Search icon


07th Mar 2019

A Step-By-Step Guide To Buying Your First Home


You’ve decided to buy your first home – so what next?

From mortgages ‘Approved in Principle’ to the correct paperwork, it can feel like a never ending to-do list – not anymore! We’ve teamed up with AIB to bring you a series of simple guides on securing your new home. Think of it as a go-to check list in for all first time buyers

We’ll take you on a journey through the basic musts before, during and after buying your first home and provide real and easy to understand information along the way. We’re good like that.

Here’s an overview of what we’ll be discussing in more detail over the coming weeks. Read on to find out how to start your mortgage application and get the ball rolling.

Step One: Find out how much you can borrow

First things first, knowing how much you can actually borrow is the best place to start and also the most realistic. We’ve all gone onto property sites and put in the dreamy “No Max” price and searched.

By using AIB’s Mortgage Calculator to find out how much you can borrow, it will start you off on the right foot. It’s quick and simple to do and you can adjust the monthly payments by seeing how many years you want to pay over. It couldn’t be easier.

Step Two: Talking to an AIB Mortgage Advisor

Ok myth busting 101 – you DON’T need to have your deposit saved or have all the correct paperwork to speak to an AIB mortgage advisor. They’re on hand to help with anything and everything, no matter what the query.

Before I started researching homes and mortgages, the whole process was insanely scary. The massive step of buying, all the jargon and uncertainty of what was needed to simply ask some questions. Well I’m here to tell you that ain’t the case people!

You can drop in or Make a Mortgage Appointment with a Mortgage Advisor before you begin the official process. They’ll make sure you’re on the right track from the very start. Happy days.

Step Three: Saving for your deposit

Now comes the real work – saving for your deposit. As a First Time Buyer you will need a deposit of at least 10%, however the Loan to Value is a maximum of 80% for a one-bedroom property.

With all this in mind, it’s worthwhile knowing what type of home you want and looking through property sites to get an idea of how much they will be (but remember to put in a max price!)

When it comes to saving for the deposit itself, regular saving is key and the best things to do is set up a standing order to take out a set amount each month as soon as you’re paid. When you’re in this super early stage of becoming a homeowner, it’s a good idea to speak to AIB’s Mortgage Advisors who’ll help you with all this.

Step Four: Getting your mortgage paperwork in order

We don’t want to state the obvious, but the most important part of your application is proving you’re in a financial situation that allows you to repay the mortgage loan.

Your Mortgage Advisor will be able to help you and tell you exactly what you need to provide like payslips, bank statements, credit card bills or other documents. It’s super important to keep all this info and paperwork organised and on hand – the more organised you are the easier the process will be.

Be sure to check out AIB’s checklist for all documents required to apply for a mortgage

Step Five: Getting mortgage Approval in Principle

This is where things get exciting! Once your deposit is in place you can apply for a ‘Sanction in Principle’. What’s does this even mean!? I hear ya, allow me *cough* AIB *cough* to explain.

A Sanction in Principle is when your bank agrees (in principle) to give you a mortgage based on all the info you provided – see, told you it’s a good shout to get all your paperwork in order and chat to an advisor!

Once this is granted, you’ll know exactly how much you’ll have to spend on your new home and the fun can really begin… house hunting!

The land of First Time Buyers is new to me just like many of you and it’s safe to say some things can be confusing and scoot right over our heads.

Keep ahead of the pack and in the know with AIB’s Mortgage Glossary – seriously, there are words and phrases in here I had no clue about and now I’m half considering a career in mortgage advising – jokes – but seriously, check it out here.

Need more information on what happens next? Download our useful First Time Buyer’s guide, which outlines the steps from your first mortgage meeting to getting the keys for your new home.