When it Comes to Reverse Mortgages, Sooner is Better than Later……….. Reprint from The Union Nevada County Newspaper

 

seniors walking in fall

Happy Fall !   Here is a reprint of an article from the Union Newspaper of Nevada County:

Clients come to me to: establish a reverse mortgage credit line, pay off an existing loan, or purchase a home. I then analyze their qualifications under current RM rules, emphasis on “current”.  Housing and Urban Development, “HUD”, creates RM lending rules. When HUD issues rule changes we receive little or no notice. However, HUD RM program changes do NOT affect a completed loan.

When advising client(s) they qualify for a RM loan, they may chose to “do the loan later”. Upon return my “later” clients are unhappy to learn they no longer qualify, or if they qualify, HUD changes are not advantageous to them, some examples:

  • “Later” clients returned when one of them became dementia incapacitated, in-home care expenses were mounting, but it was difficult to establish a RM credit line loan to pay for expenses because using a power of attorney/conservatorship to initiate a RM loan, once one borrower has become incapacitated, is complicated. It is less complicated to use POA/conservatorship documents to keep credit line funds flowing to pay for expenses when the RM credit line was completed at a point in time when both borrowers had capacity. If one co-borrower remains living in the home with a RM loan, the other co-borrower may reside in assisted living if that need arises; also, the sooner a credit line loan is established, the more advantageous the credit line growth feature becomes.
  • A client wanted to pay off his existing mortgage with an RM loan, eliminating his monthly mortgage payment, thus increasing monthly liquidity. He was initially qualified but decided to wait. In the interim, HUD lowered the lending formula, creating a shortfall of lendable funds to pay off the existing mortgage. Having funds in a retirement account he is able to complete the shortfall to pay off the existing mortgage by bringing funds into escrow, but wishes he had completed the loan earlier.
  • New clients selling their home and wanting to purchase a replacement home with a reverse mortgage waited for a loan consultation until after their existing house was in escrow and a replacement home found, the wait caused a loss of the replacement home to a competing buyer; per newer HUD rules on RM purchase loans, 2-3 weeks advance planning with a loan officer prior to submitting a purchase contract on a replacement home is advisable.

 Shawna McDonald, Loan Officer has specialized in reverse mortgages loans for 10 years and is available by confirmed appointment; her local office, Sierra Foothills Reverse Mortgage, is located at 412 E. Main St. Suite N, Grass Valley, (530) 497-3010. NMLS#271335 BRE #00585530 Borba Investments, Auburn, CA Company NMLS #76801 BRE# #01386892 As with all loans, it is required that property taxes and fire/casualty insurance be kept current.

 

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Grass Valley Reverse Mortgage Sierra Foothills Reverse Mortgage Information ~ FHA Insurance ~ What is it? Why do I need it?

senior rafting

One of my recent clients quipped, “Navigating a reverse mortgage loan is like navigating white water rapids” Well if the senior to the left can do it so can you, I provide the “river” navigation!

The most often asked in depth question I address for clients is: what is this required reverse mortgage loan FHA insurance all about? I recently wrote the following article for the Grass Valley home town paper, The Union, and because the editor requires me to limit a topic to 400, give or take, words, I hope this won’t put you too far into advanced sleep mode:

Reverse Mortgage FHA Insurance ~ What is It? Why do I Need it?

Reprint from the Grass Valley Union Newspaper 7/5/2018

The Reverse Mortgage Loan question I am most often asked: Why is FHA (Federal Housing Administration) insurance required and what does it do for me, the borrower?

 A concise answer: FHA Reverse Mortgage Loan Insurance provides 2 important protections for borrowers: #1 protection is the borrower will receive loan payments as agreed upon by the loan terms regardless of the financial viability of an individual lender;  #2 protection is the borrower will never owe more than their home is worth. Let’s more fully explore each protection:

 #1 Protection:  Loan proceeds are guaranteed: RM borrowers can opt to receive their loan proceeds as a lump sum, a line of credit, or ongoing installments. The FHA insurance guarantees loan proceeds will be disbursed to the borrower as agreed upon under the terms of the loan. In the event the lender goes out of business, the borrower’s funds will then come directly from FHA. In addition, because of FHA insurance protection a RM lender cannot reduce, cancel or freeze a line of credit, which is NOT a protection in place with conventional equity lines of credit, they CAN be frozen or reduced. I always advise seniors to be cautious and understand the difference in protections if they opt to not do a RM loan, and instead pursue a conventional equity line of credit loan.

 #2 Protection: Non-recourse Feature: Because a RM borrower is not making monthly payments on funds expended, the loan balance will grow larger over time. As we saw in 2007, real estate markets can change. In the event the borrower passes or sells, has expended all loan funds, and a downturn in home values has caused the house to be worth less than what is owed, FHA will reimburse the lender directly for any shortfall between the loan balance due and the home’s sale price. Neither the borrower nor their heir’s other assets are at risk to be tapped for repayment of a loan balance shortfall. As with all loans, if the home sells for more than what is owed, the borrower/heirs keep remaining funds, the lender is not entitled to any part of the remaining funds after the loan is paid off. I call FHA insurance a “peace of mind insurance” that is part of the cost of a RM loan, but well worth the protection it provides.

Shawna McDonald, Loan Officer has specialized in reverse mortgages loans and TLC for 10 years. She is approved with 11 of the largest reverse mortgage lenders in the nation, and available by confirmed appointment; her local office, Sierra Foothills Reverse Mortgage, is located at 412 E. Main St. Suite N, Grass Valley, (530) 497-3010. NMLS #271335 BRE #00585530 Borba Investments, Auburn, CA Company NMLS #76801 BRE# #01386892 As with all loans, it is required that property taxes and fire/casualty insurance be kept current.

 

 

 

Reverse Mortgage Line of Credit or Conventional Line of Credit?

Seniors gardening

From Shawna McDonald at Sierra Foothills Reverse Mortgage, located in downtown Grass Valley:  “Hello and Happy Spring to Seniors in Grass Valley, Penn Valley, Nevada City and surrounding areas. “

Spring is finally here and I wanted to share on my blog an article I recently wrote for our local newspaper The Union:

Reverse Mortgage Line of Credit or Conventional Line of Credit?

Two sets of clients consulted me with identical decisions: having retired, they sold large homes, paid all cash for smaller homes and modest remainder funds went to savings. Year one on retirement income went ok, however modest remainder savings for emergencies and little extras proved insufficient, sleepless nights ensued: “What if the roof and car went out?” Their question: Should we do a reverse mortgage credit line loan or a conventional credit line loan, aka a “HELOC”?

Having met with me, a reverse mortgage loan specialist and then independently with a conventional banker, both couples came to the same conclusions; a reverse mortgage credit line was the best option for them. Why? Unlike a RM credit line loan, a “HELOC”, requires monthly payments, is for a fixed period of time, and may require a future reset to a higher monthly payment. Both couples planned to use the proceeds of the HELOC to pay the monthly HELOC payment, therefore, realizing that when the HELOC credit line ran out, they would be forced to sell their homes if they weren’t qualified to refinance and take out more money to keep up with the payments. This risk potential was causing considerable distress, they wanted to age in place in their homes. Additionally, if one or the other passed, due to a then diminished household income and little life insurance in place; the remaining spouse would be required to go through the upheaval of selling the home because of an inability to make the monthly HELOC payment.

A HELOC typically has features which alarm me if used as a financial tool for seniors: A HELOC lender may reduce available HELOC funds or freeze the funds under certain conditions. This is NOT allowed with a RM credit line loan, RM loans are government supervised, insured by FHA and cannot be reduced, altered, or frozen; however, a RM loan does have a higher cost than a HELOC for these safety/insurance guarantees. As with any loan type, keeping current on property taxes and insurance is required.

The RM credit line loan will be titled like any loan, the borrowers remain owners of the home, the lender does NOT own the home, (a common RM myth). Regardless of the remaining amount in the RM credit line, both borrowers or the remainder borrower, if one predeceases the other, may stay in the home for their lifetime(s), sell and keep the remaining equity, or bequeath remaining equity to heirs, as they choose.

Shawna McDonald, Loan Officer, for 10 years has dedicated herself to specializing in reverse mortgage loans, she has successfully completed hundreds of them. Call Shawna to discuss your retirement goals: by private appointment or call for her next seminar date. Sierra Foothills Reverse Mortgage 412 E. Main Street Grass Valley (530) 497-3010. NMLS #271335 | CalBRE #00585530 Borba Investments Inc. Company NMLS #76801 |Company BRE # 01446165 These materials are not from, and were not approved by HUD or FHA

 

 

Purchase Reverse Mortgage or Post Sale Reverse Mortgage?

Seniors sold sign

I often see clients considering downsizing and selling their existing home to purchase a more modest home.

The decision: “Do I sell my existing home and pay all cash for the replacement home and THEN get a reverse mortgage line of credit or, do a reverse mortgage for purchase on the replacement home?

As well as being a licensed loan officer I am a real estate broker and have known in theory that it is risky to pay all cash on the new home and close escrow ASSUMING the replacement home will qualify for a reverse mortgage post sale, but have not had actual examples until, unfortunately, this year where I had several examples.

I did not meet with the individuals in these examples prior to the purchase of their replacement home; they came in post close of escrow to inquire about taking out a RM credit line. The sale of their prior home did not cover the price of the replacement home, causing them to dip heavily into savings accounts to pay all cash. In doing preliminary research on their properties I had to deliver the bad news: their replacement properties would not qualify for a reverse mortgage and they were shocked.

How could a reverse mortgage for purchase process, rather than paying all cash, have protected these folks? The RM for purchase process protects an individual via the real estate purchase contract contingency clause, giving them several weeks or more to go through the loan qualifying process with a loan officer, appraiser and underwriter working on their behalf to determine if the property and they will qualify for a RM. If the property and they receive loan approval they can confidently close escrow knowing their financing will be in place. However, if going through the process it is determined the subject property or they will NOT qualify for a reverse mortgage, the individual can walk away during the contingency period and not lose their earnest money deposit.

It’s wise to see a loan professional well in advance of selling an existing home and looking for a replacement as there are numerous RM pre-approval steps required.

 

Shawna McDonald, License Loan Officer, has completed hundreds of reverse mortgage loans and is approved with 10 reverse mortgage lenders. She is available by appointment. Sierra Foothills Reverse Mortgage 412 E. Main Street Suite N, Grass Valley, (530) 497-3010. Her website is www.SierraFoothillsReverse.com. NMLS #271335 | CalBRE #00585530 Borba Investments Inc. Company NMLS #76801 |Company BRE # 01446165 These materials are not from, and were not approved by HUD or FHA

 

New Thinking About Reverse Mortgages ~ Younger retirees may benefit from using a reverse-mortgage line of credit as interest rates rise ~

seniors hiking    Rising interest rates could make reverse-mortgage lines of credit more appealing to younger retirees.

A reverse mortgage is a type of loan taken against equity in a home, available to borrowers who are at least 62. It requires no monthly payments, with interest charges instead added to the loan balance and paid only after the homeowner sells or dies. The loan can be taken as a lump sum or as monthly income, or as a line of credit, with no interest charges on unused amounts.

Many homeowners wait until well beyond 62 to take a reverse mortgage, because generally the older the borrower is the more he or she will be qualified to borrow.

In recent years, though, more financial advisers have warmed up to the idea of homeowners taking a reverse-mortgage line of credit when they are as young as 62, as a way to boost their nest egg. The key to this strategy is that the credit line grows over time, by amounts tied to the course of interest rates, and the unused portion can be converted to a substantial monthly income years later. And today, with inflation and interest rates widely expected to rise, these credit lines could be particularly valuable.

“Now is an exceptionally good time to be considering adding a [reverse-mortgage] credit line to the retirement blueprint,” says Shelley Giordano, chair of the Funding Longevity Task Force at the American College of Financial Services. Interest rates are low, which increases the credit limit on reverse mortgages, she notes, and if rates rise over the life of the loan, that will add to the growth of the credit line. Since interest rates tend to rise alongside inflation, the growing line of credit would provide an inflation hedge, she says.

Running the numbers

“Research has shown that setting up a line of credit as soon as possible, age 62, in order to let it grow and only tapping into the line of credit when needed can substantially improve the long-term sustainability of a retirement-income portfolio, meaning you can make your money last longer,” says Jamie Hopkins, associate professor of taxation at the American College of Financial Services.

The strategy—called a standby reverse mortgage, or SRM, by some—has been pushed in financial journals by a number of academics, starting with a 2012 paper by Barry H. Sacks, a tax attorney in San Francisco, and his brother Stephen R. Sacks, a professor emeritus of economics at the University of Connecticut. They recommend drawing from the credit line when investments like stocks and bonds are down, so the homeowner enjoys a steady income and gives other investments time to recover, allowing them to last longer.

They said the strategy was successful in 1,000 Monte Carlo simulations, which run calculations over and over while varying key factors like interest rates and investment returns. Not only did it improve the borrower’s chances of enjoying steady income to an advanced age, it could also produce a larger income along the way, they reported.

Not for everyone

The chief downside: Sums taken through any reverse mortgage, including any amount actually borrowed through a line of credit, reduce the equity available for other purposes—like moving to another home or buying into an assisted-care facility—or for the homeowner’s heirs.

“It may not be best for a short-term play” because of the time it will take for the growth of the credit line to offset the cost, “or if one wishes to leave a home free and clear [of debt] to their heirs,” says Steven Klein, reverse-mortgage director with AmCap Mortgage, in Greenville, S.C.

But over many years, the credit line can grow to be quite large, especially if interest rates rise. Here’s how it works: These credit lines carry adjustable interest rates that typically reset every month or every year. Once the initial credit limit is set—based on interest rates, the homeowner’s age, the home’s value and its location—it grows each year by the current interest rate on the loan plus 1.25 percentage points, which is the loan’s annual mortgage-insurance charge.

For example,  a 62-year-old borrower with a $400,000 home in the Philadelphia suburbs a credit line starting at $200,668, at an initial rate of 5.70%—a 4.45% interest rate on the loan plus the 1.25% insurance charge. If the interest rate doesn’t change, the credit line will grow 5.70% a year, reaching more than $600,000 in 20 years. It could then be converted to a monthly income of nearly $5,000—less if any of the credit has been used—based on standard industry formulas. If interest rates go higher, the credit line would be larger; if they fall, it wouldn’t grow as much.

Taking a credit line at an early age could also mitigate the danger of the home’s value falling, a decline that would reduce the amount of credit available through a reverse mortgage taken later. And the credit line grows regardless of changes in the home’s value. If the home’s value soars, the homeowner could scrap the old credit line and take out a new, larger one against the higher value.

“A reverse-mortgage line of credit can be a saving grace for the baby boomers who simply do not have enough retirement savings” if home equity is ignored, Prof. Hopkins says. “If home equity is incorporated more strategically in the future, we will see vast improvements in the financial security of retirees.”

This is a reprint of an article written by Jeff Brown in February of 2017.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/new-thinking-about-reverse-mortgages-148695516

LEARN ABOUT REVERSE MORTGAGES IN THE COMFORT OF MY GRASS VALLEY OFFICE…WE CAN ALSO EXPLORE WHAT YOUR APPROXIMATE QUALIFICATION NUMBERS ARE ALL ABOUT, CALL 530-497-3010 FOR A PERSONAL APPOINTMENT.

~Shawna

2017 Reverse Mortgage News and Trends

seniors-holiday-new-year

Happy Holidays and the new year of 2017 is right around the corner.  Here are a few things to summarize about 2016 and look forward to in 2017 within the reverse mortgage world:

 
It’s been an active year for revere mortgages, in addition the government insured RM program reached a milestone: In 2016 1 million reverse mortgage loans completed since the program’s inception in the late 1980’s.

 
Changes and trends for 2017:  Financial planners in greater numbers are looking with favor upon the RM for clients to set up a credit line safety net rather than dip into investments for extra living expenses or they are recommending clients utilize the RM to pay off an existing mortgage. In paying off an existing mortgage the client becomes monthly mortgage payment free increasing monthly household liquidity, thus advances from investments to sustain living expenses may be either reduced or halted altogether. (Borrowers must continue to pay and keep current property taxes and homeowners insurance, as well as HOA dues if applicable.) No changes are anticipated in this fundamental tenant of the program: the borrower(s) remain on title as the owner(s) of the property when they do a RM loan.

 

The home price maximum recognized has been increased for 2017 from the current $625,500 to $636,100:  This does not mean that homeowners with homes valued above this amount cannot utilize the program; for example: a home valued at a million dollars would be limited to borrowing only as much as the $636,100 limit allows.
A new Harvard University report entitled “Projections & Implications for Housing a Growing Population, Older Households 2015-2035” issued putting forth that a RM can be a financially realistic option to help older homeowners alleviate cost burdens and comfortably age in place.**

The Financial Assessment process of a RM application became more streamlined this year: standardization of proof of income to demonstrate continued ability to pay ability ongoing mandatory obligations such as a car payment property taxes, and homeowners insurance, and HOA dues if applicable has made the process uniform. The good news: the income requirements are NOT as stringent as with a conventional loan.
Long term care insurance: Seniors without long term care insurance are looking towards the RM credit line as a source of funds for future in-home care or home modifications for aging in place: ramps, handrails, or step in showers are a few examples.

Long term care insurance:  Seniors without long term care insurance are looking towards the RM credit line more commonly as a source of funds for future in-home care or home modifications for aging in place: ramps, handrails, or step in showers are a few examples.
**http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/sites/jchs.harvard.edu/files/harvard_jchs_housing_growing_population_2016.pdf

Reverse Mortgages & Long Term Care Insurance

beach What does this picture of the beach have to do with reverse mortgages and long term care? Nothing, but I have to get out of this heat and to a beach soon, just so you know…..

Ok, onward. I recently wrote an article for The Union, our general circulation newspaper here in Grass Valley, California exploring the topic of seniors’ potential long term care needs, long term care insurance, and reverse mortgages, written from the prospective of how my client expressed to me her thoughts on taking out a reverse mortgage credit line for her “maybe” future need of in home care vs. taking out a long term care insurance policy:

Recently a client reinforced the trend I’m seeing for clients’ to use a reverse mortgage credit line as not only a source of income as needed, a standby source of emergency funds, but also as an alternative to long term care insurance premiums.

It is estimated that approximately 70% of people turning 65 will need long-term care at some point in their lives. It is an uncertain expense, no life crystal ball. There are various methods to fund the cost: long term care insurance, Medicaid, self funding through savings, liquidation of personal assets, and/or a reverse mortgage credit line.

Genworth Financial, a long term care insurer, estimates approximately $45,750 annually for in home health aide, $80,300 annually for shared nursing home rooms, while assisted living costs vary dependent on the level of care.

Long term care insurance did not appeal to her: paying premiums for an insurance she was not sure she would ever need, coupled with the risk of rising premiums.

Medicaid would require her to liquidate nearly all her assets to qualify, wanting assets for heirs, she ruled out this option.

She owns her home outright, has retirement income and IRA assets, yet she decided to obtain a RM credit line loan as a standby in the event she needs in home care. The growth feature of the RM credit line was an added bonus: on amortization charts she was able to see how her reverse mortgage credit line borrowing ability grew over time. What was also appealing to her: she did not have to use her reverse mortgage credit line unless in home care was required, and if it was, then she controls the decisions and spending for care, thus eliminating having to negotiate with an insurer, and that she will only accrue an interest charge on funds actually borrowed.

Should she not need in home care, her untapped RM credit line will revert to inheritable equity for her heirs upon the home’s sale. As with all reverse mortgage loans she retains ownership and control of her home.

Shawna McDonald, Loan Officer, has successfully completed hundreds of reverse mortgages and is approved with 9 reverse mortgage lenders, ensuring clients receive low fees and great rates. Her office, Sierra Foothills Reverse Mortgage, is located at 412 E. Main Street Suite N Grass Valley, (530) 497-3010. Her website is www.SierraFoothillsReverse.com.

The opinions expressed here are solely those of Shawna McDonald, Loan Officer/Real Estate Broker Associate. Copyright © 2016. Shawna McDonald NMLS #271335 CA-BRE # 00585530 DBA Sierra Foothills Reverse Mortgage, Borba Investments Inc, DBA MLS Reverse Mortgage Auburn, CA NMLS #76801 BRE #01456165 ~ Company MLS #76801