What Are Home Reversion Plans and How Do They Work in 2024?

Home reversion plans, a key equity release strategy, allow homeowners to sell a portion or the entirety of their property below market value in exchange for a tax-free lump sum or a series of payments. This arrangement grants you the right to continue living in your home without paying rent, offering a blend of financial freedom and security.
  • Last Updated: 17 May 2024
  • Fact Checked Fact Checked
  • Our team recently fact checked this article for accuracy. However, things do change, so please do your own research.

Contributors:

Francis Hui
Curious About the Benefits and Drawbacks of Home Reversion Plans? Learn How They Work, Who They Are for and Whether They Could Help You Reach Your Financial Goals in Retirement.
Every Investor Promise
Every Investor Promise
At Every Investor, our aim is to assist you in making informed financial choices. We are committed to maintaining rigorous editorial standards, yet it is important to note that our content may include references to our partner’s products. For full transparency, here is an overview of how we earn money.

Key Takeaways…

  • Home reversion plans are financial agreements in the UK where homeowners over the age of 60 can sell part or all of their home equity.
  • In exchange for home equity, homeowners receive a lump sum or regular income and retain the right to live in their home rent-free.
  • The main advantages of these plans include guaranteed access to funds and the ability to remain in the home without ongoing housing expenses.
  • The significant downsides are the loss of property ownership and potential negative impacts on means-tested benefits.
  • The suitability of a home reversion plan depends on individual circumstances such as age, health, financial needs, and plans for estate and inheritance.

In 2024, home reversion schemes have adapted to offer seniors a reliable way to access their home equity while securing their residence for life. It transforms property assets into usable funds, addressing financial needs without monthly repayments or interest accumulation.

These plans now come with enhanced features like inheritance safeguards, allowing individuals to allocate a portion of their property’s future value to heirs. Such developments demonstrate the industry’s focus on combining financial aid with legacy planning, offering peace of mind.

In This Article, You Will Discover:

    Imagine unlocking the value of your home without having to leave it. In 2024, home reversion plans offer just that, turning bricks into a bank without moving an inch. But, not diving into how they work could mean missing out on a financial strategy that suits your retirement needs to a tee.

    Dive deeper to explore the nuances of these plans. Learn how they could be the key to a worry-free retirement, ensuring you make informed decisions.

    Who Offers the Lowest Rates in 2024?

    Discover the Lowest Rates & Save

    Request a FREE call back & discover:

    • Who offers the LOWEST rates available on the market.
    • Who offers the HIGHEST release amount.
    • If you qualify for equity release.
    Home Reversion Scheme Insights
    Who Offers the Lowest Rates in 2024?

    Discover the Lowest Rates & Save

    Request a FREE call back & discover:

    • Who offers the LOWEST rates available on the market.
    • Who offers the HIGHEST release amount.
    • If you qualify for equity release.
    Home Reversion Scheme Insights

    What Is a Home Reversion Plan?

    A home reversion plan enables homeowners to sell part or their entire property below its market value in exchange for a tax-free lump sum, regular income, or both.

    Importantly, it allows sellers to remain in their home without paying rent.

    As a pivotal equity release option, home reversion schemes offer financial flexibility in retirement while ensuring homeowners retain their residence.

    It’s crucial to understand its advantages and implications for comprehensive retirement planning.

    How Does a Home Reversion Scheme Work?

    Home reversion schemes provide a strategic financial avenue for individuals over 60, enabling them to sell a portion (25%-100%) of their home equity in exchange for a lump sum or regular income, whilst still living in their home rent-free.1

    This option is particularly appealing for retirees who are asset-rich but cash-poor, offering a practical way to leverage their home’s equity without relocating.

    Key to the appeal of these plans is the absence of interest charges, as these arrangements are not loans but equity sales.

    This feature distinctly sets them apart from loan-based equity release options, offering a straightforward approach to estate management without the worry of accruing debt over time.

    However, entering this scheme does involve significant considerations.

    It alters the homeowner’s status from full owner to part-owner or even tenant, which can affect the property’s future value and the amount of inheritance available to heirs.

    Given these factors, including potential reduced property ownership, limited growth in property value share, and contract inflexibility2 , it is crucial to seek professional financial advice.

    This ensures a well-informed decision is made, considering the impact on one’s estate and tax liabilities.

    Functionally, these plans allow for selling a share of your property back to the provider, in return for financial compensation.

    The amount received typically ranges from 20% to 60% of the property’s market value 3, influenced by factors like the homeowner’s age and the property’s condition.

    Importantly, the older you are at the commencement of the plan, the more favourable the terms are likely to be.4

    Despite home reversion’s less popular status compared to lifetime mortgages, mainly due to considerations like lower valuations and the impact on inheritance, it remains a viable option for those seeking to optimise their retirement finances.5

    With careful planning and professional guidance, home reversion can be a valuable part of a comprehensive retirement strategy.

    How Do Home Reversion Plans Compare with Other Equity Release Options?

    Home reversion plans and lifetime mortgages offer two distinct ways to access equity in your home.

    • Home Reversion Plans: Involves selling a portion or all of your property to a provider in exchange for a lump sum or regular payments, while retaining the right to live in your home rent-free for life. You become a co-owner with the provider, and the property’s eventual sale proceeds are shared according to the ownership percentages.
    • Lifetime Mortgages: Allows you to take a loan against your home’s value while maintaining ownership. Interest accumulates over the loan’s duration, with the total amount due when you pass away or move into long-term care. Some plans allow for interest or capital repayment to manage the debt.

    The main difference is in ownership and how you receive funds: selling a part of your home’s ownership versus borrowing against its value.

    Which is better?

    The choice between them depends on your financial objectives, inheritance considerations, and preferences regarding debt and property ownership.

    What Are Some Examples of Home Reversion Plans?

    Examples can help you understand how these plans work in the real world. 

    To illustrate, we will walk you through two different examples: one showcasing a full reversion, and the other a partial reversion.

    Example of a Full Home Reversion Plan?

    A full home reversion refers to a plan where the homeowner sells 100% ownership of their property to a reversion company.

    A full reversion could look something like this… 

    Mr. Smith, 70, owns a property worth £500,000. He decides to enter into a full plan, selling 100% of his property to a reversion company. 

    Typically, he may receive around 35% of its market value, amounting to £175,000. 

    He continues to live in his home rent-free for life, but the property now belongs to the reversion company.

    Example of a Partial Reversion Plan?

    On the other hand, a partial home reversion involves selling only a portion of the property, usually a specific percentage. 

    A closer look…

    Mrs Brown, 75, chooses a partial plan. 

    She sells 50% of her £300,000 property and receives around 35% of this portion, netting her £52,500. 

    The remaining 50% of the property’s value is preserved for her family or future needs.

    *The above examples are fictional and are merely used for illustrative purposes. 

    Are Home Reversions a Relevant Option in 2024?

    In 2024, home reversions remain a relevant option for homeowners seeking to access equity without monthly repayments, catering to specific financial needs and providing a viable option for senior homeowners to access tied-up equity while ensuring lifelong accommodation. 

    With the UK’s ageing population increasing6, these plans can offer financial stability in retirement.

    Before choosing a plan, consider that you will receive below market value.

    Explore all options and consult a qualified equity release advisor for advice tailored to your circumstances and future goals.

    Who Is Eligible and What Are the Criteria?

    UK homeowners aged 65 and over are eligible for a home reversion plan if they own (and live in) a UK property worth a certain amount, usually over £80,000.7 

    If you meet these requirements and are approved, you will also be required to maintain your home to the provider’s standard

    Age can be an important factor…

    Typically, the shorter your life expectancy, the sooner the provider will be able to recoup it’s loan and, consequently, the more you may be able to borrow.8

    The minimum age to qualify for a home reversion plan is typically at least 65 years old.

    This age requirement ensures that the plan is accessible to those in or approaching retirement, providing a financial solution tailored to the needs of older homeowners.

    It is important to check with individual providers, as age requirements can vary slightly.

    What Are the Pros and Cons?

    The advantages of home reversion plans include receiving a lump sum or regular payments without debt accumulation, and the ability to stay in your home.

    A quick summary of the potential benefits…

    • No need to make repayments: Plans offer a distinct advantage over other forms of equity release; as there is no loan involved, no repayments are necessary unless you have opted for a plan that requires rental payments.9 
    • Access to a lump sum: You can access a significant tax-free lump sum, enabling you to fulfill immediate financial needs or aspirations.
    • Protection against property value decrease: You can safeguard against future property value fluctuations because once you have sold a portion of your property, you will not be affected by any fall in the property’s value.
    • Guaranteed occupancy for life: The plan guarantees lifetime tenancy, providing peace of mind, as you have the right to reside in your property rent-free (unless paying rent is part of your agreement) for life.

    The disadvantages include the fact that you will be relinquishing part or full ownership of your home, it could affect your eligibility for benefits, and you will not receive the full market value for the portion you sell. 

    More details on these points… 

    • Selling all or part of your home: You will receive less than it’s market value for your home.
    • Decreased inheritance: It will reduce the value of your estate and affect the inheritance you can leave behind.
    • Limited equity release: The cash received is generally lower than that which may be obtained through alternative later-life lending options.
    • Potential impact on benefits: Obtaining a large lump sum can potentially affect your entitlement to means-tested benefits.

    What Should You Consider Before Applying?

    It is important to consider both the financial and emotional aspects of home reversion. 

    The Financial Aspects of Home Reversion Plans

    Financial aspects of home reversion plans depend on factors like your age, property value, and the percentage you sell. 

    Consider the following…

    • Home reversion providers tend to offer 20%-60% of the property’s value10, and the amount may increase with age.11 
    • How much you can release will depend on your age12, property value, and health.13
    • Fees include valuation, legal, and maintenance costs.14 
    • You can receive the money as a lump sum or regular payments.15 
    • No interest is paid.16 
    • The primary amount you receive is tax-free, but generated income or interest may be subject to taxation.17 Consult a tax specialist for specific details.
    • Be sure to obtain personalised quotes from independent, FCA-authorised and regulated, financial advisors. 

    Emotional and Psychological Considerations

    Emotional and psychological considerations for home reversion involve assessing the impact of selling a part of your home on personal well-being and family inheritance, which is crucial for making informed, comfortable decisions about property equity release.

    Additionally, homes hold memories and emotional ties, making these kinds of decisions challenging. 

    Factors to consider include… 

    • Positive: Security
    • Positive: Relief from financial stress
    • Negative: Family and inheritance concerns
    • Negative: Feelings of loss
    • Negative: Anxiety about future changes

    Seek professional advice and discuss with family to navigate these complexities effectively.

    What Is the Application Process?

    The application process for a home reversion plan involves property valuation, eligibility assessment, and legal consultation to finalise the agreement.

    Steps generally involve…

    • Consulting with a financial advisor to discuss your needs and circumstances
    • Choosing a provider 
    • Getting a quote
    • Getting a property valuation
    • Completing the legal paperwork

    Finally, after all checks are done and the paperwork is signed, the agreed cash is released.

    How Can You Secure the Best Deal?

    To secure the best deal on a home reversion plan, you should conduct thorough market research, compare offers from multiple providers, and possibly consult with a financial advisor to navigate the options and terms that best meet your financial goals.

    Consider… 

    • Use a home reversion calculator to determine your affordability.
    • Seek independent financial advice.
    • Compare plans. 
    • Always choose a provider who is a member of the Equity Release Council and who is authorised and regulated in the UK by the FCA. 
    • Consider the plan’s effect on your tax position and welfare benefits.
    • Discuss your decision with your family.

    What Are the Risks, Legal Aspects, and Safety Concerns?

    Risks and legal aspects of home reversion plans encompass potential inheritance impact and the necessity of comprehensive legal advice to ensure informed decision-making.

    Risks include… 

    • You may not receive the full market value for your property.
    • You may not be able to release as much equity as you need.
    • If you end the plan early, you may need to pay fees.
    • You will not fully benefit from future property price rises.
    • You may not be able to pass on your property to your heirs.
    • You will no longer own 100% of your home.
    • You will not be able to reclaim ownership of your property if your circumstances change.
    • Home reversion could affect your tax position and entitlement to means-tested benefits.
    • The property’s deeds and ownership will be given to the provider.
    • If you are a sole homeowner and pass away unexpectedly, your home may be lost.18

    Always consider these risks against the benefits with the help of a qualified equity release advisor or broker before making any decisions.

    Legal considerations include…

    • Ensuring you understand the terms of the agreement.
    • Ensuring the agreement is correctly set up. 

    A solicitor will help you review the contract to ensure it meets your needs and expectations, and that you understand your rights and responsibilities as well as those of the provider.

    If your provider goes bust, your rights are typically protected…

    • Reputable providers are authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)19, and plans are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.20 
    • Additionally, choosing a provider with Equity Release Council membership ensures that further safeguards are in place to protect you.
    • If your provider goes out of business, your lifetime tenancy is protected.

    What Are the Alternatives to Home Reversion Plans?

    Alternatives to home reversion plans include lifetime mortgages, downsizing, or utilising personal savings, each offering different ways to access equity or manage finances in retirement.

    More detail… 

    • A lifetime mortgage lets those 55+ borrow against their home’s value, repaying only when they pass away or enter long-term care.
    • RIO mortgages offer interest-only payments for older borrowers, with no fixed end date, repaying the capital upon the home’s sale after passing or moving into care.
    • Downsizing involves selling your home for a cheaper, smaller one, releasing equity and cutting costs, appealing to retirees wanting a simpler or new location.

    How Does Home Reversion Equity Release Compare to Sale-and-Rent-Back Schemes?

    Home reversion equity release differs from sale-and-rent-back schemes by allowing homeowners to remain in their home without rent, versus selling and renting it back.

    Differences between these two types of plans…

    • Home reversions: You sell part / all of your property, receive payments, and live there rent-free (in many cases) until you pass away or move.
    • Sale-and-rent-back: You sell your property, rent it back, and can live there indefinitely, but rent may increase, and you run the risk of eviction.21

    Seek independent advice before deciding which option suits you best, and please note that no Sale-and-Rent-Back schemes are currently regulated by the FCA*.22

    *Accurate as of 02/08/2023, but this may be subject to change.

    How Safe Are Home Reversion Plans?

    Home reversion plans are safe when chosen with reputable providers, offering clear terms and regulatory protections to secure homeowners’ interests.

    It is also important to choose a provider that is a member of the Equity Release Council, ensuring they adhere to a strict code of conduct.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is Opting for a Home Reversion Plan Advisable?

    Is Selling Your Home Possible With a Home Reversion Plan?

    Can You Partially Sell Your Property Through a Home Reversion Plan?

    Is Moving Out Feasible With a Home Reversion Plan?

    Do You Retain Ownership With a Home Reversion Equity Release?

    How Is the Property Value Linked to the Amount Received in a Home Reversion?

    Can Home Reversion Plans Fund Care Expenses?

    How Does Home Reversion Impact My Estate?

    Is Home Reversion a Good Idea for Equity Release?

    Concluding Insights

    Home reversion schemes offer a unique way to unlock home equity without moving out, but it is essential to consider their advantages and disadvantages and consider the potential financial, legal, emotional, and psychological implications. 

    Seek independent advice tailored to your situation and explore other options like lifetime mortgages and downsizing when considering home reversion to enhance your retirement security. 

    Related Articles
    Scroll to Top