Mortgage Clinic: How long in a new job before I can get a mortgage?

 

'I'm returning to Wales after spending some years abroad in Chile. Obviously, I'll need to get a job before I can secure a mortgage, but must I work for six months to prove that I can support repayments? Or could I get the money straight away? I have a deposit of £15,000 and I'm hoping to find a home for about £90,000'
JB, Santiago, via email

You don't say how long you've been away, but the credit crunch and the recent cooling of house-price growth mean that the UK property market is likely to be a chillier (excuse the pun) place than when you left.

In fact, if you've not been home for the best part of a decade, you may not even recognise the place: in most parts of the country, including Wales, a remarkable housing boom has catapulted prices into the stratosphere.

However, after a 10-year growth spurt that generally saw prices more than double, serious signs of a slowdown are now emerging, with banks and building societies beginning to tighten their lending criteria amid fears of taking on too much risk.

This leaves you in a potentially tricky position.

To first answer your immediate query: it will definitely help your mortgage application if you've worked for six months, but that may not be necessary, says Rob Clifford at broker Mortgageforce: "Much will depend on what you've been up to in Santiago; if you've worked for months or years in a steady job – and start work soon after your move back to Wales – then many lenders will look favourably on this continuity and won't insist on six months' probation work."

Circumstances will be rather different, though, if you've been overseas for some time either travelling or studying, he adds, as lenders won't rate such behaviour in your favour.

David Hollingworth of broker London & Country agrees and warns that your spell in Santiago will likely have dented your credit score too: "Depending on your length of stay, a lack of credit history in the UK will count against you, and if you haven't been on the electoral roll during this time either, that could add to difficulties." On the brighter side, he adds, house prices "aren't racing away from you – and may well have dropped by September".

Your £90,000 price tag – and planned 83 per cent loan-to-value ratio – is rather optimistic. According to the Land Registry, the average house price in Wales is £140,289 – some £40,000 less than the average for England and Wales – but more than 50 per cent above your target price.

Of course, not every part of Wales is pricey: the average is £228,299 in Monmouthshire but £100,862 in Blaenau Gwent.

Using your £15,000 as a 10 per cent deposit instead of 17 per cent should allow you – salary permitting – to find an affordable home. And your luck may also be in. Recent falls in house prices have been most accentuated in Wales. In January, they slipped by 0.3 per cent; come September, they may be even lower.

Send us your questions and you could receive £50 to spend at Amazon

Foxed by jargon? Confused by all the options? E-mail a question to mortgageclinic@independent.co.uk. We will not reveal your identity, and we cannot give specific advice. If your question is printed, you'll receive a £50 voucher from Amazon.co.uk, so you can kit out your home with anything from a lawnmower to an espresso machine. www.amazon.co.uk/homeandgarden

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    SThree: Experienced Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...

    Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

    £14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 busi...

    Day In a Page

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones