Government schemes for first-time home buyers and existing homeowners – Money Advice Service #uk #mortgage


#government mortgage help

#

Government schemes for first-time home buyers and existing homeowners

There are a number of government schemes to help you buy a home such as Help to Buy, Right to Buy, Shared Ownership, and more. Find out more about these affordable housing schemes and how to apply.

Help to Buy

Help to Buy is a government scheme for those who have a small deposit, when buying a home. Have you at least a 5% deposit? If so, you could use the Help to Buy scheme through:

  • Equity loans – available to first-time buyers and existing homeowners who want to buy a ‘new build’ house. The purchase price must be no more than £600,000.
    Under this scheme, you can borrow 20% of the purchase price interest-free for the first five years as long as you have a 5% deposit.
    If you live in London, you can borrow up to 40% of the purchase price.
    The scheme is available until 2021.
  • Mortgage guarantees – available for new and old properties across the UK. The government undertakes to cover any of your mortgage lender’s losses as a result of any problems you might have in paying it back. However, you are still responsible for keeping up your mortgage repayments on a Help to Buy scheme in exactly the same way as any other mortgage.
    The scheme is open until 31 December 2016.

With both schemes there are limits on the cost of the property you buy. These limits differ across the UK.

Right to Buy/Right to Acquire

Right to Buy is for tenants in England, Wales and Northern Ireland who rent their home from their local council. It allows tenants, who qualify, to buy their home at a discount. The size of the discount varies depending on where you live and the type of property you want to buy.

Tenants who were living in council homes before it transferred to another landlord such as a housing association, may be eligible to buy their home under the ‘Preserved’ Right to Buy or Right to Acquire schemes.

In most cases, tenants will need to have rented from the public sector (i.e. local council or housing association) for three years before they can buy under these schemes.

The three years can be non-consecutive, so tenants who have rented from the private sector in the middle of a total of three years renting from the public sector, can still qualify.

In 2016, the Right to Buy scheme is getting extended to include housing association tenants in England.

This extension is starting out with a small number of housing associations in certain areas. It will then be rolled to the rest of England over the year. For more information, visit the Right to Buy website .

In Scotland. the Scottish Government plans to end the scheme for all council and housing association tenants in Scotland, but there are other schemes available .

Right to Acquire is a scheme offered in England and Wales for housing association tenants who don’t qualify for Right to Buy. The discounts are slightly smaller.

In Northern Ireland this scheme is called the House sales scheme and is for tenants who rent from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive or a housing association. Find out more on the nidirect website .

Shared ownership

Shared ownership is where you buy a share of a home from the landlord, who is usually the council or a housing association, and rent the remaining share.

You need a mortgage to pay for your share, which can be between a quarter and three-quarters of the home’s full value. You then pay a reduced rent on the share you don’t own and you have the option later on to buy a bigger share in the property up to 100% of its value.

The eligibility restrictions on the shared ownership have lifted. So, from April 2016 anyone who has a household income of less than £80,000 (outside London) or £90,000 (inside London) can buy a home through shared ownership.

Only military personnel will be given be priority over other groups. The scheme will apply across England.

Co-Ownership in Northern Ireland

This scheme is exclusive to Northern Ireland and is available for both newly built and older homes. You buy between 50% and 90% of the property (known as the ‘starter share’) and can increase that share at any time (known as ‘staircasing’). You pay rent on the portion you don’t own.

First Steps London

This scheme aims to help low and modest income earners buy or rent at a price that’s affordable. You part buy and part rent the property – mostly for newly-built homes but some resale properties are included. There are eligibility criteria around earnings and you can’t buy a home on the open market.

If you’re looking in London, find out more on the First Steps website .

Shared equity schemes

The Help to Buy equity loan scheme is a government scheme currently set to run until 2020. It’s available to first-time buyers as well as homeowners looking to move – but only for newly built homes.

Scotland

Scotland has two shared equity schemes – New Supply Shared Equity and Open Market Shared Equity.

Wales

The Homebuy scheme offers help by providing an equity loan (30% increasing to 50% of the purchase price), and is designed for people who would otherwise need social housing. The loan can be repaid at any time before the property is sold, but if you sell the property then it must be repaid at that point.

Find out more about Welsh home buying schemes at the Wales Government site .

Northern Ireland

There’s an Equity sharing scheme in Northern Ireland where you can buy a property, often at a discount, with a housing association or the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE).

Starter Home scheme

The Starter Home scheme is a new government plan where 200,000 new build homes are available to first-time buyers under 40 years old with a minimum of 20% off the market price.

The discounted price for these homes should be priced no more than £250,000 outside London, and £450,000 in London.

For more information about the homes available in this scheme, visit the New Homes website .

Next steps

Use the Mortgage payments calculator to estimate the monthly interest and repayment amount.

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  • Government schemes for first-time home buyers and existing homeowners – Money Advice Service #calculate #home


    #government mortgage help

    #

    Government schemes for first-time home buyers and existing homeowners

    There are a number of government schemes to help you buy a home such as Help to Buy, Right to Buy, Shared Ownership, and more. Find out more about these affordable housing schemes and how to apply.

    Help to Buy

    Help to Buy is a government scheme for those who have a small deposit, when buying a home. Have you at least a 5% deposit? If so, you could use the Help to Buy scheme through:

    • Equity loans – available to first-time buyers and existing homeowners who want to buy a ‘new build’ house. The purchase price must be no more than £600,000.
      Under this scheme, you can borrow 20% of the purchase price interest-free for the first five years as long as you have a 5% deposit.
      If you live in London, you can borrow up to 40% of the purchase price.
      The scheme is available until 2021.
    • Mortgage guarantees – available for new and old properties across the UK. The government undertakes to cover any of your mortgage lender’s losses as a result of any problems you might have in paying it back. However, you are still responsible for keeping up your mortgage repayments on a Help to Buy scheme in exactly the same way as any other mortgage.
      The scheme is open until 31 December 2016.

    With both schemes there are limits on the cost of the property you buy. These limits differ across the UK.

    Right to Buy/Right to Acquire

    Right to Buy is for tenants in England, Wales and Northern Ireland who rent their home from their local council. It allows tenants, who qualify, to buy their home at a discount. The size of the discount varies depending on where you live and the type of property you want to buy.

    Tenants who were living in council homes before it transferred to another landlord such as a housing association, may be eligible to buy their home under the ‘Preserved’ Right to Buy or Right to Acquire schemes.

    In most cases, tenants will need to have rented from the public sector (i.e. local council or housing association) for three years before they can buy under these schemes.

    The three years can be non-consecutive, so tenants who have rented from the private sector in the middle of a total of three years renting from the public sector, can still qualify.

    In 2016, the Right to Buy scheme is getting extended to include housing association tenants in England.

    This extension is starting out with a small number of housing associations in certain areas. It will then be rolled to the rest of England over the year. For more information, visit the Right to Buy website .

    In Scotland. the Scottish Government plans to end the scheme for all council and housing association tenants in Scotland, but there are other schemes available .

    Right to Acquire is a scheme offered in England and Wales for housing association tenants who don’t qualify for Right to Buy. The discounts are slightly smaller.

    In Northern Ireland this scheme is called the House sales scheme and is for tenants who rent from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive or a housing association. Find out more on the nidirect website .

    Shared ownership

    Shared ownership is where you buy a share of a home from the landlord, who is usually the council or a housing association, and rent the remaining share.

    You need a mortgage to pay for your share, which can be between a quarter and three-quarters of the home’s full value. You then pay a reduced rent on the share you don’t own and you have the option later on to buy a bigger share in the property up to 100% of its value.

    The eligibility restrictions on the shared ownership have lifted. So, from April 2016 anyone who has a household income of less than £80,000 (outside London) or £90,000 (inside London) can buy a home through shared ownership.

    Only military personnel will be given be priority over other groups. The scheme will apply across England.

    Co-Ownership in Northern Ireland

    This scheme is exclusive to Northern Ireland and is available for both newly built and older homes. You buy between 50% and 90% of the property (known as the ‘starter share’) and can increase that share at any time (known as ‘staircasing’). You pay rent on the portion you don’t own.

    First Steps London

    This scheme aims to help low and modest income earners buy or rent at a price that’s affordable. You part buy and part rent the property – mostly for newly-built homes but some resale properties are included. There are eligibility criteria around earnings and you can’t buy a home on the open market.

    If you’re looking in London, find out more on the First Steps website .

    Shared equity schemes

    The Help to Buy equity loan scheme is a government scheme currently set to run until 2020. It’s available to first-time buyers as well as homeowners looking to move – but only for newly built homes.

    Scotland

    Scotland has two shared equity schemes – New Supply Shared Equity and Open Market Shared Equity.

    Wales

    The Homebuy scheme offers help by providing an equity loan (30% increasing to 50% of the purchase price), and is designed for people who would otherwise need social housing. The loan can be repaid at any time before the property is sold, but if you sell the property then it must be repaid at that point.

    Find out more about Welsh home buying schemes at the Wales Government site .

    Northern Ireland

    There’s an Equity sharing scheme in Northern Ireland where you can buy a property, often at a discount, with a housing association or the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE).

    Starter Home scheme

    The Starter Home scheme is a new government plan where 200,000 new build homes are available to first-time buyers under 40 years old with a minimum of 20% off the market price.

    The discounted price for these homes should be priced no more than £250,000 outside London, and £450,000 in London.

    For more information about the homes available in this scheme, visit the New Homes website .

    Next steps

    Use the Mortgage payments calculator to estimate the monthly interest and repayment amount.

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  • Government schemes for first-time home buyers and existing homeowners – Money Advice Service #direct #mortgage


    #government mortgage help

    #

    Government schemes for first-time home buyers and existing homeowners

    There are a number of government schemes to help you buy a home such as Help to Buy, Right to Buy, Shared Ownership, and more. Find out more about these affordable housing schemes and how to apply.

    Help to Buy

    Help to Buy is a government scheme for those who have a small deposit, when buying a home. Have you at least a 5% deposit? If so, you could use the Help to Buy scheme through:

    • Equity loans – available to first-time buyers and existing homeowners who want to buy a ‘new build’ house. The purchase price must be no more than £600,000.
      Under this scheme, you can borrow 20% of the purchase price interest-free for the first five years as long as you have a 5% deposit.
      If you live in London, you can borrow up to 40% of the purchase price.
      The scheme is available until 2021.
    • Mortgage guarantees – available for new and old properties across the UK. The government undertakes to cover any of your mortgage lender’s losses as a result of any problems you might have in paying it back. However, you are still responsible for keeping up your mortgage repayments on a Help to Buy scheme in exactly the same way as any other mortgage.
      The scheme is open until 31 December 2016.

    With both schemes there are limits on the cost of the property you buy. These limits differ across the UK.

    Right to Buy/Right to Acquire

    Right to Buy is for tenants in England, Wales and Northern Ireland who rent their home from their local council. It allows tenants, who qualify, to buy their home at a discount. The size of the discount varies depending on where you live and the type of property you want to buy.

    Tenants who were living in council homes before it transferred to another landlord such as a housing association, may be eligible to buy their home under the ‘Preserved’ Right to Buy or Right to Acquire schemes.

    In most cases, tenants will need to have rented from the public sector (i.e. local council or housing association) for three years before they can buy under these schemes.

    The three years can be non-consecutive, so tenants who have rented from the private sector in the middle of a total of three years renting from the public sector, can still qualify.

    In 2016, the Right to Buy scheme is getting extended to include housing association tenants in England.

    This extension is starting out with a small number of housing associations in certain areas. It will then be rolled to the rest of England over the year. For more information, visit the Right to Buy website .

    In Scotland. the Scottish Government plans to end the scheme for all council and housing association tenants in Scotland, but there are other schemes available .

    Right to Acquire is a scheme offered in England and Wales for housing association tenants who don’t qualify for Right to Buy. The discounts are slightly smaller.

    In Northern Ireland this scheme is called the House sales scheme and is for tenants who rent from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive or a housing association. Find out more on the nidirect website .

    Shared ownership

    Shared ownership is where you buy a share of a home from the landlord, who is usually the council or a housing association, and rent the remaining share.

    You need a mortgage to pay for your share, which can be between a quarter and three-quarters of the home’s full value. You then pay a reduced rent on the share you don’t own and you have the option later on to buy a bigger share in the property up to 100% of its value.

    The eligibility restrictions on the shared ownership have lifted. So, from April 2016 anyone who has a household income of less than £80,000 (outside London) or £90,000 (inside London) can buy a home through shared ownership.

    Only military personnel will be given be priority over other groups. The scheme will apply across England.

    Co-Ownership in Northern Ireland

    This scheme is exclusive to Northern Ireland and is available for both newly built and older homes. You buy between 50% and 90% of the property (known as the ‘starter share’) and can increase that share at any time (known as ‘staircasing’). You pay rent on the portion you don’t own.

    First Steps London

    This scheme aims to help low and modest income earners buy or rent at a price that’s affordable. You part buy and part rent the property – mostly for newly-built homes but some resale properties are included. There are eligibility criteria around earnings and you can’t buy a home on the open market.

    If you’re looking in London, find out more on the First Steps website .

    Shared equity schemes

    The Help to Buy equity loan scheme is a government scheme currently set to run until 2020. It’s available to first-time buyers as well as homeowners looking to move – but only for newly built homes.

    Scotland

    Scotland has two shared equity schemes – New Supply Shared Equity and Open Market Shared Equity.

    Wales

    The Homebuy scheme offers help by providing an equity loan (30% increasing to 50% of the purchase price), and is designed for people who would otherwise need social housing. The loan can be repaid at any time before the property is sold, but if you sell the property then it must be repaid at that point.

    Find out more about Welsh home buying schemes at the Wales Government site .

    Northern Ireland

    There’s an Equity sharing scheme in Northern Ireland where you can buy a property, often at a discount, with a housing association or the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE).

    Starter Home scheme

    The Starter Home scheme is a new government plan where 200,000 new build homes are available to first-time buyers under 40 years old with a minimum of 20% off the market price.

    The discounted price for these homes should be priced no more than £250,000 outside London, and £450,000 in London.

    For more information about the homes available in this scheme, visit the New Homes website .

    Next steps

    Use the Mortgage payments calculator to estimate the monthly interest and repayment amount.

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  • Government schemes for first-time home buyers and existing homeowners – Money Advice Service #mortgage #rates


    #government mortgage help

    #

    Government schemes for first-time home buyers and existing homeowners

    There are a number of government schemes to help you buy a home such as Help to Buy, Right to Buy, Shared Ownership, and more. Find out more about these affordable housing schemes and how to apply.

    Help to Buy

    Help to Buy is a government scheme for those who have a small deposit, when buying a home. Have you at least a 5% deposit? If so, you could use the Help to Buy scheme through:

    • Equity loans – available to first-time buyers and existing homeowners who want to buy a ‘new build’ house. The purchase price must be no more than £600,000.
      Under this scheme, you can borrow 20% of the purchase price interest-free for the first five years as long as you have a 5% deposit.
      If you live in London, you can borrow up to 40% of the purchase price.
      The scheme is available until 2021.
    • Mortgage guarantees – available for new and old properties across the UK. The government undertakes to cover any of your mortgage lender’s losses as a result of any problems you might have in paying it back. However, you are still responsible for keeping up your mortgage repayments on a Help to Buy scheme in exactly the same way as any other mortgage.
      The scheme is open until 31 December 2016.

    With both schemes there are limits on the cost of the property you buy. These limits differ across the UK.

    Right to Buy/Right to Acquire

    Right to Buy is for tenants in England, Wales and Northern Ireland who rent their home from their local council. It allows tenants, who qualify, to buy their home at a discount. The size of the discount varies depending on where you live and the type of property you want to buy.

    Tenants who were living in council homes before it transferred to another landlord such as a housing association, may be eligible to buy their home under the ‘Preserved’ Right to Buy or Right to Acquire schemes.

    In most cases, tenants will need to have rented from the public sector (i.e. local council or housing association) for three years before they can buy under these schemes.

    The three years can be non-consecutive, so tenants who have rented from the private sector in the middle of a total of three years renting from the public sector, can still qualify.

    In 2016, the Right to Buy scheme is getting extended to include housing association tenants in England.

    This extension is starting out with a small number of housing associations in certain areas. It will then be rolled to the rest of England over the year. For more information, visit the Right to Buy website .

    In Scotland. the Scottish Government plans to end the scheme for all council and housing association tenants in Scotland, but there are other schemes available .

    Right to Acquire is a scheme offered in England and Wales for housing association tenants who don’t qualify for Right to Buy. The discounts are slightly smaller.

    In Northern Ireland this scheme is called the House sales scheme and is for tenants who rent from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive or a housing association. Find out more on the nidirect website .

    Shared ownership

    Shared ownership is where you buy a share of a home from the landlord, who is usually the council or a housing association, and rent the remaining share.

    You need a mortgage to pay for your share, which can be between a quarter and three-quarters of the home’s full value. You then pay a reduced rent on the share you don’t own and you have the option later on to buy a bigger share in the property up to 100% of its value.

    The eligibility restrictions on the shared ownership have lifted. So, from April 2016 anyone who has a household income of less than £80,000 (outside London) or £90,000 (inside London) can buy a home through shared ownership.

    Only military personnel will be given be priority over other groups. The scheme will apply across England.

    Co-Ownership in Northern Ireland

    This scheme is exclusive to Northern Ireland and is available for both newly built and older homes. You buy between 50% and 90% of the property (known as the ‘starter share’) and can increase that share at any time (known as ‘staircasing’). You pay rent on the portion you don’t own.

    First Steps London

    This scheme aims to help low and modest income earners buy or rent at a price that’s affordable. You part buy and part rent the property – mostly for newly-built homes but some resale properties are included. There are eligibility criteria around earnings and you can’t buy a home on the open market.

    If you’re looking in London, find out more on the First Steps website .

    Shared equity schemes

    The Help to Buy equity loan scheme is a government scheme currently set to run until 2020. It’s available to first-time buyers as well as homeowners looking to move – but only for newly built homes.

    Scotland

    Scotland has two shared equity schemes – New Supply Shared Equity and Open Market Shared Equity.

    Wales

    The Homebuy scheme offers help by providing an equity loan (30% increasing to 50% of the purchase price), and is designed for people who would otherwise need social housing. The loan can be repaid at any time before the property is sold, but if you sell the property then it must be repaid at that point.

    Find out more about Welsh home buying schemes at the Wales Government site .

    Northern Ireland

    There’s an Equity sharing scheme in Northern Ireland where you can buy a property, often at a discount, with a housing association or the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE).

    Starter Home scheme

    The Starter Home scheme is a new government plan where 200,000 new build homes are available to first-time buyers under 40 years old with a minimum of 20% off the market price.

    The discounted price for these homes should be priced no more than £250,000 outside London, and £450,000 in London.

    For more information about the homes available in this scheme, visit the New Homes website .

    Next steps

    Use the Mortgage payments calculator to estimate the monthly interest and repayment amount.

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  • Government schemes for first-time home buyers and existing homeowners – Money Advice Service #how #to


    #government mortgage help

    #

    Government schemes for first-time home buyers and existing homeowners

    There are a number of government schemes to help you buy a home such as Help to Buy, Right to Buy, Shared Ownership, and more. Find out more about these affordable housing schemes and how to apply.

    Help to Buy

    Help to Buy is a government scheme for those who have a small deposit, when buying a home. Have you at least a 5% deposit? If so, you could use the Help to Buy scheme through:

    • Equity loans – available to first-time buyers and existing homeowners who want to buy a ‘new build’ house. The purchase price must be no more than £600,000.
      Under this scheme, you can borrow 20% of the purchase price interest-free for the first five years as long as you have a 5% deposit.
      If you live in London, you can borrow up to 40% of the purchase price.
      The scheme is available until 2021.
    • Mortgage guarantees – available for new and old properties across the UK. The government undertakes to cover any of your mortgage lender’s losses as a result of any problems you might have in paying it back. However, you are still responsible for keeping up your mortgage repayments on a Help to Buy scheme in exactly the same way as any other mortgage.
      The scheme is open until 31 December 2016.

    With both schemes there are limits on the cost of the property you buy. These limits differ across the UK.

    Right to Buy/Right to Acquire

    Right to Buy is for tenants in England, Wales and Northern Ireland who rent their home from their local council. It allows tenants, who qualify, to buy their home at a discount. The size of the discount varies depending on where you live and the type of property you want to buy.

    Tenants who were living in council homes before it transferred to another landlord such as a housing association, may be eligible to buy their home under the ‘Preserved’ Right to Buy or Right to Acquire schemes.

    In most cases, tenants will need to have rented from the public sector (i.e. local council or housing association) for three years before they can buy under these schemes.

    The three years can be non-consecutive, so tenants who have rented from the private sector in the middle of a total of three years renting from the public sector, can still qualify.

    In 2016, the Right to Buy scheme is getting extended to include housing association tenants in England.

    This extension is starting out with a small number of housing associations in certain areas. It will then be rolled to the rest of England over the year. For more information, visit the Right to Buy website .

    In Scotland. the Scottish Government plans to end the scheme for all council and housing association tenants in Scotland, but there are other schemes available .

    Right to Acquire is a scheme offered in England and Wales for housing association tenants who don’t qualify for Right to Buy. The discounts are slightly smaller.

    In Northern Ireland this scheme is called the House sales scheme and is for tenants who rent from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive or a housing association. Find out more on the nidirect website .

    Shared ownership

    Shared ownership is where you buy a share of a home from the landlord, who is usually the council or a housing association, and rent the remaining share.

    You need a mortgage to pay for your share, which can be between a quarter and three-quarters of the home’s full value. You then pay a reduced rent on the share you don’t own and you have the option later on to buy a bigger share in the property up to 100% of its value.

    The eligibility restrictions on the shared ownership have lifted. So, from April 2016 anyone who has a household income of less than £80,000 (outside London) or £90,000 (inside London) can buy a home through shared ownership.

    Only military personnel will be given be priority over other groups. The scheme will apply across England.

    Co-Ownership in Northern Ireland

    This scheme is exclusive to Northern Ireland and is available for both newly built and older homes. You buy between 50% and 90% of the property (known as the ‘starter share’) and can increase that share at any time (known as ‘staircasing’). You pay rent on the portion you don’t own.

    First Steps London

    This scheme aims to help low and modest income earners buy or rent at a price that’s affordable. You part buy and part rent the property – mostly for newly-built homes but some resale properties are included. There are eligibility criteria around earnings and you can’t buy a home on the open market.

    If you’re looking in London, find out more on the First Steps website .

    Shared equity schemes

    The Help to Buy equity loan scheme is a government scheme currently set to run until 2020. It’s available to first-time buyers as well as homeowners looking to move – but only for newly built homes.

    Scotland

    Scotland has two shared equity schemes – New Supply Shared Equity and Open Market Shared Equity.

    Wales

    The Homebuy scheme offers help by providing an equity loan (30% increasing to 50% of the purchase price), and is designed for people who would otherwise need social housing. The loan can be repaid at any time before the property is sold, but if you sell the property then it must be repaid at that point.

    Find out more about Welsh home buying schemes at the Wales Government site .

    Northern Ireland

    There’s an Equity sharing scheme in Northern Ireland where you can buy a property, often at a discount, with a housing association or the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE).

    Starter Home scheme

    The Starter Home scheme is a new government plan where 200,000 new build homes are available to first-time buyers under 40 years old with a minimum of 20% off the market price.

    The discounted price for these homes should be priced no more than £250,000 outside London, and £450,000 in London.

    For more information about the homes available in this scheme, visit the New Homes website .

    Next steps

    Use the Mortgage payments calculator to estimate the monthly interest and repayment amount.

    Share this article

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  • equity mortgage


    #Equity release schemes: how they work

    Equity release schemes enable older homeowners to tap into the value of their property without the need to sell up and move out. There are two main types of scheme – lifetime mortgages and reversion schemes – and deciding which to go for is just one of the decisions you will need to make if you decide to go down this path.

    Taking advice, both financial and legal, is key. Extracting money from your home could impact upon many aspects of your finances, from your eligibility to means-tested benefits to the value of your estate when you die. You need to make sure you understand and plan for any negative financial implications of equity release.

    The basics

    Equity release schemes enable you to take cash from the equity built up in your property. They are targeted at older homeowners who would struggle to take on a regular mortgage and probably have little or no income to make regular repayments. The minimum age is typically 55 on lifetime mortgages and 60 on reversion plans.

    Lifetime mortgages are the most common type of scheme. These enable you to take out a loan on your property in return for a lump sum, an income or a combination of the two. You continue to own the property. Usually, you will not make monthly repayments and the debt will be repaid only when you die or go into long-term care. As there are no monthly repayments, the interest rolls up , and this compounding effect will quickly increase the amount you owe. Figures from the Money Advice Service show that a 45,000 loan taken out at a rate of 5% will have grown to 57,433 after five years and to 93,552 after 15 years. Live for 25 years after taking it out and you will repay 152,387.

    The most popular sort of lifetime mortgage is the drawdown version, designed for those who don’t need a large cash lump sum at the outset. Instead, a pot of money is set aside for you to draw from, as and when you need it. You only pay interest on the cash you release, which could save you a great deal of money.

    Home reversion schemes account for a tiny part of the market. With these, you sell all, or part, of your home to a company in return for a lump sum, or regular income, and the right to remain living there. When the property is eventually sold, you or your estate only receive the percentage of the property’s value that you still own. If, for example, you have sold 60%, you will only keep 40% of the final sale price.

    Fees on the schemes vary, but a rough estimate of the cost of setting up an equity release scheme is about 1,500, plus any fee you have to pay your financial adviser.

    How much can you borrow?

    The amount you can raise through equity release depends on a number of factors including the value of your property and how old you. If there are two people jointly taking out the plan, it will be based on the age of the younger.

    On a lifetime mortgage, the maximum loan is typically around 50% of the property’s value, but younger borrowers will have their loans capped well below that. On a reversion plan, you can sell up to 100% of your interest in the property in some cases – what you get for that share will depend on your age. The older you are, the more you will be offered.

    How safe are the plans?

    Lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans are regulated by UK regulator the Financial Services Authority.

    If you choose one that is offered by a member of the Equity Release Council it will have a no negative equity guarantee which means customers will never owe more than the value of their home, and no debt will ever be left to the estate .

    Things to think about

    Before you think seriously about equity release, consider your alternatives. Have you claimed all state benefits for which you are eligible, considered using other savings or assets or thought about renting out a room in your home? If you need money to make alterations to your property because you are less mobile, you may be able to get financial assistance – your local authority may be able to point you in the right direction. For many, the most effective way of releasing equity will be to downsize to a smaller property.

    Taking out an equity release plan will reduce the value of the estate you are leaving your family (assuming you plan to spend the money), so it may be worth talking to them about it. You may even want to release the equity to help them out – but check that they want you to do this.