Top 10 Mortgage Tips For First Time Buyers

We encounter one question over and over in our work… “how do I get a mortgage?”

Now, buying a house is a legal contract as much as it is anything else. The process requires focus and commitment.

However, there are ten tips we share with every first time buyer who comes to us for help. If you put these ten tips into action, you’ll be well on your way to buying the home of your dreams.

We’re sharing them here to get you started on your mortgage journey.

Save, save, save - even small amounts add up

From the moment you decide that you want to buy a home, begin saving. The simple act of doing this will give you a great start in building a savings mindset. 

Even if you begin saving just a few Euro a week, there is great momentum to be harnessed by setting up a savings plan. 

Then take a forensic look at your monthly expenses. 
 Keep your eye on your goal as you remove any expenses that are not necessary in your life right now. That might mean one latte treat a week instead of every day…

We share six ways to save money for your mortgage deposit to highlight how you can drive your savings plan.

Explore locations of where you want to live

Buying a home is a process. Take your time to explore where you want to live. 

 Your own desires plus affordability both need to be taken into account. 
 Location is important. Write down where you would like to live and begin exploring that area in real life and through online research.

Keep an open mind.
 Maybe your ideal location is a little out of your reach right now from a price perspective. But your second choice of location could have an incredible gem to offer you. We see it happen all the time! 

Be clear on the commitment you’re making

Taking out a mortgage is a long-term commitment. The operative word in that sentence is “long”.

Although the media in Ireland trumpet news of rising house prices all the time, the truth is that prices can go up and down. And do - even in robust housing markets like Ireland.

Committing to a mortgage is exciting, but it’s also not something to take lightly. 

Spend the time you need to be sure that signing up to a mortgage of 20+ years is the right step for you.

Make contact with a mortgage broker

Working with a mortgage broker will help you navigate the mortgage process.

Our mission at Which Mortgage is to remove the stress from applying for a mortgage and guide you every step of the way. 

The truth is we’ve been working with the lenders in Ireland for a very long time (there is more than 300 years of experience between our team members). We know what they are looking for in a mortgage application and we know how to showcase your paperwork in the best light.

These two posts share more details on how we can help you as a mortgage broker in Dublin.

Factor in extra expenses

When you work out your budget for buying your home, the monthly payment for your mortgage is not your only expense to consider.

You need to think about insurance and local property tax too.

And you need to think about your other living expenses. These might include childcare, education expenses and medical costs. They’ll definitely include things like monthly groceries and transport expenses (whether petrol for your car or public transport).

Make sure you create a business with a lot of room in it for your expenses.

Get your paperwork in order

If we had to give just one spoiler alert about the mortgage process it’s that there is a lot of paperwork to compile.

At Which Mortgage, we have automated many of these requirements and designed an online experience for our customers.

However, it is important to note that your mortgage application will require a lot of evidence to substantiate the claims you are making about your income and expenses.

That means your paperwork is imperative.

Save yourself a headache and start compiling your documents now. 

Get rid of your credit card debt

If you have debt, it’s in your best interests to clear it before you apply for a mortgage.

In reality, this might not always be possible, but reducing your debt as far as possible is a must.

Especially credit card debt. Prioritise getting this type of debt off of your plate as quickly as possible. 

Do an affordability check 

Just as house prices can go up and down, so too can interest rates on mortgages.

When you are running your numbers, take into account what your monthly repayments might be if interest rates go up.

Ireland is in a low interest rate environment now but that won’t last forever.

Use mortgage calculators

One of the most useful tools to use in your preparation for a mortgage is a mortgage calculator.

This calculator will give you an idea of how much you can borrow and what your repayments would be.

The Which Mortgage first time buyer mortgage calculator can be found here.

 Know your numbers for mortgage offers

There are more than 250 different mortgage products on the market in Ireland.
 Some have cash back offers, some might have a reduced interest rate and some are on fixed rates.

There is no hard and fast rule of which mortgage will be good for you and which won’t. You need to be crystal clear on your own set of circumstances and ask your mortgage broker for advice.

We’d be delighted to help you.

Please contact us for a confidential chat about your mortgage journey. We help hundreds of customers every month realize their property dreams. 

Claire Mason


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