Here’s our rundown of some of the mortgage resolutions you might want to consider for 2023, and how they may help you take control of your finances.
1) Review your mortgageYour mortgage is likely to be your biggest monthly outgoing, and given that mortgage rates have risen in recent months, it’s more important than ever to try to keep costs to a minimum. If you haven’t reviewed your mortgage for a while, or your current deal is coming to an end soon, it’s worth researching the best deals to move to.
Our online Mortgage Finder lets you check your eligibility and find the best deals available on the market, and also allows you to toggle your search to include deals your existing lender will offer, to ensure you get the best deal for you. You can secure your next mortgage deal up to six months in advance now, and our rate check service allows you to check again before your new mortgage completes so you can be certain you’re still getting the best rate.
Bear in mind that there can be costs involved in remortgaging, such as legal costs, mortgage arrangement fees and possibly a broker fee, although the overall savings you’ll make by not moving onto your lender’s standard variable rate will usually far outweigh these. Many remortgage deals also come with financial incentives such as free legal fees, cashback, or a free valuation. And unlike some brokers we don’t charge you a fee.
2) Check mortgage costs if you’re a landlord If you own a property that you rent out and have a Buy to Let mortgage, it’s just as important to review this as it is your own residential mortgage to keep your outgoings to a minimum.
Lowering mortgage outgoings is likely to be a priority for all landlords in 2023, particularly given recent tax and regulatory changes that have made it less financially attractive to own property you rent out. Again, if you’re looking for the best Buy to Let mortgage deals, seek advice or our Mortgage Finder makes it easy to find the best deals available on the market and to compare them with what’s available from your existing lender.
3) Save a depositIf you’re hoping to get onto the property ladder in 2023, your mortgage resolution might be to build a deposit. You may be able to boost the amount you save by taking advantage of Government schemes.
For example, if you save the maximum £4,000 allowed this tax year into a Lifetime Individual Savings Account (ISA), the Government will top up any payments you make by 25%, meaning you’ll get a £1,000 cash bonus. The Lifetime ISA is available to anyone aged from 18 up to 40 who wants to buy their first home or save for retirement, or both. Your savings can be used to buy a first home costing up to £450,000 anywhere in the UK.
4) Make overpayments if you canIf you already own your home but are worried about falling house prices and rising mortgage rates, it can be a good idea to try and overpay your mortgage a bit each month if you can afford to. Even overpaying by a small amount each month can reduce your debt more quickly, and the effect will be greater if you’re currently on a low mortgage rate. Overpaying and reducing your mortgage balance can help you keep your costs down if you know you’re going to have to transfer to a higher rate when your current mortgage deal ends.
Always check with your lender before you make overpayments, as restrictions might apply. Most lenders, however, will allow you to pay back an amount, typically up to 10% of your mortgage balance a year, without penalty.
5) Review protection policiesMaking sure you and your loved ones, your home and your income are adequately protected is vital, and even more so in these financially challenging times. It’s therefore worth reviewing any income protection, critical illness or life insurance policies, to check whether the cover continues to meet your requirements, or if you might now need more or less protection.
It’s also worth reviewing other insurances, such as your home and car insurance, as you might be able to save money by moving to a different provider when your policies are up for renewal.
6) Make your home more energy efficientSky-high heating costs mean that conserving energy wherever possible can make a real difference to your bills. For example, according to the Energy Saving Trust, getting a professional to fill gaps and cracks in windows, doors, floors and skirting boards will typically set you back around £225, but could save you as much as £125 a year on your energy bills. When deciding which energy efficient improvements to make to your home, a good starting point is check your property’s energy performance certificate (EPC), as this will show you which elements of your home are already energy efficient, and where you might be able to make improvements.
The EPC will also give your home an overall energy efficiency rating, ranging from A-G, with A the most energy efficient and G the least. If you’re not sure what the EPC rating on your property is, you can search the EPC register if you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. If you live in Scotland, you can search on the Scottish EPC register.