Equity release schemes can offer an important option to people who are looking to increase their cash flow and at the same time retain their home. If you are considering a home equity release, it is important to understand exactly what it entails and seek professional advice regarding the different policies available.
General information about equity release plans is widely available on the internet. There are many equity release FAQs available online, and this can give you a basic idea of what equity release means, as well as the associated benefits and risks. However, it is necessary to take advice from an independent financial expert about the specifics.
An independent financial adviser who has specialist knowledge about equity release plans and home equity release will have up to date information about different products and providers, as well as about which product is suitable for your particular situation. Another important factor is that an independent advisor has no affiliations to equity release providers and can therefore give far more impartial advice.
An equity release mortgage is a loan taken against the value of the house. Both home reversion loans, as well as lifetime mortgage equity release loans, need to be repaid to the lender once the house is sold. However, the house can only be sold after the owner has died or moved out and into permanent care. In case of joint applicants, this is done after the second applicant has died or moved into care.
When it comes to ownership, there is one key difference between lifetime mortgages and home reversion equity release plans. Home reversion involves selling part of the house and lifetime mortgage involves taking a loan against the house. As such, in home reversion the ownership of the house is transferred to the lender, and in lifetime mortgage, full ownership remains with the borrower. In both cases, the applicant is fully responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the house.
There are many equity release providers and increased competition in the market has resulted in more competition and better rates for customers. Also, improved and more flexible home equity release products are now available compared to mortgages available until a few years back. You can compare different equity release products on websites such as equity release supermarket.
Equity release schemes have come a long way since they were first introduced in the market. Equity release plans proved to be a very popular concept, and it is their popularity that paved the way for new, improved and more flexible options. Equity release mortgages today are also better regulated when compared with older mortgages.
The popularity of equity release is due to a very real need in society. Living costs have gone up considerably, as have property prices. In this light, pensioners who own homes, but not have enough cash flow can find equity release to be a good solution. It allows homeowners to increase their income during retirement, without the need to sell the property and move into a different place.
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is a body that regulates financial services and products. The FSA aims to maintain transparency and fairness in communication related to financial services, including advice issued to customers. It also aims to eradicate financial wrongdoing. Equity release schemes and mortgages today are completely regulated by the FSA. Equity release customers can seek support and protection from the FSA.
A common concern that people have with equity release mortgages is the potential risk of negative equity. Due to compounding interest built up over a long period of time, an equity release debt can become quite large compared to the amount borrowed. When the house is sold, if the amount owed is higher than the sale value of the house, a negative equity is created.
As the equity release market has matured and become more competitive, it has also become safer for customers. Safe Home Income Plans is a self regulated body that aims to serve customers by making the terms of equity release mortgages more transparent and safe. For instance, all SHIP equity release schemes offer a no negative equity assurance. This means that any negative equity does not need to be repaid to the lender.
Solicitors that can handle all the paperwork related to an equity release application, as well as provide specialist advice. The equity release solicitors’ alliance ERSA, is a charter of specialist solicitors dealing with equity release mortgages. There is a wide variety of equity release schemes available in the market. It is important to seek professional independent expert advice regarding equity release. Independent experts can provide guidance on the potential risks and advantages of equity release for you.
As property prices have risen dramatically over the past two decades, thousands of homeowners find themselves in a position where they own valuable property but require additional cash flow to support them during retirement. This has led to equity release plans becoming increasingly popular in recent times. These loans allow homeowners to continue living in their property whilst freeing up some of the value of the house in the form of a cash lump sum, or monthly payments.
There are mainly two types of equity release schemes, lifetime mortgages and home reversion mortgage. A home reversion plan is where you sell a proportion of the property in terms of value, and this loan is repaid after the house is sold. A lifetime mortgage means that you mortgage the home against the loan, and make interest payments over your lifetime. In both the loans, the balance is recovered after the house is sold. This is usually after the owner has died or moved into long term care.
As the equity release market has matured, mortgages have become more flexible in their terms. Today there is a wide variety of loans available in terms of how you repay, period of repayment etc. There are equity release comparison sites that can help you get an idea of the different types of loans on offer.
Equity release plans essentially offer loans against the property as collateral. As such, most equity release lenders require the applicant to have a valid home insurance policy on the property. This is meant to protect the property from damage due to different causes, such as fire or flooding. Home insurance in this case means buildings insurance and not just home contents insurance.
An independent financial adviser can give you objective and sound advice on equity release in general and give you information about the different equity release plans available. Too much choice can be confusing and an adviser can help you choose the right loan for you. An adviser can also provide accurate guidance on the procedure of applying for an equity release mortgage and the type of insurance you are required to get etc.
Equity release loans do not suit everyone, but could be the perfect option for many. Whether you’re looking to raise extra cash for a specific goal, or boost your regular monthly income, freeing up some of the equity in your property without selling your home could be just the option you’re looking for.