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Think before you change mortgage

Whatever you might think from all the ads, the mortgage market is still in disarray.

Lending is at very low levels and with Dublin property prices in flux, banks must hoover up customers where they can. This means attracting switchers, but only the ones they want!

Switching your mortgage can be a super idea - most banks have dropped their variable rates in recent weeks, and there's more to come.

Additional incentives abound, such as payment of your legal fees to make the move; discounted rates for new customers and extra discounts if you move your current account also.

However, there are some things to beware of before you take the plunge:

- If you have a tracker mortgage don't even think of switching. There is no incentive big enough to make it worthwhile. Hang on for dear life and count yourself lucky.

- You must be in positive equity. This means the value of your house must be more than the loan on it, usually by at least 20pc. Banks aren't interested in your business if you owe more than the asset is worth so don't waste your time.

- Don't assume that you need to have banked with one bank for years to get a mortgage. As long as your paperwork is in order another bank will be happy to take your business.

- Switching takes time and costs money. Make sure it's worthwhile before you move. Consider using a broker for the leg work.