Cornwall has long been considered by many as a little gem in the UK's crown. It has benefited for years from the warmth of the Gulf Stream, keeping the temperature of the sea at a more inviting level than that on the East coast of England. There is lots of coastline with a multitude of inlets, bays, and sandy beaches, making it popular with holiday makers, surfers, and those wanting to buy a second home. Those who were lucky enough to buy a property in Cornwall prior to 2000 will have seen its value increase significantly over the years despite the recent dip across the UK in house prices as a result of the general economic downturn. Some folks have become used to working from home in recent years and have therefore moved house to settle in Cornwall because of its many attractions such as pleasant climate, warm seas and pleasant sea views. There is something uniquely appealing about a sea view to the human soul, and estate agents know full well this can easily put 15-20% on the value of a home. The area of Corwall is small so demand for properties has always been high, with the consequence that prices here have shot up more than in many other parts of the UK.
Equity Release in Cornwall has now become a real prospect for many who have bought first or second homes there. Some parts of Cornwall are popular with the "Jetset" like Rock and are seen to be as desirable as the South of France. This has all helped to skyrocket prices here with places like Penzance, Barnstaple, Truro, and Newquay being amongst the places of highest price rise in the UK according to the Halifax building society, showing gains of over 150% in ten years.
Thus, had you for example, bought a house in Cornwall in the year 2000 for the average price of £99,000 you would have been looking at an average value of £186,000 by 2010, giving you equity of £87,000 which is an appreciable sum.
Normally you would not have access to this money unless you sold the house, but equity release schemes allow you to unlock a good portion of that money whilst keeping ownership of the property. This can be a real shot in the arm for those have mounting debts due perhaps to frozen wages and rising costs, or from lack of work, since they can often use the equity in their property to pay off their debts and still have money left over for a better lifestyle.
There are several different equity release schemes available and it may be wise to get professional advice before opting for one as there could be implications regarding inheritance, taxes, and social benefits, and you need to know exactly what you are letting yourself in for before you take an irreversible decision.
The really good news is that the money from an equity releae plan is virtually yours to do with as you wish, so if you have always wanted the holiday cruise of a liftime you can have it. Some would say that a more sensible option for the older person, (and you usually have to be at least 55 to qualify), is to use most of the money to buy an annuity which then gives you a guaranteed regular income for life. This can be a tremendous advantage to those who would struggle on a state pension and have little or no savings. You might need money to finance an operation for yourself or a loved one, or to gift younger members of your family who perhaps are trying to scrape up a deposit to buy a house themselves for the first time. Equity release is worth considering as an option to raise finance if you have owned your home for a fair while.