Experienced Conveyancing Solicitors Specialising in Mortgaging and Remortgaging Property for Clients Nationwide
If you are remortgaging a property or transferring a property that is subject to a mortgage, you will need to instruct a lawyer. This is because your lender will need expert mortgage lawyers to confirm that the legal title is sound. Your lawyers will carry out investigations and report to the lender that your property is good security for the loan.
The process is not too complicated and can be completed relatively quickly if necessary, particularly if the transaction is simple remortgaging or just taking out a second mortgage.
If your property is jointly owned and it is being transferred into your sole name at the same time, for example, if you are separating, then the process might take a little longer. This is because the other owner is likely to have their own lawyers and an agreement may need to be reached over how much are to be paid.
And, of course, if you’re buying a property at the same time as getting your new mortgage – our conveyancing team would be happy to act for you for you.
Looking to mortgage or remortgage? Call our specialist lawyers on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for a FREE no strings attached quote.
Our 28 strong property team deal with mortgage transactions not only locally in Wiltshire, Hampshire, Somerset, Dorset but throughout England and Wales from our offices in Salisbury, Fordingbridge, Amesbury and Andover. And as members of around 50 of the biggest mortgage lender panes nationwide, there is a very good chance we will be able to act for your lender too – which speeds things up and can save legal costs too.
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Do I lawyers needed to remortgage?
That depends. If you are staying with the same lender but simply switching to a different product or borrowing more money from them, you will not usually need a lawyer. That’s because your lender is already familiar with the property and they will simply be concerned to make sure you are able to meet the new repayments.
For other types of transaction, you will need a lawyer to represent both you and your lender. We can normally do both.
How do I remortgage?
Once you have decided you want to remortgage, you will need to choose the right product. There are a wide range available and to good idea to get advice from an experienced Independent Financial Advisor. They can make sure you have the right mortgage for your circumstances and the best deal on the market.
When should I instruct my mortgage lawyers?
It’s always a good idea to appoint your lawyer as soon as you can. And you can do this before you approach a mortgage lender.
By instructing a lawyer straightaway, they will be able to start work at once. Some of the initial tasks they will be able to get on with include verifying your identity – and getting that done in advance, helps to speed up the legal process.
If you have a lawyer in place early on, then your mortgage lender can send the paperwork out at soon as it is ready. This can also reduce the amount of time taken to complete your loan. If you are switching to a better deal, this can save you money.
Make sure you get an experienced and specialist conveyancing lawyer. This will mean that, should any difficulties arise, they will have the experience and understanding to deal with the situation promptly and effectively. They will also usually be on the panel of all major lenders, meaning they can represent both you and the lender. If your lawyer is not on your lender’s panel of approved lawyers, the lender will have to instruct their own lawyer. This will probably mean extra legal costs for you, and with an additional party involved, that could slow things down for you.
Make sure you pick a member of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (sometimes referred to as CQS). Only around one in four law firms in England and Wales are members.
CQS member firms have been independently assessed and approved by the Law Society, the governing body for lawyers. By choosing a CQS member, you can be sure that your lawyer will have solid mortgage experience and should provide a high standard of service. They will also usually be able to act for both you and your lender.
What will my mortgage lawyers actually do?
If you ask us to represent you need take out your new loan, we will go through the following steps in dealing with your mortgage:
Verifying your identity
Your lawyer and your mortgage lender have a legal duty to carry out identity checks, to prevent money-laundering amongst other things. We will validate your identity as soon as we are instructed by you so that we are ready to start on your remortgage straightaway.
But although some solicitors still seem to require a face-to-face meeting, provided you’re happy to do so, you can use our online system, which is simplicity itself. It takes just minutes and can be done from wherever you are – at home or work, in the UK or overseas.
Contacting your existing lender
We will ask your existing lender for a redemption statement so that you can see approximately how much they will need to repay the loan. This will include any extra payments they require, such as an administration fee. And bear in mind, if you are repaying your loan early, your lender may require an additional “early repayment penalty.”
Obtaining a copy of your title deeds
Our mortgage lawyers will get an official copy of the legal title to your property from HM Land Registry as well as copies of any documents it refers to.
Checking the title
We will check the legal title on behalf of the lender. This can include checking that the conditions contained in the title have been complied with. For example, your title may show someone else has rights to travel over your land.
If your house or flat is owned on a leasehold basis, we will also need to check the lease and the management company information. This will include seeing a copy of the annual accounts and the buildings insurance policy as well as going through the lease. We will need the management company to confirm that your service charge and ground rent payments are up to date.
Dealing with the property transfer, where applicable
We can also help if your property is being transferred from joint names into your sole name (perhaps as a result of divorce or separation), in which case we can liaise with the other owner’s lawyer where necessary. Alternatively, the transfer could be from your sole name into joint names.
We will draft the transfer document and obtain your signature, ready for completion.
Carrying out searches
We will carry out the necessary searches. You will normally need a local search, which will reveal local information such as planning permission, road proposals and notices that affect your property. Some lenders may agree prepared to rely on “search insurance” instead of carrying out a local search.
You may also need to carry out other searches, depending on where you live. For example, if the area is in a high risk area for flooding, your lender may need a flood report. If your property is in an old coal mining area, they are likely to want a mining report.
We can check which searches are required and make sure you apply for them promptly to avoid delays as far as possible.
Obtaining your signature to the mortgage deed
Once we receive your mortgage offer from your new lender, we will go through it with you to make sure you fully understand what you’re taking on. If you are happy to proceed, we will get your signature to the mortgage deed ready for completion.
Once we have all of your search results, and we have checked these, our mortgage lawyers will be able to report to your new lender to confirm that your property is good security for the loan. We will liaise with you to agree on a date for completion and order the mortgage advance for that day.
We will ask your existing lender to provide a redemption statement showing the amount they need you to pay off your loan on the completion date. We will provide you with a completion statement showing any balance due to you.
We will also carry out the final searches. This is a check of your legal title at HM Land Registry to make sure no new entries have been made and a bankruptcy check against your name and that of any other borrower.
Completing the remortgage
On the day of completion, our mortgage lawyers will pay off your existing loan once we have received your new loan monies. The mortgage deed will be dated as well as the transfer document, if your property is being transferred. Completion has then taken place.
If there is money to be paid to you, we will let you have that.
Registering the new mortgage
After completion, your existing lender will confirm to us that your old loan has been discharged. One of the things that appears on the records at HM Land Registry is any registered loan or charge – so we will arrange for details of your old loan to be removed. We will also ask for the new loan to be registered and any transfer to be dealt with.
Once this has been done, we will confirm to you that everything has been finalised.
What different types of mortgage are available?
There are a wide range of mortgages available and you will also need to make choices in respect of the number of years the loan will last for, the interest rate and whether you’re looking for a fixed rate mortgage or mortgage rate that varies. Choosing the right product can mean you will save a substantial amount of money over the long-term, so to good idea to get expert advice from a
The main types of mortgage include:
With a fixed-rate mortgage, interest rates stay the same for a specified number of years. This means that you have the certainty of knowing exactly what your monthly payments will be for this period of time.
If you redeem your mortgage during the fixed-rate period, you will usually be charged a penalty. At the end of the fixed-rate period, your lender will automatically transfer you to their standard variable rate. This is often the point at which people decide to remortgage, not least because whilst fixed rates are often set at a discount, standard variable rates are often much more expensive.
A tracker mortgage loan where the interest rate automatically follows the Bank of England base rate, whenever it goes up or down. You will pay a specified percentage above the base rate, for example, 1% more. As the base rate changes, your mortgage payments will also change. There may be a lower limit to the rate your lender sets. Watch out if that’s the case, because it means that even if the bank based road goes down, there will be a limit to how far your rate will track it – so you could find your monthly interest payments will not go down, even if the base rate does.
Tracker mortgages often don’t have an early redemption penalty, although you should always check.
A discount mortgage is a set percentage below the lender’s standard variable rate. For example, the discount could be 1%, meaning that you will pay 1% less than the standard variable rate for as long as the discounted term lasts.
Standard variable rate mortgages
Every lender has a standard variable rate. This will usually rise and fall as the Bank of England base rate changes, although there are no guarantees. And you need to watch out because some banks use their own interest rate not Bank of England base rate It is usually a more expensive option and it is the rate that borrowers are transferred to when a cheaper deal ends.
Repayment or interest-only
These days, most mortgages are repayment mortgages. This means that every month, you pay off some of the capital that you have borrowed along with the interest that you have been charged.
Depending on your circumstances, you may prefer an interest-only mortgage, if it’s available to you, however. Under these, each month, you only pay interest on the amount you have borrowed. This means that at the end of the mortgage term, you will still owe the full amount of the capital you borrowed. You will need to have another way of paying this off, for example, by cashing in ISAs or by selling the property.
Buy to let mortgages
If you are buying an investment property, you will need a buy to let mortgage, as lenders do not usually allow you to let out a property under a normal homeowners mortgage . Buy to let mortgages tend to be very roughly 1% or more expensive than an ordinary residential mortgage for your main home. They are also likely to have higher fees and you will usually need to have a larger deposit.
Click here to read more about Buy To Let Property Investment
Shared ownership mortgages
If you are buying a shared ownership property, you buy part of the property and rent the other part from the housing association or local authority. The share you purchase can be relatively small, for example, one-quarter of the property. You can obtain a mortgage to enable you to buy this share. This will need to be a special shared ownership mortgage.
If you’re looking to buy a shared ownership property, then make sure your lawyers have plenty of experience of shared ownership conveyancing, as the legal process of buying or staircasing (i.e. increasing the share of the property you own) is considerably more complex than routine conveyancing or remortgaging.
Our property team have the experience you need when it comes to shared ownership. Here at Bonallack & Bishop we have plenty of experience of shared ownership and staircasing. For example, we are on the recommended solicitors panel for Radian Homes, and our team routinely handle conveyancing involving a wide range of housing associations including Sovereign, Aster and VIVID (a merger of First Wessex and Sentinel Housing Association).
Click here to read more about Shared Ownership Conveyancing and Staircasing
Preparing to remortgage – our mortgage lawyers’ practical tips
If you are thinking of remortgaging, you can take steps to prepare.
You should clear your debts where possible – in particular any arrears, and try not to use your overdraft. You should not apply for credit or increase your credit limit before making a mortgage application as it can affect your credit score, can make it harder to get a mortgage.
Get your paperwork together – Your lender will need to see a wide range of paperwork and will look at a number of records to decide whether to lend to you. So it’s a good idea to start putting together the documents that your lender will need to see. These will usually include:
· Identity documents, generally either a passport or driving licence
· Up to date utility bills or credit card statements showing your address
· Payslips for the last three months
· Bank statements for the last three months
· Your most recent P60
· Three years’ accounts and tax returns if you are self-employed
Check you are on the electoral roll – make sure you are registered on the electoral roll as your lender may use this to verify your address.