Most leasehold retirement or sheltered housing is purchased at full price on the open market.

Most leasehold retirement or sheltered housing is purchased at full price on the open market. Typically these are:

Shared ownership

A small number of housing associations offer the option of buying a proportion of the value of a property and paying rent on the balance. The proportion you can pay may vary. A service charge may have to be paid in addition to the rent. The rent element may be eligible for housing benefit or local housing allowance. Sometimes, people can purchase a higher proportion and then not have to pay any rent. All schemes are different but basically when you leave or die, the apartment would be sold on the open market (subject to the purchaser being an older person with a need to live at the scheme). Some housing associations do offer a buy back option, but not all of them.

Leasehold schemes for the elderly

These are run by a small number of housing associations and usually require you to buy 70 per cent of the equity, the remaining portion being owned by the housing association. When you sell, you receive 70 per cent of the current market value of the property.

Lifetime lease

This product offers an arrangement where you buy the right to live in a retirement property for the rest of your life (or lives in the case of a couple). The price is well below the normal purchase price but once you leave the property it reverts back to the company. Lifetime leases are available to people aged 60 and over. Lifetime leases may also be available for non-retirement properties.

Interest-only mortgage

Interest-only mortgages are when you borrow a lump sum against the value of property and pay the interest only on monthly basis. When the home is sold, the original lump sum is repaid. Interest may be variable or fixed.

Equity release

Equity release is a means of retaining use of your accommodation, while also obtaining a lump sum or a steady stream of income, using the value of the property. There are many organisations that offer equity release packages.

There are reputable financial organisations that can help you with the type of products mentioned here. When considering using this type of organisation, you should ensure the company is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Social care to suit your needs

You should look at the different types of social care housing available before you decide what would best suit your needs.

Alternatively, you could remain in your own home but with social care support to help you continue to live independently.

Charges you may have to pay in social care housing

You will have to pay for some social housing costs and care services but others may be free or at a reduced level, depending on your financial circumstances.

The amount you have to pay is determined through a financial assessment. Information and advice is available to help you plan for the cost of your social care.

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