Category: Reverse Mortgage Info

What To Look For In A Reverse Mortgage Lender

reverse mortgage colorado loveland fort collins longmont greeley boulderFor many retirees, a reverse mortgage is a feasible option to living the golden years they always dreamed of, or for others it may be a path to living within a budget without the constraints and worry of excessive financial distress.  In order to qualify for a reverse mortgage, the individual must own their home, be at least 62 years old, and have some equity in the home.  In general, the older the borrower (or the youngest borrower in the case of married couples) and the more valuable the home, the more reverse mortgage funds will be available.  Other factors also come into play, such as: the appraised home value, interest rates, and the amount of equity in the home.  Once a basic understanding of how a reverse mortgage works, the next step is finding a lender.

Where to find a lender?

Reverse mortgages are marketed in every possible way.  Television, radio, mailers, internet, etc.  Although not all of these methods ensure trouble, some of them can be scams.  When seeking a reverse mortgage lender, it’s important to speak with people you trust.  Ask around at your bank or financial institution.  Speak with a financial or retirement adviser.  Talk with neighbors or friends who have utilized a reverse mortgage.  Seek information from the local Chamber of Commerce or Senior Centers.   Utilize other resources that may be available in your community.

What to look for in a reverse mortgage lender?

Working with a reputable reverse mortgage lender is critical.  It can be risky to get involved with a lender who does not offer all the details or who is just looking to make a “quick sell”.   A reputable lender will have strong connections in the community, working closely with a network of professional organizations.

Accreditation and ratings?

Seek out a lender that is a member of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA).  Members of the NRMLA must conform to a strict code of lending ethic.  Look for a lender that is affiliated with the  Better Business Bureau (BBB), where you can also learn of any complaints against the company.

Follow your gut.

When it comes down to it, always follow your gut.  Just because a lender may meet all this criteria doesn’t mean they will be right for you.  If you do not feel comfortable or feel your questions are not being adequately answered, there is nothing wrong with seeking out a different lender.

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.

Is a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase Right for You?

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoWe’re all familiar with the two most common options to purchase a home – take out a mortgage loan or pay cash.  But for seniors 62 and over, there’s another option – the Reverse Mortgage for Purchase program (aka HECM for Purchase).

Looking for a home in Fort Collins, Loveland or Longmont, Colorado but finding it’s a bit out of your price range?  Because the borrower is responsible for only the down payment on the home and will have NO mortgage payments, a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase can help with this too.

What is needed to qualify 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
  • must meet the FHA’s new reverse mortgage credit and income guidelines
  • you must have your “required investment” (down payment) from a HUD allowable source. The funds cannot be borrowed. The required investment can come from the sale of a currently owned home or asset, a gift or inheritance, or money you have had for at least 90 days.

Who owns the home that I am purchasing?

 As the borrower and homeowner, you will always retain the title to the home, just like any other type of home loan.

What will my personal ongoing obligations be after purchasing a home?

It’s very similar to if you owned your home free and clear – you will NOT have a monthly mortgage payment.  But as the homeowner, you will be responsible for paying property taxes, home owner’s insurance, HOA fees when applicable, and basic upkeep including home maintenance and utility payments.

When will the loan become due and payable?

With a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase the loan does not reach “maturity” until:

  • the last remaining borrower passes away
  • the homeowner sells the home
  • the last remaining borrower leaves the home for 12 consecutive months due to illness
  • the homeowner defaults on property taxes or insurance

Will I need to sell my current home residence to qualify?

Simply put, no. As long as the loan on your current residence is not an FHA loan and your required investment comes from a HUD allowable source, you can keep your current residence – but the new home will need to be your primary residence. Your lender will ensure you are financially stable enough to support the ongoing obligations on all properties you own. If you decide to keep your current residence as an investment, rental, or vacation property – or you are awaiting the sale of home, it is rarely a problem.

What types of properties can I purchase?

Single family homes, town homes, and FHA approved condos are all eligible properties. The home being purchased will need to be the buyer’s primary residence.

Can I use the loan to build a new home?

Previously these loans could not be used as construction loans and homes needed a Certificate of Occupancy before the loan application could be started.  This changed this past October, and now homes in construction are eligible.  Read here to learn specifically about obtaining a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase on new construction. 

How is the “Required Investment” amount determined?

The “required investment” or down payment is determined by a calculation set by HUD based on:

  • The lesser of the sale price or appraised value
  • The age of the youngest of the borrowers
  • The current expected interest rate

What may disqualify me from a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase loan?

  • Foreclosures within the past 3 years.
  • Unresolved bankruptcy
  • Unpaid Federal obligations – i.e. federal taxes, defaults on prior government backed loans (such as student loans or government backed mortgages)
  • Income too low to support multiple properties
  • Unpaid judgments or tax liens

What is the HUD required “Reverse Mortgage Counseling”?

Prior 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 third party, 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.

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado, as well as the

Will A Reverse Mortgage Affect Social Security, Medicare & Pension?

Reverse Mortgage for Purchase Loveland Fort Collins Greeley Longmont Westminster Colorado Cheyenne Laramie WyomingA very common concern among seniors and adult children when considering a reverse mortgage is how it will affect social security, medicare, and even certain pensions.  For many seniors, these benefits are a large part of their income. Fortunately, because the funds from a reverse mortgage are NOT considered taxable income, a borrower’s benefits will not be affected when taking out a reverse mortgage.

On the other hand, borrowers who have Medicaid, TANF, Food Stamps or SSI may see those benefits affected by this additional income.   Because these programs are government sponsored programs with strict approval guidelines based on all sources of income, even non-taxable income, there is a possibility the additional cash flow will need reported.  Other supplemental and assistance programs would need to be addressed on a case by case basis.  Working with a reputable reverse mortgage lender and required third party counseling will ensure all your questions are answered thoroughly and honestly.

Reverse mortgages are available to homeowners 62 and older.  The proceeds can be received as a lump sum, as monthly installments, or a reverse line of credit and can be used for any purpose the borrower sees fit.  This FHA insured loan allows the borrower(s) to live mortgage payment free.

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

Can Reverse Mortgage Help You Achieve Your Retirement Vision?

Reverse Mortgage Colorado Fort Collins Loveland Berthoud Greeley WindsorIn an era where “retirement” has taken on whole new meaning and commonly lasts for two or three decades, more and more retirees are ready to live the latter part of their life to the fullest.  They see this as a time to enjoy life after years of working and raising a family.  But in order to achieve these goals retirees need a plan, but first they need a vision.

For those ready to realize their retirement dreams, start by asking some simple questions:

If your retirement could be anything you hoped for, what would it include?  Would you buy a vacation home?  Move closer to family and grandkids?  Take a yearly cruise?  Visit Europe?  Volunteer with your most passionate charity?  By articulating your desires, you can better prioritize your wants and needs, and consider these costs when developing a retirement plan.

Determine other expenditures that may hinder these goals.  Healthcare, home modifications and improvements, debt, and other scenarios like this are the most common.  These expenses can arise later in retirement, so preparing for them upfront is often an important consideration.

What are the expectations between yourself, your spouse (if you have one), and your family?  It’s amazing how often what is assumed and what is reality vary greatly.  So many retirees feel they need to hold on to their assets because they want to pass a home or a vast inheritance down to their children, yet their children would much rather see their parents live their two or three decade retirement to the fullest.  Make sure the lines of communication are open and no one is afraid to ask tough questions.  The answers may be surprising.

No matter what your retirement vision is, reverse mortgage can help you achieve it.  For seniors 62 and over a reverse mortgage can provide funds to achieve goals, frees up those strapped by limited incomes, and even help purchase a new home.

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

Why Reverse Mortgage for Purchase is Different

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeleyThe Reverse Mortgage for Purchase program is an age-based mortgage insured by the FHA for individuals and married couples aged 62 and older. Unlike a traditional mortgage, monthly payments are deferred and the loan balance increases over time. Because the loan is backed by the FHA, neither the borrower(s) nor their heirs are personally liable for the debt.  

So what does all that really mean?

It’s actually very simple…let’s say you use a reverse mortgage to purchase your dream home and decide to move in 10 years. When you sell your home you will receive 100% of the net proceeds after paying off the loan balance at the time of the sale. This is exactly how a traditional mortgage works.

The primary benefit of using a reverse mortgage for purchase comes into play during your living years in the fact that you are not paying a monthly payment to the mortgage company, thereby increasing your monthly cash flow.  The secondary benefit is for your heirs. What if at the time of your passing your loan balance is greater than the value of your home — what happens?

In a traditional mortgage scenario your heirs would be forced to sell the home at a loss and cover the difference. The terms of a HECM program mandates that neither you nor your heirs are personally liable to cover the difference if your home is sold for a loss. Simply put, it’s not your problem and no one is coming after your estate for a settlement.

Click here for more specific details on how the Reverse Mortgage for Purchase program works.

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

3 Things to Do with a Reverse Mortgage in Colorado

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoOne of the best parts of a reverse mortgage is the borrower(s) can do anything they’d like with the funds – while also living mortgage payment free.  In Colorado, seniors are more active than ever, whether it be traveling, home improvements, or visiting with family and grandchildren often.  As several Colorado cities always make the list of the best cities to retire (including Fort Collins & Loveland in this survey and Firestone, Parker & Louisville in this one) there couldn’t be a better time or place to enjoy life.

Here are 3 fulfilling ways seniors are using their reverse mortgage funds:

Take that trip they always dreamed of – After years of working hard, saving for retirement, and raising a family, some reverse mortgage borrowers are using a portion of their funds to take the bucket list vacation they’ve always dreamed of.  This option becomes less probable as they age and makes for a fantastic celebration by the more active seniors.

Visit with loved ones – Whether it’s a sister who hasn’t visited in 10 years, or children and grandchildren, or long lost friends, using reverse mortgage funds to visit with loved ones is a very common today.  Travel can be expensive and it holds us back far too often from the visits that mean the most to us, especially as we age.

Make home repairs or upgrades – After a life of caring for others, senior homeowners often find parts of their home may have been neglected.  When using a reverse mortgage to tap into home equity without a subsequent loan payment borrowers often make those repairs or upgrades they have been longing for.  Whether it’s a sunroom addition or a kitchen remodel, or just dutiful repairs, this is never a bad option.

Reverse mortgages are available to homeowners 62 and over.  This FHA insured loan offers funds through a lump sum, monthly installments, or a line of credit and eliminates monthly mortgage payments.  With many protections in place to ensure borrowers are adequately educated before using this option, such as required third-party counseling, reverse mortgages are gaining in popularity among retirees from all walks of life.  And a reverse mortgage for purchase option is available for those looking to purchase a new residence.

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.

Dissecting The Differences In Reverse Mortgage Professionals

reverse mortgage colorado loveland fort collins longmont greeley boulderWhen you start navigating the waters of reverse mortgages, you will undoubtedly come across MANY different companies and individuals ready and willing to help.  Flashy ads, website calculators, famous spokesmen, and more.  But who are all these people?  And what is the difference between them?  How do you know what is the best fit for YOU?

Here’s some information I think anyone considering a reverse mortgage needs to know about the various professionals who work in the industry:

Banks and Credit Unions – Most local banks and credit unions do not offer reverse mortgage loans, although sometimes the larger ones will.  Unfortunately seeking a loan through them can often mean little or no face-to-face time, and it’s not uncommon for these banks to leave the industry down the road.  At one time Wells Fargo and Bank of America were in the business, but they quit, leaving their borrowers with loans that few employees can understand and little help if reverse mortgage customers need it. 

Brokers – A reverse mortgage broker is a third party individual that is licensed by the state but doesn’t work directly with a lender, instead they essentially shop the marketplace.  When working with a broker, borrowers will pay higher fees because they will have to cover the costs of the broker.  In addition, because all transactions run through a third party, things can easily get slowed down or even stalled completely.

Direct Lender Specialists – This is the category I fall into.  Working directly with a lender that specializes in FHA insured HECM reverse mortgages, such as Retirement Funding Solutions, direct lender specialists are able to offer local, personal, face-to-face time with clients, and eliminate the need for costly third-party fees.  We are able to do all this while ensuring the smoothest, most efficient transaction possible because they are handling the loan and not farming it out to another company.

Reverse mortgages are available to individuals and married couples age 62 and older.  These FHA insured loans allow homeowners to live mortgage and loan payment free until they pass away, permanently leave the home (meaning 12 consecutive months), or they default on financial responsibilities associated with the home, such asproperty taxes or homeowner’s insurance.  The funds are available via monthly installments, a line of credit, a lump sum, or even to purchase a home

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.

Using Home Equity in Retirement

Reverse Mortgage for Purchase Loveland Fort Collins Greeley Longmont Westminster Colorado Cheyenne Laramie WyomingDid you know home equity can be used to reduce the overall risk of your retirement plan? Your house is a great asset that for many years has been overlooked in financial planning for seniors. This is making a sharp turn lately as retirement experts are beginning to understand how tapping into home equity via a reverse mortgageshould never be underestimated.

Let’s take a look at where most seniors sit currently when it comes to retirement…

• Only 22 percent of workers are very confident they will have enough money in retirement.

• 45 percent of Americans have saved exactly nothing—zero.

• The expected lifespan of women is 20 years past the age of retirement, and two years longer than men.

• The average retiree can expect to spend $220,000 in out of pocket health care costs during retirement.

• Medicare pays for an average of 62% of a seniors health care costs, leaving 38% to come out of pocket.

• 36% of up and coming retirees will rely on Social Security as their sole income.

A reverse mortgage can help in many different ways – and the how the funds are spent is entirely up to the borrower. Whether it’s a monthly payout or a line of credit, when combined with other retirement planning tools, reverse mortgage can allow retirees financial security during the years they worked so hard to enjoy.

Reverse mortgages are available to senior homeowners 62 and over – even married couples. They will live mortgage payment free, always retain the title to the home, and because these loans are FHA insured non-recourse, no one – including heirs – will find themselves saddled with the debt after the owner passes. There are also various solutions for adult children or other family members who may want to keep the home in the family.

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado, as well as the Cheyenne and Laramie communities of Wyoming. Contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

What Will I Be Responsible For After I Get A Reverse Mortgage?

reverse mortgage colorado fort collins loveland greeleyReverse Mortgages have helped millions of seniors live more plentiful lives as they age.  Homeowners and their spouses over the age of 62 are eligible for Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM), but although they will NOT have a monthly mortgage payment to pay, they are still responsible for some financial obligations regarding the home.  These include:

Property Taxes:

Just as with a conventional home loan, a reverse mortgage homeowner is always responsible for paying their property taxes.  Your particular county or city may have a program that allows you to defer a portion of your property tax.  Homeowners can contact their county human services office for more information.

Homeowners Insurance:

Just as with any conventional home loan, reverse mortgage holders are required to purchase and maintain homeowners insurance.  This yearly expense is something that should be discussed with your lender and a reverse mortgage counselor to ensure the homeowner understands their options and a plan is put in place to keep insurance current.

Home Maintenance: 

The homeowner or their family will be responsible for continuing to maintain and upkeep the home.  Because a reverse mortgage uses the equity available in the home to make it’s monthly mortgage payments, if major repairs are needed the homeowners will not be eligible for a home equity loan or similar.  It’s important to keep this in mind, especially when homeowners elect to receive their reverse mortgage funds in one lump sum.  Again, discussing this with your lender can help ensure you have planned to have funds available should a major home repair be needed.

Ultimately, understanding and planning for these expenses is key to being prepared in the years to come.  Working with and asking questions of a reputable reverse mortgage lender, as well as a reverse mortgage counselor, can help alleviate any concerns a homeowner may have.

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.

Should You Stay or Should You Go During Retirement?

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoRetirement has evolved over the past few decades.  At one time it was assumed you’d live with your adult children or in a senior home as you age.  At another time, dreams of moving far away to warmer climates and lush golf courses was the trend.  And now, the preference is staying at home and aging in place.  

According to American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), 90 percent of retirees now say they want to age in place, with 82% of them reporting they prefer in home care if medical assistance becomes necessary. 

So how do you know if staying put during retirement is right for you?

1.)  You have established professional, social and family networks 

Strong social networks is critical to a happy retirement.  Professional networks from working or volunteer networks from performing acts of service can help to decrease boredom and boost moods.  Social networks help physically, mentally, and emotionally.  An established circle of friends, as well as nearby family, has been proven to lend to a successful and content retirement.  Moving away from children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren can be very difficult for many. 

2.) You have important service providers established

Important service providers include everything from doctors and dentists, to financial planners and attorneys, to mechanics. In the case of chronic or serious conditions, staying put may be out of necessity to remain near medical providers or in home me

3.) It’s difficult to sell the home

Although Colorado has seen a boom in the housing market, there are still some areas where selling the home may be a difficult option.  Or for personal reasons, you simply don’t want to. 

Reverse mortgages have been making it possible to age in place for years now.  These specialized loans are available to homeowners 62 and over, including married couples with many protections in place to ensure borrowers are adequately educated before using this option, such as required third-party counseling, reverse mortgages are gaining in popularity among retirees from all walks of life.  A reverse mortgage for purchase option is available for those looking to purchase a new residence.

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado, as well as the Cheyenne and Laramie communities of Wyoming.  Contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.