The mortgage process can vary from person to person. It depends on lots of factors that can impede the speed of completion – some of which cannot be controlled by you – the buyer. 

On average, a mortgage application will be completed, authorised, and issued in 18-40 days. This will depend on how complex your application is, the status of the vendor and whether your lender has a backlog of applications to handle.

In this blog, we’ll walk you through each step of the process, so you can get a sense of how long it takes to acquire a mortgage.


How Long Does it Take to Get a Mortgage?

There are several steps that must be considered in the mortgage process – all of which take their own amount of time. Let’s dive into what you can roughly expect from each step…


Securing a Mortgage

First and foremost, you’ll need to secure a mortgage. Calculating how much you can afford to borrow is the best place to start. This will help you better understand your budget and ensure that you do not make an offer only to have your application denied later. So, you can use an online mortgage affordability calculator to figure out how much you can afford to borrow comfortably.

You can start looking for a reasonable rate after you know how much you can borrow. It might be challenging to figure out how each rate works in actual terms. So if you need some assistance, seek out a mortgage advisor who can explain how each one works out in terms of monthly repayments and total interest due. This process can take around 1-2 weeks.

It is also important to note that a mortgage advisor’s job is multi-faceted. This means they can also guide you through the mortgage application, as well as assist you in understanding the final offer before signing. 


Getting a Mortgage in Principle

A mortgage in principle is simply a declaration from a lender stating that given the information you’ve supplied is correct and current, they’ll gladly grant you the agreed-upon loan amount. You should be able to have a mortgage in principle authorised within 72 hours of completing your application if you give accurate information (your agent can assist you with this).

If you already have a mortgage in principle, you’ll have a better chance of getting an offer approved when house searching. While it isn’t required and isn’t a legally binding promise that you’ll obtain the money, it can considerably improve your chances of getting your offer approved. It’s critical to understand the difference between a mortgage in principle and a formal offer.


Looking for a House to Buy

Once you’ve secured a mortgage in principle, you’re now officially ready to start looking for your next home. 

You’ll have a decent notion of your budget and what kind of house you can buy. So this does save a lot of time later down the road and reduce the chances of getting denied a mortgage. Searching for a house is also the most exciting step. You can start to get a real idea of what exactly you want and don’t want. Plus you start to learn what are deal-breakers and what you are flexible about. 

The timespan for this step varies greatly, as it is reliant on other external factors that can either speed up or push back the process. These can include houses being bought before you can bid, or simply not finding a house that matches your criteria.


Making an Offer on a House

You can make an offer once you’ve discovered your perfect house. The seller will be more likely to accept you if you have a mortgage guarantee since they will know you have a strong possibility of receiving the adequate funds. 

From here, it entirely depends on their situation. For example: it could be that they are still looking for a house, or are wanting a quick sale. Depending on these factors, you could be waiting a little longer than planned, or be in the house in a matter of weeks!

Another possibility to be aware of is bidding wars. This can be a tricky situation to find yourself in, but a mortgage advisor can offer you guidance on certain tactics you can use, all while staying true to your budget. 

From here, if you’re successful, you should be able to go sale agreed, settle remaining fees and look forward to the big move in day!

All in all, this part of the process can take around three months or more.

So, when answering the question: ‘how long does a mortgage take?’ – you can only be generally guided until you begin the process for yourself.

If you need assistance with buying a home, give Neil (07530821821) or Jonathan (07789264548) a call today. Alternatively, you can visit our FAQs section, or fill out our contact form and we will get back to you as soon as we can.


If an estate agent is what you’re looking for, Complete Mortgage Solutions NI now work alongside Henry Graham Estate Agents in Lisburn, providing FREE mortgage and protection advice. We offer morning, afternoon or evening home visit appointments, or in any place you feel most comfortable.

We look forward to hearing from you!