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Need to sort mortgage in six months, but want to try for a baby now - implications for borrowing?

(7 Posts)
sacmagique Wed 15-May-13 22:39:37

I co-own the family home with my ex, and have done since our split years ago. It's enabled DS and I to stay put, which has been great, and the house is now also home to my DP and his children.

My ex would like to come off the mortgage by the end of the year so he can buy a place with his new partner, and I'd like the financial separation anyway and am keen to set up home more formally with DP.

So DP and I plan to take on the mortgage together once he is out of the probationary period of his new job (he was made redundant last year - difficult timing). This will be in November, all being well. So far, so good.

However, we are also keen to have a child together. Trying soon and hopefully being successful conceiving would mean having a baby some time next spring, which would work really well with my work responsibilities in terms of timing - something I feel I do need to consider.

But my understanding is that being pregnant or on maternity leave can impact on how much a couple can borrow, and we therefore might have difficulty taking on the mortgage if I'm pregnant when we apply.

However, if we wait to try for a baby until after all this is sorted - say next year - DP feels he'll be getting too old, and having had hormonal issues over the years myself, I wonder if I shouldn't be resting on my laurels with trying to conceive either.

There's also the (hopefully small) risk DP doesn't make it through his new job's probationary period, although of course he's doing all he can to make sure he does. Worst case scenario, we could end up pregnant, with DP out of work again, and with my ex still on the mortgage and wanting to come off it and DP and I not being able to take it on. That would be stressful!

If we were to risk trying to conceive, and I were three to six months pregnant when applying to take on the mortgage with DP, would the pregnancy have an impact? Would I need to tell the lender (obviously I would if they asked)? I work a 30-hour week now, but would hope to reduce to a half-time week after maternity leave, so we would expect our income to drop for a few years (we have savings to cover this income shortfall for several years, and we live pretty frugally anyway, so we're not worried about our affordability - we're just worried the bank might be).

Do we ditch the contraception and chance it, given DP's age/my hormone history? Or do we hold off and cement our financial security first, knowing the having-a-baby-together ship might sail? What do you think?

(By the way, I'm mid-thirties and DP is mid-forties.)

Thanks for any words of wisdom; I'm just going round in circles with this.

AnythingNotEverything Wed 15-May-13 22:42:40

My husband is a former mortgage advisor and reckons that they won't even ask when you're doing a transfer of equity.

You could call and ask, but it shouldn't make any difference.

Thatsinteresting Wed 15-May-13 23:13:16

When we were moving house I was pregnant but they didn't even ask about it. That sale fell through and by the time we applied for a mortgage again the baby had arrived. I did have to declare that I was on mat leave.

My friend struggled to get a mortgage about 2 years ago as she was on mat leave but eventually her employer wrote to the mortgage company confirming her usual earnings and they accepted that.

I would try for a baby.

sacmagique Wed 15-May-13 23:21:56

Ooh, that's encouraging - thanks AnythingNotEverything.

I have made enquiries with the lender - not mentioning pregnancy! - and so far they have said they would need permanent contracts of employment and six months' bank statements from us both, plus confirmation of any CSA in/out - so pretty much a new application really. My ex would come off and DP would come on, and because my ex and I were very flush when we took it out mid-boom, I will need to pay off some of the capital for it to be affordable for our current income levels. This I can afford with savings. It's a really low rate, so we want to hold on to this particular mortgage if we can.

I have heard of lenders confirming employment with employers - I wonder if pregnancy could be disclosed this way, by the employer?

I have checked my employer's maternity/sickness policy, and because of how long I've worked there, I'm entitled to up to three months' sick leave on full pay - something I need to check as I've had debilitating pregnancy sickness in the past, and I wouldn't want time off for this to be reflected by a dip in income.

I'm thinking out loud now! But thanks again - I feel tentatively encouraged.

sacmagique Wed 15-May-13 23:25:45

Cross-posted ...

Thanks for your post too, Thatsinteresting. To some extent, you'd think a pregnant woman couldn't be discriminated against in this way anyway. But equally, especially in the wake of the credit crunch, I could understand lenders being more rigorous and realistic about (their perception of) affordability.

Still, I'm feeling we might be able to chance it, even if we wait a month or two before trying to conceive, just to see if DP's picking up a good vibe from his new employer.

sacmagique Sat 18-May-13 22:30:36

Hmm. I'm feeling less like chancing trying to conceive now, as I found an older thread on here (still post-crash) about this, and it seems many lenders factor reduced maternity income when calculating affordability.

I wonder if this is more of an issue when you apply while on maternity leave, as opposed to simply while pregnant? My lender is 'branchless', so it would all be over the phone - so any bump wouldn't be visible.

I do understand why lenders need to be sure of affordability, but when our mortgage interest rate is so low and we have savings to top up maternity income, it's frustrating that in many cases, they are inflexible, not bending for individual situations. I know my lender is all about pay slips and bank statements at the end of the day; savings mean nothing to them. Even DP, who was made redundant, had to get a new job pretty much the same as his last for it to be acceptable to them!

Anyone else have an up-to-date perspective on how pregnancy/maternity leave can affect applying for a mortgage?

Mutley77 Mon 20-May-13 14:24:17

I don't have anything particularly up to date but my experience of shopping for a mortgage is that the calculations are all very much done on the here and now - which does seem a bit ridiculous when you consider the implications of pregnancy! I have therefore applied for a mortgage when pregnant (no problem), on mat leave (was a problem although funnily enough I was starting a new job with new employer after mat leave and they were happy to offer the mortgage as soon as I started the job, not worried about the probation period).

So as long as you are sure you will be sorting the mortgage before you go on mat leave (and reduced income) you should be fine as it won't be considered relevant whether or not you are pregnant.

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