Staying in your home in the DC metro area is expensive as you start to age. When you retire, your income typically falls off but the expenses of owning a home do not. You might be considering a reverse mortgage as a way to make that equity in your home work for you instead of you working for your home!
Any homeowner over the age of 62 may be eligible for a Reverse Mortgage. Eligible homeowners may be anyone who qualifies “for little or no mortgage debt.” Beware of the telemarketers who promise you the world!
Here are some of the advantages of a reverse mortgage.
- Generally speaking, repayment of these loans is not required as long as home is occupied by borrower.
- Seniors 62+ can have play money to enjoy retirement.
- Borrowers who pass away or permanently leave their home, i.e., Hospice Care, Dependent Living, or other Medical reasons that requires owner to relinquish their home, perhaps having to live with family members under 62 years old, are no longer eligible for Reverse Mortgage.
- If widow or widower is not 62 years of age, they don’t have the ability to live there under the same terms as the person who was eligible when the Reverse Mortgage was approved.
- Like any Mortgage Loan, the property belongs to the Lender, not the borrower unless it is paid in full – Terms do apply.
- As in other Mortgages, a Lender may place a “lien on the property in exchange for the cash it provides to the borrower.”
- A Reverse Mortgage will impact the inheritance for any survivors
Is a reverse mortgage right for you?
Before signing a Reverse Mortgage here are some considerations for the potential borrower of a Reverse Mortgage:
- Never call an 800 # to apply for a Reverse Mortgage from your favorite Actor advertising a Reverse Mortgage.
- For a credible list of local lenders contact the “U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) at (800) 569-4287.” Borrowers should get approval from a local lender “approved by the Federal Housing Administration.”
- Call HUD for a government-approved debt counseling agency.
- A local attorney who handles Estate Planning, may be able to provide helpful resources and provide help in reviewing documents at a cost.
- Not all lenders (even local) are approved or have the expertise.
- Seniors should know, when it comes to home improvements, renovations, or other costly repairs, there are other options that could be much safer and less risky than a Reverse Mortgage. Some cities offer help for seniors on limited income. Consumer protection should be a senior’s shield.
- Once you have a Reverse Mortgage in place, you are probably not eligible for an equity line.
If you want more information about reverse mortgages, just click here.