Month: April 2018

Tips to Navigating Your Loved Ones Aging in Place

reverse mortgage colorado loveland fort collins longmont greeleyAs you watch your parents or loved ones age, it can often be a struggle to determine the best option for their long term housing. Should they age in place in their home? Should you make space in your home for them? Should they move to a long-term care facility? Or should they move to a home that more adequately suits their changing needs?

To better guide you in the right direction, here are some questions to ask yourself:

• Are they able to get around by him or herself? Are there stairs in the home?

• Is this person able to take medications without assistance? Is there a health concern that would require more regular supervision, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s?

• Is your parent able to manage mortgage payments, home-owners insurance payments, and property taxes. Is the home outdated and in need of frequent repairs – such as a furnace, roofing, electricity?

• Where is this home located? Is it in close proximity to relatives, hospitals, etc? Or is it secluded and away from town?

• Is this person lonely? Has he or she suffered the loss of a spouse? Does he or she have a solid social group or close friends?

Based on your answers to these questions, aging in place may be an option and reverse mortgage can help to fund it. Reverse mortgages allow homeowners age 62 and older to access equity in their home. The homeowner retains the title and remains in the home. With a reverse mortgage homeowners can lessen the financial burden of mortgage repayment and, if needed, in home medical care.  All reverse mortgages are government guaranteedwith an FHA backed loan and no repayment is due until the last borrower passes away or permanently leaves the home. At that time there are several options that include keeping the home in the family.

If selling the current residence and moving into a new home is a more reasonable route, a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase has many perks including living mortgage payment free in the new home.

Often times adult children encourage their elderly loved one to move in with them, not taking into account that this person will be leaving everything that is familiar, including their home, neighborhood, friends and social circles. Before making this decision, consider whether the move will be a strain on the family of which this person will be joining or the person who will be making the move. Depression can be cause for concern with the elderly and interrupting a solid routine or social interaction and hobbies can often make this concern a reality.

If this person has medical concerns, considering live-in care or a long term care facility may be the best option. There are many outlets to help guide you in the best direction when making a decision on the proper route or facility.

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, and Front Range areas of Colorado.  Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you. 

What Is Required Reverse Mortgage Counseling?

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoPrior to being approved for a reverse mortgage, HUD’s Federal Housing Administration (FHA) requires each borrow to participate in a counseling session with an approved agency. These not-for-profit agencies are funded by the federal government and work closely with both the FHA and lenders to ensure a smooth process.

The goal of this session is not to steer a potential borrower in one direction or another, but to make sure they clearly understand all aspects of a reverse mortgage.

Here is what you can expect at your counseling session:

The potential borrower will need to schedule an appointment directly with a counseling agency. The lender does not initiate or take part in the session, but can provide you with resources to seek out a counselor. The session will take place in person or over the phone – although the FHA recommends a face-to-face meeting whenever possible.

Prior to your appointment, the counseling agency will provide you with a packet of information to allow you to prepare for the session. During the session the counselor will discuss your immediate and long-term financial needs, your reasons for seeking out a reverse mortgage, address any questions or concerns you may have, and clearly educate you on the process as well as the pros and cons of a reverse mortgage. Again, they are not there to “sell” you on the product, but to educate instead.

Once you have completed the counseling session, you will be provided with a “Certificate of Completion”. This certificate verifies to your lender that you have completed the counseling session and that you understand the essentials of a reverse mortgage. Your counselor will also follow up with you to ensure you have no further needs, questions, or concerns.

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado.  Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

IMPORTANT: Watch Out for Scams and Identity Theft

Did you know senior citizens are the #1 demographic to be hit with vicious scams aimed at stealing tens of thousands of dollars (and more)?  As someone who works with these same people every single day, it breaks my heart.  The kindness and trust they possess is something we should honor – NOT take advantage of.  But unfortunately there are those in the world who see these vulnerabilities as something to exploit – and they do.  Whether you are a consumer yourself, an adult child of an elderly parent, or a professional working with the senior population, please inform yourself and take the steps necessary to prevent access to priceless personal information.  You will never regret being extra diligent.

Just recently, tens of thousands of dollars was sent to a scammer during a 100% legit real estate transaction because unbeknownst to the buyer, they found themselves the target of a “phishing” email scam, and by the time they realized it was a scam that looked identical to the “real deal”, it was too late and they’d wired money they can never get back.  This happened not once, but TWICE!

This is one of the most common types of scams these days and it’s called “phishing”.  This is where highly skilled con artists use various techniques to obtain information about a pending transaction (common in real estate) or other information they can use to obtain financial information.  Sometimes this information is found by hacking into non-secure servers, other times it’s found by following what someone is saying on Facebook or other online forums.  Regardless of how it’s obtained, both the senior consumer and the professional working with the senior consumer need to be advocates for their privacy.

Here are my tips to prevent becoming a victim of this type of fraud:

1.) NEVER provide personal information via email, always do this over the phone, or over a secure server on a website.  If someone requests it from you in an email, call them.  If you’re a professional working with consumers, never request this information be provided via email.  If you do, you are putting your clients at unnecessary risk.

2.) NEVER wire or transfer money according to instructions you receive in an email – even if you have corresponded with this person.  Fake email accounts look nearly identical to authentic ones and it can be very difficult to tell the difference.  This is VERY important; don’t take the risk.  ALWAYS speak with anyone who is asking you to wire money – preferably in person – and always use the phone number you already have for them, not a phone number sent in an email.

3.) NEVER follow a link that comes in an email to your bank account or other account that will have access to your private, personal financial information.  This includes banks, credit cards, loans, PayPal, IRS, etc.  This is one of the most common phishing scams.  When you receive a phishing email, it will seem you are being alerted to various scenarios – possibly a fraudulent transaction, an overdrawn account, or another “urgent” situation.  Everything looks legit; they will have your name and often more information.  Most of the time these emails are scams!  As soon as you go to the link provided, and enter your login and password, it’s been stolen.  To prevent this, ALWAYS login directly from your internet browser by typing in the website URL directly as you already know it and use it.  Don’t hesitate to call and ask the bank or other institution about the email (using the number you already have, again, don’t use information given to you in a potentially fraudulent email).  All financial institutions want these reported.  It’s how they are stopped.

4.) Whether a consumer or professional working with consumers, ALWAYS use secure hosting and servers with strong security.  Password protect your wireless networks.  Hackers are highly skilled – but you are your own first defense against them.

For more information about protecting yourself against identity theft, click here.  You can never be too careful or diligent in protecting your personal details and assets, or those of your clients.

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado.  Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Why Do Only 3% of Seniors Use a Reverse Mortgage to Purchase a Home?

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoWhy is it that only 2-3% of older Americans use the Reverse Mortgage for Purchase option to buy a home?  Recent studies show that even with the option available to them, they still seek traditional funding or opt to pay cash.  Why is that?  Well, surveys have shown there are three main reasons:

1.) No one told them they could use a reverse mortgage as a purchasing tool.  Unfortunately this happens far too often.  Real estate agents and lenders are either not aware of this option or are not educated enough to suggest it.  If you’re a senior considering purchasing a home, be sure to ask about using a reverse mortgage.  If you aren’t given proper information, contact a reverse mortgage expert such as myself.

2.) Real estate agents do not have enough knowledge to adequately educate the potential buyer about this option.  If you as a potential buyer find yourself in this situation, ask who you could talk to to learn more or seek out an expert yourself.

3.) The third reason seniors opt for traditional financing is the down payment required to use a reverse mortgage.  The down payment amount varies based on the price of the home, the age of the borrower, and current interest rates.

In order to apply for a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase loan, you must be age 62 or older (each borrower on title must meet this criteria, although others residing in home do not), the home you are purchasing must be your new primary residence, you must have your “required investment” (down payment) from a HUD allowable source.

Jan Jordan Reverse Mortgage Info for Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, and Front Range areas of Colorado.