There are two main ways of releasing the equity (cash) tied up in your home if you are over the age of 55.
The two main equity release options are:
Lifetime mortgage: you take out a mortgage secured on your property provided it is your main residence, while retaining ownership. You can choose to ring-fence some of the value of your property as an inheritance for your family. You can choose to make repayments or let the interest roll-up. The loan amount and any accrued interest is paid back when you die or when you move into long-term care. We offer independent financial advice on lifetime mortgages.
Home reversion: you sell part or all of your home to a home reversion provider in return for a lump sum or regular payments. You have the right to continue living in the property until you die, rent free, but you have to agree to maintain and insure it. You can ring-fence a percentage of your property for later use, possibly for inheritance. The percentage you retain will always remain the same regardless of the change in property values, unless you decide to take further cash releases. At the end of the plan your property is sold and the sale proceeds are shared according to the remaining proportions of ownership. We do not currently offer advice on Home Reversion Plans but you can find an adviser who does at www.unbiased.co.uk. Further information on Home Reversion is also available on the Money Advice Service website at www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/home-reversion.
What is a lifetime mortgage?
With a lifetime mortgage, you take out a loan secured on your home which does not need to be repaid until you die or go into long-term care. It frees up some of the wealth you have tied up in your home and you can still continue to live there.
How does a lifetime mortgage work?
As with a conventional mortgage, a lifetime mortgage is when you borrow money secured against your home. The home still belongs to you. Interest is charged on what you have borrowed, which you either pay or, more typically, is added on to the total loan amount. When you die or move out, the home is sold and the money from the sale is used to pay off the loan. Anything left goes to your beneficiaries.
You may be worried that if there is not enough money left from the sale to pay off the loan, your beneficiaries would have to repay any extra above the value of your home from your estate. However, we only recommend lifetime mortgages that offer a no-negative-equity guarantee. With this guarantee the lender promises that you (or your beneficiaries) will never have to pay back more than the value of your home – even if the debt has become larger than this.
Types of lifetime mortgages
There are different types with different costs. You can choose from:
Lump sum or income?
When taking out a lifetime mortgage, you can choose to borrow a lump sum at the start or an initial lower loan amount with the option of a drawdown facility. The flexible or drawdown facility is suitable if you want to take regular or occasional small amounts, perhaps to top up your income, rather than one big loan, as it means you only pay interest on the money you actually need.
Is it right for you?
It depends on your age and circumstances. Here are some factors to consider.
These aspects will all be covered in our discussions with you and in our eventual written recommendation. This kind of arrangement can be very useful, but it is not appropriate for everyone. By getting to know you and your circumstances well, we will be able to make a recommendation that is appropriate to your needs.
Lenders will expect you to keep your home in good condition. You may need to set aside some money to do this. If this could be a problem, an equity release scheme may not be suitable for you.
What does it cost?
We will make sure you are aware of all the costs before you make any commitment. You will usually have to pay:
This is an area where good advice is essential and can help you to make a decision which meets your needs and protects you interests.
Please contact us for further information.
This information relates to a lifetime mortgage. To understand the features and risks, ask for a personalised illustration
We advise on lifetime mortgages. We do not advise on Home Reversion plans. If you require advice on Home Reversion plans you can find an adviser at unbiased.co.uk.