Mortgage in Ireland Success Stories

Hannah & Oisin’s Journey with SYS Mortgages, Ireland

Self Build, Tipperary

At SYS Mortgages, we’ve been helping people get their first home for years. We caught up with Hannah McCarthy, who’s in the process of building her first home. She and her partner, Oisin, got their mortgage from us. Here’s her story of getting a mortgage and landing her dream home.

Let’s hear it from Hannah

My partner and I were in the process of building our home. With five years spent studying photography, I now work independently, specialising in photography, content creation, and social media management.

SYS Mortgage Testimonials Hannah

Why did you need a mortgage broker?

We had been renting for a long time and always dreamed of owning our home. We decided to take the plunge when we found a site we liked. We needed a mortgage broker to facilitate the completion of our self-build home construction project. 

What was the process like?

The process was lengthy. But Helen guided us every step of the way. She provided clear explanations and valuable advice and was readily accessible whenever we had questions. We had a pre-mortgage meeting and then another meeting at the application stage. There was lots of dialogue over emails. I didn’t realise how much was involved, but Helen guided us through it all!
She advised us on things like:

Helen advised us to keep the costs of anything we spent on the house before getting a mortgage. For example, spending money on architects, percolation tests, engineers etc. It’s evidence of contribution to the build.

It’s important to show visibility through direct debit or standing order. 

Accumulation of savings into a separate savings account. 

How long did the mortgage process take?

Overall, the mortgage process took approximately seven months because we had a pre-mortgage meeting. It took 5 months from when we submitted the application to drawdown.

It’s broken down into different stages. Each stage moved quickly. We were well-advised and felt comfortable throughout the process. Having someone as knowledgeable as Helen was invaluable. 

The stages were:

We contacted Helen at SYS Mortgages before we applied for planning permission! Most people don’t do that, but we felt much better getting advice at the start.  

We were waiting just one month from applying for a mortgage to approving it. 

For the valuation, an auctioneer valued the site. The lender required the independent valuation as this confirmed the expected finished value of our new home and that our borrowings were within Central Bank lending rules.

This was to make sure that the value of the proposed building correlates with the amount we were asking for. 

Once the valuation was complete, the lender sent the documents to our solicitor. This stage varies from solicitor to solicitor. We were waiting for three months for it to be completed. 

This is when you get the money! The lender sent the money to the solicitor. The solicitor sent it to us. It took about ten working days from the submission of legal paperwork to the lender to it being cleared and to us getting the money. This is when we started paying the mortgage.

We officially became mortgage holders and started paying back the mortgage at that stage!

What advice would you give to someone looking for a mortgage?

I would advise opting for a mortgage broker rather than dealing directly with a bank. Having a dedicated mortgage expert like Helen to turn to for questions and guidance throughout the process was invaluable. Don’t hesitate to ask many questions; it’s a significant commitment. 

How helpful was Helen at SYS Mortgages?

Helen was incredibly helpful throughout the entire mortgage process. Her knowledge, professionalism, and dedication made the experience seamless.

She knows everything about mortgages. She answered all of our questions with clarity and provided expert guidance every step of the way.

The service was fantastic! From start to finish, Helen made us feel supported and informed. Her attention to detail and prompt communication made the process smooth and efficient.  

Who would you recommend SYS Mortgages to?

We would definitely recommend SYS Mortgages to anyone in need of a mortgage. Especially if you’re a first-time buyer or a self-build project, Helen’s expertise and personalised service make SYS Mortgages a brilliant choice.  

Were you happy with your result?

Yes, we’re very pleased with the outcome. We got the financing we needed to complete our self-build project. Our house is nearly finished. We’re thrilled with how it all turned out. We can’t wait to move in later this year. 

Note from Helen Slattery

Mortgage Manager, SYS Mortgages

With a self-build, the money is drawn down in phases as the house is being built.  EG Stage 1 (usually) is when the site is cleared and the groundwork is done. If this costs 50,000 euros, you’d draw down 50,000 euros, and you are paying the mortgage back based on this amount.

As the engineer requests, you get more at the next stage, and your monthly mortgage repayment will increase accordingly. 

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