What does remortgaging mean?
Remortgaging is the process of changing your current property loan or mortgage to a new mortgage deal. This could be with either your existing lender or a new mortgage provider.
Why remortgage your home?
There are many reasons people choose to remortgage a property, including:
- Reducing your monthly payments by changing to a different rate
- Releasing equity in your property (e.g. to provide funds for building work, or to purchase another property)
- Changing to a fixed-rate to assist with your monthly budgeting
- To pay off your mortgage sooner
It is important to ascertain why you wish to remortgage your property, as this will help you decide which mortgage type would be most appropriate.
Where to start
Investigate the different types of mortgage product available, and determine which would suit you best, whether this would be fixed, variable or tracker. Make sure, when comparing the rates of different mortgages, you are comparing like for like.
Speak to your current lender to see if they can offer you a better deal for your remortgage. This can be the cheapest option as you may be able to avoid paying for a new valuation or for another local authority search. You may possibly save on legal fees too.
Once you know what your current lender can offer you, look around to find the best mortgage options available to see if another lender can improve on the offer. When you're comparing mortgage lenders it's a good idea to apply for a mortgage in principle from the lenders you're interested in. Then you'll know that, in theory, the lender is willing to offer you a mortgage, and comparison will be easier and more useful.
We recommend speaking to the Mortgage Advice Bureau, who are experts in finding the right mortgage.
Remember to ask your current lender about early redemption penalties. You do not want to have a large bill for leaving your mortgage before the agreed date.
How does remortgaging work?
You will need to submit specific paperwork to your new chosen lender. This includes:
- Proof of your income
- Information about your expenses and outgoings
- Proof of your residency, such as a passport or driving licence
Your lender will also conduct a credit check, so it's important to check your credit score is up to scratch.
The ability to remortgage is based on the individual circumstances of a home owner. Since the Mortgage Market Review in 2014, the criteria for lending is likely to be stricter than when you got your initial mortgage, so it would be advised to get mortgage advice to help you find the right deal.
Your home will require a valuation in order for you to remortgage it. This can range from a ‘drive by’ valuation to a surveyor visiting your home for a detailed inspection.
If the lender’s valuation is less than expected, you can get a Chartered Surveyor to survey your property and provide a valuation to see if your lender will reconsider their original valuation.
Read more about property valuations.
You will need to appoint a conveyancing solicitor to:
- Undertake a local authority search or to organise search indemnity insurance (a cheaper policy covering anything that might have been discovered in a search)
- Organise the transfer of debt from one lender to the other
The process of remortgaging a property usually takes between 4 and 8 weeks.
How much does it cost to remortgage?
It is important to factor in all the costs involved in remortgaging a property, as you need to ensure the cost of remortgaging is not higher than the saving you would make switching to a new mortgage deal.
The fees involved in remortgaging consist of:
- Solicitors fees
- Land Registry fees
- Early redemption fees
- Arrangement fees with your new provider, if applicable
- The cost of the property valuation
There is no stamp duty to pay on remortgaging, provided you are not transferring the legal title of the property as part of the remortgage.
Do you need a solicitor to remortgage?
Conveyancing for remortgaging is cheaper than when buying or selling a home, however legal advice and paperwork would still be required. If you do decide to use a solicitor, you can find a re-mortgage conveyancing solicitor who can undertake your remortgage in your area.
If you have any questions regarding mortgages, view our Mortgages Q&A to see if any previous answers can provide you with the information you require.
Updated March 2020