 10% deposit, there are some available which only require 5%. When saving, budget wisely, stretch to save where you can by cutting out some of life’s luxuries such as phone contracts or Netflix subscriptions as every pound counts. Ultimately save what you can afford, keep up the good work and you will get there.

3) The credit check: Contrary to popular belief there is nothing to fear when it comes to checking your credit rating. Bank of Ireland UK is here to help, and even if you don’t think your rating is great, it’s important to share it with your mortgage adviser. There are often ways your lender can help manage this, so whether you plan to take a mortgage with Bank of Ireland UK or not, come and talk to us – we want to help.

4) Register to vote If you aren’t on the electoral register at your current address, now is the time to do it – lenders will check that you’re on the electoral roll at your given address when deciding whether or not to lend to you as a precaution against fraud, so it’s vital that you’ve done so.

5) The first appointment checklist: After you’ve searched high and low to find your dream house it’s now time to start the mortgage application process. Take some time to pull together basic info prior to your first appointment with your mortgage consultant and have the following to hand: pay slips, address history, employment history, property history and solicitor contact details. Bank of Ireland UK has lots of helpful mortgage advisers to answer any questions you might have in the lead up you your first appointment, so don’t be afraid to give us a call.

6) There are no stupid questions: People learn by asking questions. The journey to owning your first home can be an emotional rollercoaster and mortgages can seem complicated. There are no stupid questions, if there is ever anything you don’t understand, just ask.

7) Patience is key! The process of securing a mortgage and purchasing your home can sometimes it can take longer then you expect. It’s a significant and exciting commitment you’re about to enter into, so it’s important to remember that it’s ok not to rush it… slow and steady wins the race!

Bank of Ireland UK wants to work with you to better understand your mortgage requirements and to help you find a mortgage that best suits your needs – we understand that it’s more than a mortgage. For even more helpful tips about buying your first home, visit

*UK Finance: Mortgage Trends in Northern Ireland Update Quarter 3 2018

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