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Topic: I think we are ready to buy but how?!  (Read 4359 times)

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I think we are ready to buy but how?!
« on: August 15, 2019, 08:29:37 PM »
Hi everyone,

My wife and I currently rent but we think we are in a position to buy.  Trouble is, we have no idea what the process is. Surveys, advisors, brokers etc. No idea when and if these are required? What is the process? We have a viewing on Saturday at a house we really like but we don’t know the process?

I’ve heard mortgage in principle being mentioned a lot. Do you get this online, see somebody, go through an advisor??
15/03/2013 - Met in Cancun
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Re: I think we are ready to buy but how?!
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2019, 08:49:44 PM »
When my sister bought her house a couple of years ago she had a very good experience with a mortgage broker. Below is an article from the consumer magazine Which? that describes what they do etc.

https://www.which.co.uk/money/mortgages-and-property/mortgages/getting-a-mortgage/choosing-a-mortgage-broker-a26cg5u83k9q

Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


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Re: I think we are ready to buy but how?!
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2019, 10:27:42 PM »
Also, I have no idea what to do about my wife not being on the electoral roll which I’m led to believe makes gaining a mortgage near on impossible.

We don’t have enough for me to apply on my own
15/03/2013 - Met in Cancun
29/11/2013 - Engaged
25/02/2014 - Married
29/04/2014 - Spouse Application Approved
02/05/2014 - Visa Received
09/01/2017 - FLR(M) Granted
06/06/2017 - Little Nipper born
22/07/2019 - ILR Granted


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Re: I think we are ready to buy but how?!
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2019, 07:22:41 AM »
Also, I have no idea what to do about my wife not being on the electoral roll which I’m led to believe makes gaining a mortgage near on impossible.

We don’t have enough for me to apply on my own
Nah that's rubbish ( to a degree). Being on the electoral role increases your credit score but not being on it doesnt make it nearly impossible to get a mortgage by any means. It makes it impossible to achieve a perfect credit score and you may find there to be less options (though she is now on ILR so is considered a permanent resident so may not be an issue), but it is definitely not impossible or too difficult in my experience (on house 2 now waiting to close and bought house one when on my first visa). The hardest part is getting your deposit.

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My, how time flies....

* Married in the US and applied for first spousal visa August 2013
* Moved to the UK on said visa October 2013
* FLR(M) applied for  May 2016. Biometrics requested June 2016. Approval given July 2016.
* ILR applied for January 2019 (using priority processing). Approved February 2019.
* Citizenship applied for May  2019
* Citizenship approved on July 4th 2019
* Ceremony conducted on August 28th 2019

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Re: I think we are ready to buy but how?!
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2019, 09:07:16 AM »
Step 1:  Talk to a mortgage broker and find out what your options are likely to be and how much you can afford from the bank's perspective (they will usually offer more than you should *really* borrow, so be mindful of this and decide what your comfortable with).

Step 2:  Start looking at homes

Step 3:  Offer, acceptance, hire a solicitor, have a survey, wait many many many months while no one does anything

Step 4:  Deal with the sellers saying they've had offers from other people offering more money.  You either match it or beat it.  This could be all lies, it's impossible to know.  At this point you will have already spent a few thousand pounds on solicitors and surveys.  There's even a term for it - gazzumping!

Step 5:  Exchange contracts - this is when it's finally all legal and you give your deposit over.

Step 6:  Completion.  It's not unusual for exchange and completion to be on the same day.

Learn about chains and pray you aren't in one.   ;D


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Re: I think we are ready to buy but how?!
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2019, 09:22:47 AM »
Since your wife is on ILR now, and married to you, you could get her citizenship done and then she can be on the electoral roll.  I mean, you could solve that problem reasonably quickly.

The process of finding a house usually isn't quick.  While you're looking, sort out the things you can to make a mortgage more affordable.
9/1/2013 - "fiancée" (marriage) visa issued
4/6/2013 - married (certificate issued same-day)
5/6/2013 - FLR(M)#1 in person -- approved!
8/1/2016 - FLR(M)#2 by post -- approved!
8/5/2018 - ILR in person -- approved!
22/11/2018 - Citizenship (online, with NDRS+JCAP) -- approved!
14/12/2018 - I became a British citizen.  :)


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Re: I think we are ready to buy but how?!
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2019, 10:33:56 AM »
With my sister and her husband they determined what they wanted to afford and could get after discussions with their mortgage broker. They then went looking and after acceptance it was about 2 to 3 months to completion. The house they were buying was empty, it had been a rental property but the owner was moving to the USA and wanted to sell. She had no house to sell and were in rental property.

With us in 2016 we had an offer accepted mid October then we went back to Texas early November to sell up and move back.  We managed the paperwork all via email including a couple of things we had insisted on being sorted from recommendations by our surveyor.  We did the big transfer of money for final payment from a hotel room a few days before leaving and on the platform of the railway station at Manchester Airport we took a call from our solicitor to give our final agreement to close and send the money to their solicitor. On arrival back to our rental house we dropped our cases off and walked down to the estate agents to pick up the keys on January 18th.

Our son arrived from Texas on September 28th and stayed with us. He went house hunting, bought a house and moved in on December 17th.

Neither our son nor us needed a mortgage and in both cases we were relying on the existing owners buying and moving into another house. We were both fortunate that the "chain" was small as that can turn out to be problematic.
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


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Re: I think we are ready to buy but how?!
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2019, 11:42:21 AM »
Nah that's rubbish ( to a degree). Being on the electoral role increases your credit score but not being on it doesnt make it nearly impossible to get a mortgage by any means. It makes it impossible to achieve a perfect credit score and you may find there to be less options (though she is now on ILR so is considered a permanent resident so may not be an issue), but it is definitely not impossible or too difficult in my experience (on house 2 now waiting to close and bought house one when on my first visa). The hardest part is getting your deposit.

Sounds like as long as you get a broker who can deal with no electoral roll registration you should be fine. We have a few documents to prove her residency here  [smiley=laugh4.gif]


Step 1:  Talk to a mortgage broker and find out what your options are likely to be and how much you can afford from the bank's perspective (they will usually offer more than you should *really* borrow, so be mindful of this and decide what your comfortable with).

Step 2:  Start looking at homes

Step 3:  Offer, acceptance, hire a solicitor, have a survey, wait many many many months while no one does anything

Step 4:  Deal with the sellers saying they've had offers from other people offering more money.  You either match it or beat it.  This could be all lies, it's impossible to know.  At this point you will have already spent a few thousand pounds on solicitors and surveys.  There's even a term for it - gazzumping!

Step 5:  Exchange contracts - this is when it's finally all legal and you give your deposit over.

Step 6:  Completion.  It's not unusual for exchange and completion to be on the same day.

Learn about chains and pray you aren't in one.   ;D

At what point do you apply for the mortgage? Step 1?


Since your wife is on ILR now, and married to you, you could get her citizenship done and then she can be on the electoral roll.  I mean, you could solve that problem reasonably quickly.

The process of finding a house usually isn't quick.  While you're looking, sort out the things you can to make a mortgage more affordable.

We could but it will eat into our deposit as £1,200 is broker fees (for example)
15/03/2013 - Met in Cancun
29/11/2013 - Engaged
25/02/2014 - Married
29/04/2014 - Spouse Application Approved
02/05/2014 - Visa Received
09/01/2017 - FLR(M) Granted
06/06/2017 - Little Nipper born
22/07/2019 - ILR Granted


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Re: I think we are ready to buy but how?!
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2019, 11:57:48 AM »
At what point do you apply for the mortgage? Step 1?


We could but it will eat into our deposit as £1,200 is broker fees (for example)

You talk to the mortgage broker and find out what your potential borrowing power is first.  You might even get an "agreement in principle" from a lender at this stage if you want to be extra certain of your borrowing power.  Then you find a house that fits this budget, make your offer, and if it's accepted, you apply for the mortgage.  If you already have an agreement in principle and the bank's survey deems the house worth the price you want to pay for it, the mortgage application should go fairly smoothly and quickly.  (We had our mortgage within 2 weeks of making our offer.)

If she's on the electoral roll, you'll likely get a better interest rate, which could save you thousands in the long run.  On the other hand, a larger deposit means a better loan-to-value ratio, so that could mean a better interest rate, too.  When you talk to your mortgage broker, you should tell them what it will take to get your wife on the electoral roll and see if they think it's worth the expense.
9/1/2013 - "fiancée" (marriage) visa issued
4/6/2013 - married (certificate issued same-day)
5/6/2013 - FLR(M)#1 in person -- approved!
8/1/2016 - FLR(M)#2 by post -- approved!
8/5/2018 - ILR in person -- approved!
22/11/2018 - Citizenship (online, with NDRS+JCAP) -- approved!
14/12/2018 - I became a British citizen.  :)


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Re: I think we are ready to buy but how?!
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2019, 12:03:57 PM »


Sounds like as long as you get a broker who can deal with no electoral roll registration you should be fine.

Well no, not exactly. You dont need a specific broker who deals with non-electoral roll. They will just pull your credit score and get you the best rates they can at that credit score or you wait until she has citizenship for that extra boost considering you're there anyways... there's nothing that needs to be done specifically around getting a mortgage while not being on the electoral roll.

You can check credit scores using noddle.com and see what they advise is pulling scores down (I.e. electoral roll)

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My, how time flies....

* Married in the US and applied for first spousal visa August 2013
* Moved to the UK on said visa October 2013
* FLR(M) applied for  May 2016. Biometrics requested June 2016. Approval given July 2016.
* ILR applied for January 2019 (using priority processing). Approved February 2019.
* Citizenship applied for May  2019
* Citizenship approved on July 4th 2019
* Ceremony conducted on August 28th 2019

'Mommy, Wow! I'm a legit Brit now!'


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Re: I think we are ready to buy but how?!
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2019, 12:11:40 PM »
Most sellers won't entertain your offer if you don't at least have a mortgage in principle.

The actual mortgage will be applied for after your offer is accepted on a home.  The mortgage bit is pretty quick.  The solicitor searches and surveys are not.

Chains suck.  We had no chain and it still took 13 weeks from start to finish.  Which was fast, apparently.  It's not unusual for a decent size chain to be 6 to 9 months.


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Re: I think we are ready to buy but how?!
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2019, 12:29:40 PM »
RE timing. I've done no chain and am currently doing chain and chains DEFINITELY suck
 No chain was about 2-3 months. Chain has been about 4 or 5 and counting and were still not looking 5i be ready until end of Sept. Theres just no certainty about the timings and it could all be for nothing if people drop out!

Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk

My, how time flies....

* Married in the US and applied for first spousal visa August 2013
* Moved to the UK on said visa October 2013
* FLR(M) applied for  May 2016. Biometrics requested June 2016. Approval given July 2016.
* ILR applied for January 2019 (using priority processing). Approved February 2019.
* Citizenship applied for May  2019
* Citizenship approved on July 4th 2019
* Ceremony conducted on August 28th 2019

'Mommy, Wow! I'm a legit Brit now!'


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  • Posts: 1036

  • Liked: 98
  • Joined: Feb 2014
  • Location: Wirral
Re: I think we are ready to buy but how?!
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2019, 12:39:13 PM »
RE timing. I've done no chain and am currently doing chain and chains DEFINITELY suck
 No chain was about 2-3 months. Chain has been about 4 or 5 and counting and were still not looking 5i be ready until end of Sept. Theres just no certainty about the timings and it could all be for nothing if people drop out!

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That's my worry. You've paid for your broker etc, got the MIP and then they pull out and you've wasted your money.

Any advice when viewing places? What to look for? What to ask the owners? We look at a place tomorrow.
15/03/2013 - Met in Cancun
29/11/2013 - Engaged
25/02/2014 - Married
29/04/2014 - Spouse Application Approved
02/05/2014 - Visa Received
09/01/2017 - FLR(M) Granted
06/06/2017 - Little Nipper born
22/07/2019 - ILR Granted


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Re: I think we are ready to buy but how?!
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2019, 12:46:30 PM »
That's my worry. You've paid for your broker etc, got the MIP and then they pull out and you've wasted your money.

Any advice when viewing places? What to look for? What to ask the owners? We look at a place tomorrow.

Cant speak for paying for a broker as I used a financial advisor but outside of that, you've not really wasted money as much as time..

Are you viewing directly with the home owners? Of viewing with an estate agent, take their answers with a pinch of salt as it wouldn't be uncommon to find they've given you something incorrect or flat out lies because they dont know.


Suggest you google things to look for when buying a new home as that'll give you a lot of good sources to check out. Dont need to come loaded with it all on day one as you can (and should) revisit a place you like and strongly consider. One piece of advice is to see multiple places to avoid falling into the trap of loving the first place you see because you want to be in your own home.

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« Last Edit: August 16, 2019, 12:49:22 PM by x0Kiss0fDeath »
My, how time flies....

* Married in the US and applied for first spousal visa August 2013
* Moved to the UK on said visa October 2013
* FLR(M) applied for  May 2016. Biometrics requested June 2016. Approval given July 2016.
* ILR applied for January 2019 (using priority processing). Approved February 2019.
* Citizenship applied for May  2019
* Citizenship approved on July 4th 2019
* Ceremony conducted on August 28th 2019

'Mommy, Wow! I'm a legit Brit now!'


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Re: I think we are ready to buy but how?!
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2019, 12:51:33 PM »
Brokers are "free" to you.  They get paid by the mortgage company.

But yes, you will be out for solicitors, surveys, searches, etc., long before the sale actually goes through.

Personally, I'd advise against viewing before you know for certain what you can afford.  If you do like the place, they are unlikely to take you seriously if you haven't spoken to anyone regarding a mortgage yet.

And there are a million and one questions you need to ask and things to look for.


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