Category: Quick Facts

Should You Refinance Your Reverse Mortgage?

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoReverse mortgages are for seniors 62 and older, including married couples, and were once considered a life line. Times have changed, and now reverse mortgages are regularly being incorporated into retirement planning.  But refinance a reverse mortgage?  It’s not something you hear about often, or maybe you don’t even realize it’s an option.  And why would someone want to do this?  Well, here are some fast facts:

Who might want to refinance: 

• In the case of a remarriage, possibly you want to add the new spouse (note: new borrowers added must be 62 or older).  
• Or in the case of divorce, you want to remove a spouse.  
• If the housing market has improved drastically, like we’re currently seeing all over northern Colorado, maybe you want to tap into the new equity.  
• Better interest rates?  Just like with a traditional mortgage, this matters.
• Interested in the Line of Credit option but took out the monthly installments?  Then refinance may be for you. 

What you need to know: 

• The process is similar to that of a traditional mortgage refinance, except you will still be able to live mortgage and loan payment free.
• You will need a new appraisal.
• Some older lenders have exited the reverse mortgage industry, such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America.  If you currently have your loan with one of these lenders, you’re not out of luck, you can still refinance through an existing lender.  
• You can shop around.  You are not stuck with your current lender.
• If your previous reverse mortgage was not FHA insured, you can switch to one that is.  The FHA insurance offers consumer protections, including the promise that you’ll never owe more than your home is worth at the time the loan comes due.
• You will need to take part in third party reverse mortgage counseling.
• If you received your reverse mortgage before 2015, be aware some of the requirements have changed.  Now income and credit does play a factor, although there are options if you fail to meet the new criteria. 
• If you’re not sure you want to stay in the home, refinancing may not be the best move.  Instead possibly consider selling the home to pay back the existing reverse mortgage, then look at a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase to downsize or move to a more suitable home.
• After the refinance, the borrower will still be responsible for property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and other related costs to the home such as HOA fees, upkeep, and utilities.  

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.

Yes, Married Couples Can Get A Reverse Mortgage

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoIt’s not uncommon to hear heartbreaking stories of reverse mortgages that left a spouse in dire straits after the other spouse passed away.  How could this happen?  Is it something that you need to worry about?  If you and your spouse are considering obtaining a reverse mortgage, it’s important to understand the long term effect it could have on either spouse once the other passes away, and feel confident any appropriate protections are in place.

What Married Couples Need to Know 

When applying for a reverse mortgage the amount of money you can receive is calculated according to the age of the youngest borrower.  The older the borrower, the more money is available from the lender.

If both homeowners are over the age of 62, both homeowners can be on a reverse mortgage loan.  If both spouses are on the loan, the loan continues if either passes away and will continue until both borrowers have passed.

Another scenario to consider is if a borrower obtains a reverse mortgage and then remarries.  If this was to happen, it wouldn’t be unheard of for the married couple to live in the home for 20 or more years before the borrower passes.  At this time the new spouse would not be protected under the existing reverse mortgage loan.  If you have reverse mortgage and you remarry, you could consider looking into refinancing the reverse mortgage and adding the new spouse to the loan.

And yet one more thing to note is the possibility one spouse needs to move out of the home into an assisted living facility due to health concerns.  If this happens, as long as the spouse that remains in the home is on the loan, they can continue under their current reverse mortgage.

Bottom line: If you are married and are considering obtaining a reverse mortgage, it is extremely important to work with a trusted and experienced reverse mortgage specialist who can easily answer all of your questions and address any concerns you may have.  Making sure both spouses are protected should be a lender’s top priority.

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 to learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Reverse Mortgage Line of Credit (HECM-LOC) Quick Facts

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoThe HECM Reverse Mortgage Line of Credit is still relatively new, and to this day many within the financial and retirement industries haven’t fully grasped how it works.  Well, they need to get on board because consumers are interested – and they should be.  Here’s why..

First, what is a line of credit?  Simply put, a line of credit are funds available to you through a financial institution that you can access as needed, or not at all if the need doesn’t arise.  Interest is not acquired if the funds are not used.  This makes line of credit options excellent safety nets, especially for the purpose of creative retirement strategy.

When looking at a HECM Reverse Mortgage Line of Credit, the two are obviously intertwined, meaning the qualification requirements for any reverse mortgage still apply.  These are: age 62 and over, using your primary residence for the loan, this home must meet HUD’s guidelines and needs to be either paid off or have substantial equity, and the borrower must have the financial capability to continue to pay homeowners insurance, property taxes, and the like. Because there are various options to receive the payout from a reverse mortgage, the line of credit is only one of them.

When you have a reverse mortgage line of credit, you have money that is available to you — but you only accrue interest on the money you withdraw.  This means the reverse mortgage line of credit can act as an excellent back up source of funds or can be used for retirement fun, whether it be vacation, spoiling grandchildren, or knowing you have the funds available when you’re ready to take on new ventures.

There are other benefits though.  This line of credit is pretty astounding beyond just being a safety net.

Growth: Not only are you not paying interest, but your untouched reverse mortgage line of credit can grow in value. Money in a reverse mortgage line of credit grows at the same rate as the interest rate on the loan PLUS 1.25% monthly.  So, if the interest rate on your reverse mortgage is 2.50%, then your line of credit will grow at 3.75% (2.50% + 1.25%).

Unique: This growth is unique to reverse mortgage lines of credit — a HELOC for example does not grow.

Hedge Against Falling House Prices: The growth in a reverse mortgage line of credit is guaranteed — without withdrawals, your line of credit is guaranteed to grow.  This means you lock in the current value of your home without taking out an interest acruing loan.

Pretty great, isn’t it?

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.

Considering A Reverse Mortgage? Know Who You Are Working With

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont coloradoWhen 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 Mutual of Omaha, 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 as property 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.

Applying For A Reverse Mortgage? Here’s What To Expect

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoIf you’ve reached the point you are ready to apply for a reverse mortgage, you have likely done a fair amount of research (and if you haven’t, feel free to read through the informational articles here on my blog).  So what comes next? Here’s a quick run down of what to expect…

Age qualifications.  You’re probably aware the borrower needs to be age 62 or older to qualify, but in the case of married couples who both want to be on the loan, both borrowers will need to be 62 or older.  In addition, the loan amount will be calculated of the age of the youngest borrower, with the older the borrower, the more funds available.

Does your home qualify?  Not every residence qualifies for a reverse mortgage but many do.  The home must be HUD and FHA approved.  These include: single family or a 2-4 unit homes with one unit occupied by the borrower, as well as some condominiums and manufactured homes.  If you’re looking to purchase a home with a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase, any new construction must have a certificate of occupancy.  Once it’s determined your home qualifies, an appraisal will be done to determine it’s value.

Financial Assessment.  In some recent changes made by HUD to ensure the continued progress of the reverse mortgage industry, a financial assessment became part of the application process.  This is set up to make sure borrowers are financially stable enough to continue to pay property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and other related costs to the home, although once a reverse mortgage is obtained on the home, there are NO mortgage or loan payments.  Although the financial assessment is similar to that with a traditional mortgage, if borrowers don’t meet the traditional criteria, there are still options through a Fully-Funded Life Expectancy Set-Aside, which is an amount drawn under the HECM that is reserved for payment of property taxes and insurance by the lender; or a Partialy-Funded Life Expectancy Set-Aside which works the same as the Fully-Funded option except a smaller reserve is drawn when borrowers meet credit requirements but not income requirements. The amount of both of these reserves is determined by the age of the borrower and the value of the home. 

During these first steps, it’s incredibly important to work with a trusted and reputable reverse mortgage advisor and lender.  You should never feel pressured or feel your concerns and/or questions aren’t being addressed.  Also watch out for scams that some homeowners can easily fall prey to. 

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.

5 Things You Need To Know About Reverse Mortgages In Colorado

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoReverse mortgages have made a serious comeback in the past couple 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 Fort Lupton, Erie,  Lafayette, 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.

Everything You Need To Know About Taxes And Your Reverse Mortgage In Colorado

Everything You Need To Know About Taxes And Your Reverse Mortgage In ColoradoAs the end of the year approaches, it’s common to start receiving some questions about taxes and reverse mortgage. There are many differences between a reverse mortgage and a traditional mortgage – and taxes are a big one.  Here’s a run down of what to expect come tax time if you have a reverse mortgage.

The Tax Liability Issue

Because any funds you receive from a reverse mortgage are essentially an advance on your home equity – equity you already own and have paid for, the IRS does not consider money received from a reverse mortgage as income, they consider it an advance, therefore it is not taxed as income.  This is the case regardless of how you receive the funds – whether monthly installments, a line of credit, or a lump sum, you will never pay income tax on this.

What About Deductions on Interest?

Here’s one situation where there is a stark difference between a traditional mortgage and a reverse mortgage.  With a traditional mortgage interest and fees paid are tax deductible every year they are paid.  This is still the case with a reverse mortgage, except in the scenario of a reverse mortgage the interest is not paid until the loan comes due, therefore it cannot be claimed as a deduction until this point.  The loan comes due if the borrowers sells the home, passes away, or permanently leaves the home.

Property Taxes

With a traditional mortgage, property taxes are often taken care of by an escrow service.  With a reverse mortgage the homeowner is 100% responsible for making sure these property taxes are kept up to date.  If there are financial concerns about the ongoing cost of property taxes, discuss this with your reverse mortgage specialist.  In the financial assessment there are options to help set aside a portion of the funds to cover ongoing expenses such as property taxes and homeowner’s insurance.

Reverse mortgages 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.

Is Your Home Eligible For A Reverse Mortgage?

The Reverse Mortgage Appraisal Fort Collins Loveland Longmont Greeley ColoradoReverse Mortgages are a specialized loan available to seniors 62 and over.  This creative resource is used by a wide demographic – from those looking to supplement a fixed income, to the more affluent in need of protection for retirement assets, and even those wanting to purchase a home in retirement.  But there are some requirements when it comes to the actual home…

Which types of homes are included? 

According the HUD’s Federal Housing Administration, the home must be a single family home or a 2-4 unit home with one unit occupied by the borrower. Some condominiums and manufactured homes that are approved by HUD also meet FHA requirements.

In the case of a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase, borrowers can use a reverse mortgage to purchase a single family home or 2-4 unit home with completed construction that has received a certificate of occupancy.

Are there reasons my home may not qualify?

A home with very little equity may not qualify, although homes with existing mortgages may.

In addition, homes must be maintained with general upkeep and be current on property taxes and other expenses relevant to the home.

A second home or vacation home may not qualify.  The borrower must be living (or plan to live) in the home.

Bottom line

The funds from a reverse mortgage can be accessed via a lump sum, line of credit, monthly installments, or to purchase a home. If you have questions let your specialist guide you in the many scenarios that are possible and the two of you can think creatively about your needs and desires.

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.

Delay Social Security Benefits with a Reverse Mortgage

reverse mortgage colorado fort collins loveland windsor greeley berthoudWhen planning for retirement, there will no doubt be a discussion about when a retiree should start taking their Social Security benefits.

There are perks to delaying, for example Social Security benefits stand to increase as much as 7-8% per year if you don’t apply until age 70.  But many seniors need this income.  With the ability to apply for a reverse mortgage at the age of 62, and current low interest rates, retirees stand to actually make gains by using a reverse mortgage to supplement while delaying benefits.

When approved for a reverse mortgage, the borrower can choose from a variety of ways to access the funds.  It could be a monthly installment, a lump sum, or even a line of credit that in itself stands to grow over time.

This is a creative way to use the hard earned equity in your home to your benefit.  A well educated financial advisor would easily be able to help you decide if this is a good option.  Reverse mortgages are available to seniors 62 and over, including married couples, with an approved type of home.  The borrower will always retain the title to the home and reverse mortgages are insured by the FHA.

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.

What Does It Mean When A Reverse Mortgage Is FHA Insured?

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoIf you’ve taken the time to learn even a little bit about a reverse mortgage, it’s likely you’ve heard the term “FHA insured” at least a couple of times.  But what exactly does it mean?

Homeowners 62 and over, with significant equity in their home, may be eligible for a reverse mortgage.  These loans are typically insured by the FHA and provide non-taxable income to the borrowers based on the available equity in the home.  The more equity and the older the borrower, the more funds available.  The funds can be accessed via a line of credit, monthly installments, a lump sum, and even can be wrapped into the purchase of a new home.  The borrower can always use the funds for whatever they deem fit.

The homeowner will live mortgage payment free for as long as they remain in the home, although they will have a few financial obligations related to the house such as homeowners insurance, property taxes, utilities, and HOA fees.  As long as the borrowers keeps current on these few obligations, they cannot be evicted from the home or made to repay the loan.  The loan comes due once the last borrower has left the home for 12 consecutive months or passes away.  At this time the loan will be due and payable with time allotted to allow for transitions.  This is where the FHA insurance comes in.

In the case of a death, the home with pass onto the heirs.  At this time they have two options – 1) Pay off the loan and keep the home (often through life insurance or sale of another asset), or 2) Sell the home.

In the scenario of loan repayment the heirs will never have to repay any more than the home is appraised for.  They will only be required to pay 95% of the appraised home value or the full amount of the loan, whichever is less.  Any amount due on the loan above the appraised amount will be covered by the FHA insurance and no one will be held liable.

In the case of a home sale, the heirs will never be required to pay more on the loan than the home sells for as long as the sale price is at least 95% of the appraised value.  Any remaining balance will be covered by the FHA insurance.  On the other hand, if the home sells for more than the loan balance, the heirs will keep any remaining funds.   This is especially important as over the years the housing market shifts.

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