With our house-hunting dilemma looming large, I've been trying to think outside the box to find ways of achieving the potentially unachievable. This is proving to be a frustrating, not to say infuriating process.
I'll give you a for instance.
Take a hypothetical middle-aged couple who may or may not have a Small Dog. They own their house outright, have modest savings, owe not a penny to any living soul (or any dead soul come to that).... absolutely no outstanding loans or debts, excellent credit history, honest, hard-working, upstanding members of society.
However, one of them has an incurable neurological condition, and the other is just a few years off retirement, so raising a mortgage is not feasible. Not that they need one.
Say, for the sake of argument, they want to move house, and in order to quickly secure a perfect property need to raise an unspecified but not insurmountable amount of cash to do so. The value of their home will way more than cover the amount required. Seems like a no-brainer..... borrow on a short-term basis using the house as security, pending the sale. On completion pay back the loan quick smart. Job done.
A bit of Googling reveals that yes indeed..... this is possible, and according to the interweb, lenders are apparently queueing up to offer all manner of home equity loan packages. Obviously there are risks and drawbacks, but on paper at least, it appears to present one apparently workable solution.
No by no nonny no.
Apparently you can only do this if you already have a mortgage on your property. It probably also helps if you are servicing a loan or two, and maybe paying off your credit card while you're at it.
I'm not quite sure how that works, but despite the whole sub-prime fiasco and subsequent world banking crash banks still seem to prefer to lend to people who already have debt, and limited assets.
Is it any wonder that bankers have a likeability/trusworthiness index lower even than estate agents and used car salesmen?