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Popular ways to fund home improvements

You know what they say – there’s no place like home. And getting your house exactly how you want it will make it an even better place to spend your retirement. Equity release could be one way to fund them...

Home sweet home

Perhaps you’ve lived in the same home for decades and you just can’t imagine living anywhere else. Maybe it’s the place where your children grew up – and you’ve made so many memories there over the years. But over the years your needs have changed, and there are things you’d like to improve – especially as you’re retired or approaching retirement.

Let’s face it, moving house comes with lots of fuss. You’ve got to worry about packing up all your belongings – not to mention the expense of moving costs, legal fees and stamp duty. So it makes sense that many people are choosing to stay put and making home improvements instead.

Video transcript
Home improvements

Many people choose equity release to get the money they need to make improvements to their home.

So I’m going to take you through some of the costs involved in making these home improvements, all of which are taken from independent sources.

So let’s say your house is worth £300,000. And you’ve paid off your mortgage. So £300,000 is all yours.

You choose to take 15% equity out of your home with a lifetime mortgage. And that is the equivalent of £45,000. There we are.

You might spend £35,000 of that on a loft conversion. So I’ve put obviously a minus sign there.

£7,000 might go on double glazing. And that would leave £3,000 to convert the cupboard under the stairs into a toilet.

So you can see that you have now used up all of the £45,000.

So while you’ve spent money on making all those improvements they will make your home a nicer place to live in and could also add to its value.

Remember, your house started with a value of £300,000. The loft conversion could add £40,00. The double glazing can add up to £12,000 to the value. And that nice toilet in the cupboard under the stairs well that could add £6,000.

So if we add all of this up. The house that was worth £300,000 could now be worth £358,000.

That’s £13,000 more than you spent on the home improvements which you’ll remember cost you a total of £45,000.

So you can see that equity release could be a great way to fund your home improvements.

Just keep in mind the amount of equity you release plus the interest accrued over the years will be repaid from the sale of your house when you pass away or you move into care.

Make it the perfect place for retirement

You really don’t have to move house to get the home you want to enjoy in later life. Instead of spending money on moving and dealing with the stress of selling a place you love, you could make the home improvements you’ve always wanted – and create your best possible space to spend your retirement.

From a lick of paint to extending your living space, there are lots of ways to give your house a new lease of life. Here are a few options to think about – and you’ll find more over on our Dream Shopping Basket.

  • Build an extension – or get that conservatory you’ve been eyeing up
  • Get your dream kitchen or bathroom – or just make a few simple updates
  • Landscape gardening – it’ll make you the envy of your neighbours
  • Make adaptions – if you have mobility issues, adapting your home with stair lifts or rails could make a big difference to your life
  • Make your home energy efficient – new double glazing could save on heating bills
older couple looking at a potential new kitchen

When you unlock cash with equity release, the money is yours to spend as you wish. And if you’ve been longing to get your home just so, this could be the perfect opportunity.

Some other ways to fund home improvements…

Everyone’s different, so the best way to fund your home improvements really does come down to your individual circumstances. Here are a few options to consider:

Use your savings

If you’re lucky enough to have cash saved up for a rainy day, you could think about putting it to good use to make your home work for you in retirement. You won’t have to worry about repaying the money, because it’s all yours. Just remember to think about how much you can afford to spend, and how much you might need for the future.

Take out a loan

Depending on your circumstances, you could have access to good rates on loans, as long as you can afford to repay the money when due. Otherwise, you’ll encounter extra costs.

Credit cards

If you’re just redecorating or making small changes to your property, then you might be able to pay on a credit card. But it’s really important to bear in mind that if a card offers 0% introductory periods for purchases, costs can really shoot up when it comes to an end.

Equity release

You could access tax-free cash to fund home improvements. Read on to learn more.

married couple looking at floor plans

How equity release could help you

If you’re aged 55 or over with a home worth at least £70,000, equity release could be a way to access funds for home improvements. In fact, more and more people are choosing to release equity from their homes – and 19% of people who took out equity release plans in 2017 used the money to fund home improvements.*

*Source: Age Partnership

So, how does equity release work?

Well, it enables you to unlock cash tied up in your home – and it’s completely tax-free. You can decide to take a lump sum or smaller amounts as and when you need them – and you can spend the money however you like, whether it’s home improvements or something else. With a lifetime mortgage, you’ll also keep full ownership of your home.

You won’t have any monthly repayments to make – your loan and interest are only paid back to the equity release provider when you pass away or go into long term care.

As well as making your home even better to enjoy in retirement, you could even end up increasing the value of your home. And if you invest in making your property more energy efficient (for example, if you get new PVC windows and doors), then you could save on monthly bills, too.

Find out how much money you could unlock right now using our FREE equity release calculator.

older man painting a fence

Get the advice you need today

When you’ve spent your life working hard, it’s only right that you enjoy the retirement you deserve – and getting your home just the way you want it could make a big difference to your life.

Whether you’re thinking about taking out equity release or an alternative way to fund home improvements, you should always talk things through with an expert financial adviser first. And The SunLife Over 55 Equity Release Service is on hand to help you out.


Video sources

Guide prices and increases are taken from third party websites and will vary.
How much a loft conversion could increase a home’s value
Cost of a loft conversion
Amount double glazing could increase a home’s value
Cost of double glazing
Amount a downstairs toilet could increase a home’s value
Cost of installing a downstairs toilet

Whenever you’re ready, we’re here for you

For more information and to check your eligibility, call The SunLife Over 55 Equity Release Service today on 0800 633 5566 or request a call back.

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Who are SunLife?

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). Dignity Funerals is not authorised or regulated for this activity by either the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan the funeral services are arranged and provided by Dignity Funerals Limited. Dignity Funerals Limited is a company registered in England and Wales No. 00041598. VAT registered No. 486 6081 14. 4 King Edwards Court, King Edwards Square, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP. Telephone No. 0121 354 1557. Fax No. 0121 355 808. Part of Dignity plc. A British Company. Dignity is not authorised or regulated for this activity by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority but is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

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The life insurance policy that pays for your funeral will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife.

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