Equity release might seem like a good option if you … Find out more, The Telegraph values your comments but kindly requests all posts are on topic, constructive and respectful. Use an accredited provider The value of your home is not included in any means test as long as you are living there – but cash in the bank certainly will be. To understand how these common equity-release pitfalls might influence your situation, you should discuss any possible deals with a financial adviser. If your home has increased in value over the years, equity release enables you to get at some of that money to supplement your retirement income – instead of leaving it all to your beneficiaries, or to cover your long-term care costs. EQUITY release schemes were today labelled 'the lifestyle dream that can turn into a nightmare'. You could lose your entitlement to them. 1. With a home reversion scheme, you sell all or part of your property, but with a legal right to continue living in it until you die or move into long-term care. In recent years, there have been a number of changes to many equity release products to provide greater flexibility and enhance the protection they provide. What are the advantages of equity release? Most equity release schemes now have a No Negative Equity Guarantee (NNEG). Choosing an independent adviser means they won’t recommend a scheme unless they are sure it is in your best interests. ... an equity release scheme might seem like a good idea. The easy solution, according to the adverts at least, is to equity release. However, releasing equity may not be a good idea if you don’t like the idea of your family’s inheritance being affected. Equity release is often the only method available for older people to extract funds from their property without downsizing or selling. selling their home privately at a discount in exchange for lifelong tenancy rights, Your other savings and/or sources of income will not be enough to meet your needs in, An independent financial adviser has told you this option is best for you, You can meet your income needs in retirement from other sources, You have the opportunity to release money from your home by downsizing, You want to preserve as much of your estate as possible for your family to inherit, An independent financial adviser has told you this option is not the best one for you. We will look at all the financial solutions that are available to you, not just Equity Release. This “rolling up” means that the interest compounds, growing rapidly. What are the risks and pitfalls of equity release? The UK’s long rise in house prices means that a large proportion of homeowners’ wealth is sunk into their property, and is therefore inaccessible. The "facility" option allows borrowers to have access to a pot of money for the future and are not charged interest until it is drawn upon. Most providers now offer a ‘no-negative-equity guarantee’, which means the debt will never be more than the sale value of the property. Is equity release a bad idea? A few enterprising individuals have tried their own version of the French viager system, by selling their home privately at a discount in exchange for lifelong tenancy rights. Telegraph Money asked Alan Lakey, an independent financial expert who advises on equity release, for guidance on the good and bad. The pros and cons. The most common form of equity release is a lifetime mortgage that isn’t paid off until you die or go into long-term care. Ask both a financial adviser and a solicitor to study the contract for you to ensure that it is in your best interests. Thus equity release is particularly useful for elderly persons who do not intend or are not able to leave a large estate for their heirs when they die. Nick has been writing professionally on money and business topics for over 15 years, and has previously written for leading accountancy firms PKF and BDO. The percentage of the property’s value a borrower is looking to release would have the biggest impact on rates. Equity release is a way of spending your home’s value whilst you’re still living there. The equity release industry is represented by a trade body called the Equity Release Council (ERC). Another downside of equity release is that it will reduce the amount of inheritance your beneficiaries could otherwise receive. Consider alternatives It is important to check the terms and conditions before taking out the plan. It’s done via a loan, which is usually repaid from your home’s value once you die. How we can help you with your Equity Release. If you have paid off most or all of your existing mortgage, you can consider an equity release scheme. Some providers of home reversion schemes require you to be over 60. The two popular types of equity release are. No repayments are made till you die, so the interest compounds rapidly. It might be that the above equity-release problems don’t apply to your situation and that equity release is a viable alternative for you. 5. You could also consider paying off the interest as you go, so it doesn't compound. Finding yourself house rich and cash poor? If you’ve simply changed your mind, it’s important to speak to a financial adviser as soon as possible to work out the most cost-effective way of organising your finances. Whether equity release is right for you or not will depend on your circumstances. Equity release can provide you with a large sum of money to spend while enabling you to continue living in your home. It is very different to modern equity release mortgages where you retain ownership of the … This is known as equity release. With any form of equity release, have your independent financial adviser or mortgage broker explain the risks to you in detail, including how much it could cost your family in the long term, and whether downsizing might be a better option. The main disadvantage of a home reversion scheme is that you will only receive (usually) a maximum of 60 per cent of the market value of your home, and often much less (as little as 30 per cent). Equity release could be a good idea if you want to unlock tax free cash from your home, without having to move house or worry about monthly repayments. Many of the mortgage advisers and financial advisers listed with Unbiased offer high quality independent equity release advice. Try our calculator to find out", "See how much cash you could release from your home". Last year, 23% of retired homeowners who took out an equity release plan said lending to their loved ones was their motivation. Look at alternative sources of income, such as downsizing or renting out a room. If you don’t pay off the interest at regular intervals, the entire sum will compound – so at around 5 per cent interest, the amount you owe would double every 15 years. Because who’d willingly want to make a non-informed financial decision based on their biggest asset that takes decades to pay off? The simple answer is that it depends on your personal circumstances; all the more reason why you should take professional advice before you make a decision. Advisers must have taken special qualifications to become equity release advisers. Generally, the older you are when you take out the scheme, the more money you’ll get. Am I protected when using equity release? 6. This is a good reason to be cautious of lifetime mortgages if you hope to leave a good inheritance for your family. Is equity release a good idea? However, in as much as it can be an excellent option, it has some limitations & pitfalls. Read our community guidelines in full. This way you will not be paying interest on the whole sum for the whole period of time, so the amount you end up owing will be less. You also have the right to ask a solicitor to check all the documents before signing up to a scheme. They can give you unbiased advice on whether it really is the best option for you, and find you the best deal if so. So, to get a better idea if equity release is for you, we’d suggest you have a friendly chat with one of the equity release experts we work with. Costs can include: These costs can vary, but you should allow for around £3,000. These changes mean that Equity Release could now be a realistic element of your Retirement Planning. With a lifetime mortgage, you run the risk of owing far more than you borrowed when the time comes for the home to be sold – up to the total value of the property (but not more than that). It can be particularly useful for covering large expenses later in life, such as long-term care. This means that the advice we offer is unbiased. Read on to find out more about these different types of equity release. The idea of having to do that in the days after a death, with the funeral quite rightly the top priority, beggars belief. But…isn’t Equity Release a bad idea? Total lending also increased from £385.7m to £446.2m. As you enter later life, you may find you need additional sources of income. This means that if the worst happened and the property value dipped below the amount owed, there is no loss to the borrower as the lender absorbs this risk and will not ask the borrower or their estate to meet any shortfall. Whether a lifetime mortgage or a home reversion scheme is best for you will depend on a wide range of circumstances, such as how much you hope to leave your family as an inheritance. We rely on advertising to help fund our award-winning journalism. Some scandals in the 1980s gave the whole equity release market a bad name, but with a meticulous plan provider, there is nothing to worry about. Extracting cash could mean that any means-tested benefits – spectacles, dentistry, council tax and pension credit could be impacted. They must also ensure that you will never owe them more than the total sale price of your home, even if its value drops. Your equity is the total market value of your home, minus any mortgage you haven’t yet paid off. Any equity release company that has the Equity Release Council logo on their material must ensure you can still live in your home until you die or move into permanent care. Your adviser can help you with this choice. Be sure also to check out sovereignboss and see how much equity you can release with the equity release calculator. This is the most popular type of equity release. People considering equity release must get professional financial advice beforehand. Here's our guide on the pros and cons, risks and pitfalls, to help you answer the vital questions, is equity release a good idea or even safe? The home will also have to be vacated very quickly after your death, often within a month. Retirees gift £500m to help relatives through Covid cash crisis, Retirement plans in jeopardy: equity release could be blocked if house prices crash, Cashing in on house price boom? The amount you owe will grow with interest, but you can sometimes reduce this by paying off the interest as you go, so it doesn’t compound (this is known as an ‘interest paying mortgage’). Equity release squares the circle, by turning all that spare equity into cash that they can spend today. Some reasons to consider it include: Some reasons to choose an alternative to equity release include: The minimum age for taking out a lifetime mortgage is usually 55. Consult an independent financial adviser or mortgage broker specialising in equity release. As most schemes offer a roll-up of interest it means that no payments are made by the borrower. However, there are downsides to accessing the value of your home in this way. Whether you sell all or only part of your home, you won’t receive full market value for it, so bear this in mind when making your decision. The amount you can borrow is usually between 18 per cent and 50 per cent of the property’s total value – typically the older you are, the more you can release. But just how safe is hollowing out the value of your home? Almost 39,000 homeowners aged 55 and over used equity release to unlock housing wealth in the first half of 2018. It is possible to cut out the middle-man and set up your own equity release arrangement. Most lenders are members of the Equity Release Council and abide by their rules, which includes the no negative equity guarantee. In recent years, there have been a number of changes to many equity release products to provide greater If you do want to leave your property, then there may be alternative ways to raise the money you require. To explore the possibilities of whether it’s right for you, you need to think in the long-term and much farther than a five, ten or even 15-year financial plan. Is equity release a good idea or safe? The amount of equity you can release depends on your property value and any outstanding mortgage or debt. An equity release provider will provide you with either a lump sum or an income in exchange for part of the value of your home. F inding yourself house rich and cash poor? … And in the first six months of this year that rose to 31%. Unlocking equity from your home can be a great way to get some extra cash in retirement. You borrow a lump sum in the form of a mortgage, which is eventually repaid from the sale of your home either when you die or move into long-term care. At heart, equity release is actually a clever idea. As with all financial situations, everything is personal making equity release a potentially good idea for some people. You need to be a subscriber to join the conversation. Make sure the provider you use belongs to the Equity Release Council, so you are protected from pitfalls like negative equity. Is equity release a bad idea? Your state of health is also taken into account – being in poor health usually means getting a larger share of the value of your home. We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future. One thing to consider is: if your mum is only on state pension, releasing equity might affect any means-tested benefits, pension credit for instance. Find the right adviser fast with our matching technology. These challenges could be causing some advisers to shy away from equity release. We’re not saying equity release is a bad idea, it’s a viable option if you need the funds, but just like any debt it needs to be manageable, and you need to … If you are receiving any benefits in addition to the state pension, check how these might be affected if you were to use equity release. This can be a large additional stress on your family, having to sort through your things and clear out the property in addition to arranging your funeral. The early repayment penalties can be as high as 25pc of the initial borrowing. The money you receive from a lifetime mortgage loan is tax-free. Her death left me on the verge of being homeless’, 'We thought it was organised by Age UK': customer confusion over charity's equity release tie-up, Equity release goes mainstream as first high street lender enters market, 'We paid £10k to escape our sky-high equity release rate': how to switch plans and save thousands, Sledgehammer exit penalties still lurking in many equity release plans, ‘My lender wants £161k in penalties’: the 'astonishing' rates of equity release interest. Some borrowers who took out plans in the 2000s, with rates often upwards of 7pc, are now paying five-figure sums in interest charges each year. As an extra safeguard, have your solicitor check over the agreement you have with the equity release company before signing it. As of August, 139 equity release schemes were available to consumers, more than double the number (58) seen two years ago, according to the Equity Release Council. In this case you will end up repaying more overall, as the interest will compound over time. They’ll be able to give you an unbiased, no-obligation insight into equity release, and help you to see if its right for you. Equity release is an advised financial product, which simply means that you cannot take out a plan without having taken appropriate financial advice from a suitably qualified professional. Want to skip the guide and get an equity release adviser to walk you through the best options for your situation? Martin Lewis explains what equity release is and how it might help your finances. One solution may be to release some money from the value from your home, while continuing to live there. Equity release schemes are designed to be a lifelong commitment, so, if you change your mind, need to move house or want your equity for something else later, you could find yourself seriously restricted. With a typical 4.5pc rate the debt will have doubled within 16 years. Is equity release a good idea? If you do want or need some extra money around the place and you don’t want to leave your property intact to your beneficiaries, then equity release is a good idea. Nick Green is a financial journalist writing for Unbiased.co.uk, the site that has helped over 10 million people find financial, business and legal advice. The language used by equity release firms in television adverts is inviting: "Access the value of your home, tax-free", "How much tax-free cash could you release? Is equity release a good or bad idea? This can enable you to borrow more, or to pay lower interest. You may qualify for an enhanced lifetime mortgage if you have a serious health condition or an unhealthy habit, like smoking. Equity release is a way of freeing up the money in your home without having to move. Things you need to know about equity release. But if you don’t want to sell your home, you may still be able to access a large portion of this money. Let us match you to your perfect financial adviser. The main disadvantage of equity release is that it does not pay you the full market value for your home. The latest industry data shows that for every £1 of savings withdrawn via flexible pension payments in the last year, 50p of housing wealth was unlocked via equity release – up from 40p in 2016. Latest news December 2020: Equity release interest rates are at their lowest ever & will be fixed for the rest of your life - LATEST OFFER 2.22% AER through Age Partnership when you use our calculator Best quote guaranteed or receive £500. This is a major decision, so should never be taken without independent professional advice. Equity release is often the only method available for older people to extract funds from their property without downsizing or selling. You also need to make sure that your home reversion contract allows you to move home, if necessary, and that there are no elements of the contract that could cause you unwanted problems or expenses further down the line. 4. Whether or not it’s the right tactic for you will depend on your plans for your cash and your financial situation. Equity release is often the only method available for older people to extract funds from their property without downsizing or selling. The loss of benefits may make equity release poor value for you. This may sometimes offer better value, but isn’t easy and requires in-depth legal and financial advice. You’ll have to tell your equity release company so that they can decide if your new home is similar in value. The question then becomes, is equity release a good idea? Unlocking the wealth in bricks and mortar can make sense, but it is not a decision to be taken lightly. While rates are the cheapest they've been in years, equity release itself is still an expensive and risky way to raise cash. You can choose to end your lifetime mortgage early, but this can cost you. Their advice is also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection. This is achieved either using a type of mortgage, or by selling that portion of your home on the condition that you can continue to live there as long as you wish. Borrow in stages However, this could still mean that all the property’s value is used up in paying off the mortgage. All equity release products are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. In short, it’s the sum you’d walk away with if you sold the home for cash. Interest rates can be as low as 3.4pc and are usually fixed for the life of the loan. Your adviser can also find the best one for you from the whole of the market and set it up for you. So, it’s not a bad thing anymore, but it might not be suitable for everyone. For example, borrow £20,000 aged 65 at 6.5% on a £120,000 home and live 25 … Take advice first Check your benefits situation 3. For more information or speak to an Equity Release mortgage adviser call us on 01628 507477 . You may have read mixed reviews about equity release. That’s where financial tools like equity release come into play. The Equity Release Council was set up to protect people from losing out from these schemes. If you want to move home, you can keep your scheme running as normal. The choices open to homeowners are certainly growing. These can make it very expensive to switch to a new, cheaper deal which leaves you a prisoner to your current provider. The Top 3 … We are a firm of Independent Financial Advisers (IFA’s). No other loans can be taken using the property as security. Just 13% of those who supported a client with a lifetime mortgage purchase in the last year say they presented the idea to their clients, whereas nearly two thirds (64%) said their clients came to them with the idea. Your financial adviser or mortgage adviser can help you decide whether an equity release scheme is appropriate, or whether you should consider other options such as downsizing instead. This is because a lifetime mortgage (like a regular mortgage) charges compound interest. Equity release won’t necessarily be a good idea for everyone, but for some people, it can be an effective way to unlock cash they have tied up in their property. S the sum you ’ ll get all financial situations, everything is personal making equity release scheme might like! Release to you, not just equity release rates do n't sound higher. Hundreds of thousands of pounds advisers and financial advice adviser or mortgage broker specialising in equity release Council ( )! 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