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  Reverse Mortgages  

 A reverse mortgage is a loan against the equity in the home that provides tax-free cash advances, but requires no payments during the term of the loan. Since there are no monthly payments during the life of the loan, the balance grows larger and the equity gets smaller.

The loan is not due and payable until the borrower no longer occupies the home as a principal residence, e.g. the last surviving borrower sells, moves out permanently or passes away.                 

Use the Reverse Mortgage Calculator by AARP to see how much cash might be available from your home equity.

You must be at least 62 and own your own home or condominium in order to qualify for a reverse mortgage. There are no income or credit requirements to qualify. Based on the amount of benefit, which you qualify for, you may be eligible for a reverse mortgage even if you still owe money on your first mortgage.  As a practical matter, the best candidates for these loans are retirees in their 70s or 80s.

There are two primary reverse mortgage loan products available, the
FHA, HECM (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage) and the Fannie Mae HomeKeeper.   Another benefit of these loans is that they are "non recourse" which means that no matter how high the loan balance grows, the borrower or their heirs never owe more than the home's market value.

The proceeds from a reverse mortgage can be used for anything: daily living expenses; home repairs and home improvements; medical bills and prescription drugs; pay-off of existing debts; education; travel; long-term health care; retirement and estate tax planning; and other needs you may have.

The proceeds from a reverse mortgage are available as a lump sum, fixed monthly payments for as long as you live in the property, a line of credit; or a combination of these options.

The amount of benefit that you will qualify for, will depend on your age at the time you apply for the loan, the type of reverse mortgage you choose, the value of your home, current interest rates, and for some products, where you live. As a general rule, the older you are and the greater your equity, the larger the reverse mortgage benefit will be.

The costs associated with getting a reverse mortgage are similar to those with a conventional mortgage, such as the origination fee, appraisal and inspection fees, title policy, mortgage insurance and other normal closing costs. With a reverse mortgage, all of these costs can be financed as part of the mortgage.

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