Mortgage Application Guide - Mortgages | Ulster Bank

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Mortgage application guide

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.


Ulster Bank mortgages are available for over 18s.

It all starts here

We’ve put together this simple step-by-step guide to help you understand how we deal with a mortgage application at every stage.

There are four key stages to the mortgage application process.

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Step 1 Assessment

Our mortgage team will thoroughly assess your application and any supporting documents to build up an overall picture of how you manage your finances. We want you to take out a mortgage with us but need to make sure you don’t overstretch yourself financially, so this is an important part of the mortgage application process.

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Agreement in Principle Letter

Before you have made your mortgage application, you can get an indication of what we may be able to lend you our Approval in Principle letter, this can show agents and sellers you're a serious buyer.

Find out more about our Intention to Lend letter


How we assess your application

We look at a number of factors to make sure you’ll be able to afford the size of your loan. We’ll take into account how much deposit you’re putting down, your income, household bills and outgoings, savings and any other financial commitments you may have.

Additional information

To help us understand your financial position clearly and move your application forward, we will ask you for additional supporting documents, including your payslips and bank statements. If you’re employed, these may include your payslips or up to three months’ bank statements, depending on the type of mortgage you have chosen. If you’re self-employed, we may ask for up to two years’ of accounts.

Completing your assessment

Once our team has assessed your application, checked any additional documents and are confident you’ll be able to meet the repayments, we then move to the next stage – a valuation of the property.

Quick tip: At this stage you could consider which solicitor you will appoint to act on your behalf. If you’re remortgaging to Ulster Bank, we will appoint our panel solicitor, so there’s no need to find your own.

Step 2 Valuation

Whether you’re buying or remortgaging, at this stage we ask an independent valuer to check that the property is priced correctly and suitable for mortgage purposes. You’ll be given a choice of what level of inspection you would like. 

Standard Valuation

A Standard Valuation is the minimum check we require to progress the mortgage for house purchases and is required by law. A surveyor will inspect the property, highlighting obvious major defects that could affect the value, then compare the property to similar ones, taking age, condition and location into account. This information is used to write a valuation report, called a Standard Valuation.


Icon expand Remortgaging

If you’re remortgaging, there are a number of valuation options available. We’ll contact you to discuss the most suitable one for you.


Icon expand Other survey types

If you’d prefer the reassurance of a more detailed survey, you can choose to pay for one of the following two options:

  • The Homebuyer’s Report is a more detailed report, with advice on defects affecting the property value, and details of any likely future maintenance or repair costs.
  • A full Buildings Survey (previously called a Structural Survey) is useful for older, larger or non-traditional properties. It provides a thorough inspection and detailed breakdown of the property condition including any structural defects, necessary repairs and maintenance advice.

Icon expand Choosing the right survey

It’s a good idea to chat with your Mortgage Adviser about the most relevant survey for the type of property you plan to buy.


Icon expand Valuation result

The valuation report is always sent to your solicitor.  In their report, the surveyor will provide their independent opinion on the value of the property. If the report highlights that the property needs repair work, we may make you a mortgage offer, but hold back an amount until the repairs are completed.


Icon expand If the valuation is unsuccessful

Sometimes the surveyor may recommend that the sale price is higher than the actual property value, and downgrades the valuation. This can be quite common and may be down to many different factors including over pricing due to market conditions or structural issues with the property.

We don’t want you to buy a property that’s been over-valued, so we’ll contact you to discuss the different options open to you. These may include asking the seller to reduce their price or you increasing your deposit so you need a smaller mortgage. Or you may decide on reflection that this particular house purchase isn’t for you.

Step 3 Offer

Once your valuation is complete, we carry out our final checks before writing to you and your solicitor with our mortgage offer. This will include a copy of your valuation.

Changing your offer before completion

We make our offer based on the details you provided in your original application, such as the property purchase price (provided this has been confirmed by the valuation), loan amount and your specific mortgage product. If you want to make any changes to these, now is your final opportunity to discuss them with your Mortgage Adviser before completion.

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Step 4 Completion

If you are buying a property, once your solicitor has made all of their checks, they will agree the dates for exchanging contracts and completing the purchase with the seller’s solicitor. On exchange of contracts, your deposit is paid to the seller. You’ve now committed to buy the property.


Final steps

The last step is completion itself. This is where , if you are remortgaging, we either release the funds to you or to your previous lender to pay off the redemption amount and clear your old mortgage.

If you’re buying a new property, it’s when your solicitor sends us the Certificate of Title and in return we release the funds to them. They then pass those funds to the seller’s solicitor. Once the seller has received the money, the house purchase is complete. You get the keys to your new home. Congratulations.

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Getting started is easy Tools and calculators

Use our mortgage calculators to find out how much you could borrow and find a mortgage to suit you. Also see you much you could save if you make an overpayment.

The Money Advice Service's monthly budget calculator can help you see how much you could trim your spending and start saving for your new home.

This link is to a non Ulster Bank website. Ulster Bank is not liable for the accuracy of the information provided on this website.

Helpful guides

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Our step-by-step guide to help you buy your new home.

Couple in branch with mortgage adviser Application process

Our step-by-step guide to the mortgage application

Mother & daughter working at desk Common questions

Answers to questions we are asked most often about mortgages.

Row of terrace houses Jargon buster

A list of key terms and phrases we'd like to help you understand.

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