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Author Archives: Mortgage123

Switch & Save on your Mortgage

Mortgage Switching Made Easy: 2020 Time to Switch & Save

Category : Mortgage News

1. The problem with not switching is you don’t make savings!

There were €20.3 million outstanding standard variable rate mortgages at the end of September 2019. Over 80% of Standard Variable Rate Mortgage holders could save if they switched according to brokers in Ireland. (Irish Times, 7 January 2020). A mortgage rate comparison from a broker could save you hundreds if not thousands each year after making the simple switch.

Indeed, mortgage providers are more likely to lower their rates if consumers switch to more competitive rates every couple of years.

At Mortgage123, we specialise in comparing rates on the market and getting you a fast and easy mortgage switch approval. For that, we need only a couple of documents from you.


2. Proof of Income

For Employees

  • Salary Certificate to be completed by your employer
  • 3 recent payslips
  • Your most recent statement of earnings.

For Self-employed/ directors/ sole traders/ partnerships/ Rental

  • 2 years accounts or trading accounts
  • Chapter 4 for 2 years
  • Form 11 for 2 years


3. Spending

3 Month’s Bank Statements

1 Month’s Credit Card Statement


4. Legal Expenses for switching mortgages

Same as a new mortgage, a switcher mortgage needs to pass through the legal route.

Thankfully, when it comes to switching, the cost and workload for the solicitor is about half of what it is when buying a new property.

Most of your legal costs will go on your solicitor’s professional fee, with some extra euro going on his/her outlays, associated costs and, of course, VAT. Here’s a summary of what they’ll do for their fee:

  1. First, your solicitor will request the deeds to your home from your old bank and act as the point of contact with your new bank for the switching process.
  2. Your solicitor will then invite you in for a consultation to go through the loan offer from your new bank and to advise on any questions or concerns you might have.
  3. If you’re happy to proceed with the switch, you’ll sign a new loan agreement, which your solicitor will send to your new bank. If you wish to add a new name to the title deeds of your home, your solicitor can help with that too.

We can recommend solicitors who charge as little as €750 plus VAT and disbursements.

Although not strictly a legal fee, there is always a valuation fee associated with switching mortgage too, which will cost you around €150.

Most mortgage providers extend money towards legal expenses.

KBC – €3,000

Ulster Bank – €1,500 plus free valuation

Permanent TSB – 2% cashback

AIB – €2,000

Rates start from 2.25%

If you are paying over 3% on your mortgage, it is time to search around!


Mortgage Application Checklist

Click to View and Download Mortgage Application Checklist




Home improvement loans

Home Improvement Loans: Personal Loan vs Mortgage Top-up

Category : Mortgage News

1. Home Improvement Loans for Your Renovation and Extension Plans

If home improvements are already on your new year’s resolution list, read on. Is it that new kitchen, extra bedroom or conservatory? Renovations can be stressful but getting the finance doesn’t have to be. The first place to start would be to get an idea of how and what finances are available to you and at what cost, i.e. home improvement loans.

The most common routes to home improvement financing include housing grants, personal bank loans, credit union loans, remortgage with a mortgage provider. If you cannot qualify for a home improvement grant, generally a top-up of your existing mortgage may work out as the cheapest option. Home improvements can potentially cost you nothing if you play your cards right.


2. Home Improvements Grants and Schemes

The SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) is trying to play its part in helping Irish households become more environmentally sustainable. There are various grants available to homeowners, so it might be worth your time to explore the various options. There are numerous conditions to qualify for each grant, but it might be worth it.

Some home improvements which may qualify you for a grant are listed below:

Insulation (30% of a home’s heat is lost through poorly insulated walls)

  • Solar Thermal
  • Building Energy Rating (BER)
  • Heat Pump System
  • Heating Controls
  • Solar water heating grant

You can read more on housing grants and schemes on the following link.


3. Personal or Credit Union Home Improvement Loans

If you have no mortgage on your home, and your home improvements will cost less than €50,000, this may be your only option. Personal bank loans are relatively fast to approve once you have a good credit history. Interest Rates can range between 10-14% per annum for a personal loan depending on the amount and repayment term.

Credit Unions typically change a lot less and may give better repayment conditions. Credit Unions in Ireland cannot exceed 12% APR on personal loans. For credit unions in the Republic of Ireland with a dedicated home improvement loan rate, the average loan rate was 7.7% APR and the lowest rate was 4.33% APR (Irish League of Credit Unions 2018).

If you are looking at doing an extension or big house improvements, you might look into a remortgage as the interest rates will be much lower.


4. Mortgage Top-up from Your Bank

If you are looking for larger loan, a mortgage top-up from your bank may be a fast and easy option. However, this may not always be on offer. Furthermore, you will be assessed similarly to when you first applied for your mortgage. The following factors will be important in your bank’s decision to top up your mortgage:


  1. Your current income and ability to afford increased repayments.
  2. Your credit history and recent borrowings.
  3. The current market value of your property.
  4. Your age and the amount of time you want to borrow for.


For example:

  • Your property today is worth €300,000
  • 85% of the property’s value is €255,000
  • You have €155,000 left on the mortgage
  • The maximum amount you could borrow (release as equity) is €100,000 (that’s €255,000 – €155,000)


5. Mortgage Switcher or Remortgage with Another Lender  

Switching your mortgage to another lender can be a good idea even if you are not doing home improvements. You can lean more about the situations when a mortgage switcher may be beneficial on the following link

Switching your mortgage to a new lender can secure a larger mortgage amount, i.e. equity release. Furthermore, the new mortgage may be at a better interest rate, saving you on repayments in the long run and better still there are cash incentives available from lenders as a thank you for switching.


6. What is the Best Option to Finance Your Home Improvements?

The best option to finance your home improvement will depend on your situation, but speaking to a mortgage advisor from Mortage123 should always be on your list first. A summary of options includes:

  1. Home improvement grant
  2. Mortgage top-up or remortgage with another lender offering a better deal
  3. If you have a mortgage and looking for over €50,000 loan, remortgage might be the cheapest option
  4. If you have no mortgage or looking for a small loan, i.e. under €20,000, Credit Union personal loan.
  5. Personal bank loan – If you have no mortgage, not a member of a Credit Union and looking for a small loan.
Mortgage Application Checklist

Click to View and Download Mortgage Application Checklist




Help to Buy Scheme Mortgages

95% Mortgages Now in Ireland: Help to Buy Scheme for First Time Buyers

Category : Mortgage News

1. What Help to Buy Scheme is available to First Time Buyers in Ireland?

The Help to Buy scheme is available to first time buyers in Ireland since 2014. The help to buy scheme has been extended in the 2020 budget, but it has its limitations. Irish first time buyers will be delighted to the news that 95% mortgages are now available under certain conditions. This is further help with raising the money for a mortgage deposit.

So, you can qualify for the Help to Buy incentive and also get an exception to pay only 5% mortgage deposit. What does this mean? It means you can possibly get a mortgage with a smaller deposit than previously needed.

Let’s remind ourselves what the Help to Buy Scheme does

Its aim is to stimulate the construction of new homes or self builds in Ireland while helping first time buyers afford these properties. The help to Buy scheme is a government initiative allowing prospective home-buyers to claim a refund of income tax (but not USC or PRSI) and deposit interest retention tax (DIRT) paid in Ireland over the previous four years.

An outline of the conditions:

  • The home has to be a newly built or self-build, no investment properties. Only properties built by a registered contractor will be eligible.
  • You can claim up to 5% of the purchase price of a new home
  • Maximum relief €20,000
  • There is also a cap on the eligible purchase price of some €500,000
  • You have to live in the property for five years after you buy or build it, or you will risk Revenue clawing back your tax rebate
  • You must take out a mortgage of at least 70% of the purchase price

For more information how to claim the Help to Buy Scheme incentive, refer to the Revenue website

2. 95% Mortgages for First Time Buyers in Ireland

In the case that you are not in a position to purchase a new build, the 95% mortgage might be just what you need. Yes, you can get a mortgage with 5% deposit in Ireland now!

The traditional mortgage deposit of 10% for first time buyers can now be reviewed under the exception allowances of certain mortgage providers.

The general conditions that can put you in a good position for a 95% mortgage include:

  • Available for First Time Buyers
  • You have been renting for at least the past 12 months
  • You are not looking to borrow more than 3.5 times your gross annual income
  • You will pay variable rate at 3.15% per annum 

3. What do I need to Apply for a 95% Mortgage?

In order to secure a 95% mortgage, you will to undergo the same process of application as for a 90% mortgage. However, you will have a much better chance if you go through a broker who has access to mortgage providers allowing 95% mortgage exceptions.

Mortgage Application Checklist

Click to View and Download Mortgage Application Checklist




Selfbuild Show Dublin 2019

SelfBuild Show Dublin 2019: Frequently Asked Mortgage Questions

Category : Mortgage News

Selfbuild Show Dublin is the ultimate showcase for people who are building, extending, improving or simply decorating their home. Visitors are presented an abundance of ideas, inspiration and advice via 1-2-1 Clinics, Theatre talks and hundreds of local exhibitors.

Mortgage123 was one of the exhibitors at the show and we got a chance to meet with people looking to build their own home, or making home improvements.

SelfBuild Show Dublin 2019

SelfBuild Show Dublin 2019 Mortgage123 Stand

Sean Corbett of Mortgage123 presented on the Mortgage process for Self-builds at the Selfbuild Show, and you can listen to the presentation here. We summarized the most frequently asked questions by show visitors we got to talk to over the weekend.

1. Can I apply for mortgage approval without planning?

Yes, you can apply for a mortgage, but how the application is processed will be specific to the lender, and not all lenders will issue mortgage approval without planning permission in place.

2. Can I get 100% of the build cost?

Yes, but this depends on many factors such as the value of the property, the value of the site, whether or not some or all of the site cost is to be included in the mortgage, etc.

3. Do I need to use a building contractor, or can I use a direct-labour approach?

It is your choice on how you want to get your home built. You will need appropriate professionals to sign off on projected build costs and stage completions. Your level of contingency funding may need to increase with direct-labour to account for a slightly greater chance of budget overspend.

4. How long do I have to complete the build?

This is specific to the lender, but two years would be a usual time frame to have in mind.

5. Will I have to sell my current home before my new house is ready?

This depends on your overall financial circumstances. Mortgage123 can help you identify this aspect of your mortgage early in the process.

6. What is the stamp duty requirement?

Your solicitor will advise you on stamp duty for your particular project as there are circumstances when this could be different to the usual 6% of site cost.

7. What documents do I need to get approval?

You would need as a minimum an OSI map and the following attached in our checklist.

Mortgage Application Checklist

Click to View and Download Mortgage Application Checklist


This blog post is contributed by Nicole Dundon, Mortgage Advisor at Mortgage123.



Tracker mortgage scandal

Consumer Lessons from the Tracker Mortgage Scandal

Category : Mortgage News

The tracker mortgage scandal has been going on for nearly 20 years. It rekindled in the past couple of months with banks getting heavy penalties for overcharging customers.

So, what is the tracker mortgage scandal?

In simple terms, tracker mortgages became unprofitable for banks after 2011 when the European Central Bank interest rates fell close to 0%. Therefore, Irish banks resorted to not so customer friendly practices to switch mortgage holders to more expensive interest rates, such as fixed or variable. We will refresh what each mortgage rate means later in this blog post because it is one of the lessons to learn. So, read on and learn how you can protect yourself from getting into a bad mortgage deal.

1. Don’t Fully Trust Your Bank

The Central Bank of Ireland is in the middle of a tracker mortgage examination, which is assessing all banks that offered tracker products in Ireland. The country’s six main mortgage providers – AIB and its EBS subsidiary, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank, Permanent TSB and KBC Bank Ireland – have set aside €1.1 billion of provisions to date to cover redress and compensation, expected regulatory fines, and other costs linked to the State’s biggest financial overcharging fiasco.

Permanent TSB was handed a €21 million fine for breaches that impacted on more than 2,000 of its customers as part of the wider tracker mortgage scandal. It is expected that other lenders responsible for this overcharging of customers will also face fines from the regulator.

Why are the banks paying these fines?

Back in 2006-2008, tracker mortgage rates were higher, and banks offered clients to move to fixed rate for a few years. The customers’ understanding was that they will get back on the original tracker mortgage after, but that is not what necessarily happened.

In many instances banks would not return customers to their original tracker rates. Instead customers paid higher fixed-rate and variable-rate loans.

Takeout: Do not sign blindly everything that is offered to you by your bank. Ask an independent mortgage broker for advice if in doubt, it is usually free!

2. Understand Mortgage Interest Rates – Explained Simply

You will be a lot less likely to enter a bad mortgage deal if you understand how mortgage rates work. It is not that hard to get your head around; an independent broker is non-biased and will guide you through any options.

Variable Mortgage Rates

Variable rates offer flexibility. They allow you to pay extra off your mortgage and may subject to lender approval extend your mortgage term or top up your mortgage without having to pay any penalties. However, because variable rates can rise and fall, your mortgage repayments can go up or down during the term of your loan.

  • Standard variable rate

    The banks set these rates based on various factors, such as cost of loans, loan risks, market competition, etc. The bank will have a Policy Statement of how they determine their variable rates. If you are on a variable rate, you can shop around for a better rate and even a cash back. This is what most people don’t do, and they should! Variable rates differ from lender to lender, so choose carefully.

  • Tracker variable rate/tracker mortgages

    No longer available to new customers however they work as follows: they are set at a fixed percentage or ‘margin’ above the European Central Bank (ECB) rate. For example, ECB rate plus one percentage point. So, if the ECB rate rises by a percentage point, so does your rate. It will also ‘track’ the ECB rate when this rate goes down. If you switch from a tracker mortgage, you may not have the option to get a tracker rate again. So, you need to carefully consider your options.

  • Discounted rate

    A Discounted rate is a temporary rate, set below the standard variable rate. This is an incentive to new customers and gives you lower repayments for an initial period. At the end of that time, you have the option to go onto the fixed or variable rate on offer at that time. Before you accept a discounted offer, make sure you know what rate you will pay after the offer ends and how much it will cost you in total. The discounts currently on offer normally insist on you opening a current account with that lender.

Fixed Mortgage Rates

Fixed mortgage rates are probably the most popular choice in 2019. With a fixed rate mortgage, your interest rate and monthly repayments are fixed for a set time. Fixed rates are commonly available over two to ten years. Although a fixed rate means your repayments cannot increase for a set period, your repayments will not fall during the fixed rate period. As a result, you could miss out on lower interest rates and lower repayments. During the fixed rate period, you may face penalties if you want to switch lenders, move to a variable rate or pay off all or part of your mortgage. Also, you cannot usually pay more each month than your standard repayment. Some fixed rates come with cash back which is yours to spend once the mortgage completes.

3. If in Doubt, Independent Mortgage Advice is mostly Free

Mortgage brokers are unbiased parties, who have access to a wide range of lender rates at their fingertips. This means, they can advise you on the best lender for your situation. You will not have to worry about the fine print or understanding mortgage jargon.

Mortgage123 does not usually charge a fee, so you are more than welcome for unbiased, expert advice. Even if you have an approval with a bank already, it is not too late to run it by us.

Read more on the benefits of using a mortgage broker here

4. Compare the Market Every Couple of Years

In fact, the Central Bank of Ireland is attempting to raise awareness of mortgage switching. New Central Bank rules relating to current mortgage holders have come into force since January 2019. These rules are in response to 2015 findings that more than one fifth of borrowers could save money by switching. The new rules will make it easier for bank customers to get information about savings on their mortgages. Furthermore, this will encourage competitiveness in the market and better mortgage rates for customers.

Although the Central bank has extended new rules to raise awareness of switching, identifying the best deal on the market may require some professional advice. There isn’t enough awareness that brokers can do that switch at no cost and recommend the best available switch.

At Mortgage123, we pride ourselves on our Mortgage Switcher service.



Credit Union Mortgages

Credit Union Mortgages: Where’s the Catch?

Category : Mortgage News

Credit Union mortgages have attracted media attention since October 2018 when the Central Bank commenced a public consultation for review of the Credit Union lending regulations. This is with a view of increasing the value of loans available to mortgage lending by credit unions. The proposed changes may increase credit unions capacity for home lending from €175m to €861m.

The Minister for Finance announced that ‘The Central Bank is currently in the process of reviewing the submissions received and expects to publish a feedback statement and draft regulations in the second half of 2019’.

At present, across the Republic of Ireland, more than 100 credit unions are offering mortgages to their members.

How does a credit union mortgage work?

The Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) coordinates a credit union mortgage ‘shared service’ so that participating credit unions can have the support and assurance they need to be successful in residential mortgage lending.

Each participating credit union sets its own mortgage interest rate at local level, and will also make the final lending/approval decision. The ILCU will coordinate and provide centralised, administrative support through the shared service, or Mortgage Hub.

Every credit union is owned by its members, the people who save with it and borrow from it. Mortgage provision by Credit Unions is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and the current lending limitations are that no more than 10% of the credit union loans can be for over 10 years, i.e. mortgage loans. Therefore, there are approximately 2,700 smaller mortgages available through credit unions in Ireland.

What are the interest rates in comparison to other lenders?

The Credit Unions offer mortgage variable rates from 4% per annum, with average rates around 4,5%. The credit unions have put forward a loan product CUhome at 4% per annum which is still well over the average mortgage rates in Ireland at the moment.

Therefore, the main benefit from a credit union mortgage may not be the lower interest rates. Banks offer rates from 2.7% and often longer terms to repay the mortgage. So, what are the potential advantages in seeking a mortgage from your credit union?

What are the benefits of Credit Union mortgages?

In some cases, a Credit Union can be a right fit for you. Some of the benefits include:

    • All lending decisions are at local level, not in some remote head office. Hence, Credit unions can be more approachable and flexible.
    • Credit unions excel in personal service and your application will be dealt with by your local credit union staff. They know you there.
    • Lower income applicants may have a better chance with their Credit Union as they may have an established borrowing and repayment record.

What are the drawbacks of Credit Union mortgages?

Some of the drawbacks to consider before applying for a mortgage at your local credit union:

    • Credit Unions can lend only for residential purchases, so if you are looking to buy a second home or a buy-to-let property, they will not be an option for you.
    • You can only apply at a credit union you are a member in it.
    • There are limits to the amount you can borrow – up to €320,000 for Dublin, Cork, Kildare, Galway, Louth and Meath and €250,000 for everywhere else. With the house prices at the moment, this amount is very restrictive.
    • Credit unions are risk averse and will not lend easily if you do not have a good credit record. Credit Unions deal with arrears same as a bank, and you can lose your house if you do not keep up your repayments.

Can a mortgage broker deal with Credit Unions?

Credit Unions do not deal with mortgage brokers. You will need to apply with your credit union yourself. Therefore, this will be an additional application your application with a mortgage broker.

Credit unions may be able to lend higher amounts and better interest rates, but this may yet take some time. So, if it means that you have to rent for another two years in the hope that your local credit union will be able to arrange a mortgage for you, you might be at a loss already.

Is it worth waiting for Credit Union mortgage lending changes?

It is always better to live in the moment and don’t put off anything for another day. Credit Unions may be in a better position to lend, but there will be no news for another while.

If you are in a position to get a mortgage today, you will be ahead in a property market with rising prices every day. Give it a go, apply today! Mortgage123 charges no fees, we are one of the largest mortgage brokers in Ireland, and you really have nothing to lose. If you are not ready to apply yet, we can help you prepare and stay with you for the rest of the mortgage journey to your home!



How to Get a Mortgage

How to Get a Mortgage: Mortgage123 on Air – 3

Category : Mortgage News

How to get a mortgage? Mortgage123’s Sales Director Sean Corbett was a guest on Phoenix FM, Blanchardstown on Wed, 5th June. During the interview, he answered some listeners questions.

How is the Property Market?

There is currently a very different property marketplace in comparison to where it was at the start of the year. For Dublin, a lack of housing did contribute to rise in house prices. Hence, borrowing or entering the property market has become a little more complex.

One thing to note about the use of mortgage calculators by lenders is the importance of choosing a lender carefully as no two lenders will offer the same rate.

In other property news for Dublin, council apartments are for sale in Dublin for approximately €160,000 which Sean believes indicates a stabilising market in Dublin. It was explained that it is perhaps more cost efficient to buy, than it is to rent, and that it is worth buying your own property while this is still the case.

While the Dublin market appears to be settling, the property market around the country seems to still be inconsistent. The best way to navigate the current market is to find a broker, one that does not charge a fee and is able to deal with all banks.

How to Get a Mortgage

Why should you use a broker to get a mortgage?

To put it simply, a broker works for you, banks work for the banks. It is best to use a broker in order to genuinely get the best rate for you. On top of that, brokers do not charge a fee. They are paid a commission by the lender once you buy your property.

Brokers will prepare buyers for what is to come by ensuring they are financially savvy. A good piece of advice is to start saving long before you even consider entering the property market. See this Article for more Benefits from Using a Mortgage Broker.

How much can I borrow monthly?

It is important to bear in mind that rates will differ from lender to lender and mortgage calculators can also vary. Typically, you can borrow up to three and a half times your annual income and 10% is the minimum deposit. Just be sure that you can demonstrate good, consistent saving habits and that you are living within your means. This will reflect well on lenders, and you will have an easier time getting mortgage approval.

Buy-to-let Mortgages

Buy to Let mortgages are preferable for “seasoned investors” rather than the average buyer. Interest rates are higher for investment mortgages and buyers who are interested in such properties are usually already experienced in renting housing. The Rent to Buy Scheme is also not applicable here.

How to Get a Mortgage: Mortgage Deposit

Realistically, you should pay 10% of the borrowed amount as a deposit, but should you need support, a blood relative, usually your parents, can give you a “gift” as a deposit.

In terms of other aspects to getting a mortgage, some lenders are not as lenient. For example, having children can reduce the amount you can borrow. It is harder to get a mortgage if you have children already, so it is often advised to procure your mortgage before you start a family if possible.



Prepare for Mortgage Application

5 Steps to Kick Start Your Mortgage Journey

Category : Mortgage News

How to prepare for mortgage application?

Deciding to buy your first home is a massive decision – But once you’ve made that decision, you’re on the way to making the dream a reality.

You know what they say – action cures fear! At Mortgage123, we bring you five simple steps to kick start the process and get you closer to holding those keys in your hands.

1. Do the Mortgage Maths

The first thing you need to know when you prepare for a mortgage is how much you are actually eligible to borrow. We will help you figure this out. You just need to answer a few top line questions about your salary and marital status, etc. to get an estimation of what you can borrow. If you have some time, you can quickly complete our Online Form, and we will quickly assess for you where you stand and what you need to prepare for mortgage application.

You can get a quick idea of how much you can borrow by using one of our Mortgage Calculators

2. Face Time with a Mortgage Advisor

Talking to an advisor is the next step.

You don’t need to have a deposit saved, or even your paperwork in order to chat to someone about what the best course of action is.

There is no point in spending hours trying to figure it all out at home when there are experts ready to answer any query you have – no matter how silly it may seem. You can arrange a phone call or meeting with an advisor, even chat to us over the Mortgage123 LiveChat. There is always a mortgage advisor online.

3. Start Saving

Okay, this is the trickiest bit, but the good news? It doesn’t matter what you’ve done up until now – you can still start today.

The key is to save smart. Don’t just throw a few extra cents in the piggy bank when you’re feeling flush, plan ahead for maximum saving success.

We are happy to advise on a solid saving strategy.

4. Paperwork: Prepare for Mortgage

Get the fancy folders out – it’s time to get organised. The bank needs proof that you’ll be able to repay the mortgage loan – so they’ll need to see things like payslips, bank statements, credit card bills, etc.

We can provide you with a mortgage checklist.

5. Getting Mortgage Approval

Once your deposit is sorted, you can apply for Approval in Principle. This means, the bank is agreeing in principle to give you a mortgage, and you’ll know what your budget is for your first home.

This blog post is contributed by Tim Lynch, Mortgage Advisor at Mortgage123. The original article is available at 5 Steps to Kick Start Your Mortgage Journey



DIY Summer Garden Tips

Category : House Tips

With Summer finally here, we are spending more time outdoors.

Here are some of our favourite budget friendly, DIY garden tips to freshen up and beautify your outdoor space!


Breathe new life into old plant pots by fixing Mosaic tiles to them.





Revamp an old chair and turn it into an planter with your favourite flowers.





Use rope lights to illuminate your garden paths






Make a pallet flower display for all your favourite plants






You can make your garden appear larger by hanging mirrors on walls and fences, adding depth.






Use cinder blocks to create a bench by slotting moulded posts through them and adding colourful cushions. You will need concrete adhesive for sticking the blocks together!





Light up your trees by twisting a string of white lights around trees in your back yard.






You can make your own wind chime by painting keys and tying them to a branch. This one the kids will love!






These DIY tin can lanterns would be gorgeous hanging from branches!






Mortgage123 on Air: Tips on ‘How to get a Mortgage’ – 2

Category : Mortgage News

Sean Corbett, Sales Director of Mortgage123 was invited again for an interview on Property Matters on Dublin South 93.9 FM. He is now the resident mortgage expert on the show.

During the interview, Sean gave listeners some of his expert advice on how to prepare for a mortgage, particularly in a competitive property market.

Mortgage123 on Property Matters, How to get a mortgage

Mortgage123 on Property Matters

Some of the key points discussed include:

First Time Buyer Status Issues for Couples

Applicants who qualify for First Time Buyers need to provide only 10% deposit in comparison to 20% deposit for anyone else who does not qualify. If one of the mortgage applicants owns a property already or they have owned a property before, the couple may lose the First Time Buyer status. Sean clarified the rules around this and what options and exceptions may be available.

Recent Changes to Exceptions

The general rule of thumb is that you can borrow 3.5 times your yearly income. Banks are allowed to make an exception and lend up to 4.5 times yearly income in certain circumstances. Exceptions may be available in relation to the First Time Buyer status as well, but only one type of exception is possible per mortgage application.

In recent weeks, banks are implementing further restrictions to exceptions based on net and disposable income which favour higher income earners in general.

It is also important to note that lenders have a limited amount of these exceptions each year. It is certain that the lenders will run out of exceptions, some may run out sooner than others. A broker is familiar with how banks work and which are more likely to make an exception for certain type of mortgage applications.

How Do Number and Age of Children Affect Mortgage Applications?

Children affect the calculations of net disposable income and banks have different criteria for these calculations. The number and age of children, and child care costs can affect your chances of getting a mortgage significantly. A broker may save you time and disappointment.

How to be More Competitive When House Hunting?

The property market is extremely competitive at the moment and supply of new properties is low. Most auctions will not even consider buyers who do not have an Approval in Principal by a lender. Hence, Sean suggests that it is better to start with securing an Approval in Principal before setting your heart on a property, and this is only valid for 6 months in most cases.

Sean discusses criteria and tips for mortgage application preparation towards getting an approval fast. The key is to prove repayment capacity. He also suggests how to best complete a mortgage application in a situation of living with parents versus renting and paying high rents.

Further competition in the property market is introduced by vulture funds and bulk investment buyers, which will be a topic in a future interview episode on Property Matters.

*Listen back to the full interview on #PropertyMatters here: Property Matters-May 7th, 2019



Get a Mortgage on Dublin South 93.9 FM

Mortgage123 on Air: Tips on ‘How to get a Mortgage’

Category : Mortgage News

Sean Corbett, Sales Director of Mortgage123 gave an interview on Property Matters on Dublin South 93.9 FM.

During the interview, Sean gave listeners some of his expert advice on how to prepare for a mortgage, particularly in a competitive property market.

Get a Mortgage on Dublin South 93.9 FM

Get a Mortgage on Dublin south 93.3 FM

In Picture: Sean Corbett, Mortgage123; Amanda Bone, Bone Architects; Carol Tallon, Property Matters radio host; Darragh Lynch, Darragh Lynch Architects; Peter Brown, Property Matters. 

How do lenders assess a mortgage applicant?

Sean emphasised that preparation is the key to getting a mortgage approval. He said the lenders will review the last 6 months bank statements for all applicants to see whether they properly manage their finances.  To leave a good impression on a bank lender, applicants should show how well they can manage their finances, income and expenditure, over the 6 months prior to application.

1. Affordability:

In general, you need to show that you can afford the new mortgage payment, plus have some room for interest rate increases. For this, the bank will look at your savings (the increase in your balance from the start 6 months ago, to the closing balance), it will look for proof in your current account statement as to whether you are paying rent (to an unconnected party only), whether you are paying other loans that will be fully cleared before mortgage is issued, these will help you to afford a mortgage payment.

They will also look at other costs, you must have enough money to buy food and basics once you move into your new home, if you have children, you must be still able to provide for them and that reduces the amount available to pay the mortgage!Do you have loans that will not be cleared? Do you have other fixed commitments, such as pension contributions, family maintenance commitments etc.?

Your age will also affect how much you can borrow, most lenders will want a mortgage repaid by 65, so if you are 55, you have a much shorter term than a 30-year-old, this reflects in higher repayments and therefore can reduce affordability.

2. Prudence:

The lender wants to see that you are at least somewhat wise in your spending – no online gambling either winning or losing, no daily spend at the off-licence, no excess clothing expenditure. You should demonstrate that you operate your account and spending sensibly, do not go into regular overdraft and do not have missed payments or bounced cheques for 6 months.

3. Credit Report:

Apply via for your credit report. It is not FREE to obtain.

4. Deposit:

Have your proof of savings should you have saved your deposit, or some part of it. First time buyers need a 10% deposit, but lenders will allow this to be gifted if you can demonstrate other financial prudence.

5. Property:

The lender will also assess whether the property is suitable for mortgage purposes – is the valuation fair, has the valuer noted any concerns over condition, location, access or any other matter.

What’s different for Self-employed?

Sean also talked about what to do in the event that a buyer is self-employed. In this case, the last two years before looking to get a mortgage are crucial. This can be a very complicated area and Sean outlined the importance of finding a broker as opposed to simply going straight to the bank. He said that at Mortgage123, finding the right broker is made simple by providing a “live chat” option on the Mortgage123 website. This chat means that potential clients who are viewing the website can ask questions or make contact for a meeting by simply clicking the chat option.

Look into Switching lenders if you are paying more than 3% p.a.

Some of the other questions asked during the interview included queries regarding competition in the housing market and switching lenders if needed. Sean explained that in his experience, when it comes to rates, the competition is huge and there is a certain area of the market that is particularly competitive. In this case, the amount that it is possible to borrow varies greatly.

Sean also advised listeners to switch lenders if they are paying more than a 3% p.a. interest rate to the lender.

Are Exceptions likely to run out this year?

The general rule of thumb is that you can borrow 3.5 times your yearly income. Banks are allowed to make an exception and lend up to 4.5 times yearly income in certain circumstances. It is also important to note that lenders have a limited amount of these exceptions each year.

It is certain that the lenders will run out of exceptions, some may run out sooner than others. A broker is familiar with how banks work and which are more likely to make an exception for certain type of mortgage applications.

*Listen back to the full interview on #PropertyMatters here:



Mortgage switcher survey

Not Switching May Cost You Over €10,000

Category : Mortgage News

The ‘too much hassle’ mentality when it comes to switching mortgages may cost mortgage holders thousands according to preliminary results from our Mortgage123 Switcher Survey.

To view and complete the Mortgage123 Survey please CLICK HERE

The Mortgage123 Survey invites Irish mortgage holders to answer a few simple questions relating to their current mortgages. The respondents may test their own knowledge of their mortgages. Mortgages are like any other service provided to customers, but for some reasons mortgage holders in Ireland do not view mortgages the same way as their broadband, electricity or phone.

Preliminary Results Mortgage123 Survey

The preliminary results from 28 respondents show that 18% did not know what mortgage rate they were paying. Over 48% were paying over 2.3% interest rate per annum and could possibly switch to a better provider.

While 89% of respondents were aware that they could switch their mortgage, only 14% had switched their mortgage in the past 5 years. This was not the case for switching other service providers, such as phone and electricity services, where 83% switching was reported.

The main reason provided by our respondents were that they thought it will be too much Hassle (61%).

Diagram 1 Reasons for Not Switching Mortgage Providers

Mortgage switcher survey

Mortgage switcher survey

Source: Preliminary results from Mortgage123 Survey.

These responses, although inconclusive, suggest that Irish mortgage holders are not very familiar with what a mortgage switcher involves. When we calculate for them how much they could save if they reduce their mortgage term by as little as 0.1% p.a. or shorten the mortgage term by a few years, they are pleasantly surprised.

Switching Your Mortgage Recommended by Central Bank

In fact, the Central Bank of Ireland is attempting to raise awareness of mortgage switching. New Central Bank rules relating to current mortgage holders have come into force since January 2019. These rules are in response to 2015 findings that more than one fifth of borrowers could save money by switching. The new rules will make it easier for bank customers to get information about savings on their mortgages. Furthermore, this will encourage competitiveness in the market and better mortgage rates for customers.

Although the Central bank has extended new rules to raise awareness of switching, identifying the best deal on the market may require some professional advice. There isn’t enough awareness that brokers can do that switch at no cost and recommend the best available switch.

At Mortgage123, we pride ourselves on our Mortgage Switcher service.




Mortgage broker of the year

Mortgage Broker Awards Ireland 2019

Category : Mortgage News

Great News for Mortgage123! The 2019 LPI Financial Broker Awards 2019 shortlist Mortgage123 in the category Mortgage Broker of the Year!

Best Mortgage Broker Awards

Mortgage123 is growing and becoming the Best mortgage broker in Ireland! We are growing as a result of our dedication to getting the best mortgage for our clients. As a trusted broker, we take the hassle out of the mortgage application process. Hence, Mortgage123 has earned the reputation of ‘One Broker, All Banks’ because we deal with all the banks.

Furthermore, our Mortgage Advisors are fully qualified to lead you through the mortgage journey. Literally, they manage each case from filling out the mortgage application form to cheque issue and ‘Bottle of bubbly’ celebration. Thus, they make our clients’ dreams come true!

In response to business growth, we recently employed Graduate Mortgage Advisors who are learning the trade fast. Mortgage123 has a 2-year Graduate training programme in place which supports new graduates to start their career in financial advice. We have also been investing in streamlining our mortgage process. This ensures, we get that mortgage approval faster than every other broker in Ireland!

Mortgage broker of the year

Broker Awards Ireland

The annual Life, Pension & Investment Broker Awards recognise Irish brokers who have proven their excellence and dedication in maintaining high professional standards in the Irish market over the past year. Hence, every Irish broker who makes it to the short list is a household name in Ireland.

LPI Awards 2019 Ceremony

The 2019 LPI Financial Broker awards will be held on Thursday 21st March 2019 in the Round Room at Mansion House, Dublin.

We would like to thank everyone who voted for us!

This is the full list of nominees for the Best Mortgage Broker Awards 2019, available on the Brokers Ireland website



Mortgage Limerick office

Limerick Mortgage Office – New Location, New Recruits!

Category : Mortgage News

The best mortgage team of 2018  welcomes 2019 with 7 new recruits in our new head office on 48 O’Connell Street, Limerick.

Who Joined the Team at the Limerick Mortgage Office?

Established in 2015 by Eamon Lynch, Mortgage123 is the mortgage wing of IPS Financial Advice Limited. Since our launch, the team has grown rapidly in the space of two years from two members to 19. Therefore, we are proud to be one of the businesses creating new jobs in Limerick. We largely credit our growth to the fostered team culture of ‘can do’ attitude. Hence, the motivation to become one of the leading mortgage brokers in Ireland.


Award winning mortgage broker

PHOTO CREDIT: David Kenna. dak photography

As a young team, Mortgage123 is working tirelessly to establish the mortgage service. Thus, our focus is completely on customer service. This means, we want to make the mortgage application process as stress free as possible for our clients.

Limerick Mortgage Office New Recruits:

Marie Feehily, Mortgage Advisor – Marie joined the Mortgage123 team in November 2018. She is an experienced mortgage advisor. She started her career in the financial services industry in 1998 having completed her BA degree in UCD. After graduation, Marie worked as a Mortgage Advisor with Permanent TSB in her home town of Nenagh, Co Tipperary for many years. She is also well known in dog show circles for her award-winning German Shepherd show dogs.

Graduate Mortgage Advisors – In January 2019, three new advisors started their careers with Mortgage123 on our graduate training programme, Nicole Dundon, Amanda O’Brien, and Laura Mansbridge. They are working alongside experienced advisors and learning the ropes quickly. Furthermore, they enrolled to study for their QFA exams beginning in May this year.

Amanda O’Leary was promoted from her marketing assistant position to Office & Reception Manager in our new office on 48 O’Connell Street!

Robert Bradley joined the administration team in January having worked for over 5 years in financial services administration.

The Word is Spreading, Mortgage Brokers are Back

‘We deal with all the banks, so you don’t have to!’

Mortgage123 is one of the leading mortgage brokers in Ireland today. Since, we deal with all banks, our clients can be assured they are getting the best deal on the market. When trusting Mortgage123, new buyers experience a smooth journey to their new home. Furthermore, we get mortgages holders great savings on their current mortgages.

Customers are provided with modern and versatile ways to get in contact with Mortgage123, while our focus is on providing immediate response. If customers want to ask a question, they can do so via phone, online chat, contact forms, social media applications and the new Limerick mortgage office in Limerick city centre. Hence, potential clients can get in contact in the way most convenient for them.

Why Use a Mortgage123 Broker:

  • We do not charge a fee
  • With hundreds of rates available, Mortgage123 will get you the best mortgage available
  • Your mortgage advisor will package and present your application to give you the best chance with mortgage underwriters
  • We will manage your application from start to finish for speedy approval
  • Mortgage123 will get you the best deal available on your life and home insurance



Energy and Money Saving Tips for Winter Months

Category : House Tips







Turn your living area thermostat down to 20°C. The temperature in hallways and bedrooms should be cooler, ideally between 15-18°C.


Use the radiator valve to turn the temperature down or off in rooms that you do not use a lot.

Hot water

Set your hot water thermostat to between 60-65°C, to make sure that you do not overheat your water.


Most of the energy used by a dishwasher and washing machine is for water heating. Run them on a lower temperature setting and save on your energy costs. Wash clothes at 30°C  if they aren’t particularly dirty.

Fridge freezer

Keep your fridge’s temperature at between 2–3°C for the best performance. This keeps your food safe to eat and avoids freezing (and ruining) your fruit and veg. The freezer should be set to -15°C.






Switch Off


Turn the heating off when you leave the house or if you go away. Remember, your radiators will continue to heat your home for some time after the heating has been turned off.


Switch off all your appliances at night and when you are not home. You should turn off your computer whenever you are not going to use it for more than an hour.


Use a power strip which means that at night or when you leave the house, you can easily unplug your devices at once.


Turn off lights when you are leaving a room or when you do not need them.


When your food is nearly cooked, turn off the rings/oven and use the built up heat to finish cooking your food.









Hold off switching on lights in the evening until absolutely necessary.


Position your furniture so you make the most of natural light.

Light Bulbs

Replace failed light bulbs with energy efficient options, in particular LED lights. Select the lowest wattage bulb needed to light the room/area and consider the size of the space and how much natural light the space gets.









Washing machine and dishwasher

Try to use the washing machine and dishwasher at times when there is lower energy demand and avoid turning it on between 7-9 in the morning and 5-7 at night. This may not save you money but will help avoid excessive CO2 emissions from power stations.

Tumble dryer

Tumble dryers are big energy guzzlers so dry clothes on a clothes horse or washing line.

Fridge / Freezer

Don’t leave the fridge door open for too long while getting food. For every 10–20 seconds the door is open it takes 45 minutes for the fridge to cool down to its original temperature.

Don’t put warm or hot food straight into the fridge or freezer. The fridge or freezer has to work extra hard and draw more energy to cool it down. Thawing food in the fridge is better for keeping your food safe to eat and keeps the fridge cool.










Close doors between rooms that are heated and unheated to keep the heat in.

Check windows, keyholes and doors for draughts of cold air and plug them.

Unused fireplace? A chimney balloon will keep the draughts out and the heat in.

Close curtains to keep heat in, but open them in the morning to let the heat of the sun in.







Hot Water

A shower typically uses 20% of the energy compared to a full bath, so keep the bath as a treat.

Don’t leave the hot tap running – you are pouring energy and money down the drain.









Keep your oven door shut and use the space well. Batch cooking saves you time and energy, especially if you have a busy lifestyle.


Don’t let the heat escape – by covering your pots and pans with a lid. The lid keeps the heat in and reduces condensation in the kitchen. Use the right sized hob for your pan – the closer the match, the less energy you use.


Don’t boil full kettles for one cup of tea, but do make sure you have enough water to cover the element.


MyBroker Ireland 2018 Team Performance of the Year

Best Mortgage Team Award: Mortgage123 Wins at MyBrokers Ireland!

Category : Mortgage News

Fantastic news, we win the Best Mortgage Team Award for 2018! So, we are pleased that Mortgage123 is officially the best mortgage team of the year.

Best Mortgage Team Award for 2018

We are the winner of the Team Performance of the Year award at the MyBrokers Ireland Awards 2018 Brokers Ireland.  The Team Performance of the year Award recognises teams of staff who foster co-operation, collaboration and open communication. These teams work together and extend significant effort to advance organisational goals.

Best Mortgage Team Award 2018

PHOTO CREDIT: David Kenna. dak photography

Why Are We the Best Mortgage Team?

Mortgage123 is growing and becoming the Best mortgage broker in Ireland! We are growing as a result of our dedication to getting the best mortgage for our clients. As a trusted broker, we take the hassle out of the mortgage application process. Hence, Mortgage123 has earned the reputation of ‘One Broker, All Banks’ because we deal with all the banks.

Furthermore, our Mortgage Advisors are fully qualified to lead you through the mortgage journey. Literally, they manage each case from filling out the mortgage application form to cheque issue and ‘Bottle of bubbly’ celebration. Thus, they make our clients’ dreams come true!

MyBroker Ireland Awards Ceremony 2018

Sean Corbett and Aisling McNamara attended the ceremony and received the award on behalf of the team on Thursday, 18th October in the Round Room at the Mansion House, Dublin.

Best Mortgage Team Award 2018

PHOTO CREDIT: David Kenna. dak photography

We would like to thank everyone who voted for us!



Handy Kitchen Storage Tips for Compact Kitchens

Category : House Tips



Making use of an empty tissue box, by filling it with bags for your dustbin or shopping bags will tidy the place up!

(And get rid of the overflowing bags of bags some of us stash in the cupboards)







Using coat hangers can free up space in kitchen cupboards and counter tops, by allowing you to hang colanders and pots on the walls!






Hanging Spice Racks are a handy space saver.







Putting shelves into cupboards lets you fit more, instead of dangerously stacking plates/bowls and canned goods on top of each other. These ones are from IKEA.








We just love these organiser drawers for the fridge! We found these on Ali Express!


Tiny Bathroom Decoration Tips

Category : House Tips


Tiny Bathroom Decoration Tips


Instead of cramming bottles on the edge of the bath, Insert a second shower pole near the wall. S-hooks keep loofahs and small caddies out of the way (and not falling all over the place).





Add shelving over a toilet. It may be the perfect place for bathroom essentials and also adds a nice slick touch to the look of the place.






Makeup and small toiletries can make the bathroom look messy. Why not try this cool design look of hanging jars on a board?






Wine racks can make great towel holders!









Who doesn’t love the beach? Adding driftwood and sea-shells to a bathroom mirror can add a seaside touch to your bathroom, also, fill jars with sand and shells to finish the look.





SelfBuild Show Cork 2018

Mortgage123 at the Self-Build Show Dublin & Cork 2018

Category : Mortgage News

We are delighted to announce we will be attending Self-Build Show Cork, on the 10th and 11th of November 2018! Mortgage123 was a huge success at the Dublin Show in September.

Mortgage123 at the Dublin Self-Build 2018

Your home exactly how and where you want it. The Shows in Dublin, Cork & Belfast are the leading event for anyone planning to build their own house or a house renovation. With over 150 stands at the Dublin show, there wasn’t a supplier who was not there.

Visitors could get discounts and talk directly with the providers. Furthermore, they could discuss how to finance their build with banks and mortgage brokers at their stands. The Mortgage123 stand looked welcoming and we even had a sweets for the kids.

Self-build show Dubin 2018

Mortgage123 Stand at the Self-Build Show Dublin 2018

We were giving instant quotes at our Mortgage123 stand. All it takes is a 5-minute chat with one of our qualified mortgage advisors to get a realistic idea of where you stand.

Self-build Show Dublin 2018

Self-Build Show Dublin 2018

Self-Build Live Show Cork 2018

Come long to the show and meet the team! You can book your tickets on Eventbrite or purchase at the door.

With such a great turn out at the Dublin show in September, we are very happy to be joining the convention again.





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