The place to come for unbiased independent Equity Release advice.

Northwest Equity Release

Northwest Equity Release

Northwest Equity Release

Northwest Equity Release

Northwest Equity Release

The Consultation Process.

Following your initial enquiry, and under pre-COVID, circumstances, I’d arrange to visit you in your home to discuss what you want to achieve. 

During current circumstances, our first meeting could still be conducted face to face if you’re happy, with all social distancing measures taken into account. Alternatively, a Fact Find meeting could be conducted on the phone or using WhatsApp, Zoom or other application of your choice!

Our first meeting is all about finding out about you and understanding what you want to achieve. I’d provide you with my business card so you have my contact details and the Initial Disclosure Document, (IDD). This confirms we work with the whole of the market and that I provide advice and a recommendation after fully understanding your circumstances.

The IDD also mentions fees and the good news is there are no fees payable “upfront”. In addition, none of the lenders charge a valuation fee so it costs absolutely nothing to find out what can be achieved. The document goes on to explain we’re regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FCA, what happens if you want to make a complaint and that you’re protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). It also covers your rights under GDPR or Data Protection, why we need personal information and how it is used.

I explain how Equity Release works, the features, benefits, available options and the possible disadvantages that you need to be aware of. With your permission, I’d complete a Fact Find to record your needs and circumstances and would use this information as the basis of my recommendation. This initial meeting is free with no commitments and normally takes about ninety minutes, depending on how many questions you have! It’s all about getting to know what you’re looking for, I don’t give any advice at this stage as I have to complete my research first.

I always encourage you to let your family know what you are considering. If you want them to attend our meetings, physically or virtually that’s great, everyone gets to hear the same message at the same time!

Next, I conduct my research. There are more than 500 plans and variants to consider. What is different compared to conventional residential mortgages, is who the lenders are. They are not “high street” banks, rather large financial institutions like Aviva. L&G, Scottish Widows and Standard life to name a few. Big, well-known brand names. I need to take into account your personal circumstances, how much you need as an initially , do you need access to funds in the future, are you looking to make any repayments and so much more.  During this stage, I’d normally phone you to discuss my initial findings and answer any questions that may have occurred to you since our first meeting.

At our second appointment, I present you with three main documents. Two that I’ve produced and one from the recommended plan provider. Again, there’s no charge for this appointment, there’s no commitment and this meeting can be face to face or “virtual”. Subject to local lock-down guidance, my preference is face to face so I can make sure you have all the facts and your questions have been answered.

The first document I present is my Suitability Report that confirms the information you provided. It lays out the amounts you’re looking for and details my recommendation, why I’ve chosen that product and confirms our fees as were discussed at the first appointment.

The second document is an extract of the research I completed so you can see why the recommended plan has been selected.

The third document is the illustration from the provider, the Key Facts Illustration (KFI). This is the document with all the detail of how the plan works, the features, terms and conditions. I’ll talk you through all these documents to make sure everything’s accurate and you understand.

If you’re happy with everything we can make the application. As stated, there are no “upfront” costs to pay and all fees due will be taken from, or added to the money released on completion. Further, if you use one of the specialist Equity Release solicitors, if for any reason you don’t proceed, there would be no charge, other than any disbursements they’ve paid for. My fee would be waived. The application is just speculation until we know the value of your home. In the Lifetime Mortgage world, the property is more important than the person and with no charge for the valuation that’s completed by a professional independent firm of valuers, there’s nothing to lose.

The next steps are all “back office”. The first thing to happen is the lender will request and arrange the valuation of your home, normally within about seven days. The valuer reports their findings to the lender and if everything’s in order the lender will produce a formal offer. Lifetime mortgages are only dependant on the property value and age of the younger applicant. Affordability, income and expenditure and stress testing is not part of this process, and previous poor credit need not be an issue.

Once the offer has been made, the legal side of the application process will start. The specialist solicitors would visit you at home to have the papers signed and to check you’re fully aware of what you’re doing. Since COVID, solicitors can deal with this step remotely or physically depending on lock-down guidance and your preferences.

When the legal paperwork has been filed, completion can happen. This is when the money’s released, net of all fees due. We normally suggest the process takes between eight to ten weeks as a guide but it can be quicker, or slower, with each case being unique.

Use my details on the “Contact us” page for more information or to arrange an appointment.