Buy-to-Let Mortgages vs. Standard Mortgages: Which Is the Better Option?

Choosing the right mortgage is a critical decision for property investors and homeowners alike. Whether you’re considering venturing into the buy-to-let market or purchasing a property for personal use, understanding the differences between buy-to-let mortgages and standard mortgages is essential. In this guide, we’ll delve into the key distinctions between these two types of mortgages and explore which option may be a better fit for your specific circumstances.

At UK Property Finance, we specialise in providing comprehensive insights and guidance on property financing solutions. With years of experience in the industry, our team of experts is well-equipped to offer valuable advice on navigating the complexities of mortgages. We understand that every individual’s financial situation is unique, which is why we strive to tailor our recommendations to meet your specific needs and goals.

As a trusted provider of mortgage services, UK Property Finance has earned a reputation for delivering reliable and transparent assistance to our clients. Our commitment to professionalism and integrity is reflected in our track record of successful mortgage arrangements and satisfied customers. We maintain close relationships with a network of lenders, ensuring access to a diverse range of mortgage products to suit various preferences and requirements.

When it comes to mortgage decisions, trust is paramount. At UK Property Finance, we prioritise transparency and honesty in all our interactions. Our team of advisors operates with the highest ethical standards, providing clear and accurate information to empower you to make informed decisions. We understand the importance of building trust with our clients, which is why we strive to cultivate long-term relationships based on mutual respect and integrity.

Key differences:

  • Purpose:
  • Buy-to-let mortgages are specifically designed for individuals looking to invest in rental properties. These mortgages typically require a larger deposit and may have higher interest rates compared to standard mortgages.
  • Standard mortgages, on the other hand, are intended for owner-occupiers purchasing a property for personal use. These mortgages often have lower interest rates and more flexible terms, making them suitable for primary residences.
  • Eligibility:
  • Buy-to-let mortgages may have stricter eligibility criteria, including requirements related to rental income and property management experience.
  • Standard mortgages typically have more lenient eligibility requirements, focusing primarily on the borrower’s income, credit history, and ability to repay the loan.
  • Interest Rates and Fees:
  • Buy-to-let mortgages may come with higher interest rates and fees due to the increased risk associated with rental properties.
  • Standard mortgages often offer more competitive interest rates and lower fees, making them a more affordable option for owner-occupiers.

Which option Is better for you?

The decision between a buy-to-let mortgage and a standard mortgage ultimately depends on your financial goals, investment strategy, and personal circumstances. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Investment objectives: If your primary goal is to generate rental income and build a property portfolio, a buy-to-let mortgage may be the better choice.
  • Risk tolerance: Buy-to-let mortgages carry additional risks, such as vacancy periods and maintenance costs. If you prefer a lower-risk option, a standard mortgage for your own home may be more suitable.
  • Financial position: Consider your financial situation, including your savings, income, and credit history, to determine which type of mortgage aligns with your budget and borrowing capacity.

In conclusion, the decision between a buy-to-let mortgage and a standard mortgage depends on various factors, including your investment objectives, risk tolerance, and financial position. At UK Property Finance, we’re here to help you navigate the complexities of mortgage financing and choose the option that best suits your needs. Contact us today to speak with one of our experienced advisors and explore your mortgage options with confidence.

Remember, whether you’re investing in rental properties or purchasing your dream home, making an informed mortgage decision is crucial for your long-term financial success. Trust UK Property Finance to provide the expertise, authority, and trustworthiness you need to secure the right mortgage for your unique circumstances.


Is it Worth Remortgaging My House?

Remortgaging your house can be a daunting decision, fraught with uncertainty and a plethora of questions. However, in today’s financial landscape, where interest rates fluctuate and personal circumstances evolve, it’s a question that deserves careful consideration. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the intricacies of remortgaging and delve into the factors that can help you determine whether it’s worth remortgaging your house. Additionally, we’ll discuss how using a remortgage calculator can be an invaluable tool in this decision-making process.

Understanding Remortgaging

Firstly, let’s clarify what remortgaging entails. Remortgaging simply means switching your existing mortgage deal to a new one, either with your current lender or a different one. People typically remortgage for various reasons, such as:

  • Securing a Better Interest Rate: One of the primary motivations for remortgaging is to take advantage of lower interest rates, potentially reducing monthly payments and overall interest costs.
  • Accessing Equity: Homeowners may remortgage to release equity tied up in their property for purposes such as home improvements, debt consolidation, or funding major expenses like education or weddings.
  • Changing Terms: Some individuals may opt for remortgaging to change the terms of their mortgage, such as by extending or shortening the loan term or switching from a variable-rate to a fixed-rate mortgage (or vice versa).
  • Consolidating Debt: Consolidating higher-interest debts into a mortgage with a lower interest rate can be a strategic financial move, potentially saving money in the long run.

Factors to Consider

Before diving into the remortgaging process, it’s crucial to assess various factors to determine whether it’s the right decision for you:

  1. Current Interest Rates:
  • Are current interest rates lower than your existing mortgage rate?
  • How much could you potentially save by securing a lower rate?
  1. Remaining Term of Your Mortgage:
  • How much time is left on your current mortgage term?
  • Do you want to extend or shorten the term of your new mortgage?
  1. Equity in Your Home:
  • How much equity do you have in your property?
  • Are you looking to release equity, and for what purpose?
  1. Fees and Charges:
  • What fees are associated with remortgaging, such as arrangement fees, legal fees, and valuation fees?
  • Will the potential savings outweigh the costs of remortgaging?
  1. Personal Financial Situation:
  • How stable is your income?
  • Are you planning any major life changes, such as starting a family or changing jobs?
  1. Future Interest Rate Predictions:
  • What are the forecasts for future interest rate movements?
  • Will securing a fixed-rate mortgage protect you from potential rate hikes?

Utilising a Remortgage Calculator

A remortgage calculator can be an invaluable tool in the decision-making process, providing you with clarity and insight into your financial situation. Here’s how it can help:

  • Estimate Potential Savings: By inputting your current mortgage details and potential new mortgage terms, a remortgage calculator can estimate how much you could save on monthly payments and overall interest costs.
  • Compare Different Scenarios: You can compare various remortgage scenarios, such as different loan terms, interest rates, and fees, to determine the most financially advantageous option for your circumstances.
  • Budget Planning: A remortgage calculator can help you plan your budget by providing a clear picture of your future mortgage payments and potential savings, allowing you to make informed financial decisions.
  • Evaluate Equity Release Options: If you’re considering releasing equity from your property, a remortgage calculator can help you assess how much equity you could release and the impact it would have on your mortgage payments.

Whether remortgaging your house is worth it depends on a variety of factors unique to your situation. By carefully considering current interest rates, your financial goals, and utilising tools like remortgage calculators, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your long-term financial objectives. Remember to weigh the potential savings against the costs and consider seeking advice from financial professionals if needed. Ultimately, with thorough research and careful planning, remortgaging can be a strategic financial move that helps you achieve your homeownership and financial goals.

How are Mortgages Financed?

In the UK, where homeownership is deeply embedded in the cultural fabric, mortgages play a crucial role in enabling individuals and families to achieve their property dreams. However, the intricate world of mortgage finance can be a daunting maze to navigate, often shrouded in jargon and complex procedures. This blog post aims to demystify mortgage finance, providing a comprehensive overview of how mortgages are financed in the UK.

The essence of mortgage finance

At its core, mortgage finance is the mechanism through which individuals borrow funds from financial institutions, such as banks or building societies, to purchase or refinance a property. The borrowed amount, known as the principal, is repaid over an extended period, typically 25 years, with interest accruing on the outstanding balance. This interest, paid regularly in the form of monthly mortgage payments, constitutes the lender’s compensation for providing the loan.

The mortgage lenders: the powerhouses of mortgage finance

A diverse array of financial institutions serves as mortgage lenders in the UK, each with its own unique lending criteria and product offerings. These lenders play a pivotal role in the mortgage finance ecosystem, ensuring the availability of funds for homeownership aspirations.

The mortgage process: a step-by-step journey

Securing a mortgage involves a multi-step process, designed to assess the borrower’s creditworthiness, affordability, and the suitability of the property as collateral. The typical mortgage process in the UK can be summarized as follows:

  • Credit check: Lenders examine the borrower’s credit history to determine his or her ability to repay the loan. Checking credit reports, debt levels, and payment history are all part of this process.
  • Affordability assessment: Lenders look at the borrower’s income and expenses to make sure they can afford the mortgage payments. This includes going over income statements, employment information, and living expenses.
  • Property valuation: A surveyor determines the market value of the property to determine the maximum loan amount the lender is willing to provide. This ensures that a valuable asset is used to secure the loan.
  • Mortgage offer: Following approval, the lender makes a formal mortgage offer outlining the loan terms, including the interest rate, repayment schedule, and any special conditions.
  • Legal formalities: Solicitors handle legal aspects like conveyancing and title checks to ensure a smooth property transfer and to protect the interests of both parties.
  • Completion: The property is purchased and the mortgage becomes active once all formalities are completed. The borrower begins paying the lender regular monthly mortgage payments.

Types of mortgages: tailored to diverse needs

The UK mortgage market offers a variety of mortgage types, catering to individual financial situations and preferences:

  • Fixed-rate mortgages: These mortgages offer the security of a fixed interest rate for the duration of the loan, resulting in predictable monthly payments.
  • Variable-rate mortgages (VRMs): VRMs have lower initial interest rates but are subject to market fluctuations, which can affect monthly payments.
  • Tracker mortgages: Tracker mortgages closely track a benchmark interest rate, such as the Bank of England base rate, with monthly payments adjusting as a result.
  • Offset mortgages: By linking a savings account to the mortgage, the interest payable is reduced by offsetting the mortgage balance with the savings balance.

Funding sources for lenders: the backbone of mortgage finance

Mortgage lenders obtain funds to provide mortgages from various sources, including:

  • Retail deposits: Deposits made by customers into a bank or building society accounts form a significant portion of mortgage funding.
  • Wholesale funding: Lenders borrow funds from other financial institutions, such as investment banks or money market funds.
  • Capital markets: Lenders issue bonds or other securities to raise funds in the capital markets.
  • Government-backed schemes: Certain government-backed schemes, such as Help to Buy, provide additional funding options for borrowers.

The regulatory framework: ensuring transparency and consumer protection

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates the mortgage industry in the UK, ensuring transparency, fair lending practices, and consumer protection. The FCA’s regulations cover aspects such as affordability assessments, mortgage advertising, and complaint handling.

Conclusion: empowering homeownership dreams

Mortgage finance is critical to enabling homeownership and contributing to a stable housing market in the United Kingdom. Individuals who understand the complexities of mortgage finance can navigate the mortgage journey with greater confidence, making informed decisions that pave the way to achieving their homeownership goals. Remember to seek professional advice from independent financial advisors or mortgage brokers as you begin your mortgage journey to tailor a mortgage solution that aligns with your financial goals and circumstances.

How Does an Equity Release Work?

As we navigate the financial intricacies of life, certain tools emerge that offer unique solutions to specific challenges. One such tool is equity release—an option that allows individuals to unlock the value tied up in their homes. In this blog post, we’ll explore the mechanics of how equity release works, shedding light on the process, benefits, and considerations for those considering this financial avenue.

Understanding Equity Release

Defining equity release
Equity release is a financial arrangement that permits homeowners, typically those aged 55 and up, to access the equity built up in their homes without having to sell the property. It is a mechanism that allows individuals to convert a portion of the value of their home into cash, providing them with funds for a variety of purposes.

Equity release types

Lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans are the two primary kinds of equity release.

  • Lifetime mortgages: The most popular type of equity release. It entails obtaining a mortgage secured by the home, with interest accruing on the loan. The outstanding balance is usually repaid when the homeowner dies or enters long-term care.
  • Home reversion strategies: Individuals sell a percentage of their property to a home reversion provider in exchange for a lump sum or regular payments under this arrangement. The homeowner retains the right to live on the property until death or placement in care.

Eligibility criteria
To be eligible for equity release, individuals must typically be homeowners aged 55 or older. The amount that can be released depends on factors such as the individual’s age, health, and the value of the property.

Loan repayment
With a lifetime mortgage, the loan is repaid, along with accumulated interest, when the homeowner dies or moves into long-term care. Some lifetime mortgages allow for interest payments during the term to prevent compounding.

Home reversion plans involve the sale of a portion of the property, and the provider receives a share of the property’s final value upon sale.

Safeguards and protections
Equity release products are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. This regulatory oversight ensures that individuals are provided with clear information and that certain safeguards are in place to protect their interests.

Impact on inheritance
It’s important to note that equity release can impact the inheritance that individuals can leave to their heirs. This is a key consideration for those contemplating this financial option.

Professional advice
Seeking professional financial advice is crucial before considering an equity release. Independent financial advisors can assess individual circumstances, explain the potential risks and benefits, and help individuals make informed decisions.

Equity release, when used thoughtfully, can be a valuable tool for individuals looking to access the wealth tied up in their homes. As with any financial decision, careful consideration, expert advice, and a clear understanding of the terms and implications are essential. By unlocking the value in their homes, individuals can potentially enjoy a more comfortable retirement or address specific financial needs, paving the way for a financially secure future.


What is The Meaning of Mortgage Finance?

In the UK, purchasing a home is often considered a significant milestone, representing stability, security, and a sense of accomplishment. However, for many aspiring homeowners, the path to homeownership is paved with financial considerations, particularly the complexities of mortgage finance.

Understanding Mortgage Finance: The Basics

Mortgage finance, the cornerstone of homeownership, involves borrowing money from a financial institution, such as a bank or building society, to purchase a property. The borrowed amount, known as the principal, is repaid over an extended period, typically 25 years, with interest accruing on the outstanding balance.

Types of Mortgages: Tailored to Individual Needs

The UK mortgage market offers a variety of mortgage types, catering to diverse financial situations and preferences:

  • Fixed-rate mortgages: These mortgages provide the security of a fixed interest rate throughout the loan term, ensuring predictable monthly payments.
  • Variable-rate mortgages (VRMs): VRMs offer lower initial interest rates but are subject to fluctuations based on market conditions.
  • Tracker mortgages: Tracker mortgages closely follow a benchmark interest rate, such as the Bank of England base rate, with monthly payments adjusting accordingly.
  • Offset mortgages: Offset mortgages allow linking a savings account to the mortgage, reducing the interest payable by offsetting the mortgage balance with the savings balance.

The Mortgage Process: A Step-by-Step Guide

Securing a mortgage involves a multi-step process, including:

  1. Credit check: Lenders assess your creditworthiness to determine your ability to repay the loan.
  2. Affordability assessment: Lenders evaluate your income and expenses to ensure you can comfortably afford mortgage repayments. This can be done using a mortgage calculator.
  3. Property valuation: A surveyor appraises the property to determine its market value and inform the loan amount.
  4. Mortgage offer: Upon approval, the lender provides a formal mortgage offer outlining the terms and conditions of the loan.
  5. Legal formalities: Solicitors handle legal aspects, including conveyancing and title checks, to ensure a smooth transaction.
  6. Completion: Upon finalising all formalities, the property is purchased, and the mortgage becomes active.

Mortgage Finance: Benefits and Considerations

Mortgage finance offers several advantages:

  • Achieving homeownership aspirations: It enables individuals and families to purchase their dream homes.
  • Leveraging equity: Over time, homeowners build equity in their properties, increasing their net worth.
  • Tax benefits: Certain mortgage-related expenses may be eligible for tax deductions, reducing overall tax liabilities.

However, mortgage finance also presents potential challenges:

  • Debt obligations: Mortgages represent significant financial commitments, requiring long-term monthly payments.
  • Interest rate fluctuations: Interest rates can rise or fall, affecting mortgage affordability and repayments.
  • Foreclosure risks: Defaulting on mortgage payments can lead to foreclosure, resulting in the loss of the property.

Seeking Professional Guidance: Navigating the Mortgage Journey

Given the complexities of mortgage finance, it is advisable to seek professional guidance from independent financial advisors or mortgage brokers. They can provide tailored advice, assist in comparing mortgage options, and help you make informed decisions aligned with your financial goals.

Conclusion: Unlocking the Door to Homeownership

Mortgage finance plays a pivotal role in enabling homeownership and fostering a sense of stability and belonging. By understanding the intricacies of mortgage finance, individuals can navigate the mortgage journey with greater confidence, making informed decisions that pave the way to achieving their homeownership aspirations.

What Does Martin Lewis Say About Equity Release?

Martin Lewis is a renowned British financial journalist and consumer champion. He is the founder of the Moneysaving Expert website and is widely respected for his independent and impartial advice.

Lewis has spoken extensively about equity release, a type of loan that allows homeowners to access the equity tied up in their property. He has stated that equity release can be a useful financial tool for some people, but it is important to consider the potential risks and drawbacks before taking out a loan.

Lewis’s key points about equity release:

  • Equity release can be a good way to access money to help you live a better retirement.
  • Equity release is not a decision to be taken lightly, and it is important to seek professional advice before proceeding.
  • Equity release can have a significant impact on your inheritance.
  • Equity release is not suitable for everyone, and it is important to consider your individual circumstances.

Here is a more detailed look at Lewis’s views on equity release:

  • Equity release can be a good option for homeowners who are asset-rich but cash-poor. This means that they have a lot of equity in their home, but they are struggling to make ends meet. Equity release can allow them to access this equity and use it to improve their quality of life.
  • Equity release can be a good way to pay off debts or fund other large expenses. For example, some people use equity release to pay for home repairs, long-term care, or to help their children with a deposit on a house.
  • Equity release can be a good way to supplement your income in retirement. If your pension is not enough to cover your living costs, equity release can provide you with a lump sum or a regular income stream.

Equity release is not suitable for everyone. It is important to consider the following risks and drawbacks before taking out a loan:

  • Equity release can reduce the amount of inheritance you leave behind. This is because the loan is repaid from the sale of your property when you die or move into long-term care.
  • Equity release can be an expensive way to borrow money. Interest rates on equity release loans are typically higher than standard mortgage rates.
  • Equity release can have a negative impact on your credit score.

Lewis’s overall advice on equity release is that it can be a useful financial tool, but it is important to consider the potential risks and drawbacks before taking out a loan. He recommends that people seek professional advice from an independent financial advisor before proceeding.

BTL Remortgage Declined

Remortgaging a Buy to Let property can be a surprisingly simple yet affordable way of raising funds for almost any project or purpose. That said, refinancing a Buy to Let property is not the same as remortgaging the home you live in.

As a Buy to Let property is technically a business investment, it is viewed somewhat differently by most banks and lenders. The fact that the applicant may already have an extensive portfolio of properties and loan products may factor into their eligibility checks.

Reasons for Buy to Let Refinance Refusal

Application rejections are always disappointing, though can always be attributed to one or more important issues. As with most mortgages and remortgage deals, general ‘stress tests’ and background checks will be performed on landlords looking to refinance Buy to Let properties.

Examples of which include credit history tests, assessment of current debts and outgoings, income and affordability checks, total combined equity owned and so on. Should one or more of these checks return a ‘negative’ result, it is unlikely the respective application will be accepted

Alongside these more typical grounds for rejection, there are also several surprisingly common issues that can stand in the way of a Buy to Let refinance application. Mainstream banks and lenders are scrutinising Buy to Let remortgage applicants where one or more of the following apply:

1) Buy to Let Properties with Flat Roofs
This is by no means guaranteed grounds for refusal, but can nonetheless make it more difficult to qualify for a competitive refinancing deal. Irrespective of the quality or structural integrity of the property, flat roofs are considered higher-risk than more ‘conventional’ roofs and often require more maintenance. It is therefore assumed by many lenders that flat roofs can make properties more difficult to sell out, which is why they can show reluctance to lend against them.

Where all types of non-standard properties and property configurations are concerned, it is essential to consult with an independent broker if considering refinancing.

2) Late-Night Businesses and Premises Nearby
The most obvious examples to illustrate this point would be bars, pubs and nightclubs in proximity to the property in question. Properties positioned too closely to late-night businesses and certain types of premises could be considered difficult properties to sell, given the disruption a nuisance caused by their neighbouring properties. If there is a chance that late-night revellers could keep the occupants of the property awake, a lender may consider it a high-risk property to lend against.

The same may also apply (though to a lesser extent) to properties located near busy railways or directly under flight paths.

3) Undesirable Odours
Another factor taken into account by many refinance specialists is the presence of restaurants, cafés and takeaways in proximity to the property in question. Taking into account the preferences and potential objections of future buyers, any Buy to Let property exposed to undesirable odours of any kind may be considered to have diminished future sales potential. The most obvious examples of which being flats located directly above or adjacent to chips shops, kebab shops, curry houses and so on.

Even if you have no objections to these kinds of fragrances personally, they may be considered an issue by your lender.

4) Japanese Knotweed
This problematic plant continues to represent a thorn of thousands of property owners across the UK. In almost all instances, mainstream residential mortgage lenders will immediately close their doors where the word ‘knotweed’ comes into the equation. The presence of knotweed isn’t something that can (or should) be covered up, as to do so could land you in serious trouble at a later date.

If you suspect one or more of your properties may be affected by Japanese knotweed, it is essential to organise its destruction and removal at the earliest possible stage. Otherwise, you may find it difficult to refinance the property in question and impossible to sell it at a later date.

5) Lease Coming to an End
Another factor considered grounds for refusal by many lenders is when the applicant’s lease on their property is coming to an end. As a general rule of thumb (though not always the case), any Buy to Let property with less than 70 years remaining on its lease could be extremely difficult to refinance or sell. This is because it is considered to be a depreciating asset, which could present future complications as the lease draws closer to its conclusion.

Issues surrounding lease expiration can be complex to address, which is why it is important to take action at the earliest possible stage.

Consult with an Independent Broker

Whether you are seeking clarification with a rejected application or simply looking to ensure you get the best possible refinancing deal, consulting with an independent broker is the way to go.

Issues surrounding lease expiration can be complex to address, which is why it is important to take action at the earliest possible stage.

Irrespective of your requirements and the extent of your property portfolio, an experienced broker can help you understand the available options and get the best possible deal from a specialist lender.

Remortgage Guide

Realistically, there are just two approaches you can take if you decide to refinance your home:

Take your business directly to your chosen bank or lender

Work with a trusted independent mortgage broker

While it is technically possible to access a good deal with either approach, working with a broker is guaranteed to save you time, effort and money. You need only consider the complexities of calculating your requirements and completing your application to understand the value of independent broker support.

If you choose to remortgage your home manually, this is how the initial process works:

  • Establish the value of your property. You can get a basic indication of your property’s value using an online portal like Zoopla, though you may need to pay for a formal valuation your lender will accept.
  • Calculate your equity. This means working out how much you still owe your lender, in order to determine how much of your property you actually own and how much of your mortgage is outstanding.
  • Consider remortgage options. Irrespective of your requirements, you will need to choose between several types of remortgage loans: Interest-only, repayment, tracker, discount, fixed rate and so on.
  • Compare the market. Before applying, you also need to conduct an extensive and comprehensive market comparison, taking into account hundreds of potential offers from dozens of competing lenders.
  • Submit your application. Only then can you begin the formal application process, which includes provision of sufficient supporting documentation to verify your financial position and eligibility.

In a typical case, organising a refinancing deal independently takes approximately two months. If there are any delays or complications along the way, it can take significantly longer.

Working with a broker, the vast majority of the complications involved in applying for a refinancing deal are taken care of on your behalf. As an added bonus, your broker will also handle the negotiation process to ensure you gain access to an unbeatable deal.

As the vast majority of reputable brokers offer all the above free of charge (for the borrower), it simply makes sense to seek expert support at the earliest possible stage.

Remortgage or Equity Release

Equity release is becoming an increasingly popular option for UK homeowners looking to tap into the capital they have tied up in their homes. Likewise, anyone who has an existing mortgage can leverage their equity by choosing to remortgage. This basically means taking out a new mortgage that is bigger than their existing mortgage, in order to raise funds for any given purpose.

The important question being that when both options are available, which is best? If you intend to access the equity you have tied up in your home for any reason, should you remortgage your property or consider an equity release scheme?

Reasons for Releasing Equity or Remortgaging

Equity release schemes and refinance deals can be used to raise funds for almost any purpose whatsoever. With most people, the home you own is the single most valuable and important possession you will take ownership of.

Not to mention, an asset that can be used to secure a wide variety of financial products against.

Some of the most common reasons for releasing equity or remortgaging include funding home improvements, major extensions and renovations, second property investments, vehicle purchases and so on.

Rather than taking out a second loan to cover the costs, you instead ‘unlock’ the value of your current home to get a better deal.

How Do You Calculate Equity?

The equity you have in your home is calculated by subtracting your outstanding mortgage debt from the current market value of your home. In a typical example, if your home has a current market value of £300,000, and you still have an outstanding mortgage balance of £220,000, you have £80,000 of equity.

With most lenders, the amount of equity you have tied up in your property will influence your eligibility for financial support and the amount of money you can borrow. You may also find that depending on how much equity you have tied up in your home, there are various different options to explore when looking to raise funds.

Whatever your objectives and current financial position, it is essential to consult with an independent broker to ensure you understand the available options. Particularly if considering entering into a refinancing deal or equity release scheme, you need to carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages, before going ahead.

Remortgaging to Release Equity

One of the easiest and most affordable ways to release equity tied up in your property is to remortgage. Whether you choose to stick with your current lender or search for a better deal elsewhere, remortgaging is a good option for raising funds for almost any purpose.

This type of refinancing works by effectively ‘extending’ your existing mortgage and replacing it with a larger loan. You initially took out a mortgage of £200,000 and have subsequently repaid £70,000. You need to raise funds for a major home improvement project, therefore you replace your remaining £130,000 mortgage with a £180,000 refinance loan, subsequently freeing up £50,000 to fund the refurbishments.

In many instances, switching to a new lender can also result in significantly lower monthly repayments and a more competitive rate of interest for the life of your mortgage. Speak to an independent broker to discuss a whole-market comparison, if considering remortgaging to release equity.

Equity Release

An equity release scheme can also make it quick and easy to access the capital tied up in your home. The biggest difference being that with equity release, you effectively transfer ownership of your home (in part or in full) to a third-party lender. Subsequently, the money provided is repaid in full when your home is sold, either when you pass away or move into permanent care.

Equity release can be a good option for individuals and households who are ‘cash poor’ but ‘asset rich’. For example, you may live in a property with a value of £500,000 or more, yet have little to no savings or income at your disposal. Enrolling in an equity release scheme could allow you to access some or all of the money tied up in your home, while at the same time enabling you to live there rent-free (or for a small monthly ‘rent’ fee) for the rest of your life.

The downside of equity release being the way in which all such schemes will significantly reduce the value of your estate and your ability to pass your assets on as inheritance. You may also find that equity release impacts your state benefit entitlement and your tax position.

Under no circumstances should equity release be considered without first seeking expert advice from an independent broker or qualified financial advisor.

Independent Broker Support

By far the quickest, easiest and most cost-effective way to leverage the money tied up in your home it to seek the support, input and expertise of an established broker.

Along with helping you get to grips with the available options, your broker will work hard to negotiate the best possible deal on your behalf with a panel of specialist lenders across the UK.