An unusual use of equity release

Graham and Susan had been married for more than 40 years but sadly irreconcilable disagreements had led them to seek a divorce.

At 63 and 62, Graham and Susan were retired and living on pension. The family home was without mortgage and valued at £132,000. The agreed settlement included “splitting” the value of the home giving each partner £65,000. Graham wanted to buy a bungalow at £115,000, which after adding savings of his own, meant he required a mortgage of £25,000. Because of his age he was concerned about repayments and whether he could get a mortgage at all. A capital and repayment mortgage over 10 years was simply too expensive; even an interest only mortgage at today’s low rates was less than attractive and would require him to come up with the capital at some future stage. In addition, his slight heart problem would make purchasing life insurance difficult.

With insufficient funds to buy even the lowest priced properties on the market, Graham was faced with the prospect of renting for the rest of his life until he sought financial advice from Birkett Long and discovered Equity Release.

A scheme was selected that secured an advance of £27,945 based upon a purchase price of £115,000. Graham was delighted. He was back on the property ladder and, more importantly, there were no monthly payments to be made with the lifetime fixed rate loan accruing interest. Arranging a lifetime mortgage is exactly the same as any other mortgage in respect of costings, timings, etc. In fact Equity Release is substantially quicker because there are no credit or employment references to be taken and in this case, the myth that you must own a home before Equity Release can be arranged was dispelled!

Apart from the obvious function of providing income or lump sums during retirement, Equity Release can be used for other purposes such as purchasing holiday homes. We are also finding that clients who wish to “downsize” often find the reality of a smaller property unacceptable; for these people Equity Release can increase their purchase budget and give them greater choice.

For independent financial advice on equity release, mortgages, pensions or investments, contact Nicola Ward on 01206 217309.

Birkett Long LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Your home may be at risk if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.