Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE -

a first-time buyer and am do­ing my re­search to see what my op­tions are for tak­ing out a mort­gage. There are quite a few banks with very at­trac­tive cash­back of­fers if you take out a mort­gage with them. My bud­get will only stretch to a house that needs some work, so I am very tempted to go for one of th­ese cash­back of­fers. Are they a good idea? Marie, Walkin­stown, Dublin 12 BE­CAUSE of the long-term na­ture of a mort­gage (usu­ally be­tween 20 and 30 years), even a small dif­fer­ence in the in­ter­est rate you are pay­ing can lead to big sav­ings. Most banks are of­fer­ing some form of in­tro­duc­tory of­fer — such as a dis­counted in­ter­est rate for a cer­tain time or get­ting cash back when you draw down your mort­gage (and per­haps later, too).

If you need money to do up an older house, this will ob­vi­ously be very ap­peal­ing, but it’s im­por­tant to focus on the in­ter­est rate and make sure you com­pare it to other lenders in the mar­ket — oth­er­wise you could end up pay­ing more longterm for a short-term ben­e­fit. To help you de­cide which lender to use, park the cash­back of­fer.

Be aware of any con­di­tions at­tached to any cash­back of­fer. For ex­am­ple, you may not be al­lowed to switch your mort­gage to an­other lender for a cer­tain num­ber of years (of­ten within the first five years). If you do want to switch lenders within that time, you may have to pay all or some of the of­fer back to the bank.

You can use the mort­gage com­par­i­son on the Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Com­mis­sion’s web­site (ccpc.ie) to com­pare mort­gages from the dif­fer­ent lenders.

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