Elite Property

Uncovering the Benefits of a Mortgage in Principle for Property Buyers in Doncaster

As the Managing Director of our company, Chris Stone, emphasises, conducting thorough research is crucial when considering buying a property. One of the key steps in this process is looking into mortgages. Not only does it provide valuable insights into the type of property you can afford, but it also prevents you from falling in love with unattainable properties. To ensure a smooth and informed journey, it’s advisable to speak to a mortgage broker who can access the whole market and provide guidance on associated fees. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the concept of a Mortgage in Principle, its advantages, the application process and its impact on credit ratings.

Understanding the Mortgage in Principle

A Mortgage in Principle, also known as a Decision in Principle (DIP), Agreement in Principle (AIP), or Mortgage Promise, is a statement from a lender indicating their willingness to lend a certain amount before finalising the purchase of a property. It serves as a valuable tool for property buyers in Doncaster, enabling them to demonstrate their financial capability to sellers, especially when multiple buyers are vying for the same property. By obtaining a Mortgage in Principle, buyers can showcase their seriousness and potential affordability, increasing their chances of securing their dream home.

Advantages of a Mortgage in Principle

  1. Building Credibility and Speeding up the Process
    • A Mortgage in Principle establishes you as a serious buyer, making you more attractive to sellers and estate agents.
    • It can expedite the sales process, as your lender already has the necessary documentation and information to process your full mortgage application.
  2. Budgeting and Property Search
    • A Mortgage in Principle helps you set a realistic budget for your property purchase, ensuring you focus on properties within your price range.
    • It saves time by narrowing down your property search to those that are financially feasible.
  3. Competitive Edge in the Doncaster Property Market
    • In a competitive property market like Doncaster, having a Mortgage in Principle can give you an advantage over other potential buyers.
    • Sellers may prioritise buyers with a Mortgage in Principle, increasing your chances of securing the property.
  4. Confidence and Peace of Mind
    • Obtaining a Mortgage in Principle provides confidence and peace of mind, knowing that a lender has assessed your financial situation and is willing to lend you a certain amount.
    • It helps you avoid the disappointment of falling in love with a property that is beyond your financial reach.

The Application Process

Applying for a Mortgage in Principle is a relatively straightforward process. There are two main routes: applying directly to a lender or seeking assistance from a mortgage broker who has access to a wider range of mortgage products. Both options have their advantages, and the choice depends on your personal preference and circumstances.

Applying Directly to a Lender

When applying directly to a lender, you will need to provide personal details, information about your income and expenditure, and your address history for the past three years. Here are the key documents typically required:

  • Photographic ID such as a passport or driving license.
  • Accurate details about your income, including salary and any additional earnings, supported by payslips, accounts, or an SA302 tax calculation if self-employed.
  • Information on your regular outgoings, including existing credit agreements such as car loans, supported by bank statements.

It’s important to note that the lender may perform a credit check as part of the Mortgage in Principle application process. It’s advisable to check with the lender whether they will conduct a ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ credit check, as this can impact your credit score.

Seeking Assistance from a Mortgage Broker

Engaging the services of a mortgage broker can be beneficial, especially if you want access to a wider range of mortgage products. A mortgage broker can help you navigate the mortgage market, provide personalised advice, and assist with the application process. They will gather the necessary information from you and use their expertise to find suitable mortgage options. Additionally, they can explain any associated fees and guide you through the entire process, ensuring a smooth experience.

Impact on Credit Ratings

When applying for a Mortgage in Principle, lenders may conduct credit checks to assess your creditworthiness. It’s important to understand the difference between ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ credit checks:

  • Soft Credit Check: This type of credit check is less invasive and does not leave a record on your credit file. It provides the lender with basic information from your credit file without revealing details of individual credit agreements. Most lenders perform soft credit checks during the Mortgage in Principle application process.
  • Hard Credit Check: A hard credit check leaves a record on your credit file. Multiple hard credit checks within a short period of time can potentially lower your credit score. Before applying for a Mortgage in Principle, it’s advisable to confirm with the lender whether they will perform a hard or soft credit check.

To ensure you have a clear understanding of your credit history and how lenders may perceive you, it’s recommended to check your Equifax Credit Report & Score before applying for a Mortgage in Principle. This provides insights into your credit history and helps you gauge your creditworthiness.

Duration and Validity of a Mortgage in Principle

A Mortgage in Principle typically has a validity period of 60 to 90 days, although some may last only 30 days. If any changes occur in your circumstances during this period, such as a change in employment or financial situation, it’s advisable to inform your lender and request another Mortgage in Principle if necessary. Additionally, if you haven’t found a property within the validity period, you may need to obtain a new Mortgage in Principle. However, if your circumstances remain the same, the process of obtaining a new Mortgage in Principle with the same lender should be straightforward.

Distinction Between a Mortgage in Principle and a Mortgage Offer

It’s important to differentiate between a Mortgage in Principle and a Mortgage Offer. While a Mortgage in Principle provides an indication of the amount a lender is willing to lend before completing the full mortgage application, a Mortgage Offer is a formal confirmation of the loan amount granted by the lender. A Mortgage Offer is provided after the lender has assessed your full application, including a valuation of the property.


A Mortgage in Principle is a valuable tool for property buyers in Doncaster. It helps establish credibility, speed up the property purchase process, and provides confidence and peace of mind. By understanding the application process, the impact on credit ratings, and the validity period, buyers can make informed decisions and navigate the property market with ease. Remember to do thorough research, seek advice from professionals, and obtain a Mortgage in Principle before embarking on your property-buying journey in Doncaster.