It is not at all hard to release equity from your home under the given market conditions. Releasing equity from your home can be a straight forward event under the right advice from brokers or independent financial advisers. It is important that you seek advice only from the qualified and approved independent financial advisers. They can help and guide you in understanding all the key features as well as the associated risks related to the different equity release schemes regulated by the Equity Release Council.
The eligibility for taking an equity release on your home in not difficult. You must be at least 60 year old for opting a home reversion plan, however the minimum age for lifetime mortgages is defined as 55 years by most of the equity release providers. You must also own a home in UK, which is in reasonable state and free from any outstanding mortgage.
If the house is under some shared arrangement with your spouse or partner then the equity release can be taken jointly by the consent of both the partners. Moreover, in joint occupancy cases, the age of the youngest homeowner must be at least 55 years. The process starts by fixing an appointment with a financial independent adviser or broker. Financial adviser will recommend you some equity release schemes depending on your individual requirement and financial state.
The application process for releasing equity from your home starts by filling an application form with the help of your financial adviser. He will also help you to submit the form to an equity release provider along with the required fees. The equity release provider will appoint a RICS qualified surveyor to visit your home and do the valuation of your property after your application form is received.
An offer will be made to you stating the amount that can be borrowed and your solicitor will help you understand all the legal terms and conditions attached to it. You as well as your solicitor will be required to sign the acceptance form and send it back to the equity release provider. After completing all the legal checks and formalities, the equity release provider will release the funds to your solicitor who will assist you to get the money transferred in your account.
A home reversion plan is an equity release scheme that gives homeowners the opportunity to sell their property or a part of it in order to obtain money that they can spend on whatever they want. A home reversion plan allows homeowners to remain in their home although they have transferred the legal title of their home to the home reversion provider. They are free to remain in their home rent free until they pass away or until they are no longer capable of taking care of themselves.
A home reversion plan is portable. This means that if for any reason homeowners need to move to a new home, the plan can be transferred to the new home as long as the new home is eligible. One of the advantages of a home reversion plan is that homeowners are not required to sell their entire property. If they sell just a part of it, they can leave the other part as an inheritance for their family.
The home reversion plan is not one of the most popular equity release schemes due to the fact that the property is sold for less than its market value. The home reversion provider purchases the property for a lower value as a form of compensation for allowing the homeowners to continue to remain in the property. If the homeowners would like to buy back the share of their property that they sold, they will have to pay the full market value. So they still end up losing.
Aviva is one of the best known & trusted equity release provider. Aviva has been providing home reversion plans as well as lifetime mortgages to homeowner over the years via Grainger PLC. However, they have now decided to withdraw its home reversion plan with immediate effect.
Most people choose the home reversion plan because it provides them with the option of being able to leave an inheritance. This option is now being included in the roll-up lifetime mortgage schemes of Aviva which is why it has decided to no longer place emphasis on the home reversion plans.
When homeowners are considering equity release, it is advisable for them to involve their family in the decision process as any decision will impact on their eventual inheritance.
It is all very well to own a real estate property, but when it comes to day to day life, what is required is cold, hard cash flow! One way of turning a home into cash is to sell the property and move into another place. Another option is to get an equity release mortgage on the property. Equity release schemes allow you to free up some of the value built up on the property without the need to sell or move out.
One of the main attractions of equity release is the fact that it allows you to continue living in the same house, while giving you the flexibility to use up a portion of the equity built up on the property as cash. This is essentially a loan, which is repaid to the equity release provider once the house is sold. So when is the house sold? Equity release schemes work in such a way that the property cannot be sold until the owner has either died or moved into permanent care. Once this happens, the house is sold and the money recovered.
A common concern is that an equity release mortgage can run up huge debts that can even turn into negative equity on the house. This means that once the house is sold, if the sale price of the house is lower than the amount owed, this needs to be paid as well. While this may have been a potential risk with some equity release schemes in the past, most modern equity release plans come with a no negative equity guarantee.
An equity release mortgage is designed to last over a long period of time, however, this is not to say that the loan cannot be repaid earlier if chosen. Many equity release schemes, however, have early repayment charges which apply if the loan is paid ahead of the contract term. These charges are meant to protect the lender from losses incurred due to early repayment.
Whether it is a lifetime mortgage or a home reversion plan, most equity release schemes have certain guarantees that ensure that the owner can continue to live in the property for as long as they live, and that the property cannot be sold until then. However, an equity release mortgage is a big thing and has serious implications. It’s important to seek expert unbiased advice to find out whether it is the right option for you.
Equity release schemes are essentially loans that one can take out against the value of their property. This loan plus the interest that has accrued on it over the years is repaid once the owner has died or moved into long term care, and the house is sold at market value. In a time when living costs are on the rise, home owners are turning towards equity release as an option for financial planning during retirement.
There are two main types of equity release plans, the lifetime mortgage plan and the home reversion plan. Lifetime mortgage is exactly that – it is a loan that is designed to last the entire life of the applicant, and is repaid along with the interest when the house is sold. The applicant legally owns the house and can live in it as long as they live or move into long term care. In case of joint applicants, the house cannot be sold until both the applicants have died or moved into care.
In home reversion plans, a part of the house is sold to the lender. Once the house is sold, proportional share of the sale value of the house is repaid to the provider. Home reversion is not a loan against the house, but a notional selling of part of the house. Both equity release plans accrue compound interest on the loans.
One of the main advantages of an equity release scheme is that you can continue to live in your own home. Of course, that it generates an additional income is also an important advantage, but this could also be achieved by downsizing. Applicants can live in their home for as long as they live. Many people also use equity release loans to pay for home care, so that they can go on living in their own home.
Once the applicants have moved out or died, the equity release scheme ends and the house must be sold. The applicant’s family cannot continue to live in the house after this, unless the full amount of the loan plus interest can be repaid immediately by some other means. In case of home reversion plans, the loan amount increases in proportion to the market value of the house when it is sold.
Sometimes it may be necessary to add another applicant to an existing equity release plan. In cases where joint applicants get divorced, it may also be necessary to remove an applicant from a plan. It is possible to do this, in theory, but is subject to the lender’s terms and conditions for that particular loan. It is therefore important to seek specialist advice and guidance before taking any step related to equity release.
The answer to this question lies with the type of equity release mortgage has been recommended. For instance with lifetime mortgage, drawdown lifetime mortgage, enhanced lifetime mortgage and interest only lifetime mortgage schemes you will retain 100% ownership of the title to the property.
In these cases the lender, like any residential mortgage lender they will merely place a first legal charge on the property. This protects the equity release provider, in that once the property is sold on death or moving into long term care, the lifetime mortgage provider will have first call on any of the sale proceeds.
However, a different set of rules apply for a home reversion plans.
Due to the mechanics of these schemes, effectively you will only own a fixed percentage of your property. The reason being in that in exchange for the tax free lump sum you require, a portion of the property ownership is transferred to the home reversion company. Therefore, should the provider require 40% ownership in exchange for the tax free lump sum, then you will retain 60% ownership which is guaranteed for your heirs once the house is sold.
All of these plans, however, allow you to remain in your property until you and your partner pass away or move into long term care.
There are various qualifying criteria required to meet eligibility for an equity release application.
The main aspect is age. This can vary between lenders, however the lowest acceptable age is 55 with a lifetime mortgage plan, albeit some lenders will only start from age 60. Furthermore, the alternative to a lifetime mortgage which is the home reversion plan, will only accept a minimum age of 65 to qualify.
The property itself is then next to be analysed. The home must be the applicants main residence, in the UK & be worth a minimum of £60,000. It should usually be of standard construction, however alternative structures, depending on type can be acceptable. Check with an independent equity release adviser first.
To find your equity release adviser companies such as Equity Release Supermarket have nationwide advisers that can facilitate your equity release application. This can be completed by either arranging an appointment in the comfort of your own home, or over the telephone, which suits you best. Their interactive UK map enables you to make the necessary equity release enquiry to prompt a call from your local adviser.
Alternatively, call Equity Release Supermarket on 0800 678 5159 who can advise where your local independent financial adviser is located.