There is a wide range of mortgage calculators and affordability calculations available which will help you to find out ‘How much can you borrow?’. However, the only true response will be from the lender and normally only once they have carried out a credit search and reviewed your credit score. Only a few years ago, the loan offered could easily have been up to 8 x income with the minimal of fuss. Times have changed, and rightly so! Those were times with little control and the lengthy recession bore testament!
Today it is so much more intense! For example, a lender will require to know your monthly budget spend figures, right down to every direct debit on your bank statements, including council tax, insurances, mobile phones, and possibly lottery payments and gym membership! From these monthly outgoings, the lender will look at affordability and decide from there what mortgage amount might be available to you. It maybe restrictive depending on your monthly outgoings, but it can also be very generous depending on what little outgoings you have! The lender has a duty to make sure you can afford your mortgage today, as well as when rates rise and specifically to it being considered affordable over a 5 year period.
But this also means that what was once an affordable mortgage may suddenly become unaffordable due to the perception the lender has on consumer spending habits, both historically and projected for the future.
We have seen the phasing out of income multiples and the introduction of affordability models. So, no more straight forward 4 or 5 x income discussions. The amount you can borrow will depend on your monthly net income against expenditure and living costs. However, this also works positively for the right loan to value, right affordability and right customer, as lenders are willing to offer a little bit more.
With the increase in requirements, the time taken in research prior to recommendation for a suitable mortgage product has also increased, as have the lenders own underwriting procedures. So, beware if you are in a rush!