Whether you’re buying your first home, switching mortgages, or moving, this guide has everything you need to help you prepare. Here’s how the mortgage process works from start to finish.
How mortgages work and the types of mortgages you can get.
A mortgage is a loan that you use to buy a property.
Mortgages can last much longer than other personal loans and you can borrow larger sums because they’re secured against the property’s value.
You can get a mortgage on your own, or you can apply for a joint mortgage with someone else.
You’ll then need to pay for part of the property yourself, this is known as your deposit.
The amount you’ll need to fund depends on what type of buyer you are:
Find out more about how mortgage deposits work and get tips to help you save for a deposit.
If you already own a property and your equity has increased, you can use some of this towards your deposit.
There are different types of mortgage that suit different circumstances, and your needs may change over the duration of the mortgage term.
First, you’ll need to decide on an interest only or repayment mortgage.
This affects how the loan is paid back and whether you’ll need a separate plan to pay off the mortgage balance.
Our guide: Should you get an interest only mortgage? compares the two mortgage types.
A standard variable rate is the lender’s variable rate that you’ll switch over to when your fixed rate period ends. It’s usually very expensive, so shop around and switch to a cheaper deal.
Some lenders in Ireland offer cashback mortgage deals, these are fixed or variable rate mortgages that also pay out a cash lump sum once you complete. This can be useful to pay for other moving expenses, for example solicitors costs or your removal company.
If you’re building your own home, our self build mortgage guide is a good place to start.
Find out where you can get one, how much you can borrow and how much it costs.
You can go to your current bank or another bank or building society. It’s best to compare mortgages with a wide range of lenders, using our comparisons, to find the best deal.
You could also get help from a mortgage broker (mortgage credit intermediary), but you may be charged for their services.
Ask for any fees upfront, and check they can access deals from a wide range of lenders, so you don’t miss out on a good deal.
The amount you could borrow depends on several factors, including:
Our guide: How much can you borrow with a mortgage? explains more on this, and includes a calculator to help you work out how much you could borrow based on your circumstances.
This depends on several things, including:
The lower the interest rate and longer the term, the lower your repayments will be. You’ll need to make sure you can sustain the repayments long term, alongside all your other financial commitments.
How to get an Approval in Principle and the 6 steps that lead to you buying a home.
To help you be in the best possible position to apply for a mortgage, our guide: How to prepare for a mortgage application is well worth a read.
There are some circumstances that can make the process of applying for a mortgage a bit more tricky, so we’ve dedicated a guide each to them:
Once you’re ready to apply, getting a mortgage Approval in Principle (AIP) is usually the starting point.
This will give you a good indication of what the lender could lend to you, but isn’t a guarantee.
Our guide: How to get a mortgage Approval in Principle in Ireland explains the process more fully and what to do if you’re not approved.
Once you have your AIP in place, there are several more steps to take before you’ll be ready to move into your new home:
As well as your AIP, you’ll also need to have enough deposit saved for the property you buy.
You should also find a solicitor for the legal work involved in buying a house, and factor in their fees, plus surveyor’s fees and stamp duty, to work out your total costs.
It can take a while to sort out mortgage protection insurance - which is compulsory, so ideally you should apply for a policy before you’re at the offer stage on a property.
Once your offer is accepted on a property, let your lender know. They’ll help you to arrange a valuation of the property and finalise your mortgage details.
Your solicitor will also arrange a structural survey of the property to check for any unseen damage. It’s not too late to pull out of the sale at this stage.
You’ll need to provide your lender with any outstanding documentation shown in your AIP so they can then issue you with a formal letter of offer. This is likely to include:
Requirements are different if you’re self employed.
You should review the offer carefully which contains details of things like the mortgage rate, term, total balance, before signing it.
This is the stage where you pay your deposit and sign and exchange contracts.
You’ll need to buy buildings insurance if you haven’t already. It’s compulsory and you may have to prove you have it before the funds can be released.
Your solicitor will arrange to transfer the remaining balance on the property in exchange for the title deeds.
You can now move into your new home!
Here’s the insurance you’ll need and how to switch your mortgage.
There are other insurances that are well worth considering too as they can offer additional protection to you or your biggest financial asset.
Our guide: What insurance do you need with your mortgage? looks at each of them to help you decide which ones to get.
If you need to remortgage your property, you’ll need to decide whether to stay with your current lender or switch to a new one.
Keeping your current lender could mean avoiding additional checks (if you don’t want to increase your mortgage or term), but you could miss out on a lower interest rate.
Here’s how to switch to a better deal and save thousands of euro in interest.
The type of mortgage you get affects how much you can overpay and when. Our guide: Should you overpay your mortgage? has all you need to know on this.
Find the best first time buyer and home mover mortgage deals in Ireland using our comparison.
It’s likely that you’ll need some sort of deposit but you may not need the full minimum deposit, if you meet all the other lending criteria.
The Central Bank allocates a percentage of mortgages that can have a deposit lower than the minimum, at the lender’s discretion. The allocation is for the year, and once it’s been used up, no further exceptions can be made.
Find out more about these guidelines and exceptions in our guide: How much can you borrow with a mortgage?
Next, you should:
Having an AIP enables you to start your property search and offer on potential homes. Once your offer has been accepted, you can get a formal mortgage offer letter by providing the lender with all the documentation needed.
You can usually get an Approval in Principle (AIP) within 10 working days, but a mortgage offer will take longer, depending on the situation.
If you’re buying a property, it can take several months from when you apply for a mortgage, to when it’s finalised.
This is because you have to find a property to buy, and in that time, the interest rates available may have changed. You’ll also have to produce all the up to date documentation needed.
Reading our guide: How to prepare for a mortgage application could help to speed up the process.
Yes, there are some Government schemes available that could help to reduce costs. Details about each of them can be found on our first time buyer page.
A mortgage broker will search the market for mortgages for you, but you can use our comparisons to compare them yourself. Plus, our mortgage guides have useful tips and advice to help you find the right mortgage.
If you do decide to use a mortgage broker, check if they charge a fee before you commit to using their services.
It depends if you meet the lender’s lending criteria. Some of the things you’re likely to need are: