Equity release is a term used to describe the various ways you can financially benefit from the value of your home. Equity release enables you to raise capital, income or a combination of the two while continuing to live in the property. You will be free to use the monies however you wish i.e. for home improvements, a much longed for holiday, to help maintain or increase your standard of living in retirement.
There are two main types of schemes; these are known as Lifetime Mortgages and Home Reversion Plans.
Lifetime Mortgages are designed for older homeowners to raise cash on their homes without having to pay anything to the lender during their lifetime. It is a loan with no fixed repayment date and no monthly repayments to make. The outstanding amount of capital and accumulated interest is repaid whenever the house is sold. Whether, this is during the lifetime of the applicant or on the death of the last to die.
However, new products have recently been developed for individuals who wish to release equity and are able to service either some or all of the debt (it may be that they are still working, or have a pension which more than meets their living costs).
Under a Home Reversion plan, you sell all or part of your home in return for a cash sum and / or an income together with the right to continue living in the property for life or until a specified event occurs, such as moving into residential care. On death or specified event the property is sold and the reversion provider retains the proceeds unless it is a partial reversion, where the value of the outstanding beneficial interest passes to you or your estate.