Vicki Coulthurst, Partner at FDR Law’s office in Palmyra Square, Warrington discusses re-mortgaging and the cheap ‘free legal’ deals on offer
Mortgage lenders are just like any other shop on the high street. Building societies and banks have sales targets to meet and they frequently offer bargains, sweeteners and freebies, like free legal advice, to tempt you to buy their product.
It’s not uncommon to want to re-mortgage your home at some stage. Maybe it’s to release funds to pay for home improvements or perhaps a special fixed term rate has come to an end. Whatever the reason, you may think it’s costly enough to arrange without paying for a solicitor as well. It’s a ‘no brainer’ isn’t it?
The offer of free legal advice may indeed be a great bargain but before you sign on the dotted line, it might be helpful to ask yourself three questions:
- Is this really the best interest rate available? Do the maths. You may be better off choosing a different lender and paying for the legal advice. Work out the value of the deal over the long term.
- Do you want to use the re-mortgaging as an opportunity to transfer equity or add another name to the property title deeds? Any extra legal work like this is usually not included in any free offer and you could end up paying more
- Is the personal service of a local, accessible solicitor important to you? Free legal advice is usually delivered by the lender’s out-of-town, legal team. This is mass market legal services and their first duty is to represent the interests of the lender, not you.
If you’re thinking of re-mortgaging your home, I would always recommend consulting an independent financial adviser and obtaining a separate price for legal services from a local solicitor, before making any decisions. It could save you money in the long run.