Category Archives: Mortgage News

Buying a House

Buying a House – I found a property! What happens next?

Category : Mortgage News

Firstly, congratulations on getting this far to buying a house! You have managed to get your mortgage approval in principle, and found the perfect house. However, the journey is not over yet. Setting your heart on a property can be very exciting, but getting hold of your dream home takes a few more steps. In this blog post, we will outline what happens after you have decided that this is the house for you.

How long is it from finding a property to moving in? It varies. It depends on what you are buying and what are the plans of the person you are buying from. Do they have to find a property, is the property vacant, are you buying a new build, etc. It is very important to have this conversation at the outset with the auctioneer, so you have a timeline to work towards with your broker.

Booking Deposit when Buying a House

Once you have your bid accepted by the auctioneer, you proceed to pay your booking deposit to the auctioneer. When buying a house, booking deposits vary but are normally in the range of €5,000 and €10,000.  Make sure you confirm that this deposit is refundable and obtain a receipt. You will need to produce this receipt to the lender to show where some of your savings have gone. This booking deposit will also count towards the final deposit you are putting into your home.

Valuation before Buying a House

After you have put your booking deposit, the next step is to get in touch with your broker. They will be able to ensure the property is mortgageable. You may have done this already before placing a bid. So at this stage, your broker will arrange a valuation. The valuation will be carried out by an independent valuer to establish that the price you are paying is correct and that the property is in a good state of repair.

Engineer’s Report

If there are issues that the valuer thinks need further investigation, then the valuer will ask for an inspection from an engineer.  In most cases, if the property is in good order, no engineer’s report will be required.  Some people do however decide to have an engineer look at a property for their own piece of mind. Especially, if the property is old, a good broker should be able to give you their opinion as to whether they think a report is needed or not.

Planning Compliance Check

While the valuation is going on, you will also have enlisted the help of your solicitor. Their job is to make sure the property you are buying is planning compliant. Furthermore, they will confirm that the person selling the property is allowed to sell it, and that it can be put in your name. The solicitor does this by way of a contract of sale which they receive from the seller’s solicitor.

Mortgage Offer

After the Valuation, you will receive your mortgage offer. This is a very important document as it is contract between you and the lender. The mortgage offer spells out the terms and condition of your loan which once agreed on is set in stone as long as you keep up your payments. Your solicitor will read through your offer with you to make sure it is correct. Once the contract of sale is accepted by your solicitor, they will invite you to go over the contract and mortgage offer. All going well, you will sign contracts and offer. At that point, your solicitor will ask you for the balance of your deposit. Once you sign the offer and give the deposit, you are almost there.

Fully Protected Mortgage

You should move in 2 to 4 weeks and no turning back. Before meeting you solicitor you will have had a meeting with your broker who will put life cover in place to protect the mortgage. Mortgage protection is a requirement and the basic protection of your mortgage. However, you may wish to explore income protection in the event that you can’t work as you will still need to make the mortgage repayments.

Happy House Hunting!

Mortgage application checklist

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Switch & Save on your Mortgage

To Switch or How to Switch – That is the Question

Category : Mortgage News

Switch mortgage providers – does it make sense? With mortgage rates as low as 1.95%, switching mortgage providers is becoming the new norm in Ireland. Even more, a new mortgage lender Avant Money entered the Irish mortgage market in Sept 2020 with 7-year fixed rates as low as 1.95%**. This is the lowest rate currently available in the Irish mortgage market, and no surprise in Jan 2021 the company revealed it has received €200m in new mortgage applications.

This is a very welcome and needed development in the Irish mortgage market which has one of highest mortgage lending rates in Europe. Avant Money is a consumer-finance company based in Co. Leitrim and owned by Spanish banking group Bankinter. Avant Money mortgages are currently available exclusively via a broker network, and Mortgage123 is proud to be one of these brokers.

Switch Mortgage – What Rate are You On?

Switching mortgage providers is open to borrowers who are either on a lender’s standard variable rate or nearing the end of a fixed rate product. It may even be possible if in a current fixed rate, but the key here is to contact your lender and ask for a statement of breakage fees.

What About Switching Costs?

There are certain legal documents required in order to switch a mortgage provider.

Legals – a solicitor to do the legal work of getting one lender off the deeds and replacing it with the other. Also, getting redemption statements and drawing down funds from your new lender.

Valuation – an up-to-date valuation is needed to get an accurate current value of the property.

Costs –  valuation and legals cost of around €1,200. However, the advantages if you get your switch right far outweigh these costs. It may also be possible to offset these costs by getting a cashback, for example KBC are offering €3,000 when you switch with them*.

What Can You Save – Switch Mortgage?

A good example for instance would be if you were with your current lender and on a variable rate of 4%, you then switch to Avant Mortgages on a five-year fixed at 1.95%**

If you had a mortgage of €250,000 with 25 years remaining, this would be costing you €1,319 per month. However, if you switched, it would reduce to €1,053 per month. You could also choose to keep your payment at €1,319 and reduce your mortgage term to 19 years, saving 6 years mortgage payments. (See Example 1 and Example 2)

There are also huge advantages on what you will save on interest payments throughout the term of the mortgage by keeping on top of rates, you could save 10s of thousands.

Example 1

Reduce Mortgage Repayments per month

Variable Mortgage Rate – 4% Switch to Avant Money rate of 1.95%**
Current Mortgage Repayments – €1,319 per month Reduced Mortgage Repayments – €1,053 per month
Mortgage outstanding €250,000 Mortgage outstanding €250,000
Term – 25 years remaining. Term – 25 years remaining.


Example 2

Reduce Mortgage Term

Variable Mortgage Rate – 4% Switch to Avant Money rate of 1.95%**
Term – 25 years remaining. Reduced Mortgage Term – 19 years
Mortgage outstanding €250,000 Mortgage outstanding €250,000
Current Repayments – €1,319 per month Mortgage Repayments – €1,319 per month

In the current climate, if you are paying more than 3% on your mortgage, you need to talk to us.

  • *Offer valid at time of post Feb 2021
  • ** Subject to T&Cs
Mortgage application checklist

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Mortgage Exceptions

Mortgage Exceptions or Exemptions (what are they, and can I get one)?

Category : Mortgage News

Mortgage exceptions or exemptions are a hot topic now as house prices are not going down and demand is remaining stable. Note that mortgage exceptions do not have anything to do with the Wage subsidy scheme. Banks have their own criteria when it comes to giving mortgage approvals to applicants on the wage subsidy scheme.

A mortgage exception occurs when a mortgage proceeds outside of Central Bank guidelines. Mortgage lenders in Ireland can only do up to 1 in 5 of their mortgages on this basis. Even at that, lenders will not give exceptions without caution.

Exceptions are two types only, loan to income and loan to value. Furthermore, you can only avail of one exception.

1. Mortgage Exceptions – Loan to Income Exception

Under the rules, buyers can borrow no more than three-and-a-half times their income and must have a deposit of at least 10%. The surge in house prices over the past five years is leaving many unable to borrow enough under the rules to meet rising asking prices.

A loan to income exception allows you to get enhanced income multiple of up to 4.5 times your gross income. However, in any one calendar year, 20% of mortgages that lenders give out to first-time buyers can be above this cap. For second time, and subsequent buyers, lenders can only approve 1 in 10 mortgages at the higher income limit.

2. Loan to Value Mortgage Exception (Second Time Buyers)

The second major mortgage lending rule relates to the loan-to-value ratios that lenders are required to observe. This refers to the percentage of the property’s value that you can borrow and how much of it you must pay in the form of a deposit.

A loan to value exception is for second time buyers who under Central Bank rules must have a minimum deposit of the 20% when purchasing a property. However, under exception rules, this can be reduced to a 10% deposit.

3. Can I get an Exception?

In March 2020, exceptions vanished as Lenders were unsure of the future and how many mortgages would be done in 2020, however as the housing market kept going exceptions are now back from a limited amount of lenders. However, there is strict criteria such as income and strength of applicant. Also, one of the biggest changes is you must have identified a property you are keen to purchase. Despite the strict criteria, borrowers are still able to avail of exceptions. Contacts Mortgage123 directly to discuss availability of exceptions at the moment and see if you may qualify.

Mortgage application checklist

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Property Auction gaval hammer and books

Buying at Property Auction is not for Everyone (Common Pitfalls)

Category : Mortgage News

With the current property shortage and a record number of buyers, people are looking at every way to enter the property market. Buying at Property Auctions, especially online, now seems to be more frequent, and we are getting daily calls from clients to ask about the process. It is important to become aware of the common pitfalls of the Property Auction process.

Buying at a Property Auction – How Does it Work?

Property Auctions have become a popular way to buy and sell property. The speed of the process makes it attractive. Buying at auction is different to buying a property from an estate agent.

When you arrive at the auction (most auctions are held online at the moment) this format is usually as follows:

  • The auctioneer will announce that they are going to start the auction.
  • The auctioneer will announce each property lot and if there are any last-minute changes the auctioneer will generally refer to them.
  • It is not unusual for the seller’s solicitors to read through the contract for sale on the day of the auction.
  • The auctioneer will then ask for the opening bid.

Once the hammer falls, you will sign binding contracts for the property and give a deposit cheque of 10% of the purchase price. Remember to take one part of the contract with you and give this to your solicitor.

What Can Go Wrong at an Auction

When thinking about buying a property through an auction, you should note the following

When you are successful at an auction you normally put down 10% of agreed price.

This means that you need to have this money available on the day. If you are obtaining a mortgage you will need to sort out your mortgage application in advance of the auction.


You normally have 28 days to complete or may lose deposit after a period of time.


Another good reason to have your finance (prepared?)sorted well ahead to taking part in an Auction. If you do not finalise the sale, you will lose your deposit and have no property to show for it. Trying to get approval, valuation and completion on a property in 28 days is near impossible.


You buy the property as advertised, pulling out is very difficult.


You should do your homework before the auction yourself. It is vital that you have the property surveyed by an engineer before the auction. If a defect or major defects are discovered in a property after you have signed contracts at the auction you will have no recourse against the seller or the auctioneer. Your engineer should also check the map that you receive relating to the property to ensure that the property and area included in the auction corresponds with what is on the map, and fully compliant with planning permission and building regulations. Properties in Auction generally are there for a reason and some come with legal issues, planning issues, sitting tenants etc, it is essential you get a solicitor to review the legal pack available on the property before the auction, this is a cost you need to factor in. You cannot complete on a property if there are tenants in residence, you must have vacant possession.


How to be Successful at a Property Auction in Summary:

An auction can be a way to acquire a property faster and at a lower price. However, this comes with its own risks and you need to know how to do it right.

  1. Have your finance sorted before you start bidding – clarify how much you can afford to put down as a bid. Account for extras, such as legal costs, engineering report, stamp duty, etc.
  2. Do your homework – get an experienced engineer and solicitor to vet the property and its standing.
  3. Don’t change your mind – once you have signed the papers, there is no going back.



Mortgage application checklist

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Public Sector Mortgages

Public Sector Employee Mortgages

Category : Mortgage News

Are you a Public Sector Employee?

More and more lenders are providing specialist mortgages to public sector employees with crucial differences that can maximise your mortgage. Here at Mortgage123, we are “One Broker, All Banks” meaning we have access to all lenders who are currently offering these specialised mortgages catered towards public sector employees. These exceptions to the standard mortgage will allow lenders to take into account important monetary factors that are unique to the public sector. This can make a significant impact on the overall annual salary of an employee in the public sector.


What is different for Public Sector when applying for a Mortgage?

Basic Pay – Basic pay will be taken two points up on the pay scale when applying for a mortgage. You will now be assessed with a higher wage on your application.

Overtime – 100% of overtime completed by public sector employees in the previous year can be included in the basic wage.

Bonus – 100% of bonus pay will be accepted with evidence from a P60 over 3 years, provided that the bonus pay does not exceed 50% of your basic salary. If there is less than 3 years evidence then lenders will accept up to 50% of bonus pay.

Probation Period – This will include existing public sector employees promoted or transferred on 12 months’ probation.  Whereas new entrants will be determined on a case by case basis depending on their employment history.

Contractual Allowances – 100% of your contractual allowances can be applied.  This will mean you will be able to take out a larger mortgage if needed.

Gift – 100% of the deposit can be gifted provided repayment capacity is evident.

Maximum Age – The maximum age at mortgage expiry has increased up to 70 and no proof of pension is required. There can be up to 4 individuals per application which will give more flexibility for applicants.


Public Sector Mortgage Seminars

The Mortgage123 online Public Sector Mortgage Seminars via Zoom have become very popular over the summer. Our aim is to provide all the relevant information that you may need in a brief but informative seminar. Whether you are looking to buy your first home, trading up or switching your mortgage, we have it covered.

Mortgage expert and Mortgage123 Sales Director, Sean Corbett will walk you though every step of the mortgage process during the seminar and answer any mortgage related questions or queries you may have.

Register for one of our upcoming Zoom seminars on Mortgages on Eventbrite. Register here


What rates are available to public sector employees?



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Fast Track Approval

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Help to Buy Scheme 2020

Help to Buy Scheme 2020: Important Changes

Category : Mortgage News

Important changes were made to the Help to Buy scheme that are now in effect since July 23rd and valid until the end of 2021. These changes aim to stimulate house purchases and 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 homebuyers 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. The expanded scheme will only apply to December 31st 2021, which is a very short window especially with the limited number of new build properties available in 2020.


What has changed?

Maximum claim amount increases from €20,000 to €30,000

First-time buyers who purchase a newly built home or plan on building one themselves can now claim back up to €30,000 in income tax and DIRT on bank deposit interest paid over the last four years. As before, you cannot claim back either universal social charge or PRSI paid over that period. This is a substantial increase compared to the old rule that previously allowed first time buyers to claim back a maximum of €20,000.

Claim up to 10% of house price up to €300,000

Significantly, the Government has also doubled the amount of the purchase price that the scheme can cover. Until now, the maximum you could claim was 5 per cent of the purchase price and if that were less than €20,000, so be it. Aspiring homeowners can now claim up to 10 per cent of the house price up to €300,000 and up to €30,000 on more expensive properties with a maximum value of €500,000.

Full deposit via the scheme

First time buyers can now potentially get their full 10% deposit via the scheme and not have to provide any funds themselves. This is subject to the purchase price of the new property being a maximum of €300,000 and the required 10% deposit of €30,000 claimable through sufficient tax paid over the last four years. The potential for First Time Buyers to have their full deposit covered will allow those who previously were not mortgage ready to now qualify for a mortgage. However, lenders will require mortgage applicants to provide proof of repayment capacity and will be subject to other lending criteria before approval.


What are the conditions of the Help to Buy Scheme?

  • Only newly built or a self-build properties will qualify.
  • The scheme is for owner occupiers only, investors or landlords cannot apply.
  • You must live in the property for a minimum of five years after you buy or build it, or you will risk Revenue clawing back your tax rebate.
  • Only properties built by a registered contractor will be eligible for the scheme.
  • You can claim a maximum of 10% of the purchase price of a new home up to €300,000.
  • The maximum relief claimable is up to €30,000.
  • The relief claimable is dependent on the amount of income tax (but not USC or PRSI) and DIRT paid in Ireland over the previous four years. If you wish to apply for €20,000 under the scheme you must have paid at least this much to revenue in the last four years.
  • There is a cap on the eligible purchase price of a property of up to €500,000
  • You must take out a mortgage of at least 70% of the purchase price or the final value of the property once built. You must not hold more than 30% equity in the property once built to qualify.


When does the Help to Buy Scheme end?

The expanded Help to Buy scheme is scheduled to run until 31 December 2021, however, this date may be extended to further stimulate the ever-present need for the construction of new properties.

The previous Help-to-Buy scheme with a maximum relief of €20,000 is still scheduled to run until 31 December 2021 and will be reverted to once the extended Help to Buy scheme ends later this year unless an extension is made.


How can I apply?

To apply for the scheme employed people need to apply through revenue via My Account and self-employed people through Revenue Online System (ROS). For more details on the Help to Buy Scheme visit Revenue.ie.

Mortgage application checklist

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Get Fast Mortgage Approval (How it Works)

Category : Mortgage News

Get Fast Mortgage Approval (How it Works)


1. Welcome to the Fully Online, Paperless Mortgage Application Portal

Here at Mortgage123, we are constantly looking for ways to innovate and improve the service we provide to mortgage applicants. The latest step in this direction is our new fast track mortgage approval service. The new fully online platform allows you to keep track of your mortgage application through each step towards completion. Applicants no longer need to worry about posting off documents to advisors allowing for a greener application process. Here at Mortgage123 we pride ourselves on our efforts in becoming more environmentally friendly. A paperless application process has been a huge goal of ours, which we are excited to have achieved. So what are the benefits of the new fast track approval portal?


2. Benefits


The time it takes to complete and submit your application through our new fully online service is second to none. Eliminating the process of having to send financial documents in the post and gathering information via email or phone has significantly reduced the time it takes to complete your mortgage application. Thanks to our new fast track approval service, mortgage applications can now be completed in just 20 minutes.

Control & Ease of Use

The service gives applicants control to complete the mortgage application in a time frame that suits them. Although the application can be completed in just 20 minutes, applicants can complete each section in their own time. Each section of the application outlines the information and documents that are required very clearly.

While the online service allows you to fully complete the application by yourself, each applicant is assigned a designated broker if they need any help. Should you need any help when filling out the application feel free to contact your assigned broker directly through the online messaging box on the system.

Green Aspect

Businesses go through boxes upon boxes of paper each month, not to mention the paper that is used by clients to send important documents in the post. Our new Fast Track Approval service will significantly reduce Mortgage123’s paper consumption and we encourage those eligible for the service to opt for our fully online application instead of our online form. We all must do our part to help save the environment for a greener and brighter future.


3. How the Service Works

To avail of our new fast mortgage approval service simply visit the fast track approval page on our website and answer our four prerequisite qualifier questions. If you answer “Yes” to all four questions you may proceed to the fast track approval portal. However, if you answered “No” to any of the questions do not worry, you can still apply through our “Apply Online” application form.


Fast Track Mortgage Approval


Your Own Account to Track Application

After creating your digital account your allocated broker will contact you within 24 hours. The system enables applicants to complete the stages in their own time and when it is most convenient for them. Applicants can track their progress through the status bar as they complete each stage. There are five sections which on average applicants can complete in just 16 minutes with all relevant documents at hand.

Convenient Document Upload

You can upload PDF, Word, picture files to support your application. The assigned broker will be notified as an applicant uploads the required documents in each section. Documents are reviewed by the broker on a step by step basis to make sure everything is in order. The broker will offer feed back if more information is needed or if additional documentation is required. Check the Document check list at the end of the article.

Message Your Advisor Straight from Your Account

Should you need any help going through the different stages of your application, you can message your assigned mortgage advisor directly in the online messaging box on the system. Alternatively, if you would prefer you can talk to your broker over the phone or arrange a meeting via Zoom and have them walk you through the application process.

After completing all five sections with your approved documents you will then be contacted by your assigned broker. The broker will go over the application with you before going forward and signing contracts via DocuSign. Once you have signed the contracts you will be on your way to Fast Track Approval and your future home.

Mortgage application checklist

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Fast Track Approval

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Saving For Your Mortgage Deposit

Saving For Your Mortgage Deposit – Top 15 Saving Tips

Category : Mortgage News

Whether you are buying your first home or your second, saving for your mortgage deposit can be a challenging hurdle for most to overcome. If you are a first-time buyer, thankfully you now only need 10% of the house price compared to the 20% needed for those who have previously owned property. The average house price in Ireland is around €260k which means a first-time buyer would need a deposit of €26k (10%) and in today’s market with renting prices through the roof it can be difficult task. Here at Mortgage123, we understand that saving can be quite difficult, and you might not be sure where to start. Look no further, with these saving for your mortgage deposit tips you will have it saved up in no time!

1. Moving Back Home

While moving back home is not an ideal situation, trying to save while renting can be a huge struggle for most, let alone those paying the ridiculous rents charged in Ireland’s cities. The average monthly rent in Dublin has now reached €2,050, while in Cork it is €1,372, Galway €1,299 and in Limerick it is €1,219. Those with the option to move back home should consider it as the money saved on rent could instead be put towards the mortgage deposit.

2. Downsizing

If you cannot move back home, then consider downsizing from the apartment you are in now and bank the cost difference. A house-share might be a more prudent option and you may make some new friends along the way.

3. Rent A Room

If you have a spare room then you should consider renting it out. You can rent out a room for up to €12,000 per annum with no income tax liability. This is a smart move for those who are renting a house/apartment by themselves or with a partner and are struggling to find the extra money to save up for the deposit. Renting that spare room that you are currently using as a second closet could help you get that house of your own. This is also a great option for families who are looking to upgrade to a bigger home with more space for the kids as they get older or renovate and expand their current home.

4. Getting To Work

If you live in an urban area ditch the car in favour of public transport and use a Leap Card to budget your monthly usage. Alternatively, if your commute is less than 7 km away you could walk or cycle to work. Not only can you save money on the fuel and parking costs, but you can also save time on the hours spent sitting in traffic over the course of a year.

5. Bring Your Own Lunch

Spending €6 a day on that sandwich or chicken roll lunch deal might not seem like a whole lot each week but over the course of a year it adds up. That €6 each day adds up to €120 a month or €1,440 a year which can go a long way towards your deposit.

6. Bring Your Own Coffee

Are you one of the many people who needs their morning caffeine fix and buys a cup of coffee every day on the way to work? While buying the average cup of coffee for €2.50 might seem like loose change in your pocket, it adds up to €600 a year not including any pastries or breakfast snacks you might get with it. Make the coffee at home and save an easy €600!

7. Take A Break From Holidays

Add up how much you have spent going on holidays, weekends away and day trips over the course of the last three years to find the average cost of your holidays each year. Take a break from holidays for 12 months and bank the savings for the deposit.

8. Limit Yourself On Nights Out

While going out for drinks and socialising with friends is important, it can be expensive, especially on a regular occurrence. Going out does not have to be expensive if you make a plan and stick to it. Try limit the amount of money you have to spend by bringing cash and leaving the cards at home. Leaving the cards at home removes the danger of tapping for drinks that you cannot remember buying the next day.

9. The Weekly Shop

The average household in Ireland chucks around €700 worth of food into the bin every year. Before you do your weekly shop write up a list of what you know you are going to eat during the week and stick to it. Always buy staples in bulk when they are on offer as things like rice, pasta and tinned food have a long shelf life. Never shop on an empty stomach as it will lead to you impulsively buying things such as ready-made-meals which are often more expensive and never taste as good as home cooked.

10. Shop Around

Shopping around for the best deals and prices on your household expenses could save you hundreds. There is plenty of savings to be made from switching providers of phone, electricity, heating, internet etc. with many offering cheaper packages that may even come with a short-term discount for switching providers.

11. Apply For A Tax Rebate

If you pay tax and have not used all your tax credits over the last 4 years, then you may be owed some tax back. Applying for a tax rebate is very straight forward and you can do this so easily on Revenue.ie! The average tax rebate that is issued to those who look into their taxes is between €900 & €1,100 according to the main Irish tax rebate service provider.

12. Tackle Your Debt

Paying those expensive interest rates on your credit card debt can cut into your ability to save. Furthermore, any missed payments will negatively affect your credit rating when applying for a loan, such as a mortgage. Try paying off your credit cards in full or as soon as possible as each interest payment you make is money that could have been saved for a deposit.

13. Create A Savings Account

Setting up a standing order and making weekly payments to a savings account is the first important step you need to take. This puts you on the right track and gets you used to the idea of saving. Even putting in €50 a week amounts to €2,600 a year or €5,200 if you’re a couple and both saving. Saving €5,200 a year is a huge start before even considering cutting back on spending and everything else you can do to add to it.

14. Getting A Gift

Lenders will accept up to 100% of the mortgage deposit coming from a family member or loved one provided that it is a “Gift” and that it does not have to be paid back. All lenders will require a gift letter from the donor providing details of the sum that is being gifted, the name and signature of the donor confirming that that you do not need to repay the money gifted – and that the donor has no recourse to the property.

15. Keep Saving

Remember your deposit isn’t needed until you are about to draw down your mortgage so once you have found a property, you will still have months to make up any shortfall you may have in your deposit.


Mortgage application checklist

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Fast Track Approval

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Mortgage Exceptions

Mortgages During Covid19 (Everything You Need To Know)

Category : Mortgage News

In times of working from home, pay cuts and temporary layoffs, life still must have some sort of normality. What about mortgages? Can you still apply for a mortgage and purchase a home? In this blog post, we answer some common questions that our clients are asking us at this challenging time.

Has Covid-19 Put a Stop on Mortgage Applications?

Mortgages during Covid19 are still possible and here at Mortgage123, we are still processing new applications! We get mortgage applicants approval in principle in preparation for when the restrictions are lifted, and properties can be purchased.

It looks like there will still be a temporary shortage of homes for sale. Therefore, it will be essential to have approval from a lender as this puts you in a strong position when others could be viewing the same property.

Are Mortgage Application Criteria Still the Same?

No, if you were a good applicant before Covid-19 hit, you are still a good applicant! All our lenders are still working and dealing with our applications. The same criteria for lending from before Covid19 are still in force, i.e. borrowing 3.5 times income, 10% deposit for first time buyers, etc.

What if I am on the COVID-19 payment? If you have been temporarily effected by COVID-19, then lenders may still accept you at your income prior to the change. They would however want proof that you had returned to this income before they would release funds on draw-down. Even so, you would have an approval in principle. These are done on a case by case basis.

Lenders Can Be More Flexible During COVID-19

If you are applying now, you are in a very good position as lenders are more flexible at this time. Lenders are a little bit more flexible during this time. For example, if you are not able to complete a salary cert, we can get around that. You may need to borrow more than the normal 3.5 times your income known as an exception. These although in short supply are still available via some lenders. The key here is applying soon as exceptions won’t be around for much longer.

Everything is Online Now, But Still Working!

Yes, things are a little different and we must do business via scan and email, but we can still get the job done. We are very happy to talk you through the process over the phone or via email. Even if your pay has temporarily been reduced, we can help.

The best place to start though is a 15 minute phone call with one of our brokers. It is free, and you will know very quickly when and how to start the process. Alternatively you can apply online via our web site, and we will take it from there.


Mortgage application checklist

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Fast Track Approval

Click here for our Fast Track Approval Portal


Mortgage Interest Rates

What is the Mortgage Interest Rates War About (Latest Rates)?

Category : Mortgage News

1. What Started the Mortgage Price War?

In January, Ulster bank introduced a 10-year fixed rate and reduced their “High Value” 5-year fixed rate. These new rates are highly competitive and are currently the lowest 5- and 10-year fixed mortgage interest rates available on the market. This has prompted others to follow suit trying to stay competitive, sparking a mortgage price war among lenders.

KBC and Haven (AIB) were the first to follow, dropping their 3 & 5-year rates back in late February. The pressure was on after market leader AIB dropped their rates with rivals Permanent TSB following with a 0.2% reduction across their 7-year fixed rates.

AIB’s main rival, Bank of Ireland, has yet to make any changes to their mortgage interest rates. With all major lenders in the market already having dropped their rates, it is likely Bank of Ireland will follow suit in the coming weeks or months.


2. Where Are Mortgage Rates Heading?

Ulster Banks “High Value” 5-year fixed rate is highly competitive being up to 0.6% lower than the 5-year fixed rates offered by both Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB. Any decreases by Bank of Ireland would have to be substantial to compete with the new highly competitive rates available. The potential decrease could see interest rates dropping even closer to 2% or even below that, if lenders decide to decrease rates further.

As a mortgage broker, Mortgage123 keeps a close eye on changing rates and are informed in advance when rates may change. This means that we can help you switch  lenders before you draw down on your mortgage if a better interest rate is released. Here at Mortgage123, we ensure you always get the best deal on your mortgage.


3. What New Mortgage Rates Are Available?

Ulster Bank

  • High Value 5-year fixed rate (min €300k) – 2.2% (LTV <80%)
  • 10-year fixed rate – 2.95% (LTV <80%)
  • 10-year fixed rate – 3.15% (LTV 80-90%)

Haven (AIB Broker Arm)

  • 3-year fixed rate – 2.55%
  • 5-year fixed rate – 2.55%

KBC (Rates include a 0.2% KBC current account discount)

  • 3-year fixed rate – 2.3% (LTV 60-80%)
  • 3-year fixed rate – 2.35% (LTV 80-90%)
  • 5-year fixed rate – 2.45% (LTV 60-80%)
  • 5-year fixed rate – 2.5% (LTV 80-90%)

Permanent TSB

  • 7-year fixed rate – 2.9% (LTV <60%)
  • 7-year fixed rate – 3.0% (LTV 60-80%)
  • 7-year fixed rate – 3.15% (LTV 80-90%)


Mortgage application checklist

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Fast Track Approval

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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!

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 financial accounts or trading accounts
  • Chapter 4 statement for the last 2 years: A statement of total income or profits, tax chargeable and tax paid for a particular tax year for people who are: self-employed, directors, and/or receiving income of any kind where some or all of the tax cannot be collected under the PAYE system.
  • Income tax return form (form 11) for the last 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

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Fast Track Approval

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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. https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/housing/housing_grants_and_schemes/


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 https://mortgage123.ie/switcher-mortgage/

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

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Fast Track Approval

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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 https://www.revenue.ie/en/property/help-to-buy-incentive/index.aspx

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.

Please Note: As at 25/06/2020 95% Mortgages are no longer available!

Mortgage application checklist

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Fast Track Approval

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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 image to view or download mortgage checklist

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

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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.

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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’. https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2019-05-15/92/#pq-answers-92

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!

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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.

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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

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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

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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 ICB.ie 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: https://lnkd.in/e_2BNZK

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