Topic: Mortgages April 19, 2017
Author: Neil Cubley

The couple who got a mortgage in 11 days


Mortgages Bank of Ireland


We all know that getting a mortgage means paperwork.

Banks have duty to make sure that prospective homebuyers can reasonably afford the repayments and that can take a bit of time.

But, occasionally, we come across homebuyers like Leonie and Esme.

From submitting their application to drawing down their mortgage took just 11 working days (15 calendar days).

Here is their story.

Where are you both from?

Leonie: I’m from Dublin, Templeogue originally so not far away from our new home really and I’m an Operations Manager.

Esme: I’m from a little village in Wexford called Bunclody but I moved to Dublin about 15 years ago. I work as a Sales Manager.

When did you meet up?

Esme: Well, um, it was a Friday! (They both laugh). We met around 2003 and we’ve been together since June 2004.

We moved in together soon after to a house in Tallaght that Leonie owned.

We lived there until we moved in to our new home in March this year.

Leonie: We formed a civil partnership in 2015.

We had our day out which we turned into three days and we had a right three days.

This was down in Wineport Lodge, a fantastic spot, they were brilliant.

Esme: We were together a long time and so there was no gun to our heads in terms of moving but it was kind of a hobby of mine looking for houses.

I was more keen to move than Leonie. We looked at a few and then we decided to get married instead so that put it off a bit.

So what decided you on your new place?

Esme: Leonie did. (They both laugh). I needed a bit of persuading.

It ticked all the boxes in terms of the things we didn’t have in the house in Tallaght.

Leonie: It had potential.

When we moved in on Paddy’s day and it was wet and miserable and Es was carrying boxes in I was there beside her going ‘potential, potential’!

October 2016: finding their new home

Esme: Early October (2016). Leinster were playing Castre that day so we had to fit the viewing in around the match!

Friday 10 February: at the solicitor’s

Leonie: We put in an initial offer. Eventually, by the October bank holiday weekend, we’d put in our final offer.

We spoke to a bank and got mortgage approval. The house was in probate so we knew it would be four to six months before we’d move in.

Eventually it came out of probate on the 9th of February so we were in with our solicitor on the 10th of February. We picked a date of 10 March to move in.

Esme: All of our banking is with Bank of Ireland but we went with another bank at the time for the mortgage.

And then some customer service issues came up and I just wasn’t happy with how they handled it.

So I rang Leonie and said give Bank of Ireland a call.

Leonie: Now you’re saying that very calm but you weren’t very calm at the time!

Mortgages Bank of Ireland

Friday 24 February: the first call to Bank of Ireland

Leonie: So I rang Bank of Ireland direct and got Tony and Tony was absolutely brilliant.

I said to him I want to draw down a mortgage by the 10th of March.

And Tony said ‘that would be the quickest mortgage in history’. This was Friday 24th of Feb.

And I said, ‘whatever information you want I have it at my fingertips’.

We had all the paperwork at hand.

I remember Tony getting excited and saying ‘let’s do this!’

We did a huge chunk of work on the Friday.

Tony emailed us the salary certs and we both filled them in and sent them back that day. Got the pay slips everything.

Tony: The major thing was just how on top of everything both Esme and Leonie were from the moment I first spoke to them.

They were so well prepared and they knew exactly what they needed.

Monday 27 February: the mortgage statements

Esme: Then Tony needed mortgage statements for the house in Tallaght.

Leonie: They happened to come through that weekend as well. I sent them to Tony on Monday.

Tuesday 28 February: checking everything is in order

Tony: I went through the application over the phone with Leonie and Esme on Tuesday 28 February to make sure everything was in order.


Wednesday 1 March: the application is submitted

Tony: The application was submitted the next day Wednesday 1 March.

Esme: There you have it.


Friday 3 March: they get a ‘yes in principle’

Leonie: On that Friday, the 3rd of March – now I was hounding Tony a little bit – I spoke to him and he told me we had agreement in principle.


Monday 6 March: they get a ‘yes’

The decision came back on Monday – it was a yes to the amount Leonie and Esme needed to buy the property.

Leonie: There was one or two things more they needed form me. There was the tax clearance cert and there was the house insurance and our life insurance.

Esme: We were delayed a bit because we needed to get a statement from another bank and they only issued them quarterly and we hadn’t been with them long enough to have one available online so we had to ask them to send us one specially.


Friday 10 March: they get the offer

Tony: As soon as Leonie and Esme got their offer details, they signed the offer and the home insurance and mortgage protection insurance forms.

Rather than putting the signed forms in the post, they spoke to me and I met them at the Contact Centre in Tallaght and took the paperwork from them.

10 frequently asked first-time buyer questions answered


Monday 13 March: at the solicitors

Leonie: Our solicitor got the mortgage pack on the Monday so we were there within an hour in Stillorgan.

We had Tony on speakerphone – it was like a scene from ‘The Apprentice’.

He told us what he needed. So I said ‘right I’ll have it up to you with an hour and a half’.

Esme: Leonie drove to Tallaght (where the Bank of Ireland Contact centre is based and Tony works) from the solicitors with the paperwork.


Tuesday 14 March: a document is missing

Leonie: Then the next day our solicitor copped that there was a document missing.

It was ‘notice of interest in fire policy’ so Tony scanned the PDF and emailed it to us on Tuesday.

We both signed it, scanned it and emailed it back the same day.


Wednesday 15 March: the cheque is ready

Leonie: Tony rang me Wednesday morning to say the cheque was ready.

Esme: My solicitor actually rang me to say ‘I can’t believe this. She was shocked. She’d never seen it happen.’

Mortgages Bank of Ireland


Thursday 16 March: they move in

Leonie: They actually had one day, the two solicitors, before the bank holiday, everybody keen to get it done before the long weekend.

Esme had actually hired a van and was loading it with stuff in Tallaght.

So 4 o’clock I’m sitting in the estate agents waiting and a girl came down the stairs with the keys and handed to me ‘there you go’.

Esme: We moved in on Thursday night. I drove over from Tallaght. Leonie was in the car waiting for me at the house.

Leonie: I wouldn’t go in until she got here.

Esme: It was such a relief to get in. When you think about the amount of work that was done in, what, eleven working days?

Leonie: Tony was brilliant. We created the time pressure because we said the 10th of March. He never got annoyed or grumpy or anything about it.

Esme: He must see people at the most stressed time of their lives.

The fact that we had all the paperwork was what helped get it through.

Being able to scan and sign and send by email is so quick now.

Leonie: We’ve a lot of work to do but it’s just great to be in.

We opened the bottle of Prosecco in the garden before the Leinster game on Saturday and we celebrated.

It feels like home now.

Find out more

We can’t promise that you will get your mortgage in 11 working days but to find out more about a Bank of Ireland mortgage, click here.

You might want to check your credit rating, before you apply for a mortgage. Here’s how to check it and improve it.

Esme and Leonie received a small gratuity for their time. Please note that the above is not an example of average mortgage turnaround times. All photos: Neil Cubley.

All efforts were made to ensure that the information in this article was accurate at the time of original publication. The content of this article do not constitute financial advice.

Bank of Ireland is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Topic: Mortgages April 19, 2017
Author: Neil Cubley

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