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If you have considerable equity in your home, you may be able to convert that asset into income. Reverse mortgages are special home loans designed with seniors in mind. Payments are made to you, and as long as you live in the home, the loan never has to be repaid.
Reverse mortgages can provide you with cash today — with no requirement to ever pay it back for as long as you live in your home.
The disbursement options on a reverse mortgage loan are flexible. You can access your money by:
- Taking a lump sum
- Establishing a line of credit to use as needed
- Arranging a combination of the above options
If your needs change over time, your payout schedule can change, too.
If you permanently leave the home, the balance on your reverse mortgage becomes due. Selling the home itself can pay for this—any remaining equity belongs to you or your heirs.
Know the facts about reverse mortgages
If you’re 62 or older – and looking for money to finance a home improvement, pay off your current mortgage, supplement your retirement income, or pay for healthcare expenses, you may want to consider a reverse mortgage. It’s a product that allows you to convert part of the equity in your home into cash without having to sell your home or pay additional monthly bills.
- A reverse mortgage is a mortgage just like any loan against the home where the borrower is using the equity of their home to meet their needs and desires now, but with special terms for seniors 62 and older.
- The lender or bank does NOT own the home – YOU OWN THE HOME, you keep the title!
- There are no income or credit score requirements to qualify for the interest rate.
- No monthly mortgage payments are required.
- The home does not have to be free and clear or have a lot of equity. Although enough equity is needed to pay off current liens and/or mortgages.
- There is no limitation on how the funds can be used. Some common uses include paying off a current mortgage, paying for home repairs or modifications, home health care or adult day services, medical expenses, everyday living expenses and even purchasing a home.
- More options are available than with a conventional or home equity mortgage. Funds can be received in monthly payments structured as needed, line of credit (with a growth rate), lump sum, or a combination of these.
- Social Security and Medicare are not affected because it is a loan, and not considered income.
- Medicaid (Medical Assistance in Minnesota) can still be received with the reverse mortgage. (Your originator should know this and be able to assist you if or when you are going on Medicaid.)
- Borrowers can stay in the home as long as it is their primary residence, or in the case of a couple, as long as one borrower is still in the home as their primary residence. The due date on the mortgage is the youngest borrower’s 150th birthday.
- At the time of sale, if the home is sold for more than the loan balance, the borrower(s) or their heirs, receive the difference. The bank does NOT keep the difference!
- The loan is non-recourse which means there is no personal liability to the borrower or their heirs. So borrowers or their heirs don’t have to come up with the difference if the loan balance is higher than what the home is sold for (at fair market value). Borrowers are not leaving a debt to their children.
- Just like any mortgage, borrowers are responsible for property taxes and insurance, association dues (if applicable), maintaining the property, and abiding by the terms of the loan.
- As borrowers use the funds/equity and are not making monthly payments, the loan balance increases, meaning because they used the money now, there will be less available when the loan is being repaid. (With a conventional mortgage one is using the equity but making monthly payments which repays the interest and a portion of the principal each month.)
- Closing costs are comparable to a conventional mortgage – even though many times they are considered expensive or high they compare to conventional loans. In fact, the difference comes down to the FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium. Fees are regulated and only HUD-allowed fees are permitted with no mark-ups or junk fees.
- Note, there are no out of pocket costs except for the appraisal. The costs typically become part of the loan balance.
- FHA offers and insures through HUD, the majority of reverse mortgages known as the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), making it the most highly regulated mortgage available.
HUD insuring the reverse mortgage provides advantages including:
- Guaranteeing the funds are available for you.
- Guaranteeing the lender against default or shortfalls
- Keeping the interest rates lower. They have historically been lower compared to other mortgages.
- Providing a line of credit growth rate (available only with reverse mortgages).
- Ensuring as a reverse mortgage it is a non-recourse (no personal liability) loan.
- Requiring counseling by a third party HUD trained and approved counselor.
A reverse mortgage is NOT for everyone, but it is a HUD approved loan to help those 62 and older remain in their home, eliminate monthly mortgage payments, and take cash as desired.
If you have any questions, or to see if a reverse mortgage is right for you Contact an Elite Financial mortgage professional today.