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Posts Tagged ‘Tax Free Cash Lump Sum’

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

 

New Equity Release Scheme Launches To Help Landlords in the Buy to Let Mortgage Market

Friday, February 11th, 2011

The resurgence of the equity release market gathers momentum in 2011 with the news that New Life Mortgages are set to re-introduce their landlord & second home equity release schemes on 11th February 2011.

Following the additions of more2life & New Life Mortgages to the equity release market late in 2010, the latest launch from the innovative lifetime mortgage lender signals a degree of diversity to their portfolio.

New Life Mortgages temporarily withdrew from equity release market in 2009. They obviously haven’t been sat idle, but instead waited for their opportunity to re-enter at the right time & with the right products.

Following on from my previous article on New Life Mortgages rejoining the equity release market in November 2010, here we discuss the features & benefits to landlords of this unique equity release plan.

 

How does the scheme work?

The New Life Mortgages Landlord Loan provides a tax free cash lump sum based on a percentage of the value of the residential investment property & the age of the applicant. Plans start at age 55 & any landlord with a portfolio of upto 5 rental properties can potentially release some of the equity tied up within them.

This buy to let equity release has no set repayment date & no monthly repayments to make. The loan is eventually repayable on the sale of the property when the last surviving borrower has died or gone into care.

 

How do I qualify?

  • Minimum age of 55 (for joint applicants minimum age 55 of the youngest)
  • Investment property must be in England & Wales
  • Landlord loan minimum property valuation  of £100,000 & a maximum of £1million
  • Minimum release is £25,000 & maximum is £500,000
  • The property should be standard construction with flats over 5 storeys excluded
  • If leasehold property, then 80 years must be remaining on the lease
  • Any existing mortgage must be repaid on commencement of the Landlord scheme

 

How Much Can I Borrow?

This is determined by the age of the youngest applicant & the value of the investment properties:-

Age 55 –  16%
Age 60 –  21%
Age 65 –  26%
Age 70 –  31%
Age 75 –  36%
Age 80 –  41%
Age 85+ – 45%

 

Therefore, as an example a 65 year old landlord with a single investment property of £200,000 could potentially release a capital lump sum of £52,000.

 

How does it compare to a normal equity release scheme?

The scheme in principle works exactly the same. You borrow the money, the interest accrues on a monthly basis & it is repaid when the property is finally sold.

The differences lie in the rental side; an assured shorthold tenancy agreement must be in place to qualify & cannot be let to family members.

Also, there are maximum borrowing criteria, similar to a buy to let mortgage. This states that the monthly interest charged cannot be more than the rental income received.

 

What are the costs involved?

  • Valuation fee dependent upon the value of the investment property
  • Application fee which can be added to the loan
  • Solicitors legal fees
  • Lifetime fixed monthly interest rates of 6.39% (age 55-80) & 6.55% (age 81+)
  • Early repayment charges only 5% for the first 5 years. No charges thereafter.
  • Any advice fee charged by your equity release specialist

 

Practical uses of the New Life Landlord buy to let mortgage?

The equity release funds can be utilised in many ways.

With market opportunities growing in the rental market as house prices fall & yields increase, bargains are there to be had.  Should any residential landlord wish to expand their portfolio & have concerns over the expense of buy to let mortgages they can consider schemes such as this.

Should a potential landlord spot a new investment opportunity, but has limited capital for deposit, then landlord equity release schemes could assist. The borrower could review all properties under his portfolio & by using an equity release calculator; assess how much could be released individually to meet the shortfall required.

Additionally, with the age group eligible for this buy to let mortgage there could be tax implications. Therefore, should some of these assets need to be disposed of, rather than selling the property & incurring capital gains tax, then equity release can be undertaken instead.

Finally & the most common purpose for this could be for debt consolidation purposes. Should financial difficulties arise on a buy to let mortgage or other personal finances, then subject to the amount that can be released, these debts can be repaid.

 

Perhaps one has just had enough repaying a buy to let mortgage & would rather receive the gross rental income to support their retirement?

The uses of the New Life Landlord scheme can be many; so to discuss how the features of this unique buy to let lifetime mortgage can benefit you contact the Equity Release Supermarket team on 0800 678 5159 or email mark@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk

 

 
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