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Let's say I get a mortgage on a house next week. In 2 years time I decide I'd like to move to another city within my country (UK). If I wanted to cash out the equity I've already put into the house at the market rate at that point - what is the usual process and are there any brokerage costs involved?

Secondly - if say I wanted to move out of the country after a similar amount of time period. What are my options likely to be?

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If you don't want to keep the original house then you would sell the house and pay off the mortgage. This would usually be subject to a small fee. However, if you are still within a fixed period, you might be liable to pay an extra early repayment charge. In my case this is a % of the remaining mortgage based on how many years of the fixed period are left.

If you want to keep the house, you could re-mortgage on that property back up to the original amount (to release your equity). This would likely restrict any additional borrowing you could do for another property though.

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The question uses investment-like terms, but really, you're just talking about selling your house.

So you'd probably use an estate agent to find a buyer, for which you typically pay a percentage of the sale price. The funds you receive from the sale would be used to pay off the rest of the mortgage, plus any other costs. Everything left after that is yours to keep.

If you're moving to another city, you might sell and buy at the same time, in which case, typically, the proceeds from your sale will be used as part of the deposit (down-payment) on the house you're buying.

If you're leaving the country, you could sell and keep any proceeds; or you could let the property to tenants (though you'd need either permission from your mortgage provider to do that, or to switch to a buy-to-let mortgage).

Note that buying a house for just two years may not be worth the trouble, given all the upfront costs (of which stamp duty is normally the biggest), the risk of the house's value going down in the short term - and the time (and stress!) that tends to accompany purchasing property.

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