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Remortgaging FAQs

Key Points

  • You can remortgage to get a better deal on your existing mortgage, or to borrow money against the property.
  • Remortgaging to consolidate debts is possible, but first consider whether the amount you’ll save is ultimately worth it.
  • If the remortgaging involves some legal work, you’ll need to appoint a solicitor.
  • Keep in mind that remortgaging incurs a number of fees.
  • A solicitor such as Graysons will handle the whole conveyancing process, including dealing with the Land Registry and paying off your mortgage with your existing lender.

What is remortgaging?

Taking out a new mortgage on a property you own.

Remortgaging means taking out a new mortgage on a property you already own. This might be to:

  • replace your current mortgage with one that lowers your monthly repayments
  • consolidate debts
  • borrow money against your property

The process is simpler than when buying a new home because the deeds of the property are already registered in your name.

Do I need a solicitor to remortgage?

You’ll always need a solicitor, as there are legal issues to deal with as part of the remortgaging.

Every remortgage involves some legal work so you’ll always need to appoint a solicitor. One example would be if you’re changing lenders—a solicitor would have to register the new lender and remove the original lender’s interest from the property.

It’s up to you whether you hire an independent solicitor or use the lender’s in-house lawyers.

Do I need a solicitor to remortgage with the same lender?

Yes—and typically all the legal work will go through the lender’s in-house solicitors.

Usually, in this case, the lender will use their in-house solicitors. It’s also common for them to give you the choice of:

  • free legal work by the in-house solicitors
  • cash back to put towards appointing an independent solicitor of your choice

What does the remortgaging process involve?

Your solicitor will conduct various checks and do certain legal work to ensure the remortgaging goes through without any issues.

A solicitor will do a lot of work behind the scenes to make sure that your remortgaging goes smoothly. Their main duties will include:

  • conducting ID checks
  • requesting from the Land Registry the title deeds for the property
  • requesting from your existing lender a mortgage redemption statement—this sets out how much you owe and whether you must pay exit fees or early repayment charges
  • checking the mortgage offer from your new lender and (if necessary) arranging searches and resolving any issues
  • for leaseholds:
    • making sure the ground rent and service charge is up to date
    • serving notice on the freeholder
    • checking the lender finds the terms of the lease acceptable
  • ensuring the property meets your new lender’s conditions for lending
  • carrying out:
    • a bankruptcy search—to check you’ve never been declared bankrupt
    • a Land Registry priority search—to ensure nothing has changed on the title deeds since the remortgaging process started
  • getting you to sign the new mortgage deed
  • arranging a completion date
  • registering your new mortgage with the Land Registry

When will the remortgaging complete? What happens on the completion date?

On the completion date, your solicitor receives the mortgage funds from the lender, pays off your old mortgage (plus fees) and registers the new charge with the Land Registry.

The remortgaging will complete once your solicitor has:

  • received the funds from your lender—or, if you’re switching, from your new lender
  • paid off the balance on your existing mortgage

The solicitor will also register the new mortgage with the Land Registry and send you a copy once they have received the paperwork.

Can I remortgage to buy another house?

Yes, although you’d need enough equity in your current home to cover the cost of buying the new property.

Remortgaging one property to buy another relies on having enough equity in your old home to cover:

  • the deposit and any increase to your mortgage payments
  • the full cost of the new home, if you’re paying in cash

Most people who buy a second home go with the first option, and release just enough equity to put down a deposit on the new property.

Can I remortgage a buy-to-let property?

Yes. However, with buy-to-let properties there are important financial considerations that might not make remortgaging worthwhile.

Any property can be remortgaged, including buy-to-let homes.

Indeed, a lot of property investors remortgage their buy-to-let homes and use the equity as a deposit to add to their portfolios. However, in recent times, many of these landlords have remortgaged their properties due to unfavourable changes in the tax system that have reduced their profits and increased their debts.

If you’re considering remortgaging a buy-to-let property, you too will be subject to these same financial restrictions. Consequently, you should seek proper advice before going ahead.

Can I remortgage to purchase a buy-to-let property?

Yes, although interest rates may be higher and not all lenders offer remortgaging deals on buy-to-let properties.

Remortgaging is one way you can raise the money to put down a deposit on a buy-to-let mortgage, or even to buy the property outright.

However, before you go ahead, find out what fees you’ll pay. There will likely be charges for switching to a new mortgage and for paying off your old mortgage earlier than planned. These should be set out in your existing mortgage’s terms and conditions.

If you decide to borrow against your property, you might be given a higher interest rate than normal.

Can I remortgage to consolidate debts?

You can, but you may find that you pay more in interest.

Yes, but it’s not usually the cheapest way of paying off debts. While the interest rate may be cheaper than a loan, a longer term (say, 20 years instead of five) may increase the amount of interest you ultimately repay.

I’m planning to move house. Do I need to remortgage?

Your lender might let you “port”—transfer—your current mortgage to the new property.

Not necessarily. In some cases, you might be able to transfer your existing mortgage to the new home. This is known as “porting”.

However, this involves reapplying for the mortgage product you already have, and it’s often the case that lenders make it more difficult by tightening their lending conditions. So it isn’t guaranteed you’ll qualify.

Before you commit to selling your home, check that your lender will allow you to port your existing mortgage to the new property. If not, you’ll need to remortgage.

Are there legal fees for remortgaging?

Only if the remortgaging needs the work of a solicitor.

When remortgaging, you pay legal fees if there’s a solicitor involved. A solicitor is usually only needed when you’re moving to a mortgage deal with a different lender.

To read more about this, see “Do I need a solicitor to remortgage?” above.

For an instant estimate of Graysons’ fees for remortgaging, click here.

What does it cost to remortgage?

You pay legal fees only when a solicitor is involved. Many other fees you only pay when you’re moving to a different lender. What these charges amount to depends on the lender/solicitor.

What you pay to remortgage a property depends on whether you’re staying with the same lender or switching.

  • Staying with your current lender—you’ll usually avoid paying legal fees, but there will be charges for setting up the new mortgage.
  • Switching to a different lender—you’ll pay legal fees, exit penalties and a charge for putting the new mortgage in place.

The table below tells you what fees you could face when remortgaging.

Remortgaging fees

Fee

Who you pay

Reason

Legal fees

Solicitor

Charged only if there is legal work a solicitor needs to do for the remortgage to go through.

Early repayment charge (or exit fee)

Existing lender

A penalty applied for repaying your mortgage early (as the lender is losing out on interest you would otherwise have paid).

Admin charge (or deeds release fee)

Existing lender

A charge for sending the title deeds to your solicitor.

Arrangement fee (or product fee)

New lender

Charged to cover the lender’s admin costs. Can be paid upfront or added to your mortgage (though you’d then pay interest on it).

Booking fee (or application fee/reservation fee)

New lender

Some lenders make this charge to lock your mortgage deal in place. You pay when you make your application.

Valuation fee

New lender

Lenders have your property valued so they know how much they can sell it for if you fail to make your repayments. They charge this fee for the valuation work.

Broker fee

Mortgage broker

This will only apply if you use a broker to arrange your remortgage.

Can I do a fixed-term remortgage without paying legal fees?

Yes, providing you remortgage with your existing lender.

Like any remortgage, if you’re staying with the same lender, you won’t have to pay any solicitors’ fees. This is because there’s no legal work needed in setting up the remortgage—it’s considered a “product transfer”.

Do I need a deposit to remortgage?

No—you can use the equity in your property in place of any deposit.

You don’t need a deposit to remortgage—instead, you can use the equity you have in your home.

However, if you do have some money set aside, you can use it to lower the rates of your new mortgage.

How long does conveyancing take when remortgaging?

In most cases, the conveyancing part of the remortgaging process will take two to four weeks to complete.

Once you have a mortgage offer from your lender, the conveyancing process will likely take between two and four weeks.

Related content

10 steps to buying a house

Buy to let

What first-time home buyers need to know

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You can read more about the merger here. Graysons will be pleased to help with your enquiry. Please visit our web pages or contact us directly on 0114 358 9009

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