A large number of homeowners remain on high standard variable rates (SVR) because they do not shop around for long-term value.

It is estimated a third of the mortgage market is on a SVR.

If these borrowers shopped around to get themselves the best re-mortgage deal, the savings could be huge, potentially hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Most lenders now offer fee free re-mortgage deals; the lender will pay for the property to be surveyed and all legal costs associated with remortgaging.

Therefore it costs the borrower absolutely nothing to save money each month The advice for first time borrowers is to be aware the Higher Lending Charge (HLC).

This charge often goes unnoticed as it can be added to the loan over the term of the mortgage and therefore there is no lump sum payment made by the borrower at outset The HLC is an insurance policy to cover the mortgage when a large percentage of the purchase price is to be borrowed. It is for the benefit of the lender, but paid for by the borrower.

Not all lenders charge a HLC, by requesting a complete breakdown of all the fees and charges you could potentially save yourself thousands of pounds.

Another point to consider is interest rates, low initial interest rates may seem like an excellent deal at the time, however, and you could find yourself tied to the lender after the initial period; after which payments may increase dramatically.

A true reflection in comparing mortgages is to consider the APR and the total amount payable by the end of the term. Comparison of the APR provides a direct and fair comparison of the overall costs throughout the term of the loan.

Depending on the type of mortgage, on redemption there may be an additional charge made by the lender.

Nowadays, it is common practice for lenders to offer low initial rates for a short-term e.g. 12 months, yet have redemption penalties for 24 months.

Particular care should be taken to ensure you are clear when the penalties come into force and the term of the redemption period.

E-mail: enquiries@sagegroup.co.uk or visit: www.sagegroup.co.uk Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up the repayments on your mortgage. FSA do not regulate all forms of mortgages.

Sage Financial Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.