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The dream of owning your home is closer than you think

The dream of owning your home is closer than you think

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Frequently asked questions

  • What is a mortgage?
  • What are the different types of mortgages?
  • What mortgage do I need?
  • What mortgage can I afford?
  • What impacts mortgage rates?
  • What are the common fees when applying for a mortgage?
  • Compare mortgages

What is a mortgage?

A mortgage is a loan used to buy a property, where the amount you borrow, plus interest, is secured against the value of the property. You’ll then have to make monthly payments, including interest, until the loan has been paid back in full. 

What are the different types of mortgages?

We’ll let you compare mortgages by type, which include either fixed or variable rate mortgages. The interest rate paid for variable rate mortgages is determined by the lender, which means the interest rate and payments can go up or down. For fixed rate mortgages, the rate is set at an agreed amount, for a set period of time and only changes at the end of the initial agreement. 

Fixed rate mortgages:

Fixed rate: With this type of mortgage, the interest on your mortgage is fixed at a set interest rate for an agreed period of time, varying from 1-10 years. This type of mortgage could be good if you need to stick to a budget, as it’s fixed.

Variable rate mortgages:

Tracker: This type of mortgage has an interest rate that is tied to the Bank of England base rate. The mortgage changes with the base rate. Most trackers have terms of two or five years, but you can get lifetime (also known as term) tracker mortgages.

Discount: Another type of variable mortgage, discount mortgages differ from trackers in that they are not tied to the Bank of England base rate. Instead, they are linked to the lender’s standard variable rate (SVR), normally over one to five years. Discount mortgages could be great as monthly repayments could fall as well as rise, but are a little more complex and unpredictable compared to trackers.

Standard variable rate (SVR): This is the long-term rate of interest that mortgage lenders will be charged once their fixed or introductory discounted or tracker period ends.

Fixed or variable:

Offset:Probably the most complicated option, offset mortgages link your savings to your mortgage debt. With this type of mortgage, you don’t earn interest on your savings - instead, your money is set against your mortgage so that you pay less interest on the debt. Available with fixed or variable rates, offsets are great for paying off your mortgage quickly. They also offer a bonus benefit for those in the higher or top tax brackets, as you don’t pay tax on your savings.

What mortgage do I need?

First time buyer: A first-time buyer mortgage is aimed specifically at those who are buying a property in the UK for the first time. It often includes deals and incentives, such as cashback or lower deposits, with the aim of helping you get your first home. Lower deposits mean that you can get a mortgage with 5% deposit of the property value, which is known as a 95% mortgage.

Remortgage: Remortgaging is the process of switching your existing mortgage to a new deal, using the same property as security. You can remortgage with the same lender or a different provider.

Second mortgage: As the name implies, a second mortgage will mean that you have two mortgages on your home. It is a secured loan taken out in addition to your first mortgage, against the equity in your property.

Buy-to-let mortgage: A buy-to-let mortgage is a secured loan that’s been specifically designed for people who want to invest in a property, whether a house or flat, in order to rent it out to tenants.

What mortgage can I afford?

When looking at the mortgage tables and comparing providers’ rates, it’s important to have an indication of what you can afford and how likely it is you’ll qualify for what you’re hoping to borrow. We have a basic calculator and an eligibility calculator to help you with this.

Basic mortgage calculator: a quick and easy way to help you work out how much you could borrow. Remember, the actual amount you could borrow will depend on a number of factors, including the deposit you have, any outstanding credit commitments and your monthly outgoings.

Mortgage eligibility calculator: our eligibility calculator goes one step further than the basic calculator. It will show you mortgages that you’re likely to be eligible for, based on your credit history and personal financial details.

Once you’ve put in the property value of the home you’re looking at, the amount you want to borrow and your financial commitments, we’ll carry out a ‘soft search’ on your credit file. This will then be matched against our panel of providers’ lending criteria to see what mortgages you’re likely to qualify for.

A soft search will not impact your credit score as it’s not directly linked to a mortgage application and therefore will not leave a footprint on your credit history.

What impacts mortgage rates?

Mortgage rates are largely dependent on whether the Bank of England Base Rate goes up or down. Of course, even if they move during the next 12 months, if you have a 'fixed' mortgage you won't be affected until the term ends.  

What are the common fees when applying for a mortgage?

Advice fee: If you seek help from a mortgage advisor, you may have to pay for their services.

Booking fee:  This ‘reserves’ your loan as the application goes through. It’s worth noting that this won’t be refunded if you decide not to take out the mortgage and will need to be paid upfront.

Arrangement fee: This is what you pay your lender for setting up the mortgage. While a typical fee will be around £1,000, it could be as much as £2,000. You can pay upfront, or add it onto your mortgage, but remember you’ll then be paying interest on it.

Valuation fee: There’s no set price for a valuation, and some lenders offer them for free. They cover the lender surveying the property you want to buy to make sure it’s worth the amount you wish to borrow.

A valuation is to ensure that if you can’t keep up with your monthly repayments, when the lender repossesses the property that they can get a good price for it when it is sold.

Legal fees: These cover a solicitor to do all of the legal paperwork. They include Stamp Duty and search fees. Stamp duty is a tax paid by the buyer on the purchase price of a property and is related to the size of your mortgage.

Compare mortgages

We can help you compare mortgages from some of the market’s leading financial providers to help you find a great rate.  Your results are arranged in order of monthly payment. Our easy-to-understand categories will also help you check rate types, arrangement fees and introductory rates.

You can even arrange for a call-back from our trusted partner moneyQuest who can guide you through the mortgage application process and establish whether you are likely to be accepted.

Compare mortgages

Talk to an expert

Once you've compared mortgages, you can call our trusted partner **moneyQuest Mortgage Brokers Ltd who have over 20 years' experience in helping people secure their perfect mortgage.

0141 243 5633

Open Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm.
Calls to moneyQuest Mortgage Brokers Ltd are charged at a national rate from a BT landline, however, calls from other networks and mobile providers may vary.

About moneyQuest Mortgage Brokers Ltd (moneyQuest)

**moneyQuest Mortgage Brokers Ltd (moneyQuest) are a whole of market mortgage broker with over 20 years' experience in helping people secure their perfect mortgage. Advice is provided by moneyQuest who are an appointed representative of Stonebridge Mortgage Solutions Ltd.

moneyQuest are not part of Compare the Market Limited. Compare the Market may receive an introducer's fee from moneyQuest for customers who use this service. All applications are subject to lending and eligibility criteria.

moneyQuest may charge you a £395 broker fee should you decide to proceed with a mortgage.

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