October 4, 2023 9:31 am

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Nikka Sulton

The primary difference between a remortgage and a refinance lies solely in their names—they essentially represent the same concept. While in the United States, it’s called “mortgage refinance,” in the United Kingdom and other countries, it’s referred to as “remortgage.” The minor technical detail is that mortgage refinance often implies finding a new lender, while a remortgage suggests sticking with the original lender. However, in practice, these terms are often used interchangeably, indicating the replacement of one’s current debt obligation, such as a mortgage, with a new one.

The realm of remortgages and refinancing can be confusing due to a lack of comprehensive consumer education by lenders. This article aims to clarify the distinction between these terms and provide insight to help you select the most suitable option for your refinancing needs.


Remortgage vs. refinancing

When it comes to remortgages, there are two primary categories

The first is a renewal, which involves replacing your existing mortgage with the aim of securing a better interest rate and more favorable monthly repayments. 

On the other hand, there’s the refinance option, where a remortgage is used to release equity from your home’s value, resulting in a larger loan amount. This process settles your current mortgage but leaves you with a higher overall debt.


Shopping for Remortgages: A Comparison to Other Services

To simplify, think of a remortgage as you would when shopping for new energy providers, car insurance, or broadband. Just as you monitor these markets for the best deals, keeping an eye on the remortgage market can enable you to seize advantageous opportunities.

Making Informed Decisions: Exploring Remortgage Possibilities

By staying informed about remortgage options, you can make a well-informed decision that suits your financial goals and circumstances. Whether you’re seeking a more affordable mortgage rate or looking to leverage your home’s equity, the remortgage market offers various possibilities to explore.


When and why should I refinance my home?

Reducing the overall cost of home ownership offers several avenues, and one straightforward approach is mortgage refinancing. Through refinancing, you can secure a lower interest rate, resulting in reduced monthly expenses. Key considerations in the mortgage selection process encompass:


1. Loan Duration

Your borrowing capacity hinges on how many years you can manage repayments without depleting your savings. It’s crucial to be practical about your ability to meet mortgage payments over this period and assess affordability. If you anticipate challenges in making monthly payments, ponder the option of refinancing into a longer loan term. However, be aware that this may result in higher interest payments in the long haul.


2. Interest Rate

The interest rate for each mortgage is individualized, varying based on the lender and loan type you select. To secure the most favorable interest rate for your mortgage, consult with multiple lenders. Pursuing a high-interest rate loan when you qualify for a significantly lower one is counterproductive. Fluctuating interest rates often prompt homeowners to refinance their mortgages, making it a prevalent reason for doing so.


3. Loan Category

The majority of mortgages fall into two categories: fixed interest and variable interest. If your tenure in the property is expected to be short-lived, consider opting for a variable rate mortgage. Variable rate loans typically offer low rates, resulting in reduced overall interest payments throughout the loan’s duration.


How To Refinance Your Home: 

Before embarking on a loan application, there are essential aspects to grasp regarding your forthcoming payment adjustments. Primarily, your interest rate will undergo changes, potentially leading to a lower or higher monthly payment based on the comparison between your previous and new rates.

Generally, the refinancing process unfolds as follows:

1. Define Your Refinancing Objectives: Determine your refinance goals, such as tapping into home equity, reducing monthly expenses, or securing a lower interest rate.

2. Explore Your Options: Cast a wide net by consulting various lenders, exploring online resources, and seeking recommendations from acquaintances.

3. Document Gathering: Assemble necessary documents, including pay stubs, 1099s, W2s, tax returns, and bank statements.

4. Home Appraisal: Obtain a home appraisal to ascertain the amount you can borrow.

5. Prepare Your Property: Ensure your home is in suitable condition for the appraisal associated with your refinance.

6. Loan Application: Initiate the refinance loan application process.

7. Review Loan Estimate: Thoroughly assess the details presented in your mortgage refinance loan estimate.

8. Closing the Deal: Successfully conclude your mortgage refinance, marking an accomplished milestone in your financial journey. Congratulations!


Should I choose to refinance?

As previously mentioned, a mortgage refinance and remortgage essentially entail the same concept, just with different terminology in various regions. However, the decision to stay with your current lender or switch lenders depends on several critical factors, which are elaborated upon below:

1. Comparative Interest Rates: Assess which lender offers the more favorable interest rate. If your existing lender presents a competitive rate, sticking with them may be the logical choice. Nevertheless, if a broader market search reveals more attractive rates, considering a new lender becomes a prudent option. It’s also worth revisiting your original lender with these new rates to explore the possibility of them matching or surpassing the competition.

2. Fee Structure Evaluation: Most new loans entail significant closing costs, whether you opt for a new lender or stay with the current one. To make an informed decision, request a comprehensive breakdown of all costs, distinguishing between negotiable expenses and fixed charges (e.g., government taxes, mandated fees, etc.). Without a clear understanding of the fee structure, determining the most cost-effective lender becomes challenging.

3. Customer Experience: Your interaction with your current lender plays a crucial role. If you’re facing issues or dissatisfaction with your current lender, refinancing with a different lender might be the better choice. Some lenders may be unresponsive to your mortgage-related queries, making the process unnecessarily challenging. Conversely, if you have a positive relationship with your current lender and they are willing to offer an improved deal, remaining with them or returning for a refinance could be advantageous.

4. Which can close faster: If you’re eager to transition out of your current residence and require a swift closing, a refinance can facilitate this objective. Keep in mind that the typical closing duration for a refinance hovers around 30 to 45 days.


What is a remortgage?

A remortgage, as the name implies, involves obtaining a completely new mortgage to replace your existing one. It’s also an option for properties without an existing mortgage.

If you still have a substantial mortgage debt, exploring remortgage options with more favorable rates might reduce your monthly repayments.

Depending on your specific situation, remortgaging can potentially lead to savings on your monthly mortgage payments.

Furthermore, a remortgage can enable you to leverage the equity in your property for a larger loan, a process referred to as releasing equity. Homeowners often do this to finance a new property purchase, consolidate debts, or make home improvements.


How does a remortgage loan work?

Remortgaging is a process that utilizes the equity in your home – the portion you own without any debt – as security for a new mortgage. When your current interest rates have risen or your property’s value has appreciated since your initial purchase, remortgaging can often result in more favorable interest rates for your monthly repayments.

In remortgaging, your existing mortgage debt is paid off, and you obtain a new mortgage. There are two primary options: one covers the existing mortgage debt, and the other provides a larger loan.


How long does it take to get a remortgage?

Completing a remortgage deal usually falls within the 4-8 week timeframe. However, various factors can influence the duration, potentially extending it based on individual circumstances. While it’s possible to expedite the process, it’s advisable to start preparations at least a month in advance to secure the most favorable deal.


How much does a remortgage cost?

Apart from the interest rates and broker fees associated with your new remortgage deal, there are several common fees applicable to most remortgages:

1. Early repayment charge: Typically 3-5% of your mortgage amount, payable if you settle your mortgage early.

2. Exit fee: Ranging from £50 to £300, also known as an account fee, it covers administrative costs for closing your mortgage account.

3. New lender arrangement fee: Typically between £1,000 to £1,500, this is charged by your remortgage provider for arranging your new mortgage loan.

4. Legal fees: Typically around £300.

5. Valuation fees: Typically around £200 to £300. In some cases, the remortgage provider may waive this fee, but it’s necessary for assessing the correct mortgage loan amount.



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