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What's 'approval in principle'?

And how long does it last?

Image: Shutterstock/fizkes

WHEN YOU FIRST apply to your lender you’ll get a provisional mortgage approval, or approval in principle, until you actually find the house that you want to buy.

You should get it sorted early on in your property search, because estate agents will usually look for proof of finance before you make an offer – and you’ll also now ahead of time what kind of home you might be able to afford.

An approval in principle doesn’t mean that you have a mortgage yet, or that you’ll be guaranteed that exact amount when the time comes, but it does give you a better idea of how much a lender would be willing to give you.

The length of time your approval in principle lasts will vary from lender to lender, but it is typically between three to six months. If you haven’t found the house of your dreams in that period you may need to get in touch with your lender again.

About the author:

Sarah Harford

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