A reverse mortgage permits owners 62 years and older to faucet the fairness they’ve constructed up of their houses through the years. Reverse mortgage necessities are very totally different from the principles that cowl conventional mortgages, and it’s important to grasp them earlier than deciding to take out such a mortgage.

Getting a reverse mortgage will help some seniors who want money to pay for house repairs, well being prices or residing bills. But such a mortgage can restrict what you do along with your property and the place you reside. It may also have an effect on what you permit your heirs.

What is a reverse mortgage?

A reverse mortgage is a home-backed mortgage during which the lender takes the fairness in your house and offers you entry to some or all of it. The sum of money you’ll have entry to is determined by:

  • How outdated you and any co-borrowers are. How outdated do it’s important to be to get a reverse mortgage? At least 62 years outdated. If multiple borrower’s identify is on the mortgage, all should be no less than 62.
  • How a lot the house is price, based mostly on an appraisal.
  • The kind of reverse mortgage you select
  • Prevailing rates of interest.

You additionally might be able to select whether or not you obtain the reverse mortgage funds as month-to-month funds, a line of credit score or a lump sum.

You’re not required to pay again the cash from a reverse mortgage so long as you reside within the leveraged house. However, while you cross away, promote the house or transfer someplace else, it’s important to repay the mortgage, together with curiosity, which accumulates each month.

If the mortgage steadiness grows to greater than your property is price while you promote it — based mostly on an appraisal of the honest market worth, the mortgage insurance coverage you purchase with a reverse mortgage pays again the distinction to the lender.

There are three sorts of reverse mortgages:

  • A house fairness conversion mortgage (HECM) is a federally insured mortgage that means that you can use the cash for any goal you select. These are the commonest form of reverse mortgages.
  • A single-purpose reverse mortgage could also be out there from some state or native governments or non-profits. As the identify suggests, you may solely use the cash for one goal, which the lender will specify. These are for low- and moderate-income owners who have to pay taxes or make house repairs.
  • A proprietary reverse mortgage is a non-public mortgage.

How a lot is a reverse mortgage?

A reverse mortgage comes with many bills, together with some that you simply discover with a daily mortgage mortgage. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) states that reverse mortgages value greater than different kinds of house loans. And in contrast to different mortgages, the quantity you owe on a reverse mortgage will get greater the longer you may have the mortgage.

Before you are taking out an HECM mortgage, you should meet with a reverse mortgage counselor, who should have Department of Housing and Urban Development approval.

The counselor will be sure to perceive how a lot the mortgage prices, clarify several types of reverse mortgages and take you thru varied cost choices. The counselor can cost you “a reasonable fee,” however you may’t be charged in the event you can’t afford it, CFPB advises.

A reverse mortgage requires a wide range of expenses which might be due at closing. Those embody:

  • Origination charges. These are paid to the lender and can’t be greater than $6,000.
  • Closing prices, that are much like these in any actual property transaction. You’ll probably pay for an appraisal, title search, inspections, property survey, credit score checks, recording charges and different expenses, which may add up.
  • Mortgage insurance coverage. If you’re getting a government-backed mortgage, you’re required to have mortgage insurance coverage. The preliminary premium is due at closing, and also you’ll pay an annual price after that. The annual premium is 0.5% of the mortgage steadiness.

After closing, expenses are added to your mortgage every month. If you may have an HECM, these charges might embody:

  • Interest expenses.
  • Service charges the lender expenses. These charges cowl administrative prices, resembling sending account statements. The price is capped at $30 a month if it’s a fixed-rate mortgage and $35 if the curiosity adjusts.
  • Annual mortgage insurance coverage premium.
  • Property taxes and house owner’s insurance coverage, if the lender pays these prices for you.

Requirements for a reverse mortgage

Reverse mortgage necessities cowl debtors and their monetary state of affairs.

Reverse mortgage {qualifications} require that the customer:

  • Be 62 years or older.
  • Have fairness in your house — whether or not you personal it outright or have significantly paid down the mortgage.
  • Use the property as your principal house, occupying it for a lot of the yr.
  • Have no federal debt delinquencies, resembling owing again taxes.
  • Have sufficient sources to pay property taxes, property insurance coverage and house owner affiliation charges.
  • Receive counseling from a HUD-approved reverse mortgage counselor.

You additionally should meet monetary necessities. While HECM loans haven’t any particular revenue necessities, the reverse mortgage lender will test your revenue, belongings and credit score historical past. Reverse mortgage eligibility requires that you simply pay your actual property taxes, owners insurance coverage and flood insurance coverage, if required, on time.

You additionally should be capable of afford continued upkeep and maintenance on the home. The lender needs to make certain the house maintains its worth.

Reverse mortgage reimbursement course of

In most cases, a reverse mortgage means that you can reside within the house till you cross away otherwise you transfer someplace else, like an assisted residing facility. At that time, all the cash you borrowed, plus charges and curiosity, should be paid again to the lender.

If you or your heirs promote the home to boost the cash to repay the mortgage, it’s possible you’ll maintain the distinction if the house sells for greater than you owe on the reverse mortgage.

If the sale of the house is lower than the mortgage steadiness and bought on the appraised honest market worth, your mortgage insurance coverage will cowl the distinction between what you raised and the quantity you owe.

If your reverse mortgage goes into default, you’ll get a discover that the mortgage is due and you should pay it. In that case, you may promote the house for 95% of the appraised worth and apply the cash to the unpaid steadiness. Mortgage insurance coverage pays for the remainder of the mortgage.

If co-borrowers take out the mortgage, and considered one of them dies, the opposite can proceed to reside within the house and obtain mortgage funds. The surviving borrower should proceed to fulfill the obligations set out within the reverse mortgage.

Too lengthy, didn’t learn?

Reverse mortgage necessities restrict who can qualify for a reverse mortgage, how a lot cash they will obtain by means of this system, and what they will do with the property. While a reverse mortgage is a technique that older owners can entry the fairness of their house, there are cheaper, much less restrictive alternate options, resembling a house fairness mortgage.

If you’re contemplating a reverse mortgage, rigorously look at all of your choices earlier than making a call.

Reviewed by

  • Angelica Leicht

    Angelica Leicht


    Angelica Leicht is a author and editor who makes a speciality of every part mortgage-related for The Simple Dollar. Her work has spanned subjects that embody lending product critiques, rate of interest traits, racial biases in mortgage lending and the position of fintech in lending practices, and has appeared in publications resembling Interest, Bankrate, The Spruce, Houston Press and VeryWell, amongst others.