1. Source the market: An independent whole of market mortgage adviser will source the entire UK mortgage market for you and have access to specialist mortgage products not found on the high street. Always check if your adviser is ‘whole of market’.
2. Your bank: got to your bank and they will only offer you their mortgages products, they will not source every lender to see if you can get a better deal. You will still go through all the same processes, so you may as well use an independent mortgage adviser.
3. 2nd charges: Often called a secured loan or homeowner loan; if you sold your house with a second charge – the first charge which is your mortgage is paid off first – then the second charge is repaid.
4. New build mortgages: Just because the developer refers you to their recommended mortgage adviser does not mean you will get the best deal on EVERYTHING. Check the adviser is qualified, independent for mortgage AND insurance advice. If they are not, seek independent advice.
5. No monthly payments: Equity release is a mortgage product that enables a homeowner to release money out of the value of their home. There are no monthly repayments. The mortgage is repaid on sale of the house or upon death of the homeowner. You have to be over 55 to get an equity release mortgage. Read more here.
6. Payment holidays: If you have been repaying your mortgage regularly on time each month, you can ask your lender for a payment holiday, typically it is one month. Handy at peak times of year – summer holidays/Christmas. You still have to pay the month you holidayed, it just extends your mortgage term by a month. Your lender will explain more.
7. Non-married couples: Buying a mortgage together like this can be risky; both parties should get pre-agreed terms set out with a solicitor should circumstances change – i.e. upon separation, whichever party can afford to buy the other party out at market rate, has first option, otherwise the property goes on the market. Same clauses should be added if family members have lent money to help buy the property – upon sale funds first go to repay etc. Actually, this could apply to married couples!
8. Mortgage changing: You should review your mortgage every 2 years to see if you are on the best overall deal for your circumstances. Again, use a whole of market adviser to do the research for you.
9. Mortgage trouble: Struggling with mortgage repayments? Two options 1 – speak to a mortgage adviser and see if you can change your mortgage to reduce payments; 2 – seek advice from StepChange a free debt help specialist who will work out and prioritise your income and expenditure this information can then be sent to lender with a monthly repayment offer and a commitment to notify if your circumstances improve.
10. Mortgage fees: Lenders can charge huge booking fees, early payment fees, exit fees (you remortgage to another lender whilst tied in to your existing lender), missed payment fees – so always read the small print or get it explained by your mortgage adviser and confirmed by your conveyancing solicitor.