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Can I take my mortgage with me when I move home?

You can port some mortgages when you move home. Let's look into the advantages of doing this, what the process involves and how it compares to taking out a new mortgage deal.

Guest Author
Words by: Matilda Battersby

Contributor

You’ve sold your home and been to endless viewings to find your next place. 

The last thing you'll want to do once you’ve found it is add to your search-load by having to find a new mortgage.

The good news is, you might not have to. Some mortgage lenders let you pack up your old deal and take it with you to your next home.

Let’s take a look at what this involves:

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1. What does porting a mortgage mean?

Porting a mortgage means you transfer the deal you’ve got on your old home to the new place you’re buying.

The majority of mortgages, though not all of them, can be ported to another home. There can be restrictions on the number of times you can port a mortgage.

Porting will not always be the best deal for you.

If you’re buying a new home that's worth roughly the same as, or less than, the place you’re selling, then porting a mortgage can be quite straightforward.

But if you’re upsizing to a pricier home, it might be less complicated and cheaper to get a brand new mortgage entirely.

2. How does porting a mortgage work?

When you want to port a mortgage, you’ll need to get in touch with your lender and explain that you’re buying a new place.

Essentially, you’re reapplying for the same deal. Your lender will apply all the same affordability checks as it did when you first took out your mortgage.

This is the case even if you’ve always paid your mortgage on time and never missed a payment.

So, your lender will look at your income and outgoings and you’ll be able to borrow a multiple of your income.

In reality, the only thing you’re porting is the interest rate you pay on what you’re borrowing, and the terms of your deal.

Use our mortgage calculator to work out how much you can borrow for a mortgage.

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3. What are the advantages of porting my mortgage?

If you’re reapplying for the same mortgage again, you might wonder what the point is.

Crucially, if you port your mortgage you won’t have to pay early repayment charges.

Some fixed-rate mortgages are locked in for a certain number of years. If you’re moving before that fixed period ends, you could owe thousands in fees.

But if you port your mortgage to another home, you don’t have to pay those fees.

If you’re not borrowing any more against your new home, then you know what you’ll be paying every month because you’ve already been paying that mortgage for years.

And, if you’re moving to a cheaper home but keeping your old mortgage, you could end up with the difference in price in cash in your bank account.

4. What are the disadvantages of porting my mortgage?

If you’re buying a more expensive home than the one you’re selling, and need to borrow more to buy it, then porting your old mortgage can be difficult and pricey.

When you apply to port the mortgage, you’ll need to pass the affordability checks by your mortgage lender as usual.

You may also have to pay a fee to increase your loan.

Or, you might not be able to increase your loan on this mortgage, and will need to take out an additional mortgage at a different rate.

To do either of these, you’ll need to pay a valuation fee. This covers the cost of your lender checking that the home you want to buy is worth what you’d like to pay for it.

You might also need to pay an arrangement fee for an additional mortgage product.

It might work out cheaper to pay the exit fees on your old mortgage (if you need to) and take out a brand new mortgage on your new home instead.

5. Can all mortgages be ported?

No. Most high street mortgages can be ported at least once. But not all banks and building societies make provision for porting their loans.

Your mortgage lender or broker should have made it clear when you first signed up to your mortgage if, for any reason, it wasn’t portable.

In some cases, you’ll only be able to port your mortgage once or twice.

6. How long does it take to port a mortgage?

It usually takes about a month from the moment you applied to port it to receive your new mortgage confirmation.

Once approved, your mortgage offer will usually be valid for 90 days. 

7. Can a request to port a mortgage be declined?

Yes. Just like for any mortgage, your lender will go through affordability checks.

This will take into account your income and expenditure and look at your credit score.

Although it’s rare to be declined when porting your mortgage, it can happen if:

  • You earn less than when you took the first mortgage out

  • Your expenditure has gone up

  • Your credit score has dipped

  • You have considerable other debt

Equally, you might get turned down because the home you want to buy is 'unmortgageable'.

Homes that you can’t get a mortgage against are usually derelict or in need of major structural repair. 

They might not have a functioning kitchen or bathroom. Or the home might have cladding.

8. What if I can’t port my mortgage?

Some mortgages don’t have provision for porting. Or you might get turned down.

If you find yourself with a mortgage you can’t port, you’ll have to take out a new one and pay the early repayment charges on your old one.

Or, you’ll have to wait until the period you’re fixed-in for has passed.

If you’ve only got another year or so it can be worth sitting tight and putting your home on the market when your fixed-rate period is up.

But if you’ve found your dream home and you’re desperate to move, then the cost of exiting your old mortgage could be worth it.

Early repayment charges on your old mortgage are usually charged as a percentage of your entire loan. But this reduces over time.

For example, if you have a five-year fixed mortgage the early repayment charge might be 5% in the first year, dropping a percentage each year until the fixed-rate period runs out.

Depending on your deal, the early repayment charges can run into thousands.

But, interest rates have remained very low recently, so a new mortgage deal could be more affordable despite the exit costs on your old one.

It’s worth doing the maths and weighing both options up.

Still have questions? Compare your options with Uswitch.

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We try to make sure that the information here is accurate at the time of publishing. But the property market moves fast and some information may now be out of date. Zoopla Property Group accepts no responsibility or liability for any decisions you make based on the information provided.