Affordability is a key driver for lenders who issue mortgages as there is a great deal of risk to them if you end up unable to repay your mortgage. There is also a great deal of risk for you as well as you could see you home be repossessed if you fail to make payments.
Saving for a deposit can be a real challenge with ever-increasing rent payments and stagnant wage rises for a lot of people but every penny counts when it comes to saving and evidence of a decent sized deposit will be favourable to you when lenders assess you.
Lenders will look at every aspect of your finances from the important things such as current salary, bonuses and current commitments to what you might deem less important such as how much you spend on coffee a week or how much you spend on haircuts a year.
These things might seem trivial but they add up and contribute to your ability to repay the mortgage. A full assessment of your income and expenditure will be undertaken by the lender and you must be able to demonstrate affordability without necessarily changing your lifestyle.
Lenders will tend to look for three months of evidence around spending and income however they may look for more if, for example, you are self-employed where as much as 2-3 years trading records will be needed to prove you will be able to repay the debt.
Use your online banking records to look through your spending over the past year and using averages develop a budget of how much you will likely spend over the next few years. This will give you a good understanding of your affordability before going to lenders who will scrutinise you further and begin to leave evidence of searches or 'Foot Prints' on your credit score.