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Is it possible to release equity from your home during lockdown and is now the right time? We take a look

Posted on: 26 May 2020 by 50connect Promotions

There are many reasons why people consider releasing a tax-free sum of cash from their home. For example, you may want to release equity to repay existing debts or support a family member. Key Equity Release advisers can help you decide if it's appropriate for your personal circumstances.

Coronavirus

The coronavirus outbreak and subsequent social lockdown to protect lives has changed the way we live and work at rapid speed.   

This has caused doubts and raised questions for many people planning their financial futures. 

In the current circumstances many older homeowners are concerned about whether they can, or indeed should, consider releasing equity - a way of unlocking tax-free cash from the value of their homes. 

Currently, over-65s in the UK have more than £1 trillion worth of unmortgaged housing equity and by unlocking some of that, they can help fund a more comfortable retirement. 

But everybody has questions about equity release and right now people are asking whether this is a good time to release funds from their property's value.

Can you still do equity release during lockdown? And should you?  

The simple answer is yes. You can absolutely do equity release during lockdown but as you might imagine things have changed and there are important things you need to consider.

It is a requirement to take specialist advice when you take out an equity release product and never before has getting the right quality of advice been more important. 

Is now a good time to do equity release? 

It has always been vitally important that you balance both your short-term and longer term financial needs but now, more than ever, the need to get good quality advice is crucial. 

Equity release lasts a lifetime and so it is important not to rush into a long-term financial decision just to service a short-term need. 

This is where market leading advisers, Key Equity Release, can help. Their honest approach to equity release advice ensures that if equity release is not right for you here and now, they will tell you.

Can you get equity release advice remotely?

Traditionally, most people would choose to meet an adviser to discuss releasing equity face-to-face. 

Today, with social distancing and lockdown, that's no longer possible. The good news is that it is still possible to investigate your options. 

Key Equity Release believes firmly in the value of face-to-face specialist advice, however they have now made it possible to receive the same expert, personal advice over the phone, tailored to your specific circumstances. 

You can also still involve family members in the process when you use Key Equity Release - your adviser will set up a call for you to discuss your options together if you wish. 

Can you still get legal advice during lockdown? 

Releasing money from your home is a big decision, which is why anyone taking out an equity release plan must seek independent legal advice to ensure their interests are protected.  

As it is no longer possible to receive face-to-face legal advice during lockdown, industry body, the Equity Release Council, has worked with specialist solicitors to ensure customers can still receive independent legal advice.

This means solicitors can facilitate the signing and witnessing of documents whilst adhering to government guidelines on social distancing, allowing customers to proceed with equity release. 

Will someone need to come to my home? 

As lockdown restrictions are eased, some lenders are providing the option of either a physical or semi-automated property valuation.

Physical property valuations will only take place where it is safe to do so, for both the surveyor and customer. To enable customers who are isolating and want to continue with equity release, semi-automated valuations are available. These use a combination of property value data sources and local RICS chartered surveyors expertise to be able to accurately assess your property’s value – without the need for someone to visit your home. Key Equity Release will take care of this for you. 

Consider why you want to do equity release 

There are many reasons people consider releasing a tax-free sum of cash from their home.  

If you want to release equity to repay existing debts, increase your income or support a family member then it may well be that an adviser recommends you go ahead if they're sure it's appropriate for your personal circumstances.

However, there are some obvious reasons for releasing equity which might not make so much sense given the coronavirus pandemic. 

For example, many people release equity to pay for holidays or to buy new cars or make some home improvements.  

If this is what's motivating you, it may be more sensible to review options with an adviser but postpone releasing the cash until you can put the money to good use. 

Key is telling customers in this situation to get in touch, but if the right advice for you is to wait, then that is what your adviser will recommend.

We want to ensure customers make the right decisions, balancing all the different factors 

Will Hale, Key chief executive

Key's chief executive, Will Hale, says: 'While this may seem counterintuitive, providing best advice, even if that means recommending customers do not proceed at this time, is at the heart of our business. 

'Releasing money from your home is an important long-term decision and it is important that all the risks and benefits are properly considered at a time when customers may be feeling more worried than ever about their future and that of their wider family.

'Key Equity Release prides itself on answering all of the questions you might have about equity release, the most important of which is 'Is equity release right for me? 

'We want to ensure customers make the right decisions, balancing all the different factors, especially at a time when immediate financial worries, both for them and their families is likely to be at the forefront of their mind. 

'Now more than ever Key will make sure equity release is right for you given the current circumstances.'

Why use Key Equity Release and how can they help? 

Over the past 20 years Key advisers have helped over one million people decide if equity release is right for them.

Key Equity Release does not charge you an advice fee and the firm's biggest commitment to all customers is that if you shouldn't take equity release because it's not right for you, their adviser will tell you.

During this unprecedented health crisis, Key has worked hard to safeguard the health of all its advisers and customers by making its expert advice available over the phone. 

Key has also worked with industry bodies and law firms to make sure no customer has to risk their health in order to access fully regulated and authorised equity release if they choose to go ahead.

Key advisers are here to help you and will always give you the advice that's right for you and your circumstances. And if equity release is not right for you, they will tell you. 

For the answers to all your questions and order your free expert guide, call Freephone 0808 208 0963 or fill in the form below. 

Find out how much cash you could release in seconds with our free online calculator

Things to consider about equity release 

• With a lifetime mortgage the cash you release from your home is tax-free

• Key Equity Release offers lifetime mortgages only, which is a loan secured against your home

• Typically there are no monthly repayments as the loan plus roll-up interest is repaid when the plan comes to an end

• You always remain the owner of your home with a lifetime mortgage

• You should always think carefully before securing a loan against your home

• Key’s plans come with a no negative equity guarantee so you will never owe more than your home is worth

• Equity release will reduce the value of your estate and may affect your entitlement to means-tested benefits

• You can guarantee an inheritance with some of Key's plans

• All of Key's equity release advice relates to its range of Key-branded products and is completely free of charge, so you can find out if it's right for you without it costing a penny.

Download your FREE Guide today and Key Equity Release will pop one in the post for you to read.

 

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