You’re new to mortgages and not sure where do you start?

No problem! We’ve broken the mortgage journey down into straight forward steps, to help you work through the process.

What's on this page?

How much can you borrow?



How much can you afford?

When you apply for a mortgage in the UK, all lenders must consider the size of the monthly mortgage payments you can afford. This will include living costs as well as income.

It’s always worth looking ahead to “stress test” what you could afford if interest rates went up, or if there were other increases in your monthly outgoings. Making sure to leave yourself enough to live on after your monthly bills and costs have been taken care of.

How much could you save?

Our budget calculator lets you add all your outgoings and income. What could you save?

What can you afford?

Our mortgage repayment calculator can help you work out what is affordable to you.

It only takes 2 minutes to complete.



Save for a deposit

How much do you need to save?

The amount you need to save will depend on the price of the property you expect to buy and what mortgages are available to you. Saving around 5 per cent of the total property price for your deposit could get you on the property ladder.

A bigger deposit up front, can mean a smaller mortgage and lower monthly repayments. It could also reduce the number of years you’re paying for your mortgage.
Here are some examples of how different size deposits can affect your monthly payments and total overall cost.
Deposit 5% 10% 15%
Average 2 Year fixed rate 5.80% 5.38% 5.18%
Loan amount £230,000 £230,000 £230,000
Average monthly payment £1,454 £1,396 £1,369

How long will it take you to save?

Work out how long it will take you to save, depending on how much you’ve already got and what you can put away each month.

What is loan to value (LTV)?

Loan to value (LTV) is the amount of money borrowed as a percentage of the property value. For example, if you're buying a £100,000 property with a £10,000 (10%) deposit, you'll need a 90% LTV mortgage.

What can I use as a deposit?

Lenders will always ask where your deposit has come from and they might ask to see evidence.
Deposits are normally allowed from,
Personal savings
The sale of a property if you are moving home
A gift from family
Some lenders may not accept deposits from sources such as, 
Personal loans or credit cards
Proceeds from gambling

Other ways to help you get on the property ladder

Ways that parents and relatives can help you buy your home

Guarantor mortgages
A guarantor is usually a parent or other relative. Your guarantor agrees to guarantee your monthly mortgage payment if you can't pay. Their name isn't on the title deeds. This kind of mortgage can sometimes mean you can borrow more than you would have been able to without a guarantor.
Joint borrower sole proprietor mortgage
With this mortgage, you and your relative or friend are equally responsible for making the mortgage payments. Only your name as the homeowner, will be on the title deeds. 

How the government can help you save for a deposit

Government backed savings schemes include:
Lifetime ISA
These are ISAs that aim to boost your deposit savings by adding a bonus of 25% to the amount you’ve saved. There is a maximum amount you can save per year, which can be used towards properties up to £250,000 or under, or £450,000 in London.
Help to Buy ISAs
These are no longer available to open but if you already have one you can still save and benefit from the 25% bonus.


Now you know what you can afford and you’ve saved your deposit.
These are the steps to getting your mortgage and buying your first home

How much can you borrow?

It’s a good idea to find out exactly how much a lender will let you borrow. That way you know which houses are within your budget before you start your property search.

At the Yorkshire Building Society we call this getting a Decision in Principle (DIP).



Get a Decision in Principle (DIP)

What is a DIP?

A Decision in Principle (DIP) is a written statement from a lender to tell you if they can lend to you, and how much you might be able to borrow. The lender carries out an assessment of your income and outgoings to make the decision. This is done before you complete a full mortgage application.
At the Yorkshire Building Society we call it a Decision in Principle (DIP).
Other lenders sometimes have other names for the same step. Mortgage in Principle, an Agreement in Principle or Mortgage Promise.
Applying for a DIP with the Yorkshire Building Society
Takes as little as 10 minutes
Won’t affect your credit rating
Lasts for 30 days.


Find your dream home


Starting the search

Research your chosen area

What’s important to you?

School catchment areas
Transport links
Crime levels
Being able to walk to local shops
Is it a conservation area?

Get to know the area

Spend time in the parks, cafes and pubs
Go at different times of the day to get a feel for the place
Do you know local people to talk to?



Register with estate agents

You can look online and on the local high street to find out which estate agents list local properties.

Estate agents can then send emails or messages when they have new properties that match your wish list.

It could increase your chances of finding your ideal home. Sometimes agents will let you know about a new property before a listing is advertised.

If you’re just buying a property, there shouldn’t be any estate agent fees.



Visit potential properties

Whether you’re buying on your own or with someone else, make sure to take another person with you to view potential homes. You could spot different things and it’s always good to have someone to discuss the pros and cons with.

Read our guide on questions to ask when viewing a house



Make an offer on a house

How do I make an offer on a house?

When you’ve found the place you want to call home and you know your budget, you’re ready to make your offer.

Offers are usually made through the estate agent that the sellers are advertising with.

If your first offer is rejected, remember your budget before you offer more. It’s important to bear in mind the amount you have had agreed through your decision in principle (DIP). If you put in a higher offer than this, it could mean you’re not accepted for the mortgage when you apply.

Any offers should be “subject to contract and survey”. This means you need to have surveys completed and contracts signed before the offer is legally binding.

Read our guide on how to make an offer on a house.

Offer accepted

Hurrah, your offer has been accepted! This is great news but it’s not legally binding for you or the seller yet.

Now the main tasks of arranging your mortgage, dealing with the legal paperwork and agreeing a completion date can begin.


How do I get a mortgage and what else will I need to do?


Complete your full mortgage application

You need a Decision in Principle before completing a full mortgage application. DIPs or AIPs expire after 30 to 90 days depending on your lender. If you got a DIP but it’s now expired, you’ll have to reapply before you complete the full mortgage application.

Make sure you have all the documents to hand for the full mortgage application

A mortgage product fee or mortgage application fee will need to be paid for when you submit your application.

Read about other fees and costs in the mortgage process

Your lender will carry out a valuation to make sure the property is worth the amount you’re asking to borrow. There may be a separate fee for the valuation.

Once the lender is happy with the valuation, and all the other income and identity checks, they will make you a mortgage offer.

Check the offer carefully

Make sure all the details are correct before you agree and sign the contract. It’s easier to deal with errors now than later. They could also hold up the mortgage and how quickly you can set a completion date.
Once you’ve received and accepted the mortgage offer it will be valid for 6 to 9 months, dependent on your lender.
At YBS this also includes the chance to reserve a current mortgage deal. It’s reserved for you for up to 90 days and you’ll be able to have it even if it’s no longer available by the time your mortgage completes.



Appoint a conveyancer

Choose a solicitor or specialist conveyancer. This is usually from a lender approved list. Conveyancers handle all the legal documentation.

This includes:
Transfers the legal ownership of a home from one person to another.
Carrying out searches for you. This is to make sure that you know more about the home before you buy it.
Dealing with the offer from your lender, preparing the contracts and setting a completion date.
Help you to pay stamp duty.
You don’t have to wait until after you have your mortgage offer to appoint a conveyancer.

Read more in our guide, what is a conveyancer and what does a conveyancer do?



Get a survey

For your own reassurance you can pay for a survey to make sure the property is in good condition. There are different types of survey, all give varying levels of detail on the condition of the property.

The lender valuation is not a survey and will not give you any detail on the condition of the property.

You will need to appoint a qualified RICs building surveyor.

You don’t have to wait until after you have your mortgage offer to find a surveyor.

Read our guide to the kinds of problems a survey can identify and how to negotiate the price after a survey.



Sort out buildings insurance

You don’t own the property yet but once you have exchanged contracts, you’re legally bound to go through with buying the house.

Sorting out buildings insurance before you exchange contracts might sound cautious but it’s the safe thing to do in case the worst happens. Many lenders make having buildings insurance in place, one of the conditions of lending you a mortgage.

You can get the figure for the rebuild cost from the lender’s valuation report.


How does the moving in process work?


Negotiate a completion date

Your solicitor or conveyancer will discuss when could be a realistic completion date. They will then negotiate with the seller’s solicitor and agree the date.

Often this is set for a Friday, but it must be agreed by you and the seller.



Exchange contracts

Once you and the seller have exchanged contracts, you are both now legally obliged to buy, or sell the property.



Completion day

Completion day is when the property sale is completed.
Your deposit is paid to your mortgage lender.
The seller receives their money.
You will pick up the keys and become the owner of your home.



What happens after completion day?

As the buyer you will have 14 days to pay any stamp duty you owe. Your conveyancer will help work out how much it is and help you pay it to HMRC.

Once any stamp duty is paid your conveyancer can register the property with the Land Registry. This confirms you as officially the new owner.



Moving in

Your home is now yours and you can move in!

Read our guide and moving checklist


The content on this page is for reference and does not constitute financial advice.
For impartial financial advice, try MoneyHelper