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Equity Release

At Bower, we provide equity release advice from the whole market that help our customers to safely access tax free money from the value of their property.

For those wanting some financial freedom to maybe repay and existing mortgage, do some home renovations or go on holiday to enjoy a comfortable retirement. FCA regulated equity release UK through Bower can provide you a safe way to unlock cash from your home.

What Is Equity Release?

Equity release is essentially a type of long-term loan in the form of a mortgage that is utilised as a way to ‘release’ some of the value of your property without having to sell or move home, whilst having the guarantee to stay there for the rest of your lives or move home. The money released is completely tax free and depending on what type of plan you choose can be accessed as either a tax-free cash lump sum or an equity release cash drawdown as and when needed.

Is Equity Release Safe?

Equity release is a regulated financial product with safeguards in place such as the ‘no negative equity guarantee’ which ensures that borrowers will never owe more than the value of their property. Equity release products are protected by ‘security of tenure’ which guarantees customers the right to live in their property for life or as long as they wish to.

There is also the added peace of mind that unlike a traditional mortgage, with equity release plans there is no risk of repossession and as long as the property remains your main home.

How Does Equity Release Work?

Equity release works by enabling you to access funds from the equity you hold in your property. There are many factors which will influence the amount you can release and the equity release process can be a little complex but the diagram below shows some simplified examples that may help give you a better understanding.

Diagram of equity release influential factors

Equity release works by enabling you to access funds from the equity you hold in your property. There are many factors which will influence the amount you can release and the equity release process can be a little complex but the diagram below shows some simplified examples that may help give you a better understanding.

With no mortgage or secured debt your equity will be greater. However, there are many factors which will influence the amount you can release such as age, health and lifestyle. To get a better idea of how much money you might be able to release equity in your home, try our free equity release calculator.

If you have an outstanding amount on your mortgage this will need to be cleared either by existing funds or through the process of releasing equity. You can then spend the remaining equity in any way you choose.

Who is Eligible for Equity Release?

Equity release isn’t suitable for everyone and in order to be eligible you must:

  • Be aged 55 or over (youngest applicant if you are applying as a couple).
  • Own your own home worth over £70,000.
  • Live in the UK.
  • The property must be your main residence although there are products for buy to let
  • Be able to pay off any remaining mortgage or secured loan with the equity you release.

What Types Of Equity Release Plans Are Available?

There are two main types of equity release products, lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans.

At Bower, our knowledgeable equity release advisers provide expert guidance on both of these equity release products, as well as advice on both the advantages and disadvantages to help find the best fit for your needs.

Lifetime Mortgage

Aimed at those age 55 and over, a lifetime mortgage allows you to borrow some of your home’s value at a fixed interest rate with no need for repayments, whilst being able to continue to live in the property without having to sell or move and the guarantee of staying in your home.

One of the most appealing parts of this type of equity release plan is that there can be no monthly payments required so you are free to enjoy the lifestyle you want without the worry or burden of repayments. The interest on the loan builds up each year which is called compound interest and both the loan and the interest are repaid from the sale of the home. This happens in the event that you choose to voluntarily pay back the loan, go into long-term care or the last person on the plan passes away.

Interest Only Lifetime Mortgage

Sometimes not known is the fact that you can if you wish, pay the interest only element of the lifetime mortgage which will keep the amount of the loan at the amount first borrowed for the lifetime of the mortgage. Apart from having no increasing debt and hopefully an increasing property value. An advantage of this type of mortgage is that if you wish or need to stop paying,

the mortgage automatically roles into a roll-up mortgage where the interest builds up. However, unlike a normal mortgage you cannot have your house repossessed because you stop paying, making these also a safes mortgages when it comes to the guarantee of staying in your home.

It is important to note that entering into any form of equity release such as a lifetime mortgage, will decrease the value of your estate and therefore reduce how much inheritance you have to leave behind. It could also affect your tax position and eligibility for state welfare benefits. How much this will be, will be explained and shown exactly in writing before any plan is taken out though Bowers advice.

Click here for more on the advantage and disadvantages of Lifetime mortgages and equity release.

Home Reversion Plan

Aimed at those over 65, Home Reversion Plans allows homeowners to sell their property or a share of it to a provider in exchange for a discounted lump sum or regular income payments. You retain the right to continue living there rent free until you move out, go into residential care or pass away.

Unlike a lifetime mortgage, with this form of equity release there is no interest that needs to be paid and if you keep a share of the property then you will continue to benefit from any increase in value whilst reserving a portion of your property’s value for your family’s inheritance. However, this type of equity release plan tends to be less flexible than a lifetime mortgage and it can be difficult to end or buy back the property down the line.

Click here to find out more about the pros and cons of home revision plans to give you a better idea of what might work for you.

Equity Release Specialists

At Bower our high standards, unrivalled expertise and award-winning equity release advice service are here to help guide and support you throughout your equity release journey.

Our knowledgeable equity release advisers and customer service specialists are happy to talk you through the process, how it all works, if you are eligible and how much money you could release, as well as answer any questions or concerns you may have.

We are keen on our social responsibility mission to ‘go green’ and be eco-friendly and so we are able to offer our comprehensive range of services through a number of different communication mediums all suitable from the comfort of your own home. We are happy to arrange phone calls, emails, video chats or Zoom calls which offer a safe, convenient and environmentally friendly way to deliver our services.

Contact us today to find out more about how equity release can help you access some of the value in your home to spend and enjoy as you wish!


What are the benefits of equity release?

As with most things, there are of course pros and cons associated with equity release which is why it is important to be fully informed and aware of what you are entering into. For those that decide to proceed, there are many advantages to choosing equity release, such as;

  • You retain full legal ownership of your property and remain the homeowner.
  • The no negative equity guarantee means that you or your estate will never be required to pay back more than the property can be sold for.
  • If you choose a lifetime mortgage, then you have the option to receive your money in either a one off lump sum or a smaller cash sum and a reserve of cash from which to draw from.
  • If required, in some circumstances inheritance can be safeguarded with a percentage of your home’s value left behind for loved ones. This will however reduce the amount you can borrow.
  • These types of mortgages are portable which means that if you move home then a lifetime mortgage can transfer to a new property as long as the new property adheres to the lending criteria.

What are the risks associated with equity release?

It is always important to think carefully and talk through big decisions with an independent financial advisor and trusted family members. Although there are many great benefits to equity release there are some risks that homeowners should always be made aware of beforehand such as;

  • When you release equity, it can affect things such as welfare benefits and change your tax position which is worth looking into.
  • Although in some circumstances you can choose to safeguard a percentage of your properties value to be left as an inheritance, the amount available to your beneficiaries will still be reduced after the lifetime mortgage has been paid off.
  • The interest builds up over time annually on the loan and interest already added which means that the amount you owe increases. When you go into long term care or pass away as per the terms and conditions, the property is sold, and the interest repaid from the sale of your home.
  • Equity release is considered to be a lifetime commitment that ends once you no longer require your property. However if you choose to end your mortgage early then there can be early repayment charges.

Is releasing equity the right option for you?

Equity release can be a great option for a lot of people but whether it is the right choice for you will depend on your individual circumstances such as:

• Your age
• Your total income
• How much cash you are looking to release
• What your plans are for the future

A lot of people tend to focus on the immediate cash boost that they will receive with their equity release but it’s also important to properly research, understand and consider the possible long term affects for later in life.

Before you make any decision, be sure to speak to a professional equity release advisor who will be able to offer expert advice and suggest alternative solutions of they think it isn’t the right option for your needs.

Is equity release available in Northern Ireland?

Yes, there are two main types of equity release in Northern Ireland;

Lifetime Mortgage – This is the most common type of plan that helps people over 55 borrow money secured from the value in their home.

Home Reversion Plan – This allows people to sell a share or all of their property in return for a tax-free lump sum or smaller regular payments

At Bower, we have specialist equity release advisers based in Northern Ireland, Belfast and Derry who fully understand the local market.

Bower provides independent, impartial whole of market advice with an award-winning customer service experience. Initial advice is provided at no cost to you and without obligation. Only if you choose to proceed and your plan completes, would a typical advice and administration fee of £1,495 be payable.

To find out more about any of the products and the service we provide, please call us on freephone 0800 411 8668, request a call back, email us, or join our live chat you’ll find on our website.

If you are considering equity release, we strongly recommend that you read our ‘Advantages and disadvantages of Equity Release’ page carefully and talk to one of our specialists before deciding if you wish to proceed.

This is a lifetime mortgage or home reversion plan. To understand the full features and risks, please ask us for a personalised illustration.