Guide to Mortgages
New Year New Mortgage?
The start of the new year is as good a time as any to take a look at your finances and consider whether you could be paying less for big-ticket items, such as your mortgage.
With mortgage rates still looking incredibly cheap, even if we may have seen the back of the very lowest-priced products, it is worth checking with an independent mortgage broker as to whether you could get a better deal.
Check your existing mortgage - if you are part way through a fixed period or the introductory period on a base-rate tracker, then it probably isn't worth switching. But if you have slipped onto your lender's standard variable rate (SVR) you are likely to be paying a higher rate than is necessary. If you are concerned that interest rates may rise this year, and you can't afford to be wrong - that is, if rates did rise you would struggle to pay your mortgage - then a fixed rate makes a lot of sense. With lenders such as Virgin Money, Nationwide and Skipton building societies reducing some of their rates this week in order to get off to a fast start, there are plenty of attractive deals out there.
Those borrowers who come to the end of a fixed rate this year should plan ahead, making a diary note six months before it finishes so that you have time to find a new deal before moving onto the higher SVR. Most mortgage offers are valid for up to six months so it is worth looking forward, particularly when it comes to getting your paperwork in order. Since the Mortgage Market Review was introduced lenders are taking a more forensic look at your finances and will want to see six months of bank statements to check whether you can afford the mortgage.