Equity release – Improve your home with peace of mind

Reader's Digest Editors

Soaring house prices mean many are taking advantage of equity release schemes in order to renovate or expand their existing homes

Can't wait to find out how much you could release? Use our handy calculator now.

Conventional wisdom has it that as we age and our children fly the coop, the time arrives when we should consider downsizing. However, new research suggests that many families are not planning to downsize at all and in fact plan on improving their beloved family home, potentially even expanding it.

After living in the family home for many years, many find that as they approach retirement, they finally have the time they need to renovate. It can be sensible to update beloved homes to suit the changing needs of a family, rather than moving away.

New technology has also enabled us to make our homes more efficient. Amenities such as solar panels, smart water and energy meters, and high-tech insulation transform old buildings into eco-friendly havens that are more sustainable and cheaper to run.

How equity release could work for you

Home improvements, however necessary, can be expensive upfront. Which is why up to 41 percent of those who take out Lifetime Mortgages do so in order to fund home improvements.

Over the past decade house prices in much of the UK have soared, far outstripping other assets. Estate agent Haart's National Housing Market Monitor suggests that the average UK home buyer has equity worth £14,000, rising to £90,000 in London. Equity release schemes can be a viable option to unlock the value of these homes.

Releasing equity from property can be an option for owners who are often asset-rich, but cash-poor. Equity release schemes are only available if you are above a certain age, usually 55, and they are a way of releasing cash against the value of your home without you having to move out.

An equity release scheme could be suitable for you “if you need to release cash as a lump sum or to top up your income,” advises Andrew Johnson, Money Expert for the Money Advice Service.

By using an equity release scheme to make your property better and more suitable to your needs, you could increase the value of your property – not to mention increasing your quality of life and meeting your family’s housing needs in the long run.

Whether you're curious as to how much you can release, or you want to take the initial steps towards releasing equity, this handy calculator will give you the information you require.

Or you can contact us on 0800 029 1233 to discuss your needs with a view to arranging a no obligation face-to-face home visit with one of our financial advisers.

Reader's Digest Equity Release is a trading style of Responsible Life Limited. Responsible Life Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (http://www.fsa.gov.uk/register/home.do) under reference 610205. In using this website I give express consent to Responsible Life Limited to contact me on the details provided from time to time. Calls may be recorded for training and quality purposes. This is a Lifetime mortgage which may reduce the value of your estate and may affect your entitlement to state benefits. To understand the features and risks ask for a personalised illustration. Any information contained herein is a personal opinion of the author and should not be considered to be advice of any kind. Inheritance Tax planning is not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. By consolidating your debts into a mortgage you may be required to pay more over the entire term than you would with your existing debt. Only if you choose to proceed and your case completes will Responsible Life Limited charge an advice fee, currently not exceeding £1,295. Our adviser will talk through the setting up costs of a lifetime mortgage before you make any decision to proceed.