A fixed-rate mortgage is a mortgage that has been fixed for a particular set length of time, with the interest rates remaining the same for the entire duration.
Generally speaking, people within the mortgage world believe that the longer you fix your mortgage for, the higher that interest rate is probably going to be. With that in mind, if you are looking for the lowest rate possible, you should really look at taking out a short term fixed-rate mortgage.
The downside to a short-fixed term, is that you will be reaching the end of your term a lot quicker, meaning you will need to renew a lot sooner than you might have wanted. When the time comes to take out a remortgage in Essex, your monthly mortgage payments might be a lot more than they were before your term finished.
If you would rather not be searching for new fixed-rate deals every two years, but also have a preference to not reach the point where interest rates go too high, you might be better suited for a medium-term fixed rate mortgage.
Five-year fixed rates are some of the more popular choices that we come across when speaking to first time buyers in Essex, as they will provide you with the security of consistent monthly payments for the rest of your term. The downside with this one, is that if interest rates drop whilst you’re locked into that fixed deal, you will end up paying more overall than you otherwise would have had if you had gone with a shorter term.
The flip side to that, is if interest rates go up during your term, you’ll be sat comfortably at that lower rate for the duration. It’s because of this, that lenders may increase the interest rates on shorter terms, to future proof themselves, just in case. Usually, the longer your term, the more expensive it is going to be.
There are only a select number of 7 to 10-year fixed rates available to home buyers on the property market. These have always been the least popular of the choices, due to how long they are overall. Many feel that having a decade-long term is too long to be fixed in for a mortgage.
On top of interest rates, you will also need to consider the booking and arrangement fees that are involved.
A booking fee is payable upfront, whereas an arrangement fee is only payable on completion of the mortgage. You might know people who have added fees to the total of their mortgage amounts, but this of course increases the total amount you’d be paying off at the end.
Sometimes you might also find that your financial circumstances can suddenly change and you might need to repay your mortgage balance a lot earlier than had initially been planned for. When this happens, you will likely end up being charged for it.
This charge is known as an Early Repayment Charge (ERC for short). The ERC is calculated as a percentage of the amount that remains on the mortgage balance. If we say as an example, the mortgage amount you have remaining is £200,000 and you are able to pay that off earlier on into your term, with a percentage that is 2%, you would end up having to pay back £4,000 to cover the broken fixed contract.
Many homeowners aren’t aware of the Early Repayment Charge and think it’s as simple as paying off their fixed mortgage early. You are tied into a contracted deal and you can’t just jump out of it and pay it off early, unless you are quite content having additional large charges added to your account.
People who know about the charge may opt to just pay it off early anyway, in order to get a better deal that is currently on the market, especially if it is a limited offer that may not be available a few months down the line.
As an experienced mortgage broker in Essex, we would highly recommend that you avoid chasing after “headline” deals. Always make sure you remember that the lowest rates tend to come with the highest setup fees. Please get in touch today for any further fixed-rate mortgage advice in Essex.