Equity Release: what is it and is it a good idea?
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Equity release is, put simply, a way to unlock some of the value in your home in the form of a cash lump sum, tax-free, so to use to help you achieve your goals in later life.
There are some specific rules to understand first, and we always advise taking professional advice before considering an equity release product including a lifetime mortgage.
Equity release will reduce the value of your estate and may affect your entitlement to means-tested benefits and tax status
Equity Release Criteria
- You must be aged 55 years or older at the start of any agreement
- You must own your own home
- Your home must be worth at least £70,000
- You must not have any other debt secured on the property (or you must use your equity product to pay it off)
What are the downsides to Equity Release?
- The loan that you take out will need to be repaid by selling your home if you move into long-term care or upon your death. That means that the beneficiaries to your estate will receive less once the debt is settled.
- Interest will accrue on your equity release product, which can increase the repayable amount significantly.
- Taking out an equity release product may affect your eligibility to means-tested benefits
- Equity release products can be complex so taking financial advice is crucial
- You may face early repayment charges if you later decide to pay the loan off early
What are the benefits of Equity Release?
- You can access the value in your home to help finance your later life plans
- There are no monthly repayments and the loan is secured against your home
- You can move home if you want to
- Some products may have a negative equity guarantee
- Equity release products are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
What does an Equity Release mortgage cost?
This will depend on a number of factors, including your age, how long your plan will last, your plan and the interest rate. There will be other costs that are associated with any mortgage including surveyors fees, solicitors, advice, and fees. There are several different types of equity release, all with differing costs, so as already mentioned, it’s important to take advice from a financial adviser or mortgage broker specialising in these types of products to fully understand the benefits and implications to you and the beneficiaries to your estate in the future.
Who can I speak to for advice?
Rob Kemmenoe is a mortgage broker at Liddle Perrett. Rob has been in the mortgage industry for more than 20 years and spends time with every customer to find out how he can use that experience to help them make the best choices. More about Rob and the team here
He is qualified to help you explore the mortgage options out there finding the best fit for you and your family.
Rob can be contacted by phone on 0345 894 8441 or book a video call here
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any restrictions on what I can spend the money on?
You can use it for a broad variety of reasons but think carefully about how much you want to borrow and what you really want to spend it on.
Can I move home if I have an equity release product?
Yes. Products that meet the Equity Release Council standards mean that you can move home, subject to some conditions
Will I be able to leave an inheritance to my beneficiaries?
Yes, you can. Many plans guarantee that a percentage of equity will be retained in your home, subject to some conditions.
Should I worry about negative equity?
No. Plans that meet the Equity Release Council standards come with a no negative equity guarantee so you’ll never owe more than your home is worth.
Who handles the legal requirements of the process?
You will need a solicitor to take care of the legal aspects of the process for you.
How is the value of my home calculated?
Your home will be valued by a professional surveyor so that you can be confident of an unbiased valuation.
What happens when I die?
Once you, or your partner in the case of a joint plan, die, your home will typically be sold and the sales proceeds used to pay the outstanding debt. The money left will remain part of your estate.
Liddle Perrett Ltd is an appointed representative of PRIMIS Mortgage Network. PRIMIS Mortgage Network is a trading style of First Complete Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE
Debt consolidation is not always the most suitable option, consolidating debts must be carefully considered. It will usually mean more interest over a longer repayment term and there may also be early repayment penalties on your current mortgage, you should think carefully before securing other debts against your home.
There are other ways to manage debt such as free debt advice charities, you can find out more by contacting the Money Advice Service these services may be more suitable for you.
An equity release product will reduce the value of your estate, will not be suitable for everyone, and may affect your entitlement to state benefits. To understand the features and risks please ask for a personalised illustration
For our equity release advise service we will charge a fee of £995