While equity release is intended to last for the rest of your life, you never know what might happen! Before taking out a plan, you must be aware of what would happen if your plans change and decide to move.
Buying a property isn’t an easy decision, but sometimes, for whatever reason, you might decide that it’s the right time. If this is the case, and you already have an equity release mortgage on your house, your plan shouldn’t be the thing holding back.
However, you need to know some basic principles when wanting to move your equity release plan. Continue reading to discover what these are!
Transferring an Equity Release Plan to a Different Property
The question is, will your equity release plan still be valid, and will it be legal to sell the home you’ve released equity from?
The short answer is yes!
The technical term for this scenario is called Porting:
Porting is when you transfer your lifetime mortgage to a different house, your new home. But how can you do that?
How Do I Transfer My Equity Release to a New Property?
When you move your plan to another house, it’ll be very similar to taking out the plan the first time. You’ll need to get financial advice, of course, so you’ll need to revisit your equity release adviser. They’ll get a clear understanding of your needs and intentions and then find the best solution for you.
3 Factors Worth Considering:
- The construction of your new house and its features will have to be the same or very similar to your current house.
- The new or moved plan must be identical to others on the market. Speak to your adviser before you sign the papers for your new home.
- Some advisers tell their clients to port their current equity release plan to the new house, or suggest they resell the plan and take out a new one.
Advisers are supposed to give you a KFI for every plan in similar formats. That way, you can easily compare plans and strategies.
When you compare these plans, you’ll notice a few differences:
- Valuation fees
You’ll have to pay this fee beforehand when you port the current equity release plan on your house. This money won’t and can’t be refunded to you. If you want to take out a new plan, you’ll be able to get one with free property valuation1.
When you port your current equity release plan, you’ll be able to get further legal advice2, or you can proceed without it. However, taking out a brand new plan will require you to get that legal advice at an extra cost.
You should keep these points in mind when you’re deciding your financial future. You need to remember that there are even more costs to pay when you move into a new home.
Now the question is, should you transfer or port your plan?
The Pros and Cons of Transferring vs Porting Your Plan
Now the decision is whether you should port or take out a brand new equity release plan. Here’s a table to lay out the pros and cons of each:
|Porting||You won’t be required to get legal advice, saving you money.||You’ll need to pay a valuation fee up-front, and it isn’t refundable.|
|You might like your current equity release provider, and you don’t want to change.||There may be other fees like legal and transfer fees.|
|The whole process is much quicker.|
|New Equity Release Plan||You get the best rates on the market without being limited by your current plan.||Early repayment charges for your current loan may be charged.|
|You’ll have access to plans with free valuation fees and other perks your current plan doesn’t include.||You have to get legal advice for your new plan at an extra charge.|
By looking at these points, you might want to talk to a professional about your specific circumstances and hear what they think the best option is. They should provide you with a report projecting the total costs for each option.
This is crucial when moving from one plan to another. You’ll be charged an early repayment charge (ERC) on your current plan, and even though a new rate looks good, it may end up costing you more throughout the programme. It’s important to know all the costs involved. For example, Key equity release fees are among the lowest.
A new equity release interest rate will apply when porting your plan. Plus, if there’s any ERC window, it’ll most likely reset too. So that’s another pro. A con is that you won’t get the same terms on your new plan if that’s what you wanted.
Why Wouldn’t I Be Able to Transfer My Equity Release To a New Property?
One reason is that the new home doesn’t meet the requirements of the lender3. So, you won’t be able to port the plan.
But listen here.
Equity release providers have become much more flexible in recent years when it comes to lending requirements, but they won’t budge on some things.
5 Factors That’ll Prevent You From Porting Your Plan
- Houses made from non-standard construction (like some types of concrete)
- Age-restricted properties (like over 50’s retirement homes)
- Leasehold4 properties with little time remaining
- High flooding risk houses
- Homes requiring renovation (like houses needing complete rewiring, full modernisation, new central heating, etc.)
Ask these questions to your adviser before you forget.
You have to make sure about these factors to don’t buy the wrong property and waste money. Say you move into a house that’s cheaper than your current one. What’ll happen to your equity release plan? Will you get your money back?
Effects of Moving to a Cheaper Home
When you move into a new home, and it’s valued less than your previous home, you’ll have to repay part of the release equity to your provider. So, if the property is worth 50% less, you’ll need to refund 50% of your loan. Why? Because your provider will have 50% security in your new house.
This doesn’t have to be a worry. Generally, people can do so thanks to the money they made on the previous house they sold. Let’s have a look at another real-life example.
What Happens to My Equity Release if I Don’t Move It to Another Home?
If you move into a new house but don’t port your plan, you’ll most likely have to repay your equity plan. You may incur early repayment charges. However, there is a feature that has become very popular over the last few years.
You can now waiver the early repayment charges with this lovely feature called downsizing protection. Note that every provider has a different approach to that, so you must make sure to find out what your provider offers. It would be a pity to overlook this factor and have to incur extra ERC charges. So, be sure to find out.
Got Questions? Check These First
Can I Sell My House If I Have An Equity Release Plan?
Many traditional equity release plans let you move your loan to a new house if you want to sell your original home, provided your lender approves the new place first. In this scenario, you’ll have to pay off some of the loan early, which can trigger early repayment costs.
Can You Move If You Have Equity Release?
All equity release schemes that the ERC approves let you move whenever you want to. If you took out a lifetime mortgage, you could transfer it to your new house. However, with a home reversion plan, you won’t own your property entirely.
Can I Transfer My Equity Release To Another Property?
The short answer is yes. You can transfer an equity release mortgage to a new property in most cases. In general, your loan provider won’t be able to approve properties that can’t be sold on the open property market – for example, retirement complex homes.
Is Equity Release A Good Idea Because It's Flexible to Move?
Equity release allows you to release money tied up in your home, so you get cash to use as you like. So, if you’re considering home improvements or adding office space, or if you’re looking to help your family financially, planning a luxury holiday or if you want extra retirement income, releasing equity could be a good idea.
It’s very flexible as well, as you can move to another house, even if you’ve taken out an equity release loan against it. You can also move from one plan to another if your current loan plan doesn’t suit you anymore.
After hundreds of hours of testing & reviewing, we have strong opinions about what makes the best ABC.
We highlight the pros, cons & features of the ABC.
Luckily, when you take out an equity release loan, you’re allowed to move into another home. You need to sell your current home and then move your equity release plan to the new house. In recent years, equity release has been amazingly flexible in that regard.
Just make sure that your provider approves the new house before you sign anything.
Finally, if you haven’t yet, but are considering releasing equity from your home, use our Free Equity Release Calculator UK to see how much cash you can unlock.