How do I unlock the equity in my home?


The value of property can increase dramatically, often outstripping returns that can be gained from other forms of investment. For a homeowner, this is often a source of frustration as the value of the property can rise until it far exceeds the value of the mortgage, if one is still being paid. Despite this, they can’t spend the ‘equity’, the difference between the property’s value and any charges against it, as it’s locked into the bricks and mortar of their home.

Like many forms of investment, accumulated wealth can’t be released until the investment is sold but, whereas it’s relatively easy to sell a number of shares, it’s not so easy to sell part of your home, particularly if you want to stay living in it.

Homeowners wanting to unlock the profit that’s accumulated in their home, and it may be a lifechanging amount, are faced with four principal options.

Sell and downsize
This is usually linked to a lifestyle change but it may be a move that is neither desirable nor possible, especially in later life.

Remortgage the property
Although there are all sorts of good reasons for remortgaging, it can be an expensive way of tapping into the equity that’s locked up in a property.

Lifetime mortgage
Although this sounds like a mortgage, it’s not – it’s a straightforward loan secured against the property, which is (usually) repaid when the property is sold. Lifetime mortgages are an ‘equity release’ scheme and covered separately.

Home reversion
This is also an equity release scheme whereby the homeowner sells all or part of the property in exchange for a lump sum or regular cash income.

There are pros and cons to each of these and all are affected by a variety of personal circumstances: your age, your working status, the amount of money you want, the reason for you wanting the money and your long-term financial plans.

The cost of getting it wrong can be both irreversible and financially catastrophic so it’s important to get specialist advice before making a decision. It means talking to someone who has a comprehensive understanding of what’s available, someone who can assess your needs and then recommend a plan that will meet them.

 The Equity Release Council

One Financial Solutions is proud to be a member of the Equity Release Council. The Equity Release Council was formed in 1991 and is a consumer-centric organization that represents the equity release sector, promotes high standards of conduct and practice in the provision of advice and has consumer safeguards at its heart. As members of the Equity Release Council, we are fully committed to upholding its principles.

More information about the Equity Release Council can be found at


How can One Financial Solutions help you? One Financial Solutions is here to help you no matter whether you’re a first-time buyer, thinking about ‘buy-to-let’ as an investment opportunity or wanting to know the pros and cons of equity release.

Buying a property is probably the greatest financial undertaking most of us will ever make; it’s a huge commitment and one that needs to be thoroughly considered, ideally with the help of an expert guide. As a truly independent firm of financial advisers we’ll make sure the mortgage we recommend to you is selected from the entire market and is the one that is best for you.

So, if you’re looking for a mortgage or just want advice on an associated subject, please call us on 020 3714 9565 or ask us to call you by sending an email to


Equity release reduces the value of your estate and may affect any means-tested benefits you’re eligible for. A lifetime mortgage, which is a loan secured against your home, is the most popular form of equity release and you will still own your home. It is important to understand the features, costs and risks of a lifetime mortgage as it will reduce the amount of inheritance you can leave, and may affect your tax position and access to welfare benefits. An illustration will be provided to help you understand all risks.