Everything you need to know about remortgaging property
What is a 'remortgage'?
Unlike a second mortgage, where a new lender will take a charge that ranks behind (or in some cases on a par with) your existing mortgage, a remortgage is where you replace your current mortgage loan in its entirety with a new mortgage loan.
Why might I want to remortgage?
There are a number of reasons why you might want to remortgage. Perhaps your existing mortgage has a high interest rate and another lender is offering a better deal. Maybe you want a mortgage with a longer or shorter term (e.g., to coincide with the date your retirement begins). Or perhaps you just need to raise some extra cash.
Your mortgage lender will stipulate that you hire a solicitor and probably send a set of instructions to them setting out the lender's requirements. In most cases, your solicitor will act for both you, as borrower, and the lender. You may, of course, insist on having a separate solicitor, but most borrowers are content for their solicitor to act for both parties (since they are generally responsible for paying the legal bills, not the tender)
When your lender issues its offer to remortgage, the process will essentially be the same as it would be for any other mortgage. Your solicitor will check title documents, which in nearly all cases is simply a matter of obtaining office copies from the Land Registry. If the property in question is not registered with the Land Registry (which would be very unusual in the case of a remortgage), the process will be somewhat more involved as the solicitor will have to go through the actual title deeds for the property.
You solicitor will also carry out a variety of searches on the property, checking for matters such as access rights over the property, mining rights or mining activity beneath the property, and various other matters that could affect the value of the property.
Moreover, as a condition of the remortgage, you will probably have to obtain comprehensive building insurance for the property.
As borrower, you will sign a deed of mortgage, granting the charge over the property to the new lender. Your solicitor will register the mortgage at the Land Registry, which will amend the registration for the property to show the new lender as the holder of a mortgage on the property.
Finding a solicitor
In most areas, you will have a choice of many local solicitors offering residential conveyancing services, and it is likely that nearly all of them will be acceptable to your lender.