Researching your mortgage options online
can save hours of your time, and if you are organised about your mortgage
application you can even manage the application process online to a certain
degree. If you know how much you
would like to borrow and have chosen a lender offering you a competitive rate,
you can get a provisional decision (or a 'Decision in principle' or 'DIP') from
the lender before you have even chosen where you want to live. This applies equally to a first time
buyer and and to someone looking to remortgage with a different lender.
In order to get a decision in principle, you need to provide the lender with details of your income, your employment status and some information about the type of property that you are planning to buy. The lender combines this information with a credit check (a full history of past borrowing and other financial transactions) to build an overall image of whether you would be a good borrower. This can usually be done online via email or over the phone, if you are able to provide the lender with appropriate documentation online.
Your lender will insist on having the
property valued by a qualified conveyancer. Choose a conveyancer (or a solicitor who specialises in this
area) to take care of this, and also the legal paperwork related to the
purchase of your new property.
Again, you can find conveyancing experts online (but make sure that they
are authorised with an appropriate trade body before employing them). Your
lender may be able to recommend you a conveyancer, but it's wise to get a
number of quotes to make sure you are getting the best deal.
Once you have your decision in principle, many lenders will enable you to track the progress of your application online. An online mortgage application will save you considerable amounts of time, since you can keep a check on the progress from wherever you are rather than having to make multiple trips to the lender's premises. If you are selling a property at the same time as applying for an online mortgage, you may also wish to consider arranging this online. Using a service such as Houseweb could save you thousands in estate agent fees.