Equity release schemes can offer an important option to people who are looking to increase their cash flow and at the same time retain their home. If you are considering a home equity release, it is important to understand exactly what it entails and seek professional advice regarding the different policies available.
General information about equity release plans is widely available on the internet. There are many equity release FAQs available online, and this can give you a basic idea of what equity release means, as well as the associated benefits and risks. However, it is necessary to take advice from an independent financial expert about the specifics.
An independent financial adviser who has specialist knowledge about equity release plans and home equity release will have up to date information about different products and providers, as well as about which product is suitable for your particular situation. Another important factor is that an independent advisor has no affiliations to equity release providers and can therefore give far more impartial advice.
An equity release mortgage is a loan taken against the value of the house. Both home reversion loans, as well as lifetime mortgage equity release loans, need to be repaid to the lender once the house is sold. However, the house can only be sold after the owner has died or moved out and into permanent care. In case of joint applicants, this is done after the second applicant has died or moved into care.
When it comes to ownership, there is one key difference between lifetime mortgages and home reversion equity release plans. Home reversion involves selling part of the house and lifetime mortgage involves taking a loan against the house. As such, in home reversion the ownership of the house is transferred to the lender, and in lifetime mortgage, full ownership remains with the borrower. In both cases, the applicant is fully responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the house.
There are many equity release providers and increased competition in the market has resulted in more competition and better rates for customers. Also, improved and more flexible home equity release products are now available compared to mortgages available until a few years back. You can compare different equity release products on websites such as equity release supermarket.