What is required in order to get a reverse mortgage?
You must own a home, be at least 62, and have enough equity in your home.
Does my home qualify?
Eligible property types include single-family homes, 2-4 unit properties, manufactured homes (built after June 1976), condominiums, and townhouses.
What if I have an existing mortgage?
You may qualify for a reverse mortgage even if you still owe money on an existing mortgage. However, the reverse mortgage must be in a first lien position, so any existing indebtedness must be paid off. You can pay off the existing mortgage with a reverse mortgage, money from your savings, or assistance from a family member or friend.
For example, let's say you owe $100,000 on an existing mortgage. Based on your age, home value, and interest rates, you qualify for $125,000 under the reverse mortgage program. Under this scenario, you will be able to pay off ALL the existing mortgage and still have $25,000 left over to use as you wish.
Proceeds from Your Reverse Mortgage
How Much Money Can I Get?
The amount of funds you are eligible to receive depends on your age (or the age of the youngest spouse when there is a couple), appraised home value, interest rates, and in the case of the government program, the FHA lending limit, which is currently $625,500. If your home is worth more, then the amount of funds you may be eligible for will be based on the $625,500 loan limit. In general, the older you are and the more valuable your home (and the less you owe on your home), the more money you can get. During the first 12 months after closing, a borrower cannot access more than 60 percent of the available loan proceeds. In month thirteen, a borrower can access as much or as little of the remaining funds as he or she wishes. There are exceptions to the 60 percent rule. If you have an existing mortgage, you may pay it off and take an additional 10 percent of the available funds, even if the total amount used exceeds 60 percent.
How can I use the proceeds from a reverse mortgage?
The proceeds from a reverse mortgage can be used for anything, whether its to supplement retirement income to cover daily living expenses, repair or modify your home, pay for health care, pay off existing debts, cover property taxes, or prevent foreclosure.
How does the interest work on a reverse mortgage?
With a reverse mortgage, you are charged interest only on the proceeds that you receive. Both fixed and variable interest rates are available. Rates are tied to an index, such as the 1-Yr. Treasury Bill or the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), plus a margin that typically adds an additional one to three percentage points onto the rate you're charged. Interest is not paid out of your available loan proceeds, but instead compounds over the life of the loan until repayment occurs.
Social Security and Medicare
Will I lose my government assistance if I get a reverse mortgage?
A reverse mortgage does not affect regular Social Security or Medicare benefits. However, if you are on Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), any reverse mortgage proceeds that you receive must be used immediately. Funds that you retain count as an asset and could impact eligibility. For example, if you receive $4,000 in a lump sum for home repairs and spend it all the same calendar month, everything is fine. Any residual funds remaining in your bank account the following month would count as an asset. If the total liquid resources (including other bank funds and savings bonds) exceed $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple, you would be ineligible for Medicaid. To be safe, you should contact the local Area Agency on Aging or a Medicaid expert.
Is a Reverse Mortgage Right for Me?
Under what circumstances should I not consider a reverse mortgage?
Because of the upfront costs associated with a reverse mortgage, if you intend to leave your home within 2-3 years, there may be other less expensive options to consider, such as home equity loans, no-interest loans. Also, if you want to leave your home to your children, then you should consider other options, because in many cases, the home is sold to pay back a reverse mortgage.