Seniors typically want to be homeowners, often purchasing a new home during their retirement years – some for the very first time. The reasons they are looking to purchase varies, ranging from downsizing, eliminating burdensome stairs or extensive grounds upkeep, moving closer to family, or possibly purchasing their dream home in a different climate. Whatever the reason may be, using a reverse mortgage to make the purchase is an option that should not be overlooked.
Prior to congress approving the Reverse Mortgage for Purchase (HECM for Purchase) program, homeowners that wanted to purchase a new home and obtain a reverse mortgage needed to do so through two separate transactions. The downside of this is obvious. First, when taking out a conventional mortgage, potential borrowers are held to the various income and credit standards of traditional mortgage lenders. And second, the borrower is subject to closings costs and the headache of both loans. Since the initiation of the Reverse Mortgage for Purchase program, seniors wishing to buy a new home and obtain a reverse mortgage are no longer subject to overwhelming standards. With a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase and all the fees are wrapped into one transaction.
Some seniors are cash rich when buying a home, so the question arises why not wait to take out a reverse mortgage? Why do it when purchasing? When using the Reverse Mortgage for Purchase a down payment is required – but for cash rich borrowers, this means they have the opportunity to use their cash as a down payment and potentially purchase a home in a higher price range than they were originally planning AND still live mortgage payment free. Or, on the other hand, if they don’t wish to shop in a higher price bracket, they can keep some of their cash since the reverse mortgage will cover a portion of the cost of the home. The other major consideration is variable interest rates in the future, as higher rates will reduce the amount a senior can draw on a reverse mortgage. Waiting can be a risky strategy if reverse mortgage is something being considered for the future.
Senior borrowers, 62 and over, can use a reverse mortgage for purchase to buy single family homes, town homes, and FHA approved condos as long as it has a certificate of occupancy. The home being purchased will need to be the buyer’s primary residence. The required down payment will need to come from a HUD approved source. And the borrower will be the owner of the home – just like with a conventional mortgage. Click here to learn more about the details of Reverse Mortgage for Purchase.
Janis Layman is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Seattle, Lynnwood, Edmonds, and Shoreline areas of Washington. Contact Janis and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.