22 Mar 2024

Can I sell my house if I have equity release?

Yes, selling a house with equity release is possible, whether you have a lifetime mortgage (LTM) or home reversion plan.

There are many good reasons for selling your house and moving to another one. You may want to be closer to family, move somewhere special to you or even just downsize. But it’s important to remember that your provider has to agree to the move.

We’re going to explain how it can work in this article. LTMs are the most popular way of releasing equity, so we’ll focus on them.  

Can I sell my house with ER

Can I move house if I have equity release? 

Yes, you can move house if you have equity release. But If you sell your house, you’ll still need to deal with your equity release loan.

How do I transfer equity release to another property?

You have two choices:

  • Repay your current loan and take out a new one on your new home
    • You’ll have to pay off any interest and probably an early repayment charge (ERC)
    • Your new loan will probably have a different interest rate
  • Transfer your existing loan to your new home – this is usually called porting it
    • Because it’s the same loan, your interest rate won’t change
    • If your new home’s cheaper, you may have to pay some of your loan back
    • If it’s more expensive, you might be able to release extra money to pay for it

With both options you’ll probably have to pay valuation and arrangement fees. And as with any house move, there will also be solicitor and conveyancer fees, stamp duty, and other costs.

Whether you’re repaying or porting your loan, you should touch base with your provider as soon as possible. You won’t be able to buy somewhere new until you’ve agreed your equity release next steps with them, and it will have to meet their lending criteria.

What happens to my equity if I don't transfer it to another property?

You can only take out equity release on a property you actually live in. So if you’re moving out and don’t want to port your loan, you’ll have to pay it off.

If you choose not to move, you can stay in your home until the last remaining borrower dies or moves into long term care. You don’t have to repay your equity release loan until then.

If you’ve taken out a lifetime mortgage, you’ll enjoy any increase in the price of your home. If you’ve taken out a home reversion plan, you won’t be able to access some or all of the extra equity that’s built up as you will have sold part of the value of your home to your lender.

What should I do next?

If you’ve already released equity from your home and want to move to a new one, we’d recommend:

  • Checking in with your provider – they’ll need to sign off on your move, so you should involve them and be aware of their needs and processes right from the start.
  • Talking to a financial adviser – ideally get in touch with the one that helped you set up your current equity release product. If you need a new one, find one on Unbiased.
  • Use our Equity Release Calculator to see how much money you could release from a possible new home – but only finalise your plans once you’ve talked to your provider.

If you’re still learning about equity release and making sure you’ve answered all your questions in advance, the Unbiased website and our Equity Release Calculator should be helpful.

FAQs

Do you still own your house with equity release?

It depends on the kind of equity release you go for. Lifetime mortgages are loans secured against your home, so if you take one out you still own it. But with home reversion you sell some or all of your home to your provider. Even though you still live in it, you no longer own it yourself.

What are the drawbacks of equity release?

Equity release drawbacks can include interest on your loan building up quickly, having less to leave to your loved ones and the costs associated with setting up your product. For more information, take a look at our Is equity release a good idea for you? article.

What happens to equity release if you move?

You can usually either take it with you to your new property (known as porting it), or pay it off and take out a new plan at your new place. You might have to pay an ERC, valuation and arrangement fees, and you will have to cover all the normal costs that come with a move.

 

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