3 Things to Do with a Reverse Mortgage in California

One 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 California, seniors are more active than ever, whether it be traveling, home improvements, or visiting with family and grandchildren often.

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.

Why Reverse Mortgage for Purchase is Different

The 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.

Janice Cohen is a HECM Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the North Hollywood, Sunland, Tujunga, Burbank, Glendale, La Crescenta, Montrose and many more areas of southern California.  Click here to contact Janice and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.