Reverse Mortgage Terms to Know – Part 4

Reverse Mortgage Seattle Lynnwood Edmonds Shoreline WashingtonThe preceding “Terms to Know” articles have laid a firm foundation for your understanding the reverse mortgage world lingo, but this final installment of this series will go over a number of terms commonly used to describe the process.

Origination refers to the entire process of preparing the documents and setting up the mortgage. It will include an Appraisal. The Appraisal is the estimate of a house’s market value, or how much it would sell for if put on the market. The terms Appreciation and Depreciation mean what they sound like, that is, the increase or decrease of the value of a home at the time an assessment is done.

Condemnation is unlikely to come into your inquiry around a reverse mortgage for your home, however it is often in the appraisal field of terms. Condemnation is either the government taking private property for public use implying right of the eminent domain or it is a court action saying a property is unfit for use.

The Home Value Limit denotes the largest value in the reverse mortgage program of the home that can be used to decide what the loan advances to the borrower could be. A TALC rate means Total Annual Loan Cost.  It is an annual percentage cost of a reverse mortgage. Unlike the Annual Percentage Rate (APR), which takes into account only the finance charges, the TALC rate considers all costs.

If all goes well, the Origination goes into the Closing.  The Closing is a meeting to seal the deal. All the documents are signed and the mortgage begins at this moment. Even though the mortgage begins upon signing there is a Right of Rescission to protect the borrower. It gives them the right to cancel the home loan so long as it is within three business days of the closing.

Servicing happens after the closing. It is the administration of everything about the loan and includes the keeping of loan records and the sending of statements.

The following articles are also available within this blog – Terms to Know – Part 1, Terms to Know – Part 2, Terms to Know – Part 3, and Terms to Know – Interest Rates.

Reverse mortgages are available to seniors 62 and over, including married couples.  The funds can be accessed in a variety of ways including monthly installments, a line of credit, a lump sum, and to purchase a home.  Homeowners with a reverse mortgage will be able to stay in the home as long as they desire and the will NEVER have a loan payment until the last borrower permanently leaves the residence.

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.

What is FHA Insurance on a Reverse Mortgage Loan in Seattle, WA?

Reverse Mortgage Seattle Lynnwood Edmonds Shoreline WashingtonIf you’ve taken the time to learn even a little bit about a reverse mortgage in Seattle, it’s likely you’ve heard the term “FHA insured” at least a couple of times.  But what exactly does it mean?

Homeowners 62 and over, with significant equity in their home, may be eligible for a reverse mortgage.  These loans are typically insured by the FHA and provide non-taxable income to the borrowers based on the available equity in the home.  The more equity and the older the borrower, the more funds available.  The funds can be accessed via a line of credit, monthly installments, a lump sum, and even can be wrapped into the purchase of a new home.  The borrower can always use the funds for whatever they deem fit.

The homeowner will live mortgage payment free for as long as they remain in the home, although they will have a few financial obligations related to the house such as homeowners insurance, property taxes, utilities, and HOA fees.  As long as the borrowers keeps current on these few obligations, they cannot be evicted from the home, the home cannot be foreclosed, and they cannot be made to repay the loan.  The loan comes due once the borrower (or the last borrower in the case of married couples) has left the home for 12 consecutive months or passes away.  At this time the loan will be due and payable with time allotted to allow for transitions.  This is where the FHA insurance comes in.

In the case of a death, the home with pass onto the heirs.  At this time they have options, with two being the most common – 1) Pay off the loan and keep the home (often through life insurance or sale of another asset), or 2) Sell the home.

In the scenario of loan repayment the heirs will never have to repay any more than the home is appraised for.  They will only be required to pay 95% of the appraised home value or the full amount of the loan, whichever is less.  Any amount due on the loan above the appraised amount will be covered by the FHA insurance and no one will be held liable.

In the case of a home sale, the heirs will never be required to pay more on the loan than the home sells for as long as the sale price is at least 95% of the appraised value.  Any remaining balance will be covered by the FHA insurance.  On the other hand, if the home sells for more than the loan balance, the heirs will keep any remaining funds.   This is especially important as over the years the housing market shifts.

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.


The Reverse Mortgage Appraisal

Reverse Mortgage Seattle Lynnwood Edmonds Shoreline WashingtonFor seniors 62 and over who are considering a reverse mortgage, part of what determines the amount of funds available is the appraised value of the home.  Typically, once your reverse mortgage lender has received your application, the lender will contact an FHA appraiser.  The appraiser will then contact you to schedule a time that works for them to visit your home. Here is what to expect from a reverse mortgage home appraisal:

The Inspection:

During the inspection, the appraiser will walk through your home with you.  It is not uncommon for the appraiser to take photographs of your home, primarily if there are specific features that may add to the value of the home or may be in need of repair.

The Research:

The appraiser will then begin to research various factors that will come into play, such as comparable home sales in your area.  The appraiser will review public records, multiple listing services, tax assessor’s records, and any other resources available to determine factors that will influence the value of your home.

The Appraisal Report:

After analyzing your home along with comparable home sales in your area, the appraiser will deliver the appraisal to be used with your loan request.  The report will contain all the information about your home, the comparable home sales that the appraiser used, and any photographs of your home.

Once the appraisal is completed your reverse mortgage lender will provide you with a copy of your report and update your reverse mortgage figures based on the appraised value.

There are some simple things that can be done BEFORE the appraiser arrives that can affect your value and prevent repeated visits by the appraiser.

For example, look for and repair the following if possible:

  • Do you have any chipping or peeling paint inside or outside the home?
  • Do you have any exposed electrical wires?
  • Do you have any current or past water leaks that have not been treated?
  • Do you have any decks or staircases without hand rails?
  • Does your roof have any issues with leaking or dose it show excessive wear?

If home repairs are required for a reverse mortgage, they can sometimes be completed after closing on the loan, using the proceeds from the reverse mortgage, thus eliminating the outgoing cost for seniors.  Ask your reverse mortgage lender for more information about this option.

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.

Reverse Mortgage FAQ – Part 3

Reverse Mortgage Seattle Lynnwood Edmonds Shoreline Washington


This is the third in a three part series of frequently asked questions about Reverse Mortgage.  You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.  If you have questions that are not currently listed, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly.

Will I Lose My Government Assistance If I Get a Reverse Mortgage?

Because a reverse mortgage is not considered income, it does not affect regular Social Security or Medicare benefits. However, if you are on Medicaid or other public assistance, any reverse mortgage proceeds that you receive may affect your eligibility. Reverse mortgage funds that you retain would be considered an asset, just as other bank funds.  Working with a reputable reverse mortgage lender will ensure you are properly reporting income and not caught by surprise.

What is a Reverse Mortgage Appraisal?

A home appraisal by an FHA approved appraiser is required for every reverse mortgage loan.  Once your reverse mortgage lender has received your application, you will be contacted by an appraiser to schedule a time to conduct the appraisal.  The appraisal will consist of an inspection, where the appraiser will walk through your home and possibly take photographs.  Once the walk-through is completed, research will be done to determine your home’s worth based on various factors, including comparable home sales in your area.  After the research has been done, an appraisal report will be generated which will include all of the factors that went into determining your home’s appraised value.

How Do I Spot a Reverse Mortgage Scam?

Unfortunately con-artists often prey on the elderly through reverse mortgage scams, but there are several ways to spot such activity.  Be skeptical of lenders who solicit through means such as television, door-to-door, churches and community centers, direct mailers, or other extensive advertisements.  Asking for large amounts of money up front is a very clear indicator.  Anything required beyond a routine appraisal deposit of approx $300 is cause for concern.  Steer clear of reverse mortgages that are marketed as “Foreclosure Assistance”.  A high pressure salesperson is a red-flag, as it is important to clearly understand what you are signing and to have any questions thoroughly answered.  Working with a reputable lender is critical when making such a major decision as obtaining a reverse mortgage.  Learn more about reverse mortgage scams here.

What Happens if the Borrower Moves Into a Senior Care Facility or Something Similar?

A reverse mortgage becomes due and payable when the last borrower moves out of his or her home permanently. For instance, moving into a senior care facility, selling the home, passing away or moving in with the children.  In the case of a married couple, if both spouses are on the loan as long as one spouse remains in the home the loan will continue without hiccup.

What Happens to a Reverse Mortgage After the Owners Pass?

When the homeowner passes – or the last spouse in the case of a married couple – the home will transfer into the estate or a specific person according  to the wishes expressed in the homeowner’s will.  At this time there are three main options: pay off the remainder of the loan, obtain a conventional loan, or sell the home.  For more extensive details about each of these options, read this article on my blog.

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.