Reverse Mortgages have helped millions of seniors live more plentiful lives as they age. Homeowners and their spouses over the age of 62 are eligible for Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM), but although they will NOT have a monthly mortgage payment to pay, they are still responsible for some financial obligations regarding the home. These include:
Just as with a conventional home loan, a reverse mortgage homeowner is always responsible for paying their property taxes. Your particular county or city may have a program that allows you to defer a portion of your property tax. Homeowners can contact their county human services office for more information.
Just as with any conventional home loan, reverse mortgage holders are required to purchase and maintain homeowners insurance. This yearly expense is something that should be discussed with your lender and a reverse mortgage counselor to ensure the homeowner understands their options and a plan is put in place to keep insurance current.
The homeowner or their family will be responsible for continuing to maintain and upkeep the home. Because a reverse mortgage uses the equity available in the home to make it’s monthly mortgage payments, if major repairs are needed the homeowners will not be eligible for a home equity loan or similar. It’s important to keep this in mind, especially when homeowners elect to receive their reverse mortgage funds in one lump sum. Again, discussing this with your lender can help ensure you have planned to have funds available should a major home repair be needed.
Ultimately, understanding and planning for these expenses is key to being prepared in the years to come. Working with and asking questions of a reputable reverse mortgage lender, as well as a reverse mortgage counselor, can help alleviate any concerns a homeowner may have.
Janice Cohen is a HECM Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Northridge, Reseda, Encino, Granada Hills, Sylmar, San Fernando, Sun Valley and many more areas of southern California. Click here to contact Janice and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.