Telephone:
0191 695 9493

Email:
info@northeastequityrelease.co.uk

Face-to-face solicitor conversation with elderly couple

Equity release is a complex financial decision that requires a comprehensive understanding of an individual’s circumstances and future aspirations. Today we explore the value of engaging in personal, face-to-face meetings with industry professionals during the equity release process. 

Protecting potentially vulnerable individuals

Equity release is beneficial for many people, however as this product is only available to people aged 55 and over, a lot of potential candidates for equity release are elderly and they may lack family support. Some may be particularly vulnerable and/or have limited financial literacy.

Equity Release professionals, such as solicitors, play a crucial role in safeguarding the interests of these individuals. Meeting in person allows equity release solicitors to ensure that individuals are fully capable of making informed decisions and can identify signs of vulnerability or undue influence.

De-mystifying equity release products

As there are legal and financial aspects to be considered when choosing an equity release product, after the help of a qualified advisor to make an application for the right product, the guidance of a face-to-face solicitor is imperative to further ensure comprehension of the mortgage contract and the implications and potential risks associated before legally proceeding.

At North East Equity Release we use trusted, specialist equity release solicitors to ensure complex legal jargon is explained to our clients in a face-to-face meeting and in a way that they understand, helping them to navigate the fine print and minimising potential misunderstandings.

Using Equity Release Council members

As members of the Equity Release Council, we are committed to recommending qualified equity release solicitors who are also part of this industry-renowned trade body. We want to ensure that our clients are receiving the best, independent legal advice and are fully aware of the legal obligations and financial implications associated with an equity release plan.

Customer protection is a priority at North East Equity Release and we ensure every client receives impartial and independent legal advice and are aware of all of their options before proceeding. Get in touch with Joanne today to learn more.

your personal equity release adviser Joanne

When it comes to Equity Release, it is essential that you find an experienced and knowledgeable professional that you can trust, someone who can help you make the right choices in line with your circumstances. Someone like Joanne. 

We know just how important it is to be able to place your trust and confidence in the hands of a professional that can provide you with the assurance they have the necessary knowledge and experience to know exactly what they’re doing when it comes to equity release in order to lead you in the right direction. That is why today we are delighted to introduce Joanne, the experienced financial adviser behind North East Equity Release.

Introducing your personal equity release adviser

When you are needing the advice of a professional in the finance industry, you need to know that they have the background and experience required in order to be able to provide quality, independent advice that is genuinely in line with your best interests.

“Can’t rate Jo highly enough. I don’t think my Equity Release would have gone through without her intervention. Thanks again Jo!”Jacki

Luckily for our clients, Joanne is a highly experienced equity release adviser with a genuine commitment to providing honest, insightful advice to everyone that she works with.

A wealth of knowledge and experience

Joanne has worked within financial services for over three decades, securing her first role in the industry as a cashier at Barclays Bank. So began a lifelong passion for helping individuals to best manage their finances from a position of genuine care, honesty and expertise.

“Joanne, you’re worth your weight in gold. Thank you for sorting this out for us.”Costas and Gemma

In 1997, Joanne secured her professional qualifications, enabling her to become a qualified Mortgage Consultant. From this point onwards, Joanne began to assist clients in the process of securing competitive mortgages, helping countless customers buy their very first home, remortgage their property and navigate and resolve tricky circumstances that require shrewd, professional advice.

A changing financial landscape

It is no secret that we live in a very different world today than the one that many of us grew up within.

The ever-changing economic and political landscape of the U.K. means that it is becoming harder for many individuals to ensure a comfortable retirement for themselves; one where they are able to spend time doing the things that they love, whether that be travelling, relaxing, learning new skills and picking up old hobbies, or spending time with loved ones.

As such, the need for and interest in later-life borrowing has increased in recent years. For Joanne, it soon became clear that it was important for her to be able to assist her clients in this new and growing need, and in 2017 she became a qualified Equity Release Adviser.

Registered with the Equity Release Council, Joanne now specialises in helping individuals and couples to navigate lifetime mortgage plans, leading with a genuine sense of consideration and care and a commitment to acting in the very best interests of her clients.

Looking for professional help with equity release? Look no further than North East Equity Release, and get in touch with Joanne today.

Family on an equity release phone call

Equity release is a huge decision that can directly affect your family. Therefore, involving your loved ones in the process from the get-go ensures that they understand the choice you’re making and why.

Inheritance protection for your loved ones

When you choose to release equity, this can result in your family being left with a smaller inheritance or no inheritance at all when you pass away.

However, there is the option of opting for a plan that has an Inheritance Protection Guarantee. This protects part of the value of your home and, as a result, leaves something behind for your loved ones.

For example, out of the funds available, you may choose to take out a smaller percentage in order to leave the rest behind for your family to receive after your passing or once the house has been sold.

Involving your family in the process, whether you have a protection guarantee or not, lets them know that you’re planning on releasing funds from your property and the reasons why.

How can North East Equity Release help?

Our advisors can help you to set up a meeting or call with your family to discuss your decision and reassure them by answering any questions they may have.

In this meeting, your family may wish to clarify aspects of the process or discuss things that you may not have considered.

Equally, this is a good opportunity for your loved ones to get to know us and understand that we are giving the best advice possible that’s suited to your situation.

A family meeting or call allows you to relay how inheritance will be affected, and you may wish to emphasise that the equity released is to support family members while you are alive, whether that be helping a grandchild step onto the property ladder or contributing to the costs of a loved one’s wedding.

We’re here to support you through the equity release process. Contact us or call us on 0191 695 9493 for FREE advice on how to get your family involved in your equity release plan.

If you have landed on this blog post, then we presume you are on the hunt for valuable information about equity release and are wondering if it is right for you.

As equity release specialists, you may be under the assumption that we have product bias towards equity release, however, that is not the case. Equity release is not always the answer, and as members of the Equity Release Council, we have a duty to walk every customer through alternatives before recommending an equity release product to them. For some customers, downsizing, applying for grants, or other later-life lending solutions may be more suitable for their circumstances.

At North East Equity Release, we have many consultations in which the individual may be set on equity release, however, after we have offered expert advice and alternatives, they have ended up with a completely different financial product or solution.

Below is an example of one such client.

old man looking out of window

When Equity Release is not suitable:

Harry is an 89-year-old man who owned his home outright. He got in touch with North East Equity Release to arrange an appointment and discuss unlocking a large sum of money from his home. Upon meeting with our adviser, Harry disclosed that his wife had passed away the previous year.

Harry was now concerned that when he died, all of his estate would go to the Crown. Determined to not let that happen, Harry wanted to release as much money from his property as possible and put it in his bank account.

However, as Harry had no intentions of spending the money and did not have a Will, under the Rules of Intestate, this money would still go to the state.

The solution… A Will

During the consultation, our adviser recommended Harry arrange a Will and discussed potential beneficiaries to which Harry could leave his estate, such as his friends, the Church and charities close to his heart. The adviser also helped Harry to contact a trusted local solicitor so that a Will could be arranged and Harry’s money and possessions could be distributed exactly how he saw fit.

Will document representing when equity release is not the right solution for client

When equity release is a good idea

Maureen is a 61-year-old lady whose life drastically changed when her husband passed away suddenly. While there was no mortgage on the home, Maureen did not work and was not yet in receipt of her state pension, which left her living off savings.

With her savings running low and the cost-of-living pressures rising, Maureen was concerned that she was not going to be able to afford to stay in her home. While her husband was alive, the couple had planned on downsizing, however, due to the change of circumstances and Maureen’s strong emotional attachment to the property, she felt she now wanted to stay in her current property for another five years or so.

Mature lady in kitchen at home thinking about an equity release lifetime mortgage

The solution… A Lifetime Mortgage

Following the principles and standards defined by the Equity Release Council, we gained an in-depth understanding of Maureen’s circumstances and discussed all of her options. Maureen opted for a Lifetime Mortgage which we arranged on her behalf.

The Lifetime Mortgage provided Maureen with an initial lump sum which enabled her to carry out some essential repairs to the property she was living in. The product included a drawdown facility, which meant that Maureen had access to cash as and when required to assist her with the cost of living. With a Lifetime Mortgage, Maureen was not required to make any monthly repayments.

While Lifetime Mortgages can be transferred to a new home (subject to lender policy), in this case, Maureen planned on downsizing, repaying the mortgage and buying cash when she moved.

As such, the priority was to source a Lifetime Mortgage with the lowest Early Repayment Charging (ERC) structure. We sourced a product that had fixed Early Repayment Charges which were reduced over the years and were just 3% of any outstanding balance in the fifth year, when Maureen anticipated moving home and repaying the mortgage.

We were also able to calculate the potential early repayment charge based on the initial lump sum, her predicted drawdown and accrued interest, which were a very small price to pay in order to allow her to stay in a home that she loved.

Is equity release right for you?

Equity release can be a complicated and complex decision to make. It’s essential that you seek professional financial advice before making any commitments. As qualified equity release advisers and members of the Equity Release Council, we will always suggest alternatives and help clients find the right solution for their unique circumstances.

For a free, no-obligation chat with a professional, contact us here.

Equity release in return for a lifetime mortgage

If you’re in two minds about whether to free up some of the wealth attached to your home, it’s important that you are aware of up-to-date and accurate information on equity release in the UK.

What is equity release?

The term ‘equity release’ can sometimes be difficult to understand, but in simple terms, it refers to the process of letting homeowners aged 55 and over release tax-free cash from the value of their home.

The amount you can release is based on your age and how much your home is worth.

You can access the money as a cash lump sum at the outset or as a facility to access on an “as and when” basis at any time in the future.

The most popular type of equity release is a lifetime mortgage.

Lifetime mortgage

There are many positives to applying for a lifetime mortgage, such as:

●      You can take out a lump sum of tax-free cash in one go

●      You have the freedom to spend this money however you want

●      Releasing equity with a lifetime mortgage means you don’t need to move out of your home or downsize

●      There’ll be nothing to repay until you die or move into full-time care

Is now a good time?

If you are considering taking out a lifetime mortgage, now could be a good time to enquire, as mortgage lenders are slowly starting to reduce their interest rates following the spike in interest rates post the mini budget in September 2022.

The current average lifetime fixed mortgage interest rate as of December 2022 is between 6-7%, depending on the lender.

The highest rate seen in November 2022 was 8.95%, illustrating a significant drop in the space of just a month, with experts predicting the pricing of fixed mortgage interest rates to continue to stabilise throughout 2023

The interest rate you will be offered will depend on different factors, such as your age, the level of your requested loan in relation to the value of your home and other features included in your plan.

Considering a lifetime mortgage? Our qualified equity release advisor Joanne can help you find lenders with good interest rates.

Contact us to see how we can help.

For older homeowners in need of a financial boost, Equity Release could provide the perfect solution to cash flow problems.

Also referred to as Retirement Mortgages, Later Life Mortgages and Lifetime Mortgages, these loans enable borrowers to tap into the cash that is tied up in their home. This can make it possible for homeowners to meet other financial obligations and necessities or enable greater financial freedom during retirement. Like any loan product, Equity Release can feel daunting. However, these types of loans are simply another type of mortgage.

To dispel some of the concerns and confusion around Equity Release loans, we’re here today to talk about the ins and outs of this type of mortgage to create a clearer picture of how equity release could help you.

Coins on a table in front of a model house

What exactly is Equity Release?

Equity release loans are just another mortgage product when it comes down to it, which is a loan secured against your property while allowing you to continue to retain 100% ownership of your home and provide you with access to a tax-free cash lump sum from your own wealth tied up in your home which you pay interest to a lender for the use of instead of realising the wealth by selling the property.

There are 4 key differences between a standard mortgage and an equity release lifetime mortgage:

1) How the level of borrowing is assessed.
A standard mortgage is assessed by your income and affordability, as you are contractually obliged to pay the capital and interest back each month. An equity release mortgage is based on your age (life expectancy) and the value of the property. In essence, the loan and any interest is usually repaid from the sale of the property at some point in the future.

2) The freedom to choose to make no monthly payments
With an equity release mortgage, you can choose to make no monthly payments and allow all of the monthly interest to roll up over time. Alternatively, you can service part or all of the monthly interest and/or even make capital repayments in order to preserve your equity and even reduce the outstanding loan

3) Transparent repayments

This is a profound difference between modern day equity release mortgages and historical mortgages that still carry understandable bad memories. In addition, unlike historical plans, these mortgages now offer fixed, transparent, and limited early repayment charges if the client wishes to repay the mortgage at any time.

4) The term of the mortgage
A standard mortgage has an end date (also known as the term) by which the loan must be repaid. An equity release mortgage has no term with the loan usually being repaid upon death, entering long-term care or sale of the property.

Ultimately, equity release loans open the possibility for homeowners to unlock their wealth tied up in their home by releasing a cash lump sum from their home’s value or ‘equity’. The equity of your home is simply the property’s value, minus any outstanding mortgage or other forms of lending that are secured on it.

What benefits can equity release bring?

Letter blocks which spell equity

The key attraction of Equity Release is that borrowers can raise capital whilst retaining one hundred percent home ownership.

For many, the main plus point of this is that it provides money that they can use to enjoy their retirement. After a lifetime of working and saving in order to raise kids, run vehicles and meet mortgage repayments, many retirees are looking to finally release some of their financial burdens during their long-awaited retirement. Dream holidays, new hobbies and home improvements are just a handful of the things that are made possible through this scheme.

Such loans may also greatly relieve the pressures caused by the current cost of living crisis in the United Kingdom, enabling older homeowners to cope with inflation whilst maintaining a comfortable standard of living.

Who is eligible?

Homeowners aged 55 and over and who own their own property are eligible candidates for an Equity Release Mortgage.

To take out this type of mortgage, however, you must be looking to release at least £10,000 in equity from your property.

The value of your home will, of course, also have an impact on the level of loan available to you.

What about interest, how does that work?

The interest rate is fixed for the lifetime of the loan and is based on the amount you borrow in relation to the value of your home.

As there are no contractual monthly repayments,(although you can choose to service the interest and make capital repayments if your wish) the interest accrued is rolled up for repayment when the home is sold.

A mortgage adviser who specialises in equity release products will be best positioned to advise you on the ins and outs of your interest.

Can I still leave an inheritance?

Of course, the main concern for many when it comes to equity release is inheritance. Like the majority of people, you probably wish to leave something behind for loved ones after your departure. If you’ve worked hard to pay off the mortgage on your property, it’s likely that you have always imagined that it would be the value of this property that was passed on as an inheritance to those you leave behind.

Of course, it is essential to recognise that your equity release loan will essentially decrease the amount that you can leave an inheritance to your loved ones. Thankfully, however, many Lifetime Mortgage products enable borrowers to protect a percentage of the value of their home through an Inheritance Protection Guarantee.

If you’re considering an Equity Release loan, it’s essential you seek advice and guidance that you can trust. That’s where North East Equity Release comes in. Simply contact us today to find out how we can help.

At North East Equity Release, we know there is some confusion around modern equity release products, so we’re here to dispel the myths!

This year, it was revealed that 67% of homeowners over the age of 55 were not clear on what equity release was, with 18% claiming that they had been put off equity release due to stories they had heard about mis-sold, unfit for purpose products.

We are here to set the record straight! We’ll shine a light on common equity release myths about costs, inheritance, interest rates, and more, so you can take this flexible, versatile product into account when comparing financial solutions for you and your family.

Myth #1 I’ll lose my home!

YOU WON’T LOSE YOUR HOME! Many homeowners view equity release as essentially selling their home – but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Releasing equity simply means that you are unlocking cash from the value of your home and using it however you see fit while maintaining 100% ownership. You still have the right to live there until the end of your life, or until you decide to move into long-term care. Just in case you missed it, we’ll repeat it. YOU WON’T LOSE YOUR HOME!

Myth #2 Equity release is expensive

Again, not true! Equity release can be surprisingly cost-effective. According to a report from April 2021, the average interest rate on equity release products was down to 4.07%. Furthermore, if you choose to create a cash reserve account to access funds in the future (as opposed to taking out an initial lump sum), you can avoid a build-up of interest and will not be charged until the reserve money is released.

The idea of monthly repayments can be daunting. We’re happy to inform you that when you release money from your home, you will be free from those monthly repayments. Whilst interest will accumulate over time, this does not need to be paid until your property is sold. You can also choose to make voluntary repayments if you wish and you can repay the loan in full at any time, although an early repayment charge may apply.

Myth #3 I won’t have anything to leave for my loved ones

The money released from your home can be used in whatever way you see fit. Many people opt to use the funds to provide loved ones with an early or “living inheritance,” giving them the chance to help a child or grandchild with a deposit on their first home or paying off student loans.

With some plans, you can protect a portion of equity as inheritance, or you can opt for a serviced interest peace of mind plan to avoid the interest build-up. At North East Equity Release, we can advise you on these features that many leading providers offer.

senior woman sitting on sofa with her grandchildren

Myth #4 I’ll end up owing more than what my home is worth

As long as you ensure that your lifetime mortgage has a no-negative-equity guarantee, and opt for an Equity Release Council approved lender that meets product standards, you won’t have to worry about owing more than your home is worth.

If the value of your home decreases and no longer covers the amount you have borrowed, the remainder of the loan will be written off.

Speak to Joanne Manghan, our highly experienced Equity Release Adviser, for tailored, free advice on Lifetime Mortgages.