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How to remortgage

Here at Strata, we have a full range of homes for you to explore, buy and settle down in. But as well as offering brilliant developments, we provide housing tips on topics such as remortgaging, to help guide you through a variety of processes.

To provide you with further professional insights on how to remortgage your home, we spoke with Lee Cardwell, Director, Mortgage and Protection Advisor at the Mortgage Advice Bureau to provide some advice, as well as hints and tips on the best practices. 

In this article, we talk you through remortgaging, what your options are and what you need to do. Simply read on to find out more. 

What is remortgaging and what does it involve?

Remortgaging is when you swap your mortgage from one to another by changing lenders. For instance, you might currently have a mortgage with Halifax but choose to change your lender to Nationwide. Alternatively, you can do what’s listed as a ‘product transfer’ or a ‘rate switch’, where you keep your existing lender, but are transferred onto a new deal with them. In simple terms, this is much like keeping your phone network the same but changing your contract with them!

Why do people remortgage?

There are many reasons why people remortgage their homes. For instance, if you’re looking to repay all or parts of your help-to-buy, this is a good reason to remortgage. In this case, we recommend looking into the building process, as you’ll need to go through this and apply to pay off part of the help-to-buy. 

Alternatively, you want to make improvements to raise the price of your property, and a remortgage allows you to do this. A lender will just need to look into your finances and assess whether this is tangible, as well as if it’s beneficial for you in the long run.

Remortgaging explained: Which method is quicker?

So, how long does it take to remortgage your home? A product transfer/rate switch is usually the quickest, so if you’re looking for a quick turn-around, it’d be best to choose this option. Of course, though, you’ll need to look into your current contract with your mortgage provider and speak with them to see if it’s possible. 

Time-scale-wise, staying with your current lender is ideal. You’ll just need to go through the different options to choose the best-suited mortgage deal, and then as soon as you’re current contract is finished, you can swap mortgages. 

Further advance

As well as the above, there is one more remortgaging option – further advance. This is used when you want to borrow more money against your property, for instance, you might want some home improvements in the future. 

When's the best time to apply for a remortgage?

There’s not really a set time if you’re hoping to remortgage. It all depends on your fixed rate period with your current mortgage, and whether there are urgent penalties to be paid to end this agreement sooner than expected. 

For this reason, it’s really important to speak with your mortgage adviser to see where you currently stand with your contract. From there, you can decide what suits your needs and how much time you want to work with to remortgage/if you want to pay money to exit your contract sooner. 

One factor to consider as well is this: it's not just a case of looking at your mortgage. A lender whom you’re hoping to help with remortgaging will also look at other factors that you’ll need to review at the same time, which a lot of people don’t always realise. 

When are product transfers available?

Generally speaking, product transfers are available around three months before the end of your product agreement, so you can apply for it as soon as your current agreement ends. It’s just a case of speaking with an advisor; they will look at the best option for you. Sometimes, this can be done up to six months before – but there's no immediate rush. 

For an easy, straightforward option, a product transfer is often preferred since you’re essentially just swapping your current deal for a new one, without having to consider different lenders’ fixed interest rates and how much they’re fluctuating. 

Speak to a mortgage advisor as soon as possible

If you’re hoping to remortgage your home, you’ll first need to speak with a mortgage advisor. This is the very first step to take, as lenders will provide the correct information on when your mortgage deal is coming to an end.

It's better to contact your mortgage advisor and have a chat with them, as your lender won’t be telling you about that particular deal. Whereas, your advisor is going to look at everything else to guide you through the whole process. So when it comes to remortgaging, there are a few options you can choose from. 

Do I need to be a customer of the bank I’m lending from?

No, you don’t need to have a current account with the bank you’re looking to remortgage your home with. So, if you’re looking to remortgage with Natwest, for example, but you’ve never been one of their customers, this is still possible.

There you have it, now you know all you need to remortgage your home in the early stages. For more information on all things relating to remortgaging, and what we’ve discussed, as well as helpful insights on the Mortgage Advice Bureau app, which is a useful resource when you’re looking to remortgage, just watch this informative webinar:

Hoping to discover more information about house-related topics? Head over to our insightful home-buying advice hub, filled with how-to guides on sustainable housing developments and much more. Our mortgage calculator is another helpful tool we offer, so ensure you take a look to see how much you can afford in the meantime.