What Is Equity Release?

And What Are The Alternatives?

Equity release is the term used to describe a range of mortgage products that allow you to release money tied up in your home. Set up properly they allow you to access cash to spend as you wish.

The key equity release products

Lifetime mortgages

Currently the most popular equity release product. You can continue to own your own home while borrowing money against it. The amount you can borrow depends on your age, health and the value of your home. There is interest to pay on the loan. You must be aged at least 55 years old.

Home reversion

You release capital by selling all or a part-share to a provider who grants a lifetime tenancy that allows you to remain in your home. You must be at least 65 years old

Other options (generally based on a lifetime mortgage) are…

Drawdown plans

These generally work in the same way as a lifetime mortgage but with added flexibility. After an initial release of cash you can then choose to drawdown further amounts in stages, as and when needed. The interest is only added to each amount as it’s released so it adds up at a slower rate than if the full amount were released at the outset.

Flexible repayment plans

Again linked to a lifetime mortgage, with this product it’s possible to choose to make payments or repayments as and when you like, subject to lender criteria. By paying off some of the interest through the term of the plan the amount owed will be less than if no payments were made.

Enhanced equity release plans

Qualifying health conditions (such as diabetes, heart problems or high blood pressure), or certain lifestyle choices (such as smoking), could mean you are able to release even more cash.

Protected plans

Based on a lifetime mortgage plan, this product helps you guarantee an inheritance for your family. An agreed percentage of the property’s future value can be protected and kept for beneficiaries.

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Are equity release plans risky?

 

In the past equity release products have been viewed with suspicion – many people have fallen foul of poor advice which has left them, or their dependants, with large amounts of interest to pay.

However, recently more people have been looking to release equity from their homes, for a variety of reasons. This could be to cover a shortfall in retirement income, repay an interest-only mortgage due to mature without adequate provision for repayment, or help offspring get on the property ladder.

Their increasing popularity has meant that regulations have become tighter for these products and equity release advice and lending is now fully regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Further safeguards are provided by the Equity Release Council (ERC), one of these is the ‘no negative equity’ guarantee, provided the property is sold for the best price reasonably obtainable.

Despite its popularity, equity release still comes with a risk warning – and it’s imperative to seek appropriate, qualified advice. This route isn’t for everyone.

Among many drawbacks, it’s likely to reduce the amount you pass on to beneficiaries when you die, may restrict your moving house in the future, there are fees payable, and there could be early repayment charges.

Additionally, entitlement to means-tested benefits may be affected, and it may also restrict the future amount available from your property should you need to fund long-term care.

Alternatives To Equity Release

 

You’ve worked hard, now you want to play hard and enjoy your life.
Releasing equity from your home is growing in popularity but there are
different ways to achieve this.

Equity Release

Helps you unlock cash from your home

Fully regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Equity Release Council (ERC)

You can remain in your own home

Must be aged at least 55 years (65 years old for some products)

It can turn out to be a very expensive way to release equity from your
home, particularly if interest is compounded.

It can reduce the amount you pass on to beneficiaries when you die

May restrict your moving house in the future

There are fees payable

There could be early repayment charges

Entitlement to means-tested benefits may be affected

It may also restrict the future amount available from your property should you need to fund long-term care.

Typically releases less capital than with Platinum Skies shared ownership

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Typically Unlocks

67K*

You could release more money than with an equity release product

You own your own home

You pick the property and location that suits you and your future needs

You are responsible for the sale of your home and the purchase of the new property

You are responsible for the maintenance, care and any modifications needed

Typically releases less capital than with Platinum Skies shared ownership

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Typically Unlocks

80K**

We are the only retirement living provider in the UK to integrate age-friendly housing with finance solutions and lifestyle support services

Helps you unlock cash from your home to supplement your income

Must be aged at least 55 years

Move into your new home in as little as six weeks

Worry-free sale of your home

Reduces the cost of downsizing

No maintenance worries – we expect the value of the properties to increase over time, so we keep the buildings and services in tip-top condition

Shared ownership is not the same as equity release – and as we own a share in the property, our interests are the same as yours.

Fewer restrictions than traditional equity release and no hidden costs

The rent you pay on the portion of the property you don’t own is regulated by the government and won‘t erode the value of the property

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Typically Unlocks

150K***

Source: *Independent Online, Based on owners aged 65 & over.**Bowers Retirement ***Typical Platinum Skies Customers March-Sept 2019

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  • Pay for just half of your new home
  • And unlock more money to live the retirement you’ve dreamed of
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  • Save thousands on moving and stamp duty costs
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