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How to ensure you are on the best equity release plan

Article | Jul 2024

One of the best options available for helping homeowners secure a lump sum of tax-free cash is equity release. Releasing equity from your home enables you to access wealth locked in the value of your property.  This could help you achieve financial goals such as clearing your mortgage or funding your retirement.

However, before you go ahead with choosing between the equity release plans available, there are certain steps you should take. Consulting with a qualified equity release adviser will confirm that you know whether releasing equity is right for you.

At Responsible Life, our equity release advisers discuss all the different equity release options available to you. They will also talk through the alternatives to equity release and help you work out how much money you could release from your home.

When you’re researching equity release, even with the help of a trained adviser, it can be difficult to work out if you have the best equity release plan.

In this article, we will breakdown how you can ensure that you are on the best equity release plan for your circumstances.

Being aware of equity release advice fees

At Responsible Life, you can arrange a no-obligation appointment with our team of nationwide experts face-to-face, over the phone, or by video call. There is no charge for your initial meeting with our equity release advisers. However, it’s important to be aware of the process that follows once you have decided to move forward with an equity release application.

Once your case has been completed, we will charge a single advice fee, which currently does not exceed £1,690. This one-off sum will come with lifetime care to ensure your equity release plan keeps on working for you.

Depending on who you choose to go to for equity release advice, there will be different levels of fees involved. By being aware of this, you can feel more informed about what equity release means for your financial future and begin to figure out if it is definitely the right choice for you, subject to your personal circumstances in the long-term.

Make sure you find the best solicitor and valuation fees

Potential costs to think about that are associated with equity release are the solicitor and valuation fees that might need to be paid during the application process. You will need to have a meeting with an independent solicitor who can take you through contract obligations and ensure you understand everything.

Meeting with an independent solicitor during the equity release process could result in fees, so make sure you shop around to find the best deal you can before choosing the solicitor to meet with. We do have a panel of solicitors that specialise in equity release if you wanted to choose one of them. On average, an equity release application completes faster when supported by one of these specialists.

When releasing equity from your home you will need to have your home valued. This will go through your lender who will help to organise an independent chartered surveyor to come around and complete a home valuation. Speak to your lender about the potential costs involved in this for you.

Decide whether you want to make voluntary payments

An important cost to consider associated with equity release is the interest rate, which is dependent on different contextual factors such as your age, the value of your home and the amount you want to release. It is important to be aware that your interest rate is fixed for life, but that it compounds meaning the amount you owe will increase over time.

However, to help with the costs of equity release, we only recommend Lifetime Mortgage products from lenders who are a part of the Equity Release Council, meaning you will be guaranteed the option of making voluntary payments. These payments could help you reduce the overall costs of equity release, and you will be free to cancel the payments if your circumstances change.

Do you need more information?

When it comes to your equity release plan there are many considerations, but we believe that our customers receive reliable support and can access great equity release plans, suitable for them and sourced by us. If you want more information on equity release, schedule a call with the Information Team today. They can arrange for you to meet with an adviser and get help with planning your financial future.

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