Looking for a mortgage

I’ve been a lurker on here for a few years, and it looks like our time is here to buy. Does anyone have a recommendation about where to start looking for a mortgage…are any banks / institutions better than others at the moment?

Thanks :smiley:

I had recent experience, where I just went with my regular bank for ease and because when I started the process last year the variable rates were pretty comparable across all insitutions.

However given that I’m now at the business end and looking to draw down funds, I would very much advise going through a broker. The bank, who bascially “approved” me after one day, have now chosen the time we need to close the sale to come back and look for tonnes more information, which is really all compliance stuff, but also limited our inital drawdown as we are doing work, which is penalising us for having extra savings. Also cometitors have now started to offer better variable rates.

On a side note the greatest variation can be found if you’ve a less than 80% LTV, which may influence your choice.

If you go through a broker, you will be in a better position to jump ship to the best lender at the time you actually find a house, which could be a while yet. Otherwise the bak you seek approval through could change practices and you could be starting again when you need answers.

Best of luck.

Anecdotal alert:
have heard that EBS are actively chasing mkt share, and so giving out approvals rather easily. However, the approvals aren’t worth anything and drawing them down is very difficult (it’s all a marketing strategy).

Just something I heard. Others might be doing the same…

I used KBC recently and found them efficient and straight forward.

How many banks are there to chose from right now for a mortgage?
I think 2 years ago it was limited to aib, boi, ptsb and kbc.

Edit: yes I remember now…I was being discouraged from UB by the guy I spoke to based on a) poor rates and b) the uncertainty surrounding their remaining in Eire.

In the process at the moment, totally recommend using a broker.

Would also recommend using a broker, they are up front and they tell you which banks they deal with and which ones they don’t - so if you have the time and inclination to deal with banks not on their list, no harm doing that as well

Another recommendation for a broker. It takes a huge amount of the drudgery out of the process (although it is a necessarily long and fraught process irrespective).
Our broker dealt with KBC, PTSB and AIB (as it happens, we were approved for all 3, and chose PTSB because it offered the cheapest rates). Admittedly, this was 6 months ago, and the landscape changes pretty quickly.

Best thing about a broker: he was a friend of a friend and went the extra mile. And he cost me nowt.

AIB (or at least Haven) do use brokers. We got approval from them a few months back. Permanent TSB also use brokers. We also received approval from them.

Personally, I’d highly recommend using a broker if you’re new to the process. We had huge amounts of questions along the line and were lucky enough to have someone who could answer our questions about a lot of different things.

If you aren’t fixing for 5 years then with the way the SV rates move around all the time and even if you have the cheapest deal now, you probably won’t in a few months. Which is why for most people getting approved and the amount being loaned is more important than the rate

It’s doesn’t necessarily save you money if it is more restrictive about things like extra payments and if the ‘lowest rate’ is revised upwards after only a few months.

As I said, if your are fixing it’s more of an issue. Over a 25 year period it’s likely that all of the banks will be the cheapest at some point depending on their marketing strategy

Nobody seems to have mentioned the most obvious advantage of a broker - in the experience I and [anecdotally] many people I know have had, they are able to get you approved for a fairly higher amount.

Not talking about something as dumb as finding out the max possible you can get and searching for a house for that amount, but it’s not uncommon to have done your sums, stress-tested everything, and still be quite disappointed with what a bank is willing to offer when you deal directly.

As recently as January of this year, the difference between the (X) KBC offered us, and the (Y) we were offered from the same lender via the broker was bigger than I expected.

Of course there is still the issue of how easy it actually is to draw down either of these amounts but from what others have said, unless circumstances change in the meantime (between AIP and drawdown), it shouldn’t be too bad.

I’ve used a broker before and would again; they deal with morons in the banks.

There are non-morons in the banks but they’re too rare to be let anywhere near customers and dealing with them is frustrating.

Thanks for all the replies. I contacted a broker who said KBC have the best rates at the moment. She also said that we’d be approved for about 50% more than we’re looking for…no thanks!

I suppose I should contact BOI too…I’ve been banking with them for years, and if they don’t deal with brokers it’s the only way I’ll get a quote.

This sounds more like they’re good at dampening people’s unrealistic expectations and telling them what a bank will actually greenlight.

People are just not conservative enough when looking to borrow big figures. They can’t do the math and they can’t comprehend large amounts.