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Has Halifax’s Retirement Home Plan Seriously Been Overlooked As An Equity Release Alternative?

By Mark Gregory on December 11th, 2009

At a time when the equity release market is downsizing with the withdrawal of many lenders, alternative funding sources need to be recognised to help widen the options available. It is in the generic mortgage market that some unique & flexible mortgage products can be sourced that offer an alternative to the traditional roll-up lifetime mortgage; it is one of these that I write about.

 

Upon gathering client details & ascertaining a generous disposable income, sometimes it can be evidenced that monthly payments can be afforded into retirement. However, there is a common misconception that someone in retirement cannot have a mortgage.

 

This is incorrect.

 

Providing income multiples can justify the borrowing requirements, then research can be sought that would provide recommendations of suitable mortgage products. However, providers that can lend into retirement have varying criteria with regards to age & the term permitted & here advice & a knowledge of the market comes into the domain of an experienced independent financial adviser.

 

The options available would be dependent on budget, but also on attitudes as to how much inheritance is to be left at the end of the day. Should it be imperative that the maximum inheritance remain, then a capital & repayment mortgage should be advised. Conversely, if this is not a major issue then an interest only mortgage can be recommended which will maintain the balance at the same level throughout the term of the mortgage.

 

Some of the major lenders such as Abbey & Alliance & Leicester do have a maximum age of 75, by which time the mortgage must be repaid. A few will lend to age 85 such as Leeds Building Society which does give more time for the mortgage to run, however, this may only be suitable for capital & repayment mortgages, not interest only mortgages.

 

Therefore, should you be looking for equity release in retirement, have surplus monthly disposable income, wish to ensure an inheritance for your beneficiaries & want the mortgage on an open-ended basis then look no further than the Halifax. It may come as a surprise that such a product may be available with a mainstream lender, however it has become more evident how this product can fulfill in-retirement needs.

 

The Halifax Retirement Home Plan can release cash over a maximum 40 year term, which for someone already near to, or actually in retirement, should be sufficient! They will only permit this product upto 75% of the property value, however this is not usually not an issue due to the amount of equity in retirees properties. Finally, dependent on whether a mortgage currently exists, we can also obtain for you a free valuation & free legal fees.

 

They will also allow the product to use the mainstream Halifax interest rates such as their 2 year base rate tracker at 2.79%, which for a £50,000 interest only mortgage would equate to a payment of only £116 per month. Obviously, consideration must be given to future potential changes that may affect the mortgage, such as the death a mortgagor which would reduce the household income & in turn affordability of the mortgage. However, this can be catered for with a life insurance policy which would repay the mortgage should either party die.

 

Alternatively, it should be borne in mind that if the level of borrowing is kept to within current equity release lending limits, then if one party did die, the surviving party could repay the mortgage with an equity release plan. This would resolve any affordability issues, as no monthly payments would be required thereafter.

 

Having completed several of these products recently, I can vouch for the speed of transacting this deal – 4 weeks, which compared to an equity release application is quicker too. Therefore, rather than just assuming equity release is the only solution, ensure you receive advice from an independent financial adviser – which Equity Release Supermarket can provide.

 

For further information & eligibility for the Halifax Retirement Home Plan please contact Mark Gregory on 0800 678 5159 or alternatively email mark@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk

 

 

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