I've had a mortgage for let me see... some 25 or so years. In the United Kingdom 25 years is the standard number of years over which is mortgage is paid. If a new mortgage is taken out in this time, it usually has the effect of resetting the clock and the mortgage term begins again from 0,
I got my first mortgage in 1991 when I bought a house in Wythenshawe, Manchester for £34,500. It's so long ago now that I can't remember who I got the mortgage with but I think it was high street bank, perhaps HSBC or NatWest. Now I come to think of it, it was the Skipton building society. Two years later my wife and I decided to travel overseas and let the house. A couple of days before we went we thought (in our naivety) that we'd call into our mortgage lender's Manchester branch and as a courtesy, inform them of what we were going to be doing. That's when we got a shock, and they told us we were not allowed to do this. We panicked for a few days wondering what on earth we were going to do before it occurred to us "what were they going to do about it anyway?".
Move to 2002 now and we were looking to move. The house in Wythenshawe was no longer suitable for our requirements and we wanted to move to the Ramsbottom area of Lancashire, with it's hills and scenery, away from the inner city feel of Wythenshawe. There was a problem however, I was self employed and therefore unable to provide proof of a regular income. My option of using a high street mortgage broker as I had previously was now closed to me so I had to find an alternative way of getting a mortgage.
Whilst looking at houses in Ramsbottom, one of the estate agents recommended an independent mortgage broker who were at the time known as 'Mortgages 4 U'. They are still trading today, and are known as Manchester Mortgages. They were the lifeline I needed as they were able to find a mortgage and get an offer out to me.
To this day I don't know how they did it, and they helped me again in 2004 when we moved again to a much larger house. Again they provided the necessary step of finding a suitable mortgage provider for me. I was still self employed, but my business had become a company and employed me.