Finding the best mortgage rates is one of the most important aspects of getting a mortgage, but do you know what you should be looking at in order to secure the very best deal for you?
We'll tell you straight away that identifying the best mortgage deal for you is not quite as simple as comparing repayment amounts. The mortgage term, fees, and other factors will come into play when you start looking into a mortgage.
Whether you are about to take out your first mortgage, remortgage your current home, or just want to see if you could secure a better rate, use the online mortgage calculator form below to compare mortgages from top lenders. You can also search for buy to let mortgages if you're planning to buy a house to let out.
Habito will engage in an online chat with you, advising you on the next stages, helping you assess affordability and give you impartial advice to ensure you get the best deal for you. Use their mortgage comparison calculator below to find the best mortgage for you.
Please note: Habito is an online mortgage broker and whole of market lender so they will assess the best deals available and work out which works for you. We have an affiliate relation with Habito and take a small percentage of commission for referring you to them.
Why January 2020 is the best time to find a great mortgage deal
The start of the year is traditionally a good time of year to apply for mortgage: things aren't as busy as they will be in the summer, and getting in touch with a good mortgage broker will be much less hectic now than in, say, three months' time.
However, January 2020 is a particularly auspicious time to look for the best mortgage deal. For one, mortgage rates are currently at a historical low, while house price growth remains low, making many properties more accessible. That said, we still don't know what Britain's final deal with the EU will be, and the outcome of the negotiations could still affect the property and mortgage market, so securing a good fixed-rate mortgage deal now – if you're planning on becoming a home owner this year – is the right thing to do.
While the uncertainty around Brexit might be making you anxious, or you might be tempted to wait and see whether house prices drop significantly, putting off buying the house that you want while you can afford to buy is a bad idea. The consequences of the UK's exit from the EU are unpredictable; apart from everything else, interest rates may well rise if the post-Brexit economy requires it, so if you find a good fixed-rate mortgage deal, now is the time to lock it down.
Find the best mortgage rates in winter
While you can look for mortgage deals at any time of year, winter could well be one of the better times to start and submit a mortgage application. Firstly, it's highly unlikely that you changed jobs over the summer, so you'll have been in your current job for the required minimum of six months in order to successfully get a mortgage.
Secondly, buying a property in winter is easier than in the summer, which the peak season for people moving home. Competition eases in autumn, and you may well be able to bag the home of your dreams at a good price. Especially as we're moving into the final two months of the year, people will be keen to sell quickly, so you'll have more bargaining power.
Finding the best mortgage rates: the importance of the deposit
If there is just one useful thing to know when looking for a mortage, it is this: the bigger your deposit, the better the deal you'll get. This is true always, with any lender. The very best mortgage rates are only available to buyers with deposits of over 25 to 30 per cent (and 40 will get you the cream of the crop of mortgage deals). We strongly recommend trying to save up for a slightly bigger deposit, even 15 per cent rather than 10, before applying for a mortgage. Remember: the smaller your loan, the better the rate. If you only have a small amount saved up and really want to own a home soon, consider government equity loan schemes such as Help to Buy.
How to find the best remortgage deal
The answer is: start looking as far in advance of switching lenders as you can, and keep a lookout. Remortgaging only ever makes sense if it's going to be financially beneficial; for example, if your current lender is going to charge you an exit fee, you'll want to make sure that your new repayment plan is worth that penalty. Conversely, if you see a great fixed-term deal that'll allow to start saving (for example), exit fees notwithstanding, go for it.
Finding the best holiday let mortgage deal
With the staycation trend booming, you might be thinking about taking out a holiday let mortgage. Finding the best mortgage rates for this type of mortgage is very important, because these type of mortgage require bigger deposits and usually come with higher interest rates. They can be worth it if your holiday let makes a decent return, but you'll want to make sure you're on the best possible rate to maximise the property's potential.
How to find the best mortgage deal if you're self employed
Accessing the best mortgage rates if you're self employed will hinge on three things: how much you have saved for a deposit, your earnings, and your record keeping. Needless to say, all three need to be up to scratch, and the more you have on all three fronts, the more likely you are to get a good deal on your mortgage. Mortgage lenders dislike applications they deem to be high risk, and you want to convince them that, even though you are self employed, you're financially stable.
Find out more about self employed mortgages in our guide.
How to find the best guarantor mortgage
Guarantor mortgages are the new crop of what used to be called 100 per cent mortgages, and they do allow you to get a mortgage without a deposit – if you have family who are able and willing to keep some of their savings in an ISA account for a few years. The differences between the different products available are mainly about the interest rates on the savings and the number of years the money will need to be used as the guarantee on your mortgage. Find our more in our guide to guarantor mortgages.
Is a fixed-term mortgage always the best deal?
Fixed-term mortgages are very, very popular right now, and with good reason: they allow you to fix your interest rate for one, two, or five years, and in some cases even longer. But is this type of deal always the best one? The answer depends mainly on what your plans are for the near future: if your first house purchase is not the home you're planning on staying in for a long time, be careful with long fixed-term mortgage deals, as they almost always come with a financial penalty for an early exit.