What Minimum Information is Needed for a Free Equity Release Calculator?November 19th, 2014
Your age and property value is all a free equity release calculator uses to provide you with a quote regarding the maximum amount of equity available for release. However, most online websites providing an equity release calculation are going to ask for more details. There are a few reasons for this. The first is that they are providing information and for an even exchange they want to have your name and contact details as the trade off. In this way they can market products geared towards you and help you get more advice should you need it.
It is up to you whether you give the website your real name and contact details. If you want to receive emails, call backs, or more information about the products on hand, it is a good idea to give proper information. On the other hand, you could search out an independent broker when you are ready eliminating the need to give information.
Most of the time when you get results it will be an estimation to use as a guide, which means you will need to follow up with an expert to check the results, confirm them, and see if there is a better product open to you on the market. The quote might be very close and thus you are ready to choose the best product. For some the quote might not be accurate at all due to the actual information you supplied.
Accuracy in what You Do
It is not enough to find a free equity release calculator you can trust to give you accurate and up to date information. Certainly you want the calculator to be up to date on market products today versus even a year ago. You also want the calculator to work between the ages of 55 and 90 to ensure you are not using a biased tool specifically designed for certain companies and their products.
Yet you have to do your part. You need to supply an accurate age and property value if you want the results to be near what you can actually receive from the company of your choice. This means you need to understand how the equity release calculator works.
Property Value and Age
Each company has a specific age they will use as the base age of the youngest homeowner. For some companies this is 55, but for others it might be 60 or 65. For home reversion you need to be 65, but for some lifetime mortgage companies you can be 55. Note the use of “youngest homeowner” this is imperative to understand. A company will not offer a product to you if the other person on the property title is not at least 55 years of age. Furthermore, they will not use the oldest age of the household, but the youngest.
The assumption is the youngest person is going to live the longest, thus the mortgage will be outstanding based on their life expectancy and not the older person. As long as you use the right age you are on your way to more accurate results.
Property value is another area that can be subjective until you have an actual appraisal conducted on your home. However, you can use sites like Zoopla or Nationwide to determine the value of your home. With Zoopla you look at home sales in your area, what has sold, what is on the market, and pending sales. You will then find a home that is comparable to the size, age, and renovations you have made to determine a value. Since this number may not be completely accurate, it will skew the results.
This is where talking with a broker can help. They have access to information you might not have. Additionally, they can view the home and gauge with more accuracy the potential value.
Qualifications Based on Health and Choice
Your choice between home reversion and lifetime mortgage determines the type of calculator you need to use. For example, home reversion allows you to look at how much of the home you would need to sell to get the funds you want. With lifetime mortgages your age and property value determine the percentage of the loan, plus the interest rate the company might offer. Speaking with an independent, qualified adviser is your next step after using a free equity release calculator to gain results regarding your potential equity release maximum tax free cash lump sum.