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Posts Tagged ‘Home Reversion Plan’

Can I Move Home with Equity Release?

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Moving Home With Equity ReleaseOne of the most common questions we get asked as equity release advisers is whether a lifetime mortgage is ‘flexible’ enough to meet any future change in circumstances?

 

Having reached retirement, experience has taught us all that life can be full of surprises and quite rightly this question is always high on the agenda.

 

This article has been written using my 10 years equity release experience & how I have helped guide my clients towards their ultimate goals, but at the same time alleviating any inhibitions surrounding equity release and moving home in the future.

 

The most common apprehensions regarding flexibility and moving or buying a new home can be summarised as follows:

  1. Can I move home if I have already taken out an equity release plan?
  2. Can I use equity release to purchase a new property
  3. How much can I raise on a new home using maximum equity release schemes?
  4. Can I transfer my existing equity release scheme to a new home?
  5. Can I still take out equity release if I downsize?
  6. If moving house, is it worthwhile transferring, or taking out a new plan?

 

So how does an equity release adviser dispel the fears and help their clients overcome the concerns that a release of equity mustn’t feel like a noose around their neck?

 

Considerations on Moving Home from an Equity Release Advisers Point of View

When we consider the question of a possible future house move, we can divide this into three very different scenarios; each one deserving separate consideration in its own right: –

  1. The first equity release scenario captures the proposition of using a lifetime mortgage, or home reversion plan to help fund the purchase of a new house
  2. The 2nd situation analyses the advice & legal process required when purchasing or moving home, utilising an existing equity release plan.
  3. Lastly, we explain the advisers perspective on what options are  available to a client with their existing equity release mortgage, upon moving home

 

Scenario 1 – Can I use Equity Release to help fund a house purchase?

An increasing number of enquiries seem to be coming in from people who are looking to move home, and this can be for various reasons. Some are looking to move nearer to their family for support, others are looking to downsize to repay loans and mortgages. Still others simply want to buy that bungalow they had always dreamed of for when they retired.

 

In the majority of cases, the best way to use equity release schemes to help fund a house purchase is to transact them simultaneously. This means involving an equity release application to be used as part of the legal process to buy. Consider this theory as exactly the same principle as using a conventional residential mortgage to help buy a new property.

 

In essence, by taking equity release at the same time as house purchase will save money by not duplicating the legal work, should a release of equity be needed at a later date. The rationale is that only one set of legals are required should equity release & the purchase be transacted simultaneously. However, if a release of equity is taken post purchase, then two set of legal costs are incurred; at the time of the house purchase, but then again later when equity release is done in isolation.

 

The rules are fairly straightforward, whether you use a lifetime mortgage or a home reversion plan for this purpose. A given percentage of the value of the proposed purchase property would be made available, depending on the age of the youngest applicant, and some or this entire figure would be sent to the conveyancer on the day of purchase to enable completion to take place.

 

Case Study:

Mr & Mrs Townley are aged 65 and looking to buy a property nearer to their daughter at a cost of £200,000. Their own home has been sold for £180,000 and, bearing in mind the additional costs involved, they feel they would need a further £30,000 to complete the purchase.

Following research, their lifetime mortgage adviser has recommended the Aviva Lifestyle Flexible Option where they could release upto 25% of the value of their new property. This potentially could provide them with a maximum release of £50,000.

They decided that they only want £30,000 of this for now but, as they don’t know what the future may hold, they ask for a cash reserve facility to be set up so that they could access the other £20,000 in the future, just in case they need it later.

 

Scenario 2 – Can I move home AFTER releasing equity on my home?

This is a different question altogether, but is definitely another one that comes up most of the time. Most people want to know before they enter into an equity release agreement, what would happen if they moved home in the future? This could be downsizing when one partner is left on their own, or moving into sheltered accommodation, if health dictates it becomes necessary.

 

First of all it is important to acknowledge that any lender that is a member of the Equity Release Council (which recently replaced SHIP) will allow the transfer of an equity release plan to a new, suitable property. Portability is an important facet of all equity release schemes.

 

Important considerations for anyone releasing equity include what they think MAY happen, or which is MOST LIKELY, as none of us know what’s around the corner.

 

If downsizing is the most likely outcome, then it should be very easy to find a lender that will allow this with the facility to move the equity release plan at the same time. A valuation would be carried out on the new property and the maximum configured equity release would be calculated. Having access to a lifetime mortgage calculator would be an advantage.

 

If the amount currently owed, is in excess of the maximum amount available for release on the new property, then the excess would need to be repaid from the profit made through selling and buying the cheaper property.

Of course some people want to have the flexibility of repaying the loan in full if they downsize later on and this is where some care is needed from outset to ensure this is possible.

 

As lenders become more attuned to what is important to equity release customers we are seeing some innovative thinking and I for one hope that this is a trend that will continue to grow over the coming years.

 

Scenario 3 – What should I do with an existing equity release if I want to downsize or purchase new?

This scenario is a continuation of the previous section, albeit taking into account in greater detail the options available & what should be done with an old equity release plan. It would be amiss of any adviser to automatically assume it would be in the client’s best interest to port an old lifetime mortgage or home reversion plan to the new property.

 

This is a key opportunity for an overall review of the older plan to establish its competitiveness in today’s equity release environment. From my experience of working at Norwich Union Equity Release (latterly Aviva), I am aware of older legacy equity release plans that in today’s world are outdated and uncompetitive.

 

My Experience of Norwich Union’s Legacy Equity Release Plans

The forerunner of all of Aviva’s equity release plans was called the Capital Access Plan. The Norwich Union Capital Access Plan had an interest rate, not charged against the balance, but calculated against the property value escalating over time. People with these plans who have seen a large increase in property value, will also had seen a proportionate increase in their equity release balance.

 

Another legacy plan which is no longer available is the Norwich Union Index-Linked Cash Release Plan. This a scheme which offered a maximum equity release lump sum from age 55, but with an interest rate linked to Retail Price Index (RPI). This Index Linked Cash Release Plan had a minimum interest rate of 4.89%, rising to a maximum rate of 10.14%. The calculated rate was dependent upon on the annual change in RPI which was then added to the minimum rate of 4.89%. Hence, this scheme did not provide as much certainty as today’s lifetime mortgage fixed rates.

 

From thereon in, Norwich Union or Aviva Lifetime Mortgage schemes had interest rates over 8%pa and potential early repayment charges of 100% of the original balance borrowed. Its schemes such as these that need assessing as to whether they should continue, or if favourable, could be repaid upon sale & a new plan taken upon simultaneous purchase of the new property. With rates today from Aviva as low as 5.68% annual, it could make sound financial sense to consider a new scheme which could save many £1,000’s over time by switching.

 

Free Initial Consultation

It is therefore essential for an experienced independent equity release adviser to undertake a full review of the entire situation & provide an impartial recommendation as to what is best advice moving forward. This will involve requesting an upto redemption statement from the existing lender, analysing the existing scheme & importantly assessing all the features including potential early repayment charges.

 

Equity Release schemes that were taken out some time ago are usually not as competitive, or flexible as plans around today, given the period of low interest rates incumbent over the last 2-3 years.

 

I would advise ANYONE thinking of moving to take advice as it may well be cheaper to change lender than staying with your current one and transferring your plan to the new property. The only way of finding this out is to take advice from an Independent Equity Release Adviser that is able to research the WHOLE of the market. By conducting a switch plans analysis, Equity Release Supermarket can address whether it would be worthwhile, or not, to switch equity release plans when moving home.

 

 

Examples of lenders already attuned to the option of downsizing – Hodge Lifetime

At the moment if anyone is thinking of downsizing in the future and repaying their equity release plan in full, then serious consideration should be given to a new plan such as the Hodge Lifetime Flexible Mortgage Plan.

 

This plan allows the borrower to repay the whole amount WITHOUT PENALTY if they decide to move home & downsize, as long as this is at least 5 years after inception of the plan.

 

Alongside this downsizing protection option is the fact that, if something unforeseen should happen and you need to move and repay during the first 5 years then the Hodge Lifetime penalty for doing so would be capped at 5% of the initial release in year 1, 4% in year 2, 3% in year 3, 2% in year 4 and then 1% in year 5. Significantly, the Hodge Lifetime penalty is more favourable than many of the gilt linked product related early repayment charges.

 

I believe this gives an added degree of flexibility for equity release consumers, and I hope it’s an indication that lenders are changing the way they change tact & begin providing greater flexibility as the need to move home in the future increases.

 

The fact remains that it is possible to move home and it’s imperative that you get the right advice when considering equity release initially AND when thinking of a house move as well.

 

Summary

It is probably one of the most important decisions you will make financially, as the decision you make now will not only impact on your future, but also your children & grandchildren’s future.

 

These are the reasons why we at Equity Release Supermarket always offer a free, no obligation, initial consultation which can be in the comfort of your own home or over the telephone, whichever is preferable.

This initial consultation gives us the chance to ask our clients about their objectives as well as their future plans, so that we can tailor any Equity Release scheme we recommend to each individual set of circumstances.

 

For your FREE, NO OBLIGATION, initial consultation (whether it’s your first time or if you want to review your current scheme) please call Mark on 07966 889597 or e-mail mark@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk

 

Do Enhanced Equity Release Plans Provide the Maximum Lump Sum?

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

Equity release mortgages have evolved over time. Compared to a few years ago, a much wider range of equity release products are available today. Mortgages have also become more flexible in general, making them suitable for a wider variety of customers.

If you’re interested in borrowing more than a conventional equity release will allow, then there is a type of equity release called the ‘enhanced equity release plan’ that may be of interest. Similar in principle to the enhanced annuity market, the ‘impaired’ or more commonly known enhanced lifetime mortgage can now provide an even greater maximum lump sum than even selling 100% of your property under a home reversion plan.

 

Why would you consider an enhanced scheme?

There are many reasons people are looking to release the maximum lump sum. It could be that one is looking to switch to a new equity release plan from an existing one in order to release extra tax free cash. For completely new applicants, it may be the case that the reason they qualify for an enhanced lifetime mortgage in the first place is down to the fact that health is poor & longevity maybe a concern. You may also want to borrow more, but your existing lifetime mortgage company may not grant further borrowing, or top up interest rates from the existing lender could be very high. An enhanced equity release plan is a lifetime mortgage that aims to maximise borrowing, and keep interest rates relatively low.

New enhanced plans from companies such as more2life will now provide the maximum drawdown lifetime mortgage facility. Therefore, should a retiree require only a small initial lump sum, but require as much as possible over the longer term, then products such as the more2life enhanced plan could be the solution. The underlying decision to go for a maximum equity release maybe to enjoy oneself before health deteriorates further. Once it does, holidays, new cars etc may not be on the list of priorities for the future.

 

Enhanced lifetime mortgage criteria

Enhanced equity release schemes are designed for individuals over the age of 55 years. As people live for longer, it is important to tailor equity release schemes to meet changing demands. As such, an enhanced equity release plan is designed for those who have certain lifestyle requirements due to long standing health conditions – from relatively minor conditions such as excessive smoking, early retirement due to ill health to serious illnesses like cancer & heart attack.

 

Lenders take several factors into consideration while working out the size of the loan. Underwriters calculate the amount that the lender can afford to lend, depending on the individual case and the answers to the health & lifestyle questionnaire. By taking into account the health condition or impairment, how this affects the client’s life expectancy, the lender can increase the amount loaned compared to a regular annuity or equity release scheme. An enhanced equity release plan could allow customers to borrow as much as 15% more than a regular home equity release loan. This can be a significant increase for many people who require the additional income or capital to cope with their day to day needs.

 

Who provides enhanced equity release schemes?

The three main providers of this type of equity release mortgages are currently Aviva, More2life and Partnership. If you are looking to maximise borrowing and suffer from health impairment, however minor, you could benefit from an enhanced equity release plan. A wide range of health conditions are considered for this type of equity release, to see if you qualify consult a financial adviser who can work out whether this is a viable option for you.

 

 

Independent equity release experts such as Equity Release Supermarket can study your case in detail and give objective advice. Using the enhanced equity release calculator  on the website will advise how much you can potentially release.

To receive further information or advice on enhanced lifetime mortgage schemes, call Equity Release Supermarket on 0800 678 5159 or email mark@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk

 

Home Reversion Can Still Play a Part in the Whole Equity Release Scheme of Things

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

Home reversion schemes have literally had their nose pushed out of the equity release market upon entering the year 2012. There has been a significant rise in the popularity of lifetime mortgage plans; including drawdown equity release schemes, enhanced equity release schemes & interest only lifetime mortgages.

Figures produced by SHIP (Safe Home Income Plans) show that home reversion plans now only account for 2% of the whole equity release sales. Drawdown lifetime mortgages popularity has captured 62% of applications & conventional lump sum equity release sales amount to 36%.

It is clearly evident to see the sincere lack of home reversion applications. Here we look at the mis-conceptions surrounding home reversion schemes & why they must still be considered in the overall equity release scheme of things!

 

First let’s look at the home reversion plan basics..

The home reversion scheme requires the property owner to sell part or all of their property in return for a tax free lump sum. The lump sum offered by the reversion company will always be at a discount to the percentage sold. The reason for this is that the applicants can remain living in the property for the rest of their lives, rent free. Significantly, it could be some time before the home reversion lender receives their money.

No interest element is attached to home reversion schemes. Unlike lifetime mortgages, home reversion offers guarantees as to the percentage of the property that will pass to the beneficiaries at the end of the day. This stems from the initial decision made as to how much of the property’s title is transferred to the lender. For example, if 55% of the property is sold in exchange for a lump sum, then this will still guarantee 45% of the eventual sale proceeds will pass to the beneficiaries. This is a major advantage of home reversion schemes over lifetime mortgages & provides peace of mind.

 

So why the lethargy surrounding home reversion plans?

Perhaps one of the major stigmas attached is the fact that you will not own your property 100%. The reversion provider will co-own the property with you, thus having a greater say in its maintenance & future planning of the home. They will have the right to inspect the house at regular intervals to ensure it is maintained adequately, thus protecting their security. Any major home improvements will also need their permissions in case you were thinking of extensions or knocking down walls!

Another consideration would be upon moving home or wanting to sell. At this point an equity release calculation would need to be undertaken to establish how much equity you own based on current value upon transfer across to the new abode. Therefore independent valuations would need to be conducted to ascertain current market value. This could prove difficult in today’s market with a lack of sales & depressed housing market.

The one danger of home reversion plans is upon early death. Home reversion would prove expensive should you die or move into care in the earlier years of inception. Effectively, you have given up a large portion of your home based on average life expectancy. If you fail to reach this date, then home reversion could prove a poor decision. On the flip side, if longevity is in your family genes, then home reversion could be a great decision. Oh the virtues of a crystal ball!

Nevertheless, this aspect of the housing doldrums could actually have a positive accent as to why a home reversion plan could be more advantageous than a lifetime mortgage scheme.  By taking out a home reversion scheme in anticipation that property values will remain static could prove beneficial. Afterall you are guaranteed that at the end of the day some equity will remain as you have a percentage of the property value guaranteed.

Compare this to lifetime mortgage schemes where the roll-up of interest compounds yearly & will continue escalating until the plan expires. In this situation, should property values remain static, then with a continuously rising mortgage balance & static house prices, will lead to the eventual erosion of the equity. This could be so much so, that NO equity remains at the end of the day with a lifetime mortgage.

 

So why should you consider a home reversion scheme?

As you can see the home reversion plan offers a sense of assurance which is not possible with many other equity release schemes. With the progress in medical science, the human body is capable of living much longer. Age therefore plays a major role in this equity release plan with a minimum starting age of 65. Indeed, the older one gets before taking out a home reversion scheme the better the terms that will be offered by the lender. The resultant effect of this is the older the homeowner, the more is paid as a capital lump sum.

 

Some of the negative issues surrounding home reversion schemes have been addressed by the providers – Bridgewater, New Life Mortgages & Hodge Lifetime. Particularly Bridgewater have considered many of these issues & allayed such fears by building in a series of plan options. Similar to drawdown lifetime mortgages, Bridgewater offer a flexible equity release plan which allows you to sell less than 100% of the home & still provide the guarantee of future withdrawals in the future.

 

Another home reversion plan flexible feature could be a ‘secured escalating release’ option which allows you to release a lump sum of cash now, together with a future income over a number of years. This is achieved with the use of annuities.

Finally, some home reversion plans could also offer protection on early death, so always make the necessary enquiries before entering into a long term financial commitment.

 

Home reversion redemption

The home reversion company will eventually receive their money by selling the property when the occupier has died or moved into long term care. Additionally, this type of home equity scheme offers the property owner the ability to change properties. This is a requirement of SHIP (Safe Home Income Plan).

Always take the assistance of an independent financial advisor so that they can help estimate the value of your property and help you decide on the scheme best suited to your requirements. Equity release is very beneficial for retired individuals who do not have a steady flow of income or require a capital lump sum for lifestyle improvements. One of the products that could succeed with these bequests could be the home reversion scheme as it offers stability, guarantees for your children and allows you to enjoy a worry free, rent free retirement.

 

For home reversion advice contact the specialists at Equity Release Supermarket on 0800 678 5159 or email mark@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk

 

What is an Impaired Life or Enhanced Equity Release Plan?

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

There is no denying the fact that an impaired life or enhanced equity release plan sounds a little cold and cruel – after all, the actuaries at the insurance companies have number crunched their statistics to come up with a more attractive plan if you are able to prove that you’re less likely to live as long as the average person. However, just for once in this world, this is a type of financial plan that could definitely work in your favour if you are in poor health – now how often does that happen?

 

Bearing in mind that the standard equity release plan will be based on an average life expectancy (of say around 80+ years of age), standard plans presume that the client will remain within their property for a certain number of years. Therefore, the equity release UK company will have to wait until the clients have either passed away or moved into permanent residential care before they are able to finalise the plan and reclaim their equity in the property.

 

If you qualify for the impaired life equity release scheme you would prove to the equity release provider that you are unlikely to remain within your property for such a long period of time and therefore the lender would be able to finalise the plan more quickly. This is where more favourable rates and payouts may be available to an applicant for an impaired life equity release plan and this can even be around 30% more advantageous.

 

Applying for an impaired or enhanced equity release plan is only slightly more involved than the standard lifetime mortgage or home reversion plan; you will be required to complete a short health & lifestyle questionnaire that asks if you have ever been diagnosed with certain medical conditions. At the end of the application, if it is presumed that your life may be impaired, you could qualify for a much bigger lump sum from your equity release plan.

 

Just as it is possible to use an equity release calculator to ascertain the expected level of payout for a standard policy, so too can you use this tool to work out what level of payout would be available for an impaired life equity release plan. However, these impaired life equity release calculators are not always entirely accurate. This reason being is that some enhanced equity release lenders such as more2life have varying degrees of enhancement. This is due to the severity of the ill-health the applicant maybe experiencing. The greater the number of illnesses, the greater the potential equity release tax free lump sum.

There are very few times in this life where ill health can actually deliver a better financial reward, but with impaired life equity release schemes from the likes of: –

  • AVIVA  – Lump Sum Max plan

 

If you can get past the actuaries working for these equity release providers and would really appreciate some much needed cash at the moment, investigate the possibility of such an impaired life plan and get out there and start living your life to the full.

Equity Release Supermarket has access to impaired or enhanced equity release schemes. These come with exclusive offers such as free valuation & cashback deals. To receive a enhanced equity release quote or product factsheet please complete our contact form.

 

To evaluate whether you qualify why not call the equity release team on 0800 678 5159 or email mark@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk

 

 

How to Use Equity Release Instead of Selling Your House

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

The current financial climate is quite simply awful for many people. Particularly, the retired & elderly are really struggling to make ends meet. Many retired people who left their work before the crisis hit have had to watch in horror as a lot of the value they had expected to retire on has been wiped away by stockmarkets & low interest rates with the banks & building societies. Sometimes, what is left in the pension isn’t enough, and their reaction is that they should sell their house in order to ensure a comfortable retirement.

 

However, with equity release plans, this might not necessarily be required. Instead of selling the family home, why not release equity to cover the short term finances. We maybe only talking a small sum to tie you over until prospects improve. Therefore, for the sake of selling in a depressed property market, bide your time & think carefully about your options available. Equity release schemes can play an important role here.

 

Equity release schemes are form of mortgage that enables people over age 55 to release locked up equity in their main residence. The typical and most commonly thought of equity release schemes are actually called lifetime mortgages. Lifetime mortgages are available to those over 55, and have specific characteristics which reflect this unique stage in life.

 

Equity release schemes are like normal mortgages in that they are associated money & a property. However, where most mortgages are used to purchase the property over an extended period of time, equity release mortgages are new mortgages placed on properties which already have or virtually paid off the mortgage. The result is that while the property now has some debt associated with it, the value that is unlocked can be used for large scale projects or purchases, supplement pensions or more commonly home improvements.

 

The other difference between an equity release lifetime mortgage and a normal mortgage is that with an equity release mortgage the assumption is that the balance will be paid off when the person who holds the plan sells the asset or as a part of the inheritance estate. This is why the over 55 age restriction on equity release schemes is so important. These financial products are designed to run for the rest of one’s life, so there is no call upon the repayment of the capital until death or moving into long term care.

 

Many retired people watched the drop in markets sweep billions from the values of the pension funds, and therefore pushing significant financial pressure inwardly. It is easy to see how the equity release mortgage would be an excellent option for retired people who are struggling either for income or a capital lump sum. Where they were potentially considering having to sell the family home or go back to work, many retired people can supplement their pensions with the value withdrawn via an equity release  scheme.

 

As lifetime mortgage & home reversion plans are now members of SHIP, you always have the option of repaying the scheme during your lifetime. However, be wary of potential early repayment charges which some gilt related schemes can significantly impose. One way providers can recover their costs is through these means.

 

Often people think that equity release is tantamount to putting debts on to the next generation. What is important to keep in mind that with lifetime mortgages the ownership of the property stays in the hands of the plan owner, just like a regular mortgage. In fact, usually the biggest difference between a normal mortgage and an equity release mortgage is that the terms of the equity release plan are more favourable as they consider the age of the owner of the plan, and factor that into the calculations.

 

This means that those who inherit the property may also inherit the debt, but they now have the option to decide if they want to keep the property with a normal mortgage, or sell the asset and recover the rest of the equity. These are options which can be passed onward in an estate, making it easier for the family to make decisions which are appropriate for them.

 

Selling one’s house is an emotive issue & needs to be discussed with those closest to you. Next step would be to discuss whether equity release schemes are a viable option & this is where Equity Release Supermarket can use their considerable experience & knowledge to help.

For an impartial & free initial consultation call Mark on 0800 678 5159 who can offer words of advice. Alternatively,in confidence email mark@equityreleasesupermarket with any questions you may have.

 

Reasons to Consider an Interest Only Lifetime Mortgage

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

What is an interest only lifetime mortgage? Well there are many reasons to look into interest only lifetime mortgages in order to meet the financial challenges in our current economic climate.

An interest only mortgage should always be considered before a roll-up equity release or home reversion plan. If you are looking towards protecting your inheritance & wish to pass the full estate to your beneficiaries then an only interest mortgage will do as it says on the tin. By borrowing a fixed amount & repayment of just the interest element will mean that the balance will remain exactly the same.

 

Example of an Interest Only Lifetime Mortgage

The interest only lifetime mortgage is an especially useful product for those over 55, as there are specialist equity release style interest only lifetime mortgages available. Often these plans provide historically attractive interest rates and features that assist those in retirement to plan their financial futures. Consider Stonehaven equity release, who offer several forms of their Interest Select Plan which is effectively a non-verification lifetime mortgage. With this plan you can effectively borrow a percentage of the value of the property & you can chose how much of the interest to pay – starting from £25pm upto the full interest payment.

 

What Purposes can it be used for?

Many people who are looking to consolidate debts will find the Stonehaven Interest Select style of interest only lifetime mortgage to be an attractive option for getting all debts under one single interest only payment. This kind of debt consolidation means that the actual total amount borrowed and paid monthly is thereby reduced & hopefully under control. Additionally, the lower interest payments are likely to be less than payments made over many other debts due to the considerably lower interest rates charged by credit card companies & alike.

 

Overall, this makes the payment of debts easier, as Stonehaven will automatically take payment by direct debit, and easy to plan as the total amount is taken monthly. The fixed interest rate option on an interest only mortgage is a very attractive offer. This means that regardless of the Bank of England manipulating conventional interest rates, the Stonehaven interest select plan will always remain exactly the same. For this reason and these features, is why the Stonehaven Interest Select and Stonehaven Interest Select lite (has lowest fixed interest rate at 6.13%) are so popular. More details about these plans can be found on the Equity Release Supermarket website.

 

Are Alternative Equity release Schemes Available?

There are alternative options available for those looking for equity release schemes, including other options for interest only lifetime mortgages. These could depend upon location such as Scotland & certain counties within England where we have access to specialist lenders.  It is therefore important to discuss what is right for you with an accredited independent equity release advisor who has access to the whole of the equity release & interest only mortgage market.

 

Another place to research equity release schemes and interest only lifetime mortgages is the Safe Home Income Plans (SHIP) website, which acts as a consumer safety watchdog for elderly financial products. The Stonehaven equity release products are all registered with SHIP, so these products also come with this important peace of mind. They also have the protection of being regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) thereby coming under the auspices of their compensation scheme.

 

There are many reasons for those over 55 years of age to consider equity release. Many often wonder what is an interest only mortgage? They also wonder what the best options are for their specific needs and situation. While a financial advisor is best placed to help, researching SHIP qualified products like the Stonehaven Interest Select interest only lifetime mortgages often help get started.

The Equity Release Supermarket website is also a useful place to start learning about the ‘ins and outs’ of equity release. There is a lot to learn, so be sure to speak to one of our specialist financial advisers as early as possible and often to be clear about the direction your enquiry is heading.

 

Call our Freephone number 0800 678 5159 for further details on Interest Only Lifetime Mortgage Plans.

Alternatively, follow this link to request a Stonehaven equity release quote.

 

Home Reversions Still Offer Greater Certainty

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Upon researching whether equity release is a suitable option, you may be finding most of the information available in the press or on the internet focuses on the main types of plans available which are Roll-Up Lifetime Mortgages.

 

There is in fact another type of plan which is less commonly understood and these are called Home Reversion plans.

I think it’s important to consider these plans in more depth. Increasingly home reversions are become more appropriate for those considering taking an equity release plan, particularly if those looking for a simple plan giving a high degree of certainty.

A home reversion plan involves transferring ownership of all or part of your property to the provider in exchange for a tax free cash lump sum (or you can choose regular payments). Your property is independently valued and from this the provider will work out how much they will pay you for the percentage of the property being sold.

 

The amount you’re paid wont be as much as the market value of the property. This is simply because you will be living there rent free for the rest of your life (or until moving out permanently into long term care). As a “rule of thumb” the older you are the more the home reversion provider will pay you for the share sold, that’s because your life expectancy is less. You are still responsible for paying all your bills, insurance and maintaining the property. At the end of the plan the property is sold and if you’ve retained part of it, your share of the proceeds will be paid to your estate.

 

When considering a home reversion company, it’s important to choose a provider who is a member of the trade body Safe Home Income Plans. SHIP members offer a guarantee to their customers, the main benefits of this are that you’re allowed to remain in your property for life (provided the property remains your main residence) and you have the right to move plan to another suitable property without any financial penalty. Plus of course you have the safeguard of independent legal advice.

Home reversions are also regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) which oversees how providers and advisers must deal with you. And finally, because home reversions involve the sale of property a third level of extra consumer protection is given by UK property law, which governs the relationship with the provider and their obligations towards you.

 

So what type of people are home reversion schemes most suitable for?

Well it really boils down to your thoughts and concerns. As a guide a reversion might be more appropriate for someone who falls into some or all of the following categories:

  • Customers who want to specifically avoid debt – a home reversion plan is not a mortgage & cannot therefore be repossessed
  • Those concerned house prices won’t keep going up – the risk of falling house prices is passed to the provider
  • People in good health and confident that they may live for many more years to come (for example there may be a history of longevity in the family) – generally the longer you live the better value a reversion becomes
  • Anyone wanting the peace of mind of knowing that if they need to in the future, they can access the maximum cash from their remaining equity – some providers will guarantee to always release further funds until 100% of the property is sold
  • Clients wanting to guarantee an inheritance for their estate – for example if only 25% of the property is sold, the estate will inherit 75% of its value after costs
  • Those wanting to release more cash from their property than they can by using a lifetime mortgage

 

Naturally home reversion plans are not for everyone. Generally you will only be eligible to take a reversion plan if you are 65 or older. Ideally, to get the better rates you would need to be over age 70.

As reversions are a long term commitment they should not be considered if you intend to repay the money released at some stage in the future (for example if you’re expecting an inheritance).

If you are in poor health or expect to have below average life expectancy then you may not get full value from a reversion either. However, we do have access to products now that do offer an impaired life (poor health) facility & therefore can provide an extra lump sum for this reason.

 

For those unfamiliar with how a reversion works there is understandably a little concern about giving up all or part ownership of your property.

The reality is that the terms and conditions of a reversion (ie the “small print”) are similar to that of equity release and your right to privacy and freedom to live in your own home are not affected.

 

Usually with a home reversion you are granted a lease for life to live in the property for as long as you wish to. And this important legal arrangement is recorded by HM Land Registry much the same as a leasehold flat or house is. So although you may have sold all or part of the property to the provider it still very much remains your home.

The decision to release equity from your home using a home reversion plan or a lifetime mortgage is an important one and you will need specialist advice from a Financial Adviser in order to do so. They can talk to you about whether equity release is right for you and if it is what sort of product best suits your particular needs.

 

To obtain further information on Home Reversion schemes, please contact an Equity Release Supermarket adviser on 0800 678 5159 or email mark@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk

 

Equity Release – Unlock Money From Your Home

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Are you suffering from financial problems? If your answer is yes and you are above a certain age you should look at equity release. Today, many older homeowners are opting for equity release schemes instead of using bank loans & credit cards.

This is because equity release allows you to get cash against the value of your home, however with no monthly payments. One of the best things about these schemes is that they allow you to stay in your home for the rest of your life.

 

If you have decided to look at equity release schemes then you need to employ the services of a specialist equity release adviser who will help you find the best deal. To enjoy the benefits offered by equity release, you have to eligible.

 

Here are few factors required to qualify for equity release schemes:

• You should be above 55 years of age
• You must be a homeowner & be your main residence
• The property should be in the UK
• Value of the property must be above £75,000 or over

 

At present, two different equity release schemes have been introduced to the market. These are the home reversion plan and the lifetime mortgage.

 

The attractive features offered by equity release

By opting for equity release, you can either get a lump sum amount of cash, regular income or both. Equity release schemes offer a tax-free amount of money & can be paid directly into your bank account once funds have been release by the equity release provider. This means that you can not only live in your home for the rest of your life, but you can also enjoy time with your family.

 

To discuss your individual requirements with confidentiality, please contact Mark on 0800 678 5159 or email mark@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk

 

Equity Release Schemes – Get A Steady Income After Your Retirement

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Are you wondering how would you cope up with your financial requirements after retirement? Do you want to live a comfortable and luxurious life in your old age? Are you looking for ways to get a steady flow of income after your retirement? If your answers these questions are yes, you can consider opting for an equity release scheme.

 

Equity release schemes are the perfect solution for homeowners who want to unlock the equity they have built up in their property.

Most people do not know what equity release is and how can it help them. Seeking professional advice can provide a clear understanding about different types of equity release schemes.

 

Equity release schemes – what are the available options?

Equity release on property is of two different types – a home reversion plan and a lifetime mortgage. Homeowners can opt for either of the above options. However, the suitability of equity release schemes varies with the needs of the retirees.

In the home reversion plan, you need to sell your home partly or completely to an equity release company. In return, you will receive either a lump sum or monthly income from the equity release company. The amount you receive from the equity release company will depend on the current value of your property & your age.

Home reversion equity release schemes are available for senior citizens of 65 years or more. After opting for equity release, borrowers can continue to stay in their home, which is one of the biggest advantages of the scheme. After the borrower passes away, the home reversion company will sell the property and recover the loan amount.

 

The lifetime mortgage encompasses the roll-up schemes whereby the mortgagor retains 100% ownership of the property. No monthly payments are required.

Interest is charged & added to the balance on an annual or monthly basis depending on the equity release provider. Therefore the balance will increase over the period of the loan, which in turn can reduce the inheritance of one’s beneficiaries. However, all SHIP plans have the no negative equity guarantee included which ensures that no debt can be passed onto the beneficiaries.

 

Home Reversion Plans

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Equity release schemes are the generic term encompassing all plans including lifetime mortgages & home reversion plans. They are potentially suitable for homeowners who preferably do not have a mortgage and have an income or lump sum requirement. If you are retired and want some money to enjoy your retirement then equity release is the best solution for you. By opting for equity release, you can unlock some amount of money against the value of your property without moving.

One of the best things about equity release is that it provides tax-free cash which can be used in various ways. This means that you can a buy a new car, go on holidays or pay of outstanding debts; more commonly credit cards & loans. There are different equity release schemes available in the market. One of the most preferred schemes is known as a home reversion plan.

 

What is a home reversion plan?

These schemes do not start until age 65, however I feel they only really offer preferential terms once the age of 70 has been attained. Under these schemes, you can sell a part or the whole of your property in return for a cash lump sum of money. Once you have opted for this scheme then your home or a part of it will belong to the reversion company. One of the two main advantages of home reversion schemes is that home reversion schemes allow you to live in your home for the rest of your life. The reversion company will grant you a lifetime tenancy which means you can live there rent free for the rest of your life. Additionally, because you are selling a percentage of the value of the house, then you are also guaranteeing the final percentage of the property that will pass to your beneficiaries. This is NOT the case with a lifetime mortgage scheme.

 

Advantages offered by home reversion plans

Once you receive money under a home reversion plan there is no need to worry about the repayments. This is because the lenders will get their share of the property value after your death & once the property is sold. Under this scheme, you can sell only a part of your property and keep the rest for your family or beneficiaries. This way, you can also benefit from the increasing value of the proportion of your part of the property. Home reversion schemes also tend to be cheaper in set up costs. The only fees with the major home reversion companies tend to be valuation & legal costs. Occasionally, Equity Release Supermarket do obtain free valuations as they do currently with Hodge Lifetime. Therefore, there would be no initial fees to pay on application & ALL costs would then be deducted on completion.

 

To obtain your guide to Home Reversion schemes, please contact the Equity Release Supermarket team on 0800 678 5159 or click here to register.

 

 
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