People are quick to chastise millennials as being ‘self-righteous’ and ‘overly-sensitive’ with a false sense of entitlement, but when it comes to buying a property, especially for the first time, people in this day and age are right to feel hard done by. Their parents likely purchased their first property for less money than is now required purely to put down a deposit on a house. Ever since the credit crunch and the global financial crisis where the banks needed to be bailed out, lenders have really clamped down on their lending policies. It is now harder than ever to get a mortgage, though there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Lenders are becoming slightly less-strict nowadays, and there are plenty of resources and schemes available to help buyers get on the property ladder for the first time. Mortgage lenders do of course need to be cautious with whom they lend their money to, but some of the questions being asked are downright bizarre. If you’re thinking of applying for a mortgage, here’s a look at some bizarre questions you may find yourself being asked during the application process.
What do your children receive for pocket money?
If the person/persons applying for a mortgage happens to have children, this is indeed a genuine question. Yes, really. Now, bear in mind that the average price for a semi-detached property in Ireland is currently €271’000, it’s pretty safe to assume that the average child in Ireland will not be receiving anything close to that in weekly pocket money. If they were, the parents probably wouldn’t need to apply for a mortgage in the first place. Are the lenders really that strict that they’re genuinely worried about how much money a child is getting in pocket money each week?
How often do you eat steak per week?
This is another common question asked by mortgage lenders, and we can only assume it’s because they consider steak to be a luxurious and highly expensive food. In reality, steak prices nowadays are very reasonable, especially if you go for the less expensive cuts like rump. The lenders obviously want to figure out whether their mortgage repayments would be safe or whether or not the recipients would be out squandering their mortgage payments on Ribeye and sirloin steak instead. This question is flawed for many reasons.
To begin with, not everybody eats the same meals every single day, so some people have no idea when they’ll eat steak next. Then of course, there’s the fact that the recipients could simply lie. We’re fairly sure the mortgage police won’t be round every week to inspect the contents of their fridge.
How much do you spend on your pets?
Okay, there are some people out there that spend an astonishing amount of money on their pets, especially if their pets happen to be horses. Generally speaking, however, most people purchase the bare essentials needed to keep their fur-babies happy, clean, healthy, and fed and so we aren’t talking life-changing amounts of money.
Do you plan to have any more children?
This is a very personal question and it’s not really anybody else’s place to ask it, but some lenders do. Bear in mind that a mortgage is a long-term commitment that normally lasts decades, how can anybody give an answer for a future scenario? A couple may not be ready for kids when they apply for a mortgage, but three years down the line, perhaps they will be? You can’t expect them to tell the lenders that they want kids in three years because at the time of applying they may not have done.