Bridgewater opened in 1998 offering homeowners aged 55 and above a financial solution for their retirement years. Bridgewater is a subsidiary of Grainger Trust Plc. The trust was established in 1912. They are considered the largest residential property investor in the UK with more than 3,800 home reversion clients. Bridgewater is a member of the Equity Release Council (ERC) and abides by all ERC Code of Conduct rules. Consumers can use their equity release plans like the Bridgewater Flexible Release Plan, to unlock cash from the equity tied up in their homes.
Summary of the Bridgewater Home Reversion Plan
Their plan works by selling a portion or the entire property to Bridgewater in return for a capital lump sum. This differs from a lifetime mortgage plan as the homeowner will not retain 100% of the property value.
One condition under Equity Release Council rules, of all home reversion plans is that the applicant will have a lifetime tenancy arrangement and as such has the right to remain in the property for the rest of their lives.
The cash is tax-free in the hands of the applicant(s). There are specific age and property value requirements to be met. The property also needs to meet standard home reversion qualifications for type and condition.
Home reversion plans now account for less than 2% of the whole equity release marketplace. This is due to a combination of factors the first is future rising property values which favour 100% ownership attributed to lifetime mortgage schemes. In addition, the flexibility of lifetime mortgages including repayment options sway many people & the finality of selling part of the property. However, for those looking to guarantee an inheritance the home reversion plan still has its part to play.
Criteria of the Bridgewater Flexible Release Plan
Bridgewater’s Flexible Release Plan is a type of home reversion scheme. It is available to homeowners in England, Wales, and Scotland. The minimum property value must be £75,000.
The homeowner decides if 25% or up to 100% of the home is sold. The minimum amount released to the homeowner is either 25% or £25,000, whichever is the lower amount. Therefore, decision needs to be made about how much of the property needs to be sold in order to generate the capital required.
An applicant must be 65 years of age, this includes joint ownership applicants. When selling, the homeowners retain the right to remain in the property for life under a lifetime tenancy agreement.
Two variants to their home reversion product are available: Secured Escalating Release and Maximum Release Plan. The Secured Escalating plan allows homeowners to set a specific release amount with a guarantee that payments will increase over a set period of time. The yearly amount is set in the beginning and cannot exceed 15 years.
The Maximum Release Plan provides the maximum amount of equity to be released in the beginning with no change. This means 100% of the property is sold for the tax-free sum and no more can be released even if the house appreciates.
Unique Features of this Home Reversion
Bridgewater includes House Price Inflation Protection and early vacancy guarantee to ensure beneficiaries are protected. In the event the home value appreciates or a homeowner must leave the property for assisted living or due to death, there are protection guarantees for the heirs left behind.
Bridgewater Equity Release Incentives
Special incentives for Bridgewater Flexible Release Plan include an early vacancy and HPI guarantee.