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Real-life equity release stories: The Walker’s home making

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Sally and Martin Walker’s new bungalow will be their ideal home. But first, it needed work. And funding that wasn’t as easy as they’d hoped 
  • Martin and Sally Walker needed a more accessible home
  • After downsizing, they had a lot of improvements to make
  • After things didn’t go to plan, money was tight
  • Equity release made their dream home possible 
A retired couple in their early seventies, Sally and Martin Walker thought they’d found the right home to enjoy their retirement. 
 
Downsizing from a large four-bedroom house, they opted for a three-bedroom dormer bungalow, half a mile away but still in Oakworth, the Yorkshire village famous as a location in the 1970 film The Railway Children. 
 
With the cash left over from the sale, they planned to put an extra bedroom on top of their new home’s garage. 
 

The challenges

Sadly, that didn't happen. The Walkers had to demolish the old, unsafe garage and build a two-storey extension, making it easier for Sally who has arthritis. 
 
They then had to re-roof and re-insulate the entire bungalow, which meant even more expense. Additionally, they took the opportunity to rearrange the bathroom, adding a Velux window, a low bath and a large overhead shower. 
 

Funding problems

At this point, they ran out of money and had to take out a bank loan with a high interest rate. 
 
Keen to find an alternative source of cash, after thinking carefully before securing a loan against their property, the Walkers decided to explore equity release.
 
“When Julie Thompson arrived from Key, she explained everything to us really clearly,” Martin told us. “We particularly liked the idea of an initial withdrawal amount, with the option of drawdown of further funds if necessary, and the fact that we don't have to make any monthly payments. 
 
“We paid off the bank loan. For us, it was the perfect solution." 

"The perfect solution"

Martin and Sally took out equity release to make their dream home a reality. By doing so, they released some of the tax-free cash tied up in their property through a lifetime mortgage, the most popular form of equity release, and retained full ownership of their home.
 
Equity release proved to be “the perfect solution” for the Walkers, and it could for you, too.
 
If you’re wanting to make home improvements, much like Martin and Sally, unlocking some of the money in your property may be a solution. 
 

Where does Key come in?

Before you take out equity release, you must first seek expert advice. It’s a regulatory requirement. That’s where we come in. 
 
At Key, we’ve helped more than 1 million people decide if equity release is right for them1.
 
So, why not find out if it could be the answer you’ve been looking for? 
 
Use our free online equity release calculator to see how much cash you could release, or alternatively, request your free guide now
 
  • Good advice is Key
  • If you’d like to join the Walkers and the more than 1 million others to see if equity release is right for you with Key1, get started today. 
  • Calculate now
 

What should you think about before taking equity release?

Our independent, specialist equity release advisers compare products from the whole of the market to find the most suitable equity release plan for you. They’ll discuss the options available to you and explain that taking an equity release plan reduces the value of your estate and may affect any means-tested benefits you’re eligible for.
 
With a lifetime mortgage, it’s a loan secured against your home and is usually repaid when you, or the last surviving applicant, pass away or move into long-term care. 
 
Equity release plans we recommend have a no negative equity guarantee, which means you’ll never owe more than the value of your home.
 
Key’s initial consultation is free with no obligation to proceed. If you decide to go ahead with an equity release plan, our advice fee – usually 1.99% of the amount released, subject to a minimum of £1,499 – is payable only on completion.
 
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