What is a Reverse Mortgage?
A reverse mortgage is a government insured loan program that allows senior homeowners to convert a portion of the equity in their home into usable cash.
There are no tax consequences*, you do not forfeit any of your rights as the homeowner, you or the heirs of your choosing decide when or if the home is to be sold, and when the loan is repaid 100% of the remaining equity belongs to you, your heirs or your estate.
The concept is simple. You have spent years building equity in your home by paying off (or paying down) your mortgage, and through the appreciation in your home's value. A reverse mortgage simply allows you to withdraw a portion of that equity, use it any way that you like, stay in your home for as long as you like, and when you are ready to sell your home, or you have passed, the loan is repaid.
Important Facts about Reverse Mortgages
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, established reverse mortgages to help seniors who are homeowners pay for their living expenses and rising medical costs.
- To qualify for a HUD reverse mortgage you must be at least 62 and either own your home outright or have only a small balance left on your current mortgage.
- A reverse mortgage allows qualified homeowners to borrow money against their home's equity.
Traditional mortgages are based on the homeowner's ability to make monthly payments and for this reason things like credit, employment, income, and other assets are considered in the qualification process. A reverse mortgage does not require any form of monthly repayment and therefore none of those factors are considered. There are three basic requirements to qualify for a reverse mortgage:
- The youngest homeowner must be 62 years of age or older,
- The home must be your primary residence, and
- The type of home and condition of the property must meet standard HUD guidelines.
* Consult your tax advisor