Reverse mortgages have made a serious comeback in the past several years. After regulation changes were enacted in 2015, the reverse mortgage loan once considered a desperate lifeline is now being used as a retirement tool for even the wealthy. The loans are still only available to seniors 62 and older (including married couples) with the amount of funds available increasing depending on age and appraised value of the home, but now those funds are often being accessed in ways not available before – such as a line of credit or to purchase a home. This really is not your mother’s reverse mortgage, it’s something much more versatile than it was years ago.
Here are some lesser known facts about today’s reverse mortgage:
1.) I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the borrower will always remain the homeowner as long as basic responsibilities such as property taxes are paid, homeowners insurance is kept current, and utilities and HOA fees are paid. One of reverse mortgage’s scariest myths has always been that a bank will own the home. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only will the borrower remain the homeowner, they will also retain the title.
2.) There are NO mortgage or loan payments. That’s correct. Regardless of how the borrower decides to utilize the reverse mortgage funds, they will not pay a loan or mortgage payment while they remain in the home.
3.) With a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase, borrowers can wrap both the home purchase and the reverse mortgage into the same transaction allowing them to buy their dream home – AND the reverse mortgage will substantially supplement purchasing power allowing a home to be purchased that may have once been out of their price range. When using a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase, the borrower is required to provide some down payment and the reverse mortgage funds will make up the rest of the purchase price.
4.) Married couples can both be on the loan regardless of how the funds are utilized. Another all too common myth is that in the case of a married couple, if one spouse passes away the other spouse will be evicted. When working with a reputable reverse mortgage lender this should never happen. As long as both spouses are 62 or over, they can both be on the loan allowing either borrower to stay in the home until the last spouses passes away or permanently leaves the home.
5.) Heirs are not “saddled” with the debt of a reverse mortgage. After the borrower(s) pass away, there are several options as to what the heirs can do with the home. And in today’s hot housing market, the home may gain equity that can be available to the heirs. Most all reverse mortgages are FHA insured meaning the loan will never exceed the amount of the home sale – even if more is owed, and it also means it will only ever require the amount of the loan even if the home is worth much more when it comes due.
Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Erie, Dacono, Fort Lupton, Windsor, Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado. Contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.