Buying property? 7 things you need to know

Moving house is reputedly one of most people’s most stressful experiences, along with changing jobs. Even Moneybrain isn’t clever enough to take all the stress away, but forewarned is forearmed, so here are seven tips that can help to smooth your move.

  1. Get a credit report before you apply for your mortgage.

Moneybrain can help with that. For a free credit score powered by Noddle, start here (link).

Why do you need a credit check? Because otherwise the mortgage provider will have to conduct one, causing a needless delay.

  1. Make sure you’re on the electoral roll.

All lenders use the electoral roll to check your identity, so if you’re not registered to vote you won’t get a mortgage. It really is that brutally simple. Not sure whether you’re registered? Your credit report will say, or you can check with your local council via

And don’t delay whatever you do. It can take a month or longer before you appear on the roll after registering.

  1. Don’t apply for credit or go overdrawn just before you apply for a mortgage.

Either can have an adverse effect on your credit score, and you need it to be as positive as possible at this crucial time.

  1. Get all your paperwork organised.

While applying for a mortgage and throughout the move you’ll need to prove your income and your identity, probably several times, and delays are the last thing you need. It’s a long, drawn-out process at the best of times, so having these items to hand will save you stress as well as time.

  • Bank statements for at least the last 3 months
  • Pay slips for the same period
  • Up to date P60
  • The last 3 years’ tax returns or accounts (if you’re not on PAYE)
  • Statements for saving accounts
  • Passport
  • Proof of your address, preferably a utility bill

If a parent or some other generous person is putting money towards your deposit, you’ll also need a ‘gift letter’ from them to prove they won’t part-own or be entitled to a share of the property.

  1. Pay as big a deposit as possible

Lenders generally require a deposit of between 5% and 20% or the property price. But the more you can pay, the less you’ll be borrowing. That means your repayments will be lower, you’ll pay less interest – and you’ll also have a bigger and better choice of mortgages.

  1. Budget for fees and extra expenses

Brace yourself for all these and maybe more: survey costs, solicitor’s fees, removal costs, building insurance, mortgage arrangement and valuation fees, stamp duty (or land and buildings transaction tax in Scotland). Any or all of them can be nasty shock if you’re not prepared.

  1. Use Moneybrain to find your best mortgage.

But you’re here, so you know that already.

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