What is an Equity Release and how does it work?

Your equity in your home is how much you own. Think of it as the amount of your mortgage that you have already paid off, or the difference between your home’s market value and what you still owe the lender. So, once you have paid off your mortgage completely, you have 100% equity: you own it entirely. But as the value of your home appreciates, there is no immediate benefit to you in terms of cash. You will not be able to profit from the increase in value until you sell your property, and if you never sell, your estate and beneficiaries will be the only ones who are better off.

An equity release mortgage offers a way around this. These mortgages are becoming increasingly popular for homeowners aged 55 and older, as they give you a way to benefit from the equity you have built up in your home. An equity release involves a lender giving you a portion of the value of your home as a lump sum or a series of payments, in exchange for interest or …

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When the truth comes out about arrears.

I often try to focus on ‘what is’ rather than ‘what is right’ (and sometimes still get it wrong!), but the idea is to look at something from as objective a standpoint as possible. I’ll take the National Geographic for instance (stick with me on this!), if you watch it objectively and see a lion kill a gazelle you realise that it is nature, the gazelle didn’t want to be torn apart, equally the lion doesn’t want to starve to death and if you accept that lions killing gazelles is a perfectly natural thing then you are seeing what ‘is’. On the other hand if you watch the same scene but the build up to it was following the life of that particular gazelle from birth and its a Bambi story then the killing scene becomes a sickening tragedy.

That is the difference sometimes between looking at what is ‘just’ or ‘right’ and what merely ‘is’, I don’t know about you but I certainly struggle with that at times. It is …

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Good news: Rate drops and recovery indicators

Doom is the only thing selling lately, but today we will bring you some of the Sunny statistics that are being largely overlooked. This doesn’t mean we are well down the road to recovery but there is the distinct possibility that 2009 will be a turn around year for the global economy, that turn around might be a turn for the worse too though! However, the statistics we will show you now are all positive economic indicators.

1: The end of March saw the housing figures compiled for the previous month [USA]. In February the US Housing sales jumped , existing homes up 5.1% and new build was up 4.7% as buyers took foreclosure properties and others that were thought to be at ‘bargain basement’ pricing opportunities. This could be a hiccup or it could be the start of a trend, it is important to note however, that it took spectacular price drops for the renewed activity to occur. The economic stimulus package also provides tax relief to eligible first time …

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