It�s becoming more popular to remortgage your house these days � all this means is switching to a different mortgage and sometimes a different lender to take advantage of a better deal.

If your circumstances have changed since you first took out your mortgage, you may find you want to switch to a new mortgage that better suits you. Likewise, if you chose a mortgage with a special rate for the first few years, once it reverts you�re paying more than other mortgages. So it can save money to remortgage, but there are a few things to consider first:

Charges

Are there early repayment penalty charges attached to your current mortgage? In some cases it can still be worth changing � the difference in interest paid in the long run could more than cover the cost of any penalties incurred.

Fees

You will have to anticipate all the associated costs of taking out a new mortgage, including a valuation fee for a surveyor, solicitors fees and any charges for arranging your new mortgage. Some deals offer cash to help cover costs, or �fee-free� deals; you should balance the total cost against what you would save in interest to see if it really is worth switching.

Features

Many people are choosing to switch to one of the new generation of mortgages � either a flexible one that allows them more control over their payments; a current account mortgage that effectively allows you to merge all debts, savings and your current account to gain the best interest rates and save money. Offset mortgages are similar, but accounts are still held separately. This means you can move money between different accounts, but you won�t have a terrifyingly large overdraft showing on your current account!

Equity Release

If the value of your home has risen since you took out your mortgage, you can remortgage to the higher amount, and thus release the equity as a cash sum. There will be limits on how much you can borrow, depending on your income and the value of the property. Another area of �equity release� are the schemes for retired people to access cash or a regular income through the value of their home. This means, effectively, that they buy your home from you while granting you the right to live in it for the rest of your life, rent free. �Home reversion�, �roll-up� schemes and �home income plans� all fall into this category. Be aware that any scheme you sign up to should be a member of Safe Home Income Plans (SHIP

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