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How long does it take to get a mortgage?

Getting a mortgage often involves a lot of moving parts and, as such, it can be hard to pin down an exact period of time from application to offer.

However, most prospective homeowners can expect to wait around a month or two to get a mortgage, as long as the application is straightforward and there aren’t any issues with their file.

What is the mortgage application process?

The mortgage application process may seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Below, we’ve detailed what to expect at each stage of the journey.

1. Get a Decision in Principle

Getting a Decision in Principle can take around 30 to 45 minutes. During this time, your Mortgage Advice Coordinator will go through your income and expenditure to determine how much you can borrow. They will also review key eligibility criteria. 

This may differ from lender to lender, but at Newcastle Building Society, we require that your salary is paid in sterling directly to your bank account from your employer. 

If self-employed, you must have a minimum of two year’s accounts. We also require permission to run a full credit search that leaves a hard footprint on your credit file.

At this point, you will receive a Decision in Principle unless you have credit issues, in which case you may be referred to an underwriter for a decision.

2. Start your application

When you make your application, you will need to provide personal information and you will be asked to provide a number of documents to support your application. 

You will also be asked to provide solicitor details, so if you have not yet chosen a solicitor, now is the time. Newcastle Building Society can provide a solicitor service for you if required.

Although requirements may vary from lender to lender, at Newcastle Building Society, we require:

  • Employed applicants: Last three months' payslips (or 12 weeks if paid weekly)
  • Self-employed applicants: Last two years' certified / audited business accounts along with last two years' SA302s and corresponding Tax Overview forms, OR completed Accountants Certificate
  • Last month’s full personal bank statement demonstrating salary credit being received
  • Proof of current residential address (utility bill, bank statement)
  • Proof of identification

Once you have provided all the necessary documentation and solicitor details, your lender will begin to process your application and will be in touch with a mortgage offer.

3. Lender valuation

There are three types of property surveys that are available to you – each offering a different level of information and advice. The survey that you choose should be influenced by the age and type of property you want to buy and factored into your savings budget for the costs of moving home.

Mortgage valuation – the lender will always conduct a mortgage valuation on the property you want to buy to assess how much it is worth and highlight any major issues that could reduce its value. Mortgage valuations are designed to help the lender decide whether the property is safe to lend on and up to what amount – it is not a detailed report on the condition of the property. Typical costs start at around £240.00.

Home buyers report – a home buyers report is a more detailed survey which will highlight any structural problems inside or outside the property such as damp or subsidence. Some reports also include a mortgage valuation.  Typical costs are around £500.00.

RICS Building Survey – this is most suitable for old or unusual properties and is the most comprehensive property survey type. You will receive a highly detailed report with advice on repairs and costs required to carry them out. The surveyor will investigate areas such as attics, behind walls, above ceilings and below floors. Typical costs are around £600.00.

How to speed up the mortgage application process

As there are so many moving parts to a mortgage, it’s good to prepare yourself for any potential hiccups. Below, we’ve provided an idea of what affects the mortgage application process and how you can ensure things run smoothly.

  • Remember to disclose all credit
  • Prepare your documents in advance
  • Check your credit report for errors
  • Keep evidence if you’ve changed your name after marriage
  • Make sure you have the right address on your driver’s licence

We hope you have found our guide helpful. Should you have any more concerns or queries about the length of the mortgage application process, you can speak to one of our mortgage advisers by calling the number below.


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Speak to one of our friendly mortgage team about your options.

0345 606 4488

Our lines are open 8am - 6pm, Monday to Friday.