As people live for longer, planning carefully for retirement becomes more and more important. Living costs are on the rise, and there are a growing number of people who own valuable property but are strapped for cash during old age. This is why equity release schemes have become a popular concept. Because it allows people to free up the equity tied up in their homes, without the need to sell the property or move.
Equity release schemes have come a long way since they were first introduced to the market. Rising demand for equity release solutions resulted in increased competition among providers, and today, the equity release market is much more favourable for customers. Equity release plans available today are much more flexible, and interest rates are also generally lower than a few years back.
The two main types of equity release are lifetime mortgage deals and home reversion schemes. Both types of equity release allow customers to free up some of the equity built up in their home and use it as cash. The amount can be taken as a lump sum or in the form of monthly installments. Most equity release schemes need to be repaid only when the owner has died or moved into care, which is when the property can be sold.
A lifetime mortgage is a loan that is taken out on the property. In this case, the applicant retains full ownership of the house. The loan along with the accumulated interest is repaid once the property is sold. Interest that is incurred on the amount is added to the principle amount, so that effectively, interest is charged on the previous interest. This is known as compound interest. One of the most common concerns with compound interest is that the debt can quickly grow very large.
There are some new lifetime mortgages known as interest only mortgages, which do not incur any compound interest. Instead, interest is paid monthly, and in the end the amount to be repaid remains exactly the same as the original amount that was borrowed. Interest only lifetime mortgages may have higher interest rates in order to be financially viable for the lender.
Home reversion plans involve selling a certain portion of the property to the lender. The ownership is transferred into the lender’s name, and the customer retains some portion of the ownership. When the house is sold, the lender retains the same proportion of the sale value. Both home reversion and lifetime mortgage equity release schemes have their own pros and cons. If you’re considering equity release as an option, consult a financial advisor for objective and professional guidance.
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.
Equity release mortgages are financial products, essentially loans, that allow you to free up the equity tied into your home. For those who own a real estate property and require a supplementary income, this type of loan can be the right option. This is especially true of pensioners who have a house but often require additional cash flow for a better lifestyle, medical expenses etc. There are many different types of equity release schemes, and choosing the right one requires proper understanding of the concept, as well as proper guidance.
As equity release mortgages have become more and more popular, they have also evolved and improved over time. Today, there are not only a greater number of equity release providers in the market but also a great variety in terms of the type of equity release plans. Equity release plans have also become more flexible to suit people in a wider variety of circumstances. Something that was not available a few years back may now have become accessible.
If you already have an equity release mortgage, it may be worth your while to explore the market and see whether there are better options available for you. Switching to a new lender may have several advantages, from lower interest rates to more flexible terms of lending. However, switching your equity release is not always a straightforward process. Before applying for a new loan, it is important to understand all the equity release risks associated with your existing mortgage.
Many lenders charge an early repayment penalty on their equity release mortgages. This changes from lender to lender and also varies with different mortgages. But it could be as low as 5% to as high as 25% of the total amount that is borrowed. These penalties are put in place to protect the lender from losses made on interest when a debt is repaid ahead of term. While ERCs were common until a few years ago, a more competitive market has led to many lenders scrapping this policy.
Sometimes an equity release remortgage with an alternate lender could help make huge savings, however, high early repayment penalties could cancel out any saving and make it economically unviable. In other cases it could still be viable notwithstanding a seemingly high ERC! As always, it is useful to consult a financial adviser, with expertise in the field of equity release mortgages, to help you make the right choice.