Real Estate

What is a mortgage?

A mortgage is a loan, usually from a bank, finance company or building society to help you buy your home.

A mortgage is a loan, from a bank or building society that is secured against your house or flat. You have to pay back everything you borrow from your lender within an agreed length of time (the mortgage term). You also have to pay interest on what you have borrowed.

A mortgage is a loan you take out to buy property. Most banks and building societies offer mortgages, as well as specialist mortgage lending companies.

To repay the mortgage you either make monthly repayments of interest and capital, or you pay interest only each month then repay the loan at the end of the mortgage term from separate savings or investments.

The purpose of a mortgage is, quite simply, to enable a person to borrow money using the property as security. As the prices of houses are beyond the immediate personal resources of most purchasers, it is necessary to enter into a borrowing agreement with a lender.

A mortgage is therefore a form of a secured loan, whereby the lender agrees to lend a person the money to enable them to purchase a property. This loan is secured against the property by a legal charge and is subject to the purchaser and the property being able to meet the lender’s criteria. This loan is then paid back over a period of time along with the interest charged by the lender.

In most cases lenders will offer three times a single person’s salary or two-and-a-half times the borrowers’ joint salaries. However you should consider whether your budget can afford the repayments before borrowing to the hilt.

A mortgage is a long term financial commitment with repayments typically spread over a term of up to 25 years. However in practice, people often sell their house before the end of the mortgage period. The original loan is then repaid from the sale of the first house and a new loan is taken out to buy the new home.

Each joint borrower is individually liable for the amount of the loan and interest due to the lender and is always responsible for the full amount outstanding. Events such as separation, divorce, unemployment, long term sickness, injury or disability could ultimately cause a house to be sold and the mortgage to be terminated. The early repayment of a loan can have different financial consequences depending on the type of mortgage involved.

Most mortgage lenders also require you to have a suitable life assurance policy, which would repay the borrowing in the event of death or critical illness. This ensures that, in these distressing circumstances, your house would not have to be sold to repay the mortgage.

You may find the perfect mortgage for you at your local building society. But shopping around could land you with a much better deal or alternatively you can use a mortgage broker. Mortgage brokers scour the market to find the most suitable deal for you. A good mortgage broker can save you time and money.

If you are in full-time employment the lender will ask for written evidence for example, payslips and your P60 for the past two years. They’ll also probably write to your employer asking for confirmation.

If you’re self-employed it more difficult to get a mortgage and as a result there are lenders who specialise in the self-employed. You would need to show three years audited accounts. If you haven’t been in business long enough then the lender should accept a letter of confirmation from your accountant.

About the author
John Mussi is the founder of Direct Online Loans who help UK homeowners find the best available loans via the website.