The trouble started when Adam’s father’s interest-only mortgage was coming to the end of its term and he was asked to give back the house.
“It’s been the family home since I was in primary 2, so 1994,” Adam explains. “East Lothian is very much where my father is comfortable and he didn’t wish to move, so the bank telling him ‘you need to sell that or come up with another plan’ gave him great anxiety.”
Adding to his father’s stress was the fact that he has a number of physical health issues and is bed-bound, making moving a big logistical challenge.
“If he was going to lose the property, it would’ve been difficult to move him somewhere because that would be a big upheaval for him. Obviously, he was incredibly anxious about that.”
Trying to find help proved to be difficult: “My mum was at a bit of a loose end about what could be done at the time. She’d tried to speak to a couple of people but wasn’t having any luck.”
Luckily, Adam remembered Housing Options Scotland from his time as a manager of an advocacy service in Glasgow and decided to give them a call.
“Olivia was really, really quick in getting back,” he says. The family wasn’t really sure what they were looking for at that point – “any advice, really, on how to keep the family home.” The housing broker offered a couple of options, a retirement interest-only mortgage and the Scottish Government’s Home Owners Support Fund.
“I spoke to Olivia about the first of those and a got a bit more of advice and decided to go down the retirement interest only mortgage route. We were a bit unsure whether or not my dad would be eligible because he is technically not at the age of retirement yet but hasn’t been working for a number of years. However, we decided to go down that route just to see what could be done. Olivia referred us on to a very helpful mortgage advisor, Ian Haughey, and he’s been absolutely fantastic.”
While, unfortunately, the retirement interest-only mortgage wasn’t open to Adam’s father, Iain managed to get secure another mortgage on the home that suited the couple’s circumstances.
The new mortgage has been “a massive relief for him and for everybody”.
“It’s confirmed for 17 years which has given my dad a great piece of mind and reduced his anxieties tenfold. He was getting very stressed out and always ruminating on it for hours; you could see that it was very much impacting on him and his wellbeing. Now he’s over the moon, he gets to stay in East Lothian which he loves. Mum is so happy as well because it means the family home is gonna be saved. We can’t thank everyone enough for all of your support and obviously for signposting us to Ian. It’s been very fortunate and really, really helpful.”