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Moving home mortgages

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What is a home mover mortgage?

Home mover mortgages are aimed at existing homeowners who are buying a new home to move to rather than first-time buyers. They are also not suitable for those remortgaging – this is when you change your mortgage without moving house, in a bid to save money.  

Many mortgage deals are available to all three types of borrowers – first-time buyers, those remortgaging and home movers) – while some may only be available to home movers. 

Home movers are also known as second-time buyers for mortgage purposes, although they may have bought a home more than twice.

How to compare home mover mortgages

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What moving home mortgages are available?

Porting your mortgage

You don’t always have to take out a new mortgage if you’re moving home. Most mortgages are “portable”, meaning you can take your mortgage with you to your new home. As a result, you won’t have to pay early repayment charges to leave your current mortgage deal or shop around for a new one when you move house.

You’ll still have to go through affordability checks, though, and your lender will want to carry out a valuation of your new property, so it’s not guaranteed that you’ll be able to keep your current mortgage.

Home mover mortgage

If you can’t keep your existing mortgage or you have discovered a better deal, you may wish to take out a new home mover mortgage when buying a new home. This could be with your current lender or a different one. The new mortgage will be used to pay off your existing loan. 

You’ll usually have to pay early repayment charges (ERCs) to leave your current mortgage if you’re still within the period of an initial deal. ERCs are often built into the contract with fixed- or tracker-rate mortgages, so check how much you’ll have to pay to see whether you really will save by moving to a new deal. 

Borrow more

If you’re buying a more expensive home and you need to borrow more to buy it, you may still be able to port your mortgage and borrow the extra funds from your current lender, provided you and the property meet its lending criteria. 

However, you may not be able to borrow the extra money at the same interest rate, as the product range might have changed, meaning the lender may charge a higher or lower rate on the new borrowing. As a result, you could end up with two mortgages, possibly with different end dates. 

Can I move house without changing my mortgage?

Yes. As most mortgages are portable, you may be able to transfer your existing mortgage to your new home rather than taking out a new mortgage. This is particularly helpful if you would otherwise have to pay ERCs to leave your current deal. It also means that you don’t have to research getting a new mortgage or pay any associated set-up fees.

You’ll still have to apply to port your mortgage and go through affordability and credit checks so the lender can make sure it’s still happy to lend to you.

Your existing lender might not accept you if your outgoings have increased or your employment status has changed, for example, or it may have altered its lending criteria since you last applied. It may also not be willing to lend you any extra you need. You’ll need to take out a new moving home mortgage if this happens.

You might get a cheaper deal by moving to a different lender providing any ERCs don’t wipe out the savings you would make. This could be particularly worth doing if you need to borrow more.

Whether this is the best option depends on the fees you’ll pay for leaving, the amount you could save by taking out a new moving home mortgage and any additional costs involved, such as product fees. 

What fees are involved when taking out a home mover mortgage?

If you take out a home mover mortgage, you may have to pay ERCs to leave your current deal if you’re still within the initial period and this is on top of the fees you’ll face for the new mortgage. These fees could add up to hundreds or even thousands of pounds, although the closer you are to the end of the deal, the less you’ll usually have to pay.

The lender may also charge a separate exit fee of £100-£300 for the work involved in closing your mortgage account.

Fees for the new mortgage may include product fees, which could be up to £1,500, and a valuation fee of up to £1,000 or more, depending on the property's value. This is so that the lender can ensure it offers adequate security for the loan size you want to take out. Some deals offer free valuations. 

There will also be a telegraphic transfer fee of £20-£50 for the lender to transfer the mortgage funds to your solicitor.

You should factor any fees into the cost of your moving home mortgage as well as the interest rate. When comparing deals or calculating how much a new mortgage will cost you compared to your current one, look at the total cost over the deal period to find out which one is really the cheapest. The mortgage with the lowest rate might not be the most affordable overall once you consider fees.

Bear in mind that if you port your existing mortgage, the deal period remaining could be shorter than the period of the new deals you’re considering. This could make it harder to compare like for like.

How does the value of my new house affect my mortgage?

Upsizing

If you’re buying a more expensive home, you may need to increase your mortgage. If the value of your current home has increased since you bought it, the size of your mortgage as a percentage of its value (your loan-to-value or LTV) will have gone down, as you will have more equity in your property. You’ll also have paid some of it off. But of course, your LTV will increase again if you borrow more.

You can either borrow the extra from your existing lender or take out a new mortgage for the whole amount, although check what ERCs you’ll have to pay to do this.

Downsizing

If you’re buying a less expensive property but wish to keep your mortgage the same size, your LTV will have gone up, so the lender might not be happy to port your existing mortgage or want you to repay some of it to keep the LTV the same. You may need to take out a new mortgage with your current or existing lender, which could mean paying ERCs.

Alternatively, you could reduce the size of your mortgage to pay less each month. This is also likely to mean you’ll have to take out a new mortgage and pay ERCs.  

Negative equity

Negative equity means your home has become worth less than your mortgage. For example, you bought a house for £200,000 with a 90% mortgage of £180,000, but the property is now only worth £175,000. If you sold the property, you would have to find an additional £5,000 to clear the mortgage.

In this case, even if you moved to a cheaper property, you wouldn’t be able to port your existing mortgage as it would be more than the property’s value, and you could only get a new mortgage if you paid off your existing one first. You would be better off waiting to see if your house price recovers.

Benefits of staying with current lender

  • You won’t have to spend time researching new deals if you port your existing mortgage.

  • Your existing mortgage may be on better terms than you could get if you took out a new moving home mortgage.

  • ERCs won’t apply as you won’t be paying off your current mortgage, and you won’t have to pay set-up fees for a new mortgage.

Benefits of switching to a new lender

  • You could get a better mortgage deal than your current one.

  • If you need to borrow more, you’ll end up with one mortgage rather than two, which could happen if you borrow the extra from your current lender.

  • You’d be able to switch to a different type of deal if you wanted to – from a tracker to a fixed rate, for example.

If you’re unsure which option is best for you, speak to a mortgage broker; they will be able to look at the whole market to find out whether porting your mortgage is the best option or whether you’d be better off switching to a new deal. They will also have access to deals not available directly from lenders.

Claire Flynn - Senior Mortgages Editor at Uswitch
quotation mark

There's a lot to think about when you move home, including your mortgage options. You might want to port your current mortgage, but even if you can, it’s always worth speaking to an expert to see if you can save any money or find out how much more you can borrow if upsizing.”

Claire Flynn

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