With the right professional help, taking out an equity release plan can be a straight forward process. The following four steps will ensure matters run smoothly:
Step one - equity release advice and discussion
Before taking out any equity release product, it is important to see an adviser who will know which option is best for you circumstances.
Step two - application and home valuation
Once you are happy with all aspects of the mortgage you have discussed with your equity release adviser, they will complete an application form with you. The equity release lender will then arrange to have your property valued.
Step three - offer
Once the valuation has been carried out on your property and the equity release lender has confirmed the amount you can borrow, they will send an offer letter to you, your solicitor and your equity release adviser.
Step four - cash released
Your solicitor wil then finalise the legal document needed to complete your plan and the monies will be paid to you via your solicitor. The whole process is usually undertaken within 8 weeks from the date the application form is received but can be quicker.
There is a lot to think about when considering an equity release lifetime mortgage. That is why you can only take an equity release mortgage though a lifetime mortgage adviser.
Equity release advisers are experts who have passed detailed, professional exams, meaning they can look at your situation and work out if it is right for you. They will also help you compare different options, complete an application, and becuase you will need independent legal advice, help you find a solicitor too.
FIVE STEPS TO EQUITY RELEASE MORTGAGES
1. Talk to you family
It is of course your choice, but an equity release adviser will encourage you to talk to your family about your plans and explain why you are interested finding out more about lifetime mortgages. You would be very welcome to include them in the meeting with your adviser and most advisers encourage this.
2. Prepare for you meeting
When you make an appointment with an equity release adviser, you will need the following information:
- About you: the adviser needs to see proof of your age, identity and address.
- Your income: make a notes of things such as your salary if applicable, pension, state benefits, bank and building society accounts and any investments.
- Your outgoings: list all of your regular outgoings such as bills and food and less regular expenses such as birthdays and trips out.
- Your property: have a copy of you last mortgage statement if applicable and so some research of properties in your neighbourhood to get an idea of what you think it is worth.
3. Speak to an equity release lifetime mortgage adviser
An equity release adviser can help you understand all the benefits and risks involved. Take time to go through the personal Key Facts Illustration they give you. Feel free to take notes and ask questions as you go. Then explore your options in depth and think about the plans you would like to make for leaving an inheritance. Now is a good time to make a will and set up a lasting power of attorney if you do not have one already.
4. Start your application
Once you are ready, your equity release lifetime mortgage adviser will complete and submit your application for you. You will need to:
- Confirm if you would like inheritance protection, and if so, teh percentage of your property's value to secure for your estate. This will reduce the total amount you are able to borrow.
- Choose whether you would like a one-off lump sum, or access to smaller amounts as and when you need it.
- Decide whether or not you would want to make monthly interest payments. If you do, you will need to have your bank details ready so that you can set up a direct debit.
- Talk through the application with your adviser and confirm any changes.
- Request a redemption statement or repayment figure from your exisitng provider, if you are using money to repayt a debt such as a loan or outstanding mortgage.
- Your property will then arrange your property to be valued by a specialist surveyor.
5. Enjoy your retirement
If approved, the equity release provider will send you an offer along with a copy for your solicitor. Your solicitor will go through the legal aspects, and as sooon as the documents are returned to the equity release lender, they will release the money. After application, it usually takes around 7 to 8 weeks, and your adviser will keep you updated.