What is Equity Release?
Equity release is a special type of mortgage that allows homeowners to access some of the money (the equity) that has built up within the value of their home over time. These funds can be used for a variety of circumstances, with many people using them to pay off debt, help a child get on the housing ladder or to purchase an investment property.
There are two product types available: Home Reversion and Lifetime Mortgage.
Home Reversion will revert ownership of the home to the company providing the money.
Equity Release is now predominantly covered by the product type: Lifetime Mortgage. The mortgage term is for your lifetime. This means there is a charge against the property, but you retain ownership. Therefore, any increase in property value belongs to you and your beneficiaries.
At Ramsay & White, our experienced and award-winning advisors have access to a wide range of lenders and are here to guide you through the equity release process to access the funds you need.
Why consider Equity Release?
Release tax-free cash to spend however you like
Lock in a fixed low rate
Live in your home for as long as you like
No monthly payments
You can take the mortgage with you to a new home
You can pay off the mortgage early
No negative equity guarantee
Face-to-face legal advice
Common Equity Release Questions
Am I eligible for Equity Release?
In order to qualify for equity release, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be age 55 and over.
- Be a UK homeowner.
- Your property is worth a minimum of £70,000.
- You have little or no mortgage left on your property.
What can I use the money for?
Equity release can be used for any legal purpose. Typically, clients use the funds to:
- pay for home improvements
- pay off an existing mortgage
- house purchase
- debt consolidation
- gifts to family
- topping up income
How much equity can I release?
There is a minimum loan amount of £10,000, a minimum property value of £70,000 and no maximum for either.
The amount of equity that can be released will vary from lender to lender and will be based several factors:
- The value of the property.
- The age of the youngest homeowner.
- The health and lifestyle of the homeowner (s).
- Whether the applicant has full ownership of their property. If there is an outstanding mortgage or loan secured against the property, this will be deducted from the maximum amount that can be released.
- The overall condition of the property and the type of construction.
How does Equity Release work?
There are no upfront fees to pay with Ramsay & White and our advisors are happy to help you with a free consultation.
The process works as follows:
1. Our advisors will carry out a quick and easy consultation to find out more about your circumstances.
2. From here, they will find the best product on the market to suit your needs and help you complete the application process.
3. A valuation of the property will then need to be carried out by a local surveyor who will create a valuation report for the lender. This will determine how much equity can be released.
4. An equity release solicitor will take care of the legal process and liaise with the lenders’ solicitor.
5. Once the conveyancing and the legal process has taken place, you will receive an offer from the lender along with a Solicitor’s Certificate.
6. Once the final checks and the legal paperwork is complete, a completion date will be set.
7. The funds released are first sent to your solicitor who will deduct any charges before forwarding the net amount onto you.
How is the interest paid on an Equity Release Mortgage?
The interest applicable rolls up, so adds to the balance over the course of the mortgage. This means there is compounding as the balance on which the interest is calculated increases. However, most products are offered on a lifetime fixed interest rate, giving you certainty.
The interest applicable can be paid in one of the four ways:
- In full on sale of the property should you pass away or move permanently into long-term residential care, concluding the natural end to the mortgage term.
- In full by way of sale/lump sum/re-mortgage, and thereby concluding the mortgage term early.
- Incrementally by setting an interest serviced product – you can set up monthly payments from £25 to the full interest applicable each month.
- You can typically overpay by 10% per year covering capital and interest by making overpayments. Some products even allow up to 12%, 15%, 20% and 40% per year overpayment based upon the initial balance.
You can take an initial lump sum, and if this would be appropriate for you, set up a drawdown facility. You can draw down from this facility in amounts as small as £500 per time.
Is Equity Release safe?
Equity Release has been available as a form of releasing equity from property for the over 55s in various shapes and forms since 1965.
There are various safeguards in place, imposed by our industry trade body – The Equity Release Council, such as:
- Being able to take the mortgage with you to a new home
- Being able to pay it off early
- No negative equity guarantee
- Face-to-face legal advice for all
- Right to live in the home for the rest of your life
Why Ramsay & White?
Our clients benefit from our customer-focused and personalised approach, giving them peace of mind and as much involvement in the project as desired.
By understanding your true requirements and matching you with the most suitable lenders, we will match you with the best financial solution in an efficient and timely manner.
Qualified commercial and residential advisers
Specialists in property finance
Passionate and experienced team
Access to whole of market
Fast decision making
Monday to Friday 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday & Sunday Closed
We are members of the
Ramsay & White Ltd. Number 814110 - is an Appointed Representative of New Leaf Distribution Ltd. who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Number 460421.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. Ramsay & White Ltd is registered in England and Wales. Company number: 11127743. Registered office 13-14 Neptune Court, Vanguard Way, Cardiff, UK, CF24 5PJ.
A fee may apply for mortgage advice and, if applicable, you must ask your adviser for details before making any decision relating to a new mortgage as the actual amount will depend on your personal circumstances, but we estimate the typical fee to be £499.