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Older homeowners want to benefit from the value of their homes without having to move out of them. The ‘Equity release scheme’ is designed to achieve this.
There are two types of scheme:
However, there are risks involved with both.
The main issue with lifetime mortgages is that interest on the release is compounded each year so that the debt escalates rapidly. This can create problems for those inheriting from the property owner.
Home reversion plans also have downsides including the fact that the homeowner receives considerably less than the full market value for the property and if the homeowner ends the plan early, he or she would need to buy back the share sold at full market
value, which could be a lot more than it was sold for.
In addition to retirement products, there are others on the market aimed at helping people realise capital from their homes. A sale and rentback scheme (SRB) involves people selling their home, usually at a discount, in exchange for the right to remain
in the property.
SRBs were all but outlawed a few years ago due to the potential for abuse, deception and exploitation and are now subject to strict financial controls (as are the equity release products) following reforms which came into force in 2014 as a result of
the Mortgage Market Review.
Homeowners should think carefully and seek financial advice before entering into any such schemes.
For more information on these and similar schemes see our Practice Note: Regulated home purchase and equity release schemes.
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