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Equity Release in London - Lifetime Mortgage Near Me

Lifetime Mortgages, Home Reversion, and General Equity Release Advice in Central London, Greater London, and the Home Counties
Reviewed by Tom Philips

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Equity Release in London & Near London

First and foremost, it’s important to know that equity release in London is highly recommended for people looking for extra cash. Equity release (termed a ‘Reverse Mortgage’ in the USA) is a way to access a huge amount of money from your property in the city.

Property in London, particularly central London, has been increasing in value in recent years, meaning you may have bought your home when it was lower value, and watched the homes around you sell for a significantly higher amount.

This means you could benefit from the higher value of your home by taking out equity release now.

Another reason that equity release in London is a great idea is that there are many financial advisers available to you, so you can trust that you will be able to speak to someone who is knowledgeable about the different equity release plans, and who is experienced in helping people find the right one for them.

All advisors we refer you to are Independent Financial Advisors (IFAs). This means they can advise you on lenders across the market, such as Scottish Widows, Legal & General, Aviva, Liverpool Victoria (LV), Hodge, Canada Life, more2life, Just Retirement, Pure Retirement, One Family and LiveMore Mortgages. All lenders are backed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

All advisors are regulated by the Financial Ombudsman Service (OBS) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and appear on the Financial Services Register.  Advisors also have equity release-specific qualifications, issued by The London Institute of Banking & Finance (LIBF) such as the Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMAP).

We are able to offer help across London in West London, North London, Bromley, Croydon, Enfield, Barnet, Ealing, Hillingdon, Lewisham, Hounslow, Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Brent, Camden, City of Westminster, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Havering, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston upon Thames, Lambeth, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond upon Thames, Southwark, Sutton, Twickenham, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Wandsworth.

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What is Equity Release?

Equity release allows anyone who owns their own home and is aged over 55 years old to release money from their property, completely tax-free. You get to spend the money on whatever you like and you do not have to repay the loan until you pass away and sell your property.

You can release money from your property in either one large lump sum or through a number of smaller payments. You will be charged interest on your equity release loan, which will turn into compound interest year on year. You can choose to repay the loan early, to try to reduce the amount of compound interest you are charged.

When you pass away, your house will be sold by your loved ones. Hopefully, the sale of your house will pay off the entire loan. This means that your lender will receive the proceeds from the sale of your house and not your loved ones or next of kin.

There are two main types of equity release which are known as lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans. Lifetime mortgages are the most popular type of equity release used throughout the UK and home reversion plans are less popular. With home reversion plans, you have to sell a percentage of your property to the lender in exchange for access to your funds.

With both types of equity release, you will remain living in your home and your lender has no right to ask you to move out or sell up, as long as you abide by the terms and conditions of your contract.

What is the Equity Release Advice Process?

Firstly, you should look for a specialist or a firm that is a member of the Equity Release Council (ERC), as they will be approved by the official council, meaning you will receive high-quality advice for your money. This also means you benefit from a no-negative equity guarantee.

It also means they will be experts on equity release, so they can answer any burning questions you have, even if they are very specific and personal to your situation.

It also means you will have guidance and independent advice throughout the whole process of equity release, which is important as it can be tricky to navigate on your own.

All advisors and lenders who are a signatory to the Equity Release Council will allow you to instruct your own specialist property/conveyancing solicitor to conduct the legal work that’s involved with equity release. This means you can shop around for solicitors, or use a firm that is local to you.

For instance, if a lasting power of attorney is involved, you may wish to instruct the same solicitors who were involved in setting up the power of attorney. [1] Another example is if the property is held in trust. Applying for equity release usually means the solicitor will need to wind the trust down before you can apply for equity release.

The solicitor will be able to answer any legal question you may have about the legal aspects of equity release, such as equity release and shared ownership, equity release where the property is leasehold, where there is a lasting power of attorney in place, or when you wish to apply for equity release when you are divorced.

You can read about the conveyancing process potentially involved here.

Next, ensure the consultant or firm is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. This will come in handy if you need to make a complaint further down the line, as there will be a formal process for complaints that you can follow, meaning your voice will be heard.

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Another benefit of this is that your money will be protected as the firm must handle the equity release process in an ethical way.

Once you have confirmed that your chosen adviser is a member of the ERC and regulated by the FCA, it’s time to meet with them and explain your situation in as much detail as possible.

They are likely to ask you about your homeowner status, the value of your property, and your age, as these are all factors that contribute to your eligibility for equity release.

There are other important things you might cover in this consultation, such as your income, your credit rating, the location of your house, and your payment preferences e.g., would you prefer to pay in regular installments or all at once? Would you prefer a plan that allows you to repay interest early or one that does not require this?

Most consultants will present a personalised illustration that helps you understand the features and risks of equity release so that you can make an informed decision on whether to release funds or opt for an alternative solution to earning additional money.

If you are concerned about missing out on this, ask for a personalised illustration, and most advisers will be happy to comply. The illustration should be based on your individual circumstances so you can see how equity could affect you personally.

If you have specific requests for your equity release plan, make this known to the adviser so that they are in the best position to find a fitting equity release scheme for you.

For example, if you are hoping to spend the money on a second home, mention this as there are tailored second home plans available.

Another example is if you are particularly worried about inheritance, as some plans allow for an inheritance protection guarantee and others do not.

Be prepared that you may have to pay an advice fee, so include this in your costs of equity release.

Your advisor will present a Key Facts Illustration and Initial Disclosure Document. These documents will include all the main points and also the costs that are involved when you apply for equity release. You can then proceed to complete an equity release application form.

Your advisor will, of course, help you with this process, and ensure you pay all applicable fees so your application proceeds uninterrupted. It’s also during this phase that will appoint a solicitor. You are entitled to appoint a local solicitor, or, more commonly, appoint the solicitor your equity release advisor recommends to you.

The equity release lender will ask for a valuation of your home. The lender will appoint a surveyor who is registered with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

Once your home’s valuation is written up in the surveyor’s report, the lender will know how much you are able to borrow under the terms of the equity release product. This amount will be presented in the Offer Letter.

Your solicitor will arrange a face-to-face meeting with you so that he or she can fully explain the terms of the equity release contract you will need to sign. Once this has taken place, you will sign the contract, together with the Equity Release Council Solicitor’s Certificate. This Certificate is to ensure the solicitor has explained all the costs, obligations, and risks associated with equity release.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

Is Equity Release right for you?

Equity release helps thousands of people up and down the country during their retirement. However, equity release isn’t for everyone and whether you should opt for equity release or not depends on a number of different factors.

For example, you should release equity if you want to pay off your remaining mortgage, although you should only have a little bit left to pay off by the time you opt for equity release.

You should also opt for equity release if you need to pay for care costs or home improvements to make your property more accessible and suitable for you in later life.

Equity release might not be for you if you want to leave your loved ones a significant amount of inheritance. If this is really important to you, then equity release might not be the best option. Your house will be sold upon your death and the proceeds will be used to pay off the loan. This means that your loved ones won’t receive much inheritance [3].

If you would like more information on the ins and outs of equity release, then talk to a member of our team at Equity Release Warehouse for advice, help and support. Call our helpline for free on 0330 058 1579.

Am I Eligible for equity release?

If you want to take out a lifetime mortgage, you need to be aged over 55 years old and you must be a homeowner in the UK with a property of over £70,000. [4]

Different schemes require different criteria, so sometimes you will need to be earning over a certain income, have a good credit rating, and be living in a certain location, but your adviser will inform you of the requirements of each plan before you select one.

For a home reversion, you must be 65 years old or over, and again, you should own your own home in the UK.

You must also be prepared to renounce your status as the sole owner of the property, as the equity release provider will take some of your home when you sign off on the scheme.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

Types of Equity Release in London

There are two main kinds of equity release in London – lifetime mortgages and home reversion. Under the umbrella of lifetime mortgages, there are a wide range of plans that benefit different people.

As well as these two principal schemes, we also have retirement mortgages and retirement interest-only options.

1. Lifetime Mortgages

With this style of mortgage, you borrow a sum of money from a provider that will only need to be paid back when your property is sold, either when you die or go into long-term care. [2]

As there are so many types, each arrangement will work very differently.

Some involve fixed interest rates whereas others are variable, some allow you to repay some of the interest and some don’t, and some have more severe borrowing limits than others.

The general rules are:

  • You are expected to stay on this scheme for the rest of your life, and leaving early could mean facing early repayment penalties
  • You can borrow up to 60% of the house price
  • You remain the owner of your property
  • You must stay in your London property for the rest of your life
  • You can be paid in part payments or in full (as a lump sum)

One significant advantage of this type of equity release is that you can still be the owner of your property, which is reassuring if you want to pass on some inheritance to your beneficiaries.

You also only have to be aged 55, so this plan is more accessible to people at the beginning of their retirement (or who have not yet retired).

On the other hand, if your provider is not an ERC member, you may not have a no-negative equity guarantee.

This means that if your house sale does not cover the costs of the loan and interest, your family may be required to pay the rest off.

Furthermore, this plan may affect your entitlement to means-tested benefits, so if you are currently claiming, it’s worth considering which option would provide more financial stability. You will need to inform the Department for Work and Pensions of your change in circumstances when you start receiving equity release payments.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

There are many varieties that you have access to in London, so here is a list of the main arrangements.

Please click on each one to learn more about them in detail from our specialised pages:

Some of these are more popular than others, so you are more likely to have heard of a drawdown lifetime mortgage or a lump sum plan, but if you are left baffled by any of these schemes, don’t hesitate to go to each page to learn more.

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2. Home Reversion Plan

With this arrangement, you agree to give a share of your property to a provider, and the provider trusts that this share will increase over time and provide them with money. In return, you receive a lump sum of tax-free cash to spend on whatever you would like.

Again, the loan only has to be paid off when you pass away or move into long-term care. At this point, the proceeds of the sale will go to the provider as well as any beneficiaries you have decided to leave some money to.

The advantage of this arrangement is that the money you receive is not taxed, so you have access to a large sum of money very quickly, which is helpful if you are struggling.

Also, reversion schemes allow you to protect part of your home for your loved ones, so releasing equity in your home does not have to result in zero inheritance.

However, your home will no longer belong to you if you do this, and if the provider’s share increases drastically, you will not benefit from this. What’s more, as mentioned above, any state benefits you receive could be affected by this plan.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

What is Medically Enhanced Equity Release?

A medically enhanced equity release plan is a type of equity release loan which assesses someone’s lifestyle and current health when deciding how much an individual is able to release.

Most other equity release plans like a standard lifetime mortgage will only really assess an individual’s age and value of their property. However, medically enhanced equity release plans will assess your lifestyle, such as whether you suffer from any health conditions, whether you smoke or drink excessively.

If you are suffering from a health condition, such as dementia, cancer or Parkinsons, then you might be able to borrow a higher amount of equity from your home. If you are considering equity release, then you should declare any health conditions to your adviser and lender as soon as possible.

What are the best equity release interest rates?

The below table is valid as of February 2024:

Provider MER Type Product
Aviva 7.68% Fixed Drawdown
Aviva 7.68% Fixed Lump sum
Pure Retirement 6.03% Fixed Drawdown
Pure Retirement 6.03% Fixed Lump sum
Just Retirement 6.66% Fixed Drawdown
Just Retirement 6.66% Fixed Lump sum
Canada Life 6.73% Fixed Lump sum
Canada Life 6.73% Fixed Drawdown

As you can see, Pure Retirement is offering the best rate of interest on equity release at 6.03%.  Interest rates will also vary depending on your circumstances, as well as whether you opt for either an income or a lump sum of cash.

If you are looking to pay low interest, it is advisable to find a plan that lets you withdraw small amounts, when necessary, rather than receiving a lump sum, so avoid lump sum plans. You may want to opt for one of the home reversion plans, as they provide you with interest-free cash.

There are also personal factors that can help you to access lower rates of interest.

For example, the enhanced/ill-health plan takes into account any disabilities or health problems you may have and offers you benefits such as low-interest rates if you are eligible.

If you want to pay your interest back early, try an interest-only plan that allows you to pay off some or all of the interest on a monthly basis.

Something else to keep in mind is that many equity release schemes charge compound interest, which means interest is charged on the total sum of the loan.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

Which Banks Do Equity Release?

A variety of UK banks and financial institutions offer equity release, some of which we list below:

  1. Aviva
  2. Legal & General
  3. LV=
  4. Pure Retirement
  5. Just
  6. Canada Life
  7. Saga
  8. Hodge
  9. SunLife
  10. More 2 Life
  11. Retirement Advantage
  12. Scottish Widows
  13. Lloyd’s Banking Group

Note, most of these organisations are insurance companies, as opposed to ‘banks’. The only ‘bank’ that offer equity release is Lloyd’s Banking Group.

Whilst it’s possible to apply directly to a lender, it’s always better to seek the advice of a financial advisor.

A financial advisor can help recommend the most suitable equity release product, having reference to your personal financial situation. There are many different types of equity release, and choosing the right product for your circumstances is not something we would recommend without the assistance of a financial advisor.

Equity release also comes with legal and tax implications, so you will also need to appoint a solicitor who is able to advise in equity release matters.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

How Much Does it Cost to Release Equity from My London Home?

There are a number of costs involved when you apply for equity release. These costs include an advisory/arrangement fee, a solicitor’s fee, and, of course, the interest you will pay under the terms of your lifetime mortgage.

The solicitor’s fee is typically in the region of £1000. The advisory fee can range from £600-£2000, depending upon the broker and lender you apply through.

In contrast to a standard mortgage, the interest rate you pay under an equity release mortgage is fixed for your lifetime.

Like a standard mortgage, you pay interest on the money you borrow when you take out an equity release mortgage. However, unlike a standard mortgage, you will also pay interest on interest already applied.  This is known as compound interest, and it’s a major reason why equity release is not the cheapest form of borrowing.

However, you don’t actually pay any of this interest (nor the money you borrow) until you die. But this will reduce the size of your estate, and thus reduce the amount of inheritance your loved ones will receive once you do die or enter long-term care.

Are There Drawbacks to Equity Release?

It is important that we are clear; there are some drawbacks to equity release. Equity release is a loan and as with any loan, there are always drawbacks and risks involved.

The biggest disadvantage to equity release is that if you opt for a home reversion plan, you will have to sell a percentage of your property to the lender for less than market value. Whilst you won’t ever be asked to move out, you will sell for significantly less than you would if you were to sell it on the traditional housing market.

In addition to this, taking out an equity release loan means that you are increasing your debt. The interest on equity release plans quickly compounds, meaning that year on year, your loan will increase and compound. For example, if your interest rate was, let’s say, 4.1%, and the initial loan was £100,000 then your interest would add a total of £55,000 over just ten years. That’s over half of the initial loan value!

If you decide that equity release is not for you, or if you come into a large lump sum of money (such as inheritance) then you might want to opt out of your equity release loan. This would involve an early repayment charge.

It is also important to understand that opting for an equity release loan means that any means-tested benefits you receive will be affected. This includes things such as job seekers allowance, income and support allowance.  This is because equity release is classed as ‘savings’. You legally need to inform the Department of Work and Pensions of your change of circumstances if you are claiming certain benefits if the amount of equity release is over a certain amount.

Also, if you die shortly after taking out equity release, your estate could stand to lose a lot of money it otherwise would have had access to. Also, if you decide to repay what you owe under the equity release agreement, you could be subject to an early repayment charge.

If you die or sell your home shortly after taking out an equity release scheme, you could lose money . There may also be early repayment charges if you decide to repay what you owe within a short time after taking out the deal. If house prices fall, you may owe a greater percentage of your home’s value.

Which Qualifications Must Equity Release Advisors Complete?

Equity release is an area regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as a “Regulated Activity”. All advisors who assist you in the equity release process must be authorised to do so by the FCA.

As well as being authorised by the FCA, advisors must also hold an equity release-specific professional qualification. You can find a list of the qualification on the FCA’s website.

These qualifications include the CeRER (Certificate in Regulated Equity Release), CER (Certificate in Equity Release), and the ERMAPC (Equity Release Mortgage Advice & Practice Certificate).

Other Ways to Release Equity in London

As you have seen, taking out an equity release in London can be done in various ways, and two further ways you can do this is by taking out a retirement mortgage or a retirement interest-only mortgage.

These work in a similar way to the previously mentioned plans, but they are ideal for people who want their loan to begin just before or during their retirement.

With the interest-only option, you simply pay some of the interest back each month. This makes for a comfortable retirement as you don’t have to worry about your income.

Can I Release Equity When I Remortgage my London property?

Yes, you can release your equity in your property by remortgaging.  You can either achieve this by applying for a lifetime mortgage (i.e. an equity release mortgage) or by increasing the amount you owe under your current mortgage.

When you remortgage by increasing the amount you owe under a standard mortgage, you can simply borrow more money under the terms of that standard mortgage.  A standard mortgage typically runs over a 2-5 year period, so you would simply transfer your mortgage to a new provider or re-negotiate your mortgage with your existing lender.

The key disadvantage of remortgaging under a standard mortgage is that you will obviously increase the amount you own, and increase the number of years you will need to pay this off. Your monthly mortgage repayments are also likely to increase.

Alternatively, you can apply for an equity release mortgage. You can use the money you receive via this mortgage to pay off an existing standard mortgage.

However, to apply for a lifetime mortgage, you must be over 55 years of age.  If you are nearing retirement, applying for a standard mortgage might be problematic.

This is because you might not be able to show you are able to pay the mortgage back within the term of the mortgage. In contrast to a standard mortgage, you do not need to pay back the money you owe until you either die or go into long-term care.

However, remortgaging via an equity release mortgage is not without its drawbacks.

For instance, the interest you pay back once you do actually die (or go into long-term care) is typically higher than the interest you would pay under the terms of a standard mortgage. This is because you will pay compound interest on an equity-release mortgage.

What is the difference between equity release and remortgaging?

Unlike remortgaging, equity release does not require you to pay monthly repayments.  This is because you repay what you owe under an equity release plan only when you die. This is one of the key benefits of equity release over remortgaging.

Alternatives to London Equity Release: Downsizing in Retirement

If the idea of accessing money that is tied up in your property doesn’t appeal to you, you may decide to downsize to a new property instead. This involves moving to a smaller house to reduce the amount you are paying on your mortgage and perhaps reduce the cost of bills.

You will not have to take out a loan, but it may be hard to find a home that suits you given the soaring costs of property at the moment.

Furthermore, some pensioners prefer to resolve their poor financial situation without having to move, as they worry about the impact of a stressful move on their health.

We have written a more in-depth guide to the alternatives to equity release here.

You can read about the potential disadvantages of equity release here.

If you are seeking equity release as a tool to combat the cost of living or repay an existing mortgage, then it might be better to seek out debt counseling and budget management advice. We’ve written a guide on this topic here.

Some organisations you can reach out to include the Society of Later Life Advisers, National Debtline, Money Advice Trust and Turn2us.

Advisors are trained by organisations such as the Financial Vulnerability Taskforce (FVT) to spot the signs of financial difficulty and to advise their clients accordingly.

Some organisations you can reach out to locally in London include:

1. Age UK London

Telephone: 020 7485 9245

Address: 247 Kentish Town Rd, London NW5 2JT

Website: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/london/

2. Citizens’ Advice Bureau

Telephone: 0800 144 8848

Address:3rd Floor, North, Head Office, 200 Aldersgate St, London EC1A 4HD

Website: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

3. Money Advice Trust

Telephone: 020 7489 7796

Address: 21 Garlick Hill, London EC4V 2AU

Website: https://www.moneyadvicetrust.org/

Other organisations that may be able to help include Money and Pensions Service, StepChange Debt Charity, MoneyHelper and the Energy Saving Trust.

How Much Can I Release From My Property?

The amount you can release from your home depends on the value of your home, your age, and the type of home you own i.e. a flat or a house.

The amount that you can release from your property with equity release will depend on a number of factors, including your age, the value of your property, and the type of equity release product you choose.

Generally, the more valuable your home is and the older you are, the more money you are able to receive by way of equity release. The lender will also look at the amount of outstanding mortgage debt when determining the amount of money you can borrow.

The amount you can release is also impacted by the type of equity release you take out. There are two main types of equity release. This includes lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans.

If you take out a lifetime mortgage, you can typically release between 20-60% of the value of your home. Again, this depends on your age and other factors such as the amount of outstanding mortgage you have against your property.

With a home reversion plan, you sell a percentage of your home to the equity release lender. The lender will, in exchange, give you a regular income or a lump sum of cash. The amount of cash you receive depends on the percentage of the home you sell to the lender and its value.

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What Can I Use My Loan For?

Once you get your hands on an equity release loan in London, there is no obligation for you to spend it on a specific thing.

If you are looking for ideas, one of the most common options is to spend it on something that puts you in a better financial situation i.e. paying off other debts or bills.

Some people decide to take out a lump sum to spend on renovating their house to make it easier to live in as they age (home improvements), or on the family holiday of a lifetime so that they can spend quality time with their loved ones after years of working hard.

Others decide to gift their money to a family member, so they may choose to pay a deposit on a house for their children or grandchildren to help them get on the property ladder.

Alternatively, they may want to help with things like tuition fees for their grandchildren or debts for their children.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

Will I Remain a Homeowner Under an Equity Release Scheme in London?

With a lifetime mortgage, you will remain the property owner. However, with a home reversion equity release scheme in London, you will not be the owner of your property as you will have sold a share of it to the provider.

Can You Lose Your London House With Equity Release?

Equity release is a popular way for those over 55 years old to get money out of the value of their homes without the need to sell them. However, some have concerns that they could end up losing their homes with equity release.

When you take out equity release, the loan is secured against the value of your property. This loan is only repaid when you pass away (or move into long-term care).

Equity release lenders are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and there are strict regulations in place to protect you. One regulation is that equity release lenders must offer a ‘no negative equity guarantee’.

Because of this, the amount of debt you owe under the loan can never exceed the value of your home. Thus, you will never owe more than the value of your home, and so you can never lose your home with equity release.

However, taking out equity release does have drawbacks, such as reducing the size of your inheritance for your loved ones when you die, although this will also reduce your inheritance tax on your estate. Also, the interest you pay will compound over the course of your loan, meaning the amount of interest you pay will grow each year until you die or go into long-term care.

How Does Equity Release in London Work When You Die

Upon death, the loan and the accrued interest are repaid from the proceeds of your home’s sale. This also usually happens when if you go into long-term care.

Once you die, your home is valued by an independent valuer. If the cash from the sale of your home is greater than the value of what you owe under the loan, the excess value will pass to your inheritable estate. If the sale amount is lower than the outstanding loan, the lender will not pursue your beneficiaries because equity release comes with a no-negative equity guarantee.

When the homeowner dies, his or her surviving partner can remain living in the property. When the surviving partner eventually dies, the property will need to be vacated and solid.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

Can I Sell My London House After Taking Equity Release?

Yes, selling your house after taking out an equity release plan is possible. Most equity release plans allow you to port or transfer your plan to a new property. However, this is only possible if the lender approves the new property you are hoping to move to.

The new property you want to move to must also be worth similar value to your current property.

For example, if this house is significantly cheaper than your current property then the lender might not approve your transfer. Some lenders might approve this, but might ask you to repay a large chunk of your loan first, which you could be charged extra for.

Can I Purchase A Home Abroad With Equity Release?

You will be very pleased to hear that yes, you are able to spend your equity release money on purchasing a holiday home abroad for you and your family. Most people get to retirement age and dream of buying themselves a holiday home, but simply cannot afford it.

Whilst not everyone will be able to release enough money to purchase a holiday home, it is doable for many people. If you are able to release enough money from your property, then you are allowed to buy a property abroad either outright, or put your money towards a deposit on a new property.

If you do want to buy a holiday home abroad with your equity release money, then you should consider taking out a lump sum lifetime mortgage. This allows you to release an upfront, lump sum which will fund your fun in the sun.

If this is something you want to go ahead with, then there are a number of things that you should consider first.

For example, as part of most equity release contracts, you have to remain living in your main property for the majority of the year. This property must remain your main residence, even if you purchase a holiday home abroad with your equity release funds.

Can We Get Equity Release in London If We Are Tenants In Common?

Being tenants in common is when you own a specific share of a property alongside someone else. Whilst some people might opt for owning 50% each, some others might own 10% whereas their partner owns 90% of the property.

You are able to release equity from your home as tenants in common, although this does add a few complexities.

What happens to your share of the property when your partner dies depends on what is written in their Will and who their next of kin is. This highlights the importance of having a solicitor, as they will help you navigate this stage of the process should one tenant in common pass away.

Unfortunately, if the deceased tenant in common does not have a Will then you might have to pay some additional fees.

Can You Lose Your London House With Equity Release?

Repossessions are extremely rare when it comes to equity release. You are only ever expected to repay the equity release loan after you pass away or move into a care home. Therefore, there isn’t really much that can go wrong during the duration of your loan.

In addition to this, once you pass away and your house is sold, your family will be protected by the no negative equity guarantee.

This guarantee ensures that even if your house decreases in value (for whatever reason) and no longer covers the loan value, your next of kin will never have to use their own money to pay off your equity release loan.

As long as you work within the terms and conditions of your equity release contract, your house will not be repossessed after taking out an equity release loan.

Some of these terms and conditions that could put your property at risk of being repossessed include things such as not maintaining the condition of your property, subletting your property out to other people as a form of income and not updating your lender to any major changes in your life [5].

Do I Need a Solicitor for Equity Release in London?

Yes, if you are considering taking out an equity release plan then you will need to appoint an equity release solicitor to act on your behalf. Once your equity release adviser has found a plan for you, you should look to appoint an equity release solicitor as soon as possible.

Your solicitor will be responsible for managing the risks and obligations of your equity release plan and contract.

They will also carry out all conveyancing on your property and will ensure that your chosen lender agrees to a first legal charge on your home.

Your solicitor will draw up all contracts and will also transfer the money into your account once the lender has completed the deal.

Usually, solicitors take around 6 – 12 weeks to complete their work, and they will keep you updated via email throughout the process. As with most solicitors, you might have to nudge them from time to time for updates.

How Much Do Equity Release Solicitors Charge?

Your equity release solicitors will charge you for their work, which is usually repaid once you have secured your equity release money. Your solicitor will usually charge you anything between £1,000 and £2,000, depending on the complexity of your application.

However, this cost can differ significantly depending on where you are in the country, which law firm you opt for and the terms and conditions of your specific case.

How Does Equity Release Work When You Die?

Lots of people avoid taking out an equity release loan because they don’t understand what happens once you or your partner passes away. However, the process is actually quite simple.

Once you pass away, your house will be sold by your next of kin and family. The house will hopefully sell for more than you bought it for and once sold, the proceeds go towards paying off the loan.

The proceeds will usually always cover the cost of the loan. However, if for some reason it does not, your family and estate will be protected by the no negative equity guarantee.

If there’s any money left over after paying off the loan, then this money will go to your next of kin as inheritance.

What about my partner?

If you are a joint owner of a property, then your partner will not have to pay the loan until they pass away, even if you pass away first.

The equity release loan is only due for repayment once the last owner of the property passes away or moves into long-term care.

If your partner is not written into the deeds of the property by the time you pass away, then they might be forced to sell the property and move out after you pass away.

Would My State Benefits be Affected by Equity Release?

If you want to release equity release from your property, then it is important to think about how doing so might impact any means-tested benefits you currently receive or are due to receive in the future.

Releasing equity from a property might reduce your state benefits or stop them altogether.

This is why it is always important to be honest with your equity release adviser, as they might conclude that taking out an equity release plan is not for you if you do receive state and means-tested benefits.

Means-tested benefits are offered to anyone living in the UK who does not earn a set amount of money as a household or as an individual. By releasing equity from your home, you are increasing your income and savings, meaning that you may no longer qualify for your benefits.

Below is a list of some means-tested benefits that might be affected by taking out an equity release loan.

  • Universal credit – this is offered to anyone in the UK who is currently unemployed, unable to work, aged 18 or over and has under £16,000 in savings or capital [6].
  • Council tax reduction – this is available to anyone on a low income, anyone who lives alone, is disabled or a student.
  • Cold weather payment – you will qualify for cold weather payment if the temperature in your area has been 0 degrees or less for 7 days in a row. You also need to be receiving other means-tested benefits such as Universal credit, income support and job seekers allowance.

What is the Equity Release Council?

The aim of the Equity Release Council is to protect those within the industry and to promote high standards and to safeguard everyone working within the industry. Thanks to the Equity Release Council, more and more people now feel confident and safe taking out an equity release plan.

These standards ensure that all advisers are working to the best of their ability and with the client’s best interests at heart. They also help to educate the public on the ins and outs of equity release, as well helping to correct any misinformation or myths out there.

The Equity Release Council will support equity release advisers, solicitors, consultants, financial advisers and even surveyors during their work, as long as they are members of the Equity Release Council. [7].

Use Our Equity Release Calculator to Predict Your Equity Loan

We have an excellent tool to help you figure out the amount of money you could be releasing from your London property. Use our equity release calculator now to get a realistic idea of how safe equity release in London could benefit you.

When you use this tool, keep in mind that it is not completely accurate, so do not be disheartened if the value is lower than you anticipated. You may be able to get a better deal with a specific equity release lender in London.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

We Can Answer Your Questions About Equity Release in London: Get in Touch

The quickest and easiest way to become an expert in equity release in London is to learn from one of our qualified equity release experts, so call us today on 0330 058 1579 to do exactly that. Some people don’t want to make the first call, and we understand that, so you could also request that we contact you first.

Our impartial advisers are fully qualified and aware of the individual circumstances that can affect equity release, so they are the best people to present all your concerns to.

They will not push you into any hasty decisions, but they will instead encourage you to reflect on whether equity release is the right option for you and your loved ones by offering the advice you need.

For example, if you have an existing mortgage, you may be wary about taking out another one as you are already subject to certain conditions. However, it is possible to transfer your mortgage and use the equity release to pay off your current one.

In terms of providers, we work with many different clients across London, so we are experienced in what you should and shouldn’t look for. We will point you in the direction of a trusted lender if you decide that equity release in London is a viable and exciting option for you.

Finally, if you have found yourself here yet do not live in London, we are more than happy to help.

If you are considering equity release, whether you live in London or another area of the UK, we will happily explain the different later-life lending options and provide a quote regarding the amount you could borrow that is secured against your home.

Don’t wait around before seeking our advice. Many consumers in the UK are already benefitting from the money that was once locked into their property, and you could too.

Contact us as soon as possible about equity release products and decide if this is right for you.

All advisors we work with are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. This means you are covered under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, and you lodge a complaint with the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) if you are unhappy about the advice you receive in relation to equity release.

All lawyers are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and are members of the Law Society of England and Wales. If you are unhappy about the legal advice you receive in relation to equity release, you can lodge a complaint with the Legal Ombudsman.

References

[1] https://www.gov.uk/lasting-power-attorney-duties

[2] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-care-and-support-guide/

[3] https://nationaldebtline.org/fact-sheet-library/equity-release-ew/#:~:text=Equity%20release%20can%20be%20helpful,advice%20before%20choosing%20this%20option

[4] https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/money-legal/income-tax/equity-release/

[5] https://www.equityreleasecouncil.com/what-is-equity-release/faq/if-i-take-out-an-equity-release-scheme-do-i-risk-losing-my-house/

[6] https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/eligibility

[7] https://www.equityreleasecouncil.com/about/

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