Equity release is a term to describe products which allow you to borrow money secured against your home, or sell part, or your entire home, to release equity (cash) tied up in it – without having to move.
You must own and occupy the property you wish to release equity from. If you have any mortgage or debts secured against it, you may still be eligible but would need to repay these with some of the equity you release. The youngest homeowner must be 55 years old, however, for reversion plans the minimum age is much higher.
You can choose to take your cash as a one off tax-free lump sum, or, as smaller amounts over a number of years. This flexibility gives you more control of your finances in the longer term. The money released can be used for whatever you wish (so long as any outstanding mortgage has been paid off). You should be aware that taking out a lifetime mortgage could reduce your eligibility to means-tested benefits and could affect your tax position.
When it comes to generating additional cash, may people feel they have no option but to sell their home and downsize to get the money they require. With equity release, it is possible to generate cash without having to leave your much-loved home. You will also not have to incur the cost and upheaval of moving.
Equity release plans are not suitable for everyone, they will reduce the value of your estate and may effect your entitlement to state benefit.