What does 'porting a mortgage' mean?
Most (although not all) mortgages are portable, which means you may be able to transfer your existing mortgage from your current property to your new one.
It's important to bear in mind that lenders will use their current lending criteria to decide whether to let you port your mortgage, and this may be different from the criteria they used when originally deciding whether to give you a mortgage.
If you need to borrow more money
If you need to borrow more money to pay for your new house, you may still be able to port your mortgage, but you'll probably have to pay a fee to increase your loan. You'll usually also have to pay a valuation fee for your lender to look at the property and see whether it's worth roughly what you're planning to pay for it.
Before asking to port your mortgage, look at the interest rates currently available for your situation to see whether you're on the best deal you could be. If you're not, it may be worth considering exiting your current mortgage and applying for a new one.
You'll need to take all the fees into account - including exit fees for your current mortgage as well as arrangement and valuation fees for the new one - in order to work out what the cheapest option is.
If you don't need to borrow more money
If you don't need to borrow any more money for your new home - for example if you're downsizing or buying in a cheaper area - then porting your mortgage could be an attractive option.
Your mortgage lender will run an affordability check based on current lending criteria, so bear this in mind in the months running up to your move and try to maintain (or build) a good credit rating. If in doubt, talk to your provider.
Unfortunately, even if you decide to keep your existing mortgage for your new house, you may still have to pay certain fees such as a valuation survey fee.
Find out more: check out our tips on improving your credit rating
Is porting your mortgage the best option?
Even if you find that you can port your mortgage and you don't need to borrow any extra cash, it's worth treating your move as an opportunity to look at whether you're still on the best mortgage deal for your circumstances.
Rates have been at historic lows over the last few months, so it's well worth taking the time to do some comparison. This is particularly relevant if you were on an introductory deal when you first took out your mortgage and it's now ended.
You will also have built up more equity in your home since taking out your current mortgage, meaning you may be able to access even better rates.
Make sure you take fees as well as interest rates into account before deciding what to do, as a deal with a better rate could still work out more expensive when you factor in exit fees for your current mortgage and arrangement fees for the new one.
Find out more: read the Which? Mortgage Advisers guide to remortgage fees
Correct as of date of publication.