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Home reversion plans

With a home reversion equity release plan, you sell a percentage of your home in return for lifetime tenancy and a cash lump sum.

What is a home reversion plan?

Home reversions are the predecessors of today’s lifetime mortgages, and were the first type of equity release plan. A home reversion plan involves selling part, or all of the ownership in your property - usually anywhere between 20% - 100%. Plans start from age 60 and the younger you are, the less you receive, due to the potential longetivity of remaining in the property.

In return for a stake in the ownership of your property, the reversion company will provide a tax-free cash lump sum, or even a regular income over a number of years, or your lifetime. The amount you sell has a direct bearing on the amount of money you receive. Unlike lifetime mortgages, no interest is charged with a home reversion plan, nor early repayment charges levied.

Home reversion plans come in-built protection with homeowners being offered a lifetime tenancy. This provides peace of mind in knowing they have a home for life. When the last homeowner dies or moves into care, the property is then sold. Dependent upon the percentage sold, the homeowners estate is guaranteed their share of the sale proceeds - likewise the home reversion company.

Very few home reversion plans are advised these days, as lifetime mortgages now offer much more flexibility and choice. However, home reversion plans are part of our advice process & still relevant if you are worried about the inheritance you’ll leave behind. As a fixed percentage of the property is sold by your estate, you’ll have a good idea of the money you’ll leave for your loved ones.

How much can I borrow with a home reversion plan?

When a home reversion provider calculates how much money they will offer you, they use three criteria – age of the youngest homeowner, value of your property and the percentage you wish to sell. The amount exchanged by the home reversion company is discounted due to the fact you will be living in their part of the property rent free, for the rest of your life.

For instance, if a male age 65, sold 100% of his property, he is only likely receive around 40% of it as a tax-free lump sum. More recently, home reversion providers have included the option of paying a fixed, or escalating rent - this will increase the maximum amount they will lend you. Use our free home reversion calculator, to get an idea of the maximum amount you could borrow.

Compare the advantages and disadvantages of
home reversion plans

Advantages

You are provided with a lifetime tenancy

This means that you will be allowed to remain resident in your own home for rest of your life, or until you move into long-term care.

You benefit on your share of ownership

If you retain a percentage ownership in the property, and its value increases over time, when it is sold, your beneficiaries will receive the same percentage, albeit worth more as the property has increased in value.

There is no interest to pay

A home reversion works differently to a lifetime mortgage as you are selling a percentage of your home to the lender. There are therefore no monthly payments to make, no interest charged and no escalating interest being added.

There is no need to move home

Just as with a lifetime mortgage, you do not need to move home, downsize or relocate, but you are still able to do so if you wish.

Favourable when housing market stagnates or declines

Home reversion can provide more protection than a lifetime mortgage, which could see its equity decrease significantly as the interest continues to compound and its market value falls.

The cash lump sum you receive is tax-free

As with a lifetime mortgage, the money you receive is tax-free and yours to spend as you wish.

You are ring-fencing a portion of your property’s value

Which means that you are effectively able to guarantee the inheritance you leave for your beneficiaries.

Reversions meet Equity Release Council standards

Like liftime mortgages, home reversion plans follow the rules laid down by the Equity Release Council - including the right to remain in your home and the ability to move to a new property.

Disadvantages

You will no longer be the owner of your property

As you are selling a percentage of your property’s value to the lender, you are no longer the sole legal owner of your home.

The lender won’t offer you the full market value for your property

Because the lender is taking a risk in buying your property and offering you a lifetime tenancy, they won’t offer you the full market value. Hence, the money received will be lower than if you’d sold your home and downsized.

Plans start at age 60

You need to be five years older than the minimum qualifying age of a lifetime mortgage which start at age 55.

Can represent poor value for money

If you die in the earlier years, you could have given up a large equity stake in your home for little return.

You won’t be able to leave your entire property to your loved ones

As you are selling a percentage of your home to the lender, the inheritance your loved ones receive will be smaller.

Your entitlement to means-tested benefits could be affected

That’s because you are receiving a cash lump sum that could take your ‘savings’ above the eligibility thresholds.

You will not benefit from house price rises on the proportion of the property you have sold

If your property increases in value over time, your estate will only benefit from the rise in value of the percentage of your property’s value that you choose to leave to them.


These are home reversion plans which allow you to sell part, or all your property in exchange for a cash lump sum. To understand their features, benefits and risks, please contact Equity Release Supermarket for a personalised, key facts illustration. All quotes can be tailored to your own circumstances and you are under no obligation to proceed.