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Equity release vs downsizing – what’s the right option for you?

22/02/2022 |  min read
Equity release vs downsizing – what’s the right option for you?

Downsizing your house is a popular way to take advantage of the equity that has built up in your home. However, if you’ve gained an attachment to your beloved home and don’t want to move out, releasing equity is another option for you to consider.


Downsizing your home means selling your home and buying a cheaper property. This may happen by buying a smaller property or purchasing in a lower priced area. Once you have sold your property, you keep the money left over.

Equity release

Equity release means releasing tax-free cash from the equity that has built up in your home. There are two different types of equity release: a Lifetime Mortgage and a home reversion plan. A Lifetime Mortgage is the UK’s most popular form of equity release, as your home remains 100% yours.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of downsizing?

If you’re considering downsizing to fund your retirement, pay off debt or provide an inheritance, it’s important to consider your options carefully.

Some of the pros to downsizing are:

  • Selling your property is quite straight forward from a financial standpoint. You sell your house at market value and buy a cheaper one.
  • Moving might be a more practical choice for you. You may need to prepare for the future by moving to a bungalow or flat.
  • You may want to move to be closer to family and choose to relocate.
  • Your new property will 100% be owned by you and it can be left to your loved ones as inheritance.
  • Downsizing can be done at any age or stage of your life.
  • Your new property could be cheaper to maintain.

Some of the cons to downsizing are:

  • Moving is expensive – purchasing a new home, estate agent fees, legal fees, removals, and stamp duty need to be factored into the cost.
  • With demand outstripping supply, it could be stressful for you to find a home that you are completely happy with.
  • Emotional factors – if you have lived in your home for several years and were to move to a different area, you could be leaving behind a lot of memories as well as friends and family.
  • If you do choose to move to a new area, it’s not only a new house and neighbours you need to settle into. You will likely need to find new healthcare options and spend a lot of time doing personal admin.
  • Less support – you will likely have to arrange much of the process yourself. If you choose Responsible and equity release however, then you will have your own personal adviser with you throughout the entire process.

Why choose equity release?

Equity release has benefits over downsizing that could make a large difference to your retirement future. Maintaining 100% homeownership with a Lifetime Mortgage, means you can remain in the comfort of the home you have grown to love and filled with family memories. The current growth in the housing market could mean that you benefit from an increase in your home's value over time, helping to offset the impact of interest build-up. This along with flexible features like voluntary payments, make releasing equity a cost-effective way to borrow. It’s also important to know that a Lifetime Mortgage will reduce the value of your estate and may affect your entitlement to means-tested benefits.

Responsible Equity Release can provide you with professional advice on equity release, including Lifetime Mortgages. See if you are eligible or learn about more about the pros and cons of choosing this option instead.

Are you ready to start your Responsible journey, or want some more information?

Use the free calculator on this page to see how much equity you could release from your home.

Alternatively, for some more information or to book a no-obligation appointment with one of our fully qualified advisers, get in touch with our UK based Information Team today on 0800 048 5384.

Responsible Equity Release will only ever use lenders that are members of the Equity Release Council, meaning that you will always enjoy the safeguards guaranteed by them.

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Are you interested in learning more?

To find out more about Lifetime Mortgages, and the various features available, why not book a no-obligation appointment with one of our fully qualified advisers? The Information Team can help with this on 0800 048 5384.

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