Mortgages

Amend your existing online application

If you’ve recently applied for your first direct mortgage online and wish to make any amendments to your application, you’re able to change the following online:

  • loan amount
  • mortgage term
  • mortgage type (i.e. change from offset to repayment only)
  • interest rate (e.g. change from fixed, tracker or standard variable)

In order to make amendments, you’ll need to:

1. Use our ‘Find a mortgage for you’ tool to find the mortgage you would now wish to change to – remembering to select ‘Amending an existing application’ in the ‘I am..’ field.

2. Once you’ve selected the mortgage, you’ll then need to click on ‘Full details’, followed by ‘How to Apply’.

3. Then simply follow the on-screen instructions.

Please Note: You'll need to complete a new mortgage application if you want to make any other amendments to your online mortgage application or if your application was submitted over five months ago. If you do not wish to amend your interest rate, but cannot find the interest rate you originally applied for, please call us on 03 456 100 103.

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Important Notes

first direct Offset Mortgages are interest only mortgages. The monthly payments shown on the next screen will cover only the interest charged on your mortgage.

This payment does not cover an amount that you need to pay to a repayment strategy. You are responsible for making your own arrangements to repay your mortgage at the end of the mortgage term.

You must demonstrate that you have a suitable repayment strategy in place. You may choose to use an endowment policy or another investment or savings plan.

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Mortgages for First Time Buyers

There's a lot to digest if you're buying a property for the first time, here we will help you work out how much you may be able to borrow and explain the steps involved in buying your first home.

Most people don’t buy their homes outright but take out a mortgage to help them pay for their home. A mortgage is a loan secured against a property for a period of time (the 'mortgage term'). The loan can either be paid back in installments over the mortgage term with interest (a 'capital repayment' mortgage) or the borrower may pay only the interest on the loan over the mortgage term and then repay the original amount borrowed at the end of the mortgage term.' If the borrower doesn't make the payments when required, the lender can seek a court order to take possession of the property and sell it to recover the money it is owed under the mortgage.

Mortgages come in many forms, with different types of interest rates. To find out more click on these links to read about our mortgage types and our mortgage rates.

Steps to buying your first home

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The first direct ‘How much can I borrow?’ tool can give you an idea of how much you could borrow depending on how much you earn.

Our ‘Find a mortgage for you' tool also lets you view and compare our mortgages that may be available to you based on your mortgage requirements, and we can give you an idea on how much your proposed mortgage payments would be.

Keep in mind that there are many one off expenses involved when you buy a home which you should consider, such as Stamp Duty, conveyancing costs and valuation fees.

How much can I borrow?

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Important information

The figures provided by this tool are for illustration only and do not mean we can offer to lend to you. All lending is subject to status and a full financial assessment being made.

The amount we may consider lending will depend on your individual situation, the property you are purchasing (e.g. new build), the loan you choose and the amount you borrow.

Focusing on one or two areas can help your search - house hunting can be a time consuming business. It's also important to know if your selected areas offer you the lifestyle you want and the access to schools, public transport, work or shops you need.

You can also check your Council Tax bandings in England and Wales online to see what your payments might be. For Scottish Council Tax Bandings you will need to contact the Scottish Assessor.

Register with several estate agents and regularly check the internet. The more homes you view, the more likely you are to get a better idea of the type of property you are looking for.

Keep an eye on the housing market, have a look at Land Registry reports for houses that have sold in the same area and compare asking prices with actual sale prices to determine the amount you should offer. It is important that your offer is "subject to contract and to survey" which means that you will not be committed until a survey has been satisfactorily completed and signed contracts have been exchanged.

Gazumping is when another buyer puts in a higher offer than one that has already been accepted in an attempt to secure a property. Although this practice is illegal in Scotland, under the Estate Agency Act in England and Wales estate agents are obliged to pass on all offers they receive.

To reduce the chances of being gazumped, ask the estate agent to remove the property from the market as soon as your offer is accepted.

Property chains

If you’re buying a property, you’ll often find yourself in a chain of people all relying on selling their property to buy another property. This can mean the purchase of your new property may fall through for reasons beyond your control.

There are a number of reasons for this and although there’s not much you can do about it, good communication is possibly the best way to ensure the chain moves forward smoothly. Stay in regular contact with your solicitor and the estate agent to make sure everything possible is being done to push things along.

When you apply for a mortgage, your lender will arrange a survey to ensure that the property is suitable to lend against. Your lender will also liaise with your nominated solicitor or licensed conveyancer on the stages involved in completing the legal work to complete your property purchase.

When you buy a home, you will need someone to act on your behalf to complete the legal work required. You can choose a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer to do this.

Many lenders require a basic valuation, but we strongly recommend you consider instructing a surveyor to inspect the property and prepare a report on it's condition for you. There may well be serious problems which you might not have noticed yourself and which could be expensive to fix. You cannot rely on your lender's valuation report.

Your solicitor or licensed conveyancer will complete various searches, checking the legal title of the property you are buying and liaise with your lender and the seller's legal representative. This can take some time depending on each individual purchase.

If your mortgage application is successful, your lender will send a mortgage Offer Document to you and your solicitor or licensed conveyancer. When you have signed and returned these forms, the lender is committed to lending you the money subject to the terms and conditions stated in the Offer Documents, such as a satisfactory property valuation.

You will need to pay a deposit to the seller, usually through your solicitor or licensed conveyancer. The deposit is normally paid when your solicitor or licensed conveyancer 'exchanges contracts' and after which there is a legally binding agreement between you and the seller to complete. At this stage, your lender will require that you have buildings insurance in place covering the property you are buying.

Running up to the agreed day of completion your solicitor or licensed conveyancer will liaise with your lender to send the mortgage amount. At this stage you will also have to pay any outstanding fees such as Stamp Duty and Land Registry fees, along with your solicitor or licensed conveyancer's own fees. Following completion, your solicitor or licensed conveyancer will arrange for the Transfer deed to be stamped and sent to the Land Registry to record you as the new owner of the property.

Home insurance

Mortgage terms usually state that you must have buildings insurance in place (for freehold properties e.g. houses) to protect your home when you exchange contracts.

Building insurance covers you for damage to your building (e.g. from fire, flood or wind).

Contents insurance covers the things inside your building, such as furniture, electrical items, clothing and jewellery, that you may need to replace as a result of flood damage, fire or theft.

Life insurance

In addition to covering your home, you may wish to consider financially covering yourself, for example, to help you pay your mortgage if you were unable to work because of illness or injury, or to help your loved ones cope financially if you died. For example:

Critical illness insurance can give you a lump sum if you suffer one of the critical illnesses listed in your insurance policy.

Life insurance will pay a lump sum to your loved ones if you die, or some policies also pay if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness or critical illness.

Income Protection can give you a regular monthly income if you are off work for a long time due to an accident or illness.

You can choose the amount you would need to cover your mortgage and your monthly premiums will depend on how much this amount is. Be sure to seek financial advice if you need it.

For both home and life insurance, it’s important to get the correct level of cover and not just the cheapest cost.

Find out about first direct’s home insurance and life insurance to see it can provide the cover you need.

Find a mortgage for you

Quickly search our wide range of mortgages to find those that may be available to you.

Find a mortgage

Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

† Our Mortgage Team is available Mon to Fri 8am to 10pm, Sat 8am to 8pm and Sun 9am to 8pm