Bridgewater was founded in 1998 to offer the UK a better retirement life through equity release products. They are a member of the Equity Release Council and abide by the rules of the Code of Conduct. The company was original apart of Grainger PLC, established in 1912 as a residential property owner specialist company. Bridgewater specialises in home reversion plans rather than lifetime mortgages.
Type of Plans
They offer three home reversion plans: maximum release, flexible release, and secured escalating release. The maximum release plan allows 100% of the property to be sold by the homeowner in order to gain the maximum allowable tax free cash sum. In Scotland only 99.99% can be released. The plan includes a high house price inflation protection ensuring beneficiaries or homeowners have protection should inflation occur. There is an early vacancy guarantee too if a consumer needs to go to a nursing home or dies.
All plans work based on age, property value, and a lifetime tenancy agreement for free rent. The Flexible release plan allows consumers to release less of their home than the maximum available, while leaving a withdrawal account for the consumer to use. The facility allows the homeowner to withdraw funds if they need more. It still includes the legacy and future equity release options.
The secured plan provides a lump sum at the time of closing with an increasing payment over 15 years. The cash can be received when it is necessary as well as used to purchase a new home. The plan is transferrable. Also the plan is not available in Scotland.
Options to Add to Equity Release
There are no additional options to add to the agreement. Each home reversion plan has its own benefits and features; however, they all have protection in place such as early vacancy and beneficiary protection to ensure the homeowner a piece of the home value will be given to their heirs unless they sell 100% of the home first.
Protection under Government
The protections such as no repayment and no negative equity clause are all part of the code of conduct regulations. Homeowners will never owe the company any money even if their house depreciates over their time left. The company cannot take any other assets the homeowners may have had to cover their losses. These regulations are set by the Financial Conduct Authority.