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Get a ballpark figure

One of the first things you should do is get a realistic idea of how much you’re likely to be able to borrow so you can see if it is worth going ahead. This will depend on three main things: your income, your outgoings and the size of the deposit you plan to put down.

There are lots of mortgage affordability calculators online which will give you a flavour of the size of loan you might be able to get. The government-backed MoneyHelper website has one, as do many banks, mortgage brokers and comparison websites.

When you come to apply, the lender will carry out a detailed affordability assessment to work out what you can afford to repay based on your income and spending commitments. Lenders also currently have to “stress test” your ability to repay if interest rates were to go up or there was a major change to your circumstances such as being made redundant or having a baby.