The Changed Faces of Reverse Mortgage Loan Clients

fall leaf candles  I  hope that when I retire I can do crafty things like, say in October, make leaf lined candle jars, because I just never seem to have time  while working full time at what I love:  helping Grass Valley, Nevada City and Penn Valley seniors stay in their homes monthly mortgage payment free, with a reverse mortgage, the “peace of mind” loan. Truth be told, I love what I do so much that I just may never get to craft leafy type things anytime soon.

If you want to skip this blog post and go directly to my website or contact me for an appointment, here you go: http://www.SierraFoothillsReverse.com or (530) 497-4010.

This is a non-technical post, lately I’ve done mostly technical type blog posts about different aspects of reverse mortgages, but as I enter my 8th year of full time specialization in reverse mortgages I’m reflecting on the changed faces of whom I am helping with the “peace of mind loan” once the loan is complete.   I have had almost all my clients of late call it such when we’ve either paid off their existing mortgage, created a credit line for them, or a combination of both, a few opt for lifetime incomes. When I check back in with clients, to a person, they all express the same things: that they were losing sleep over a depleted savings accounts and worrying about the inevitable repair, health crisis, or need for a newer car, all things in the back of their minds they knew could not be covered by savings, and that this loan had restored their peace in life and ability to enjoy life fully without nagging worry and sleep loss. Or, for the some of my clients, who could cover these types of expenses, but to do so the concern was they had to take more than mandatory draws out of a retirement fund, and then often they worried that they had “wasted money” to pay for a tax consequence in doing so.  Or the worry over NDFA, (No Damn Fooling Around) industry acronym for property taxes are due in November, must be paid by December, due in February must be paid by April. Ugh, worry over property taxes or the ever increasing fire and casualty costs that come with living in our beautiful mountain area, that’s no fun.

Often in the initial meeting or workshop seminar the clients I meet have worried faces, when the loan is complete there is a spring again in their step, a look on their faces of a weight lifted. Years ago I owned a successful real estate company in Sebastopol in Sonoma County, few women back then in all of Sonoma County had accomplished this, I was proud of having done so. Of course I was happy when the day came to hand over the keys to excited new homeowners, but nothing compares to the feeling I get now when I call clients to tell them we’ve just completed their reverse mortgage loan, and then a week or so later we meet for me to give them a thank you gift, because that is when I see happier faces and hear them feel free to express to me their feelings of relief and peace of mind restored, that’s their gift to me.

hammock

It’s a small community, even further down the line I run into my clients here and there post loan, that’s when I receive another  gift from clients, when they tell me how their life has changed post reverse mortgage: what new things they now can do, share with me a picture or two of a trip to see grandchildren, a motorhome taken out of storage and pictures of a trip, (where as before the gas had become too much of a budget buster to take trips at all), a falling apart deck now repaired and used for bbq’s and family gatherings, one set of clients whose mortgage was paid off through a reverse mortgage were still working part time well into their 70’s to cover the monthly payment, their comment was “we now have time to lay in a hammock and read a book overlooking the pond on our land, in our home”. Yes, I’m the lucky one indeed.

~Shawna McDonald, Loan Officer NMLS #271335, Real Estate Broker 00585530

Sierra Foothills Reverse Mortgage 412 E. Main Street, Grass Valley 530-497-3010

http://www.SierraFoothillsReverse.com

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Wall Street Journal: Reverse Mortgages Can Help Buffer Against Market Swings

golf swingNo No I’m not writing about that kind of swing, (but wow, look at all that green grass, in our drought stricken dog days of August, this looks inviting.)

Seniors on a Swing  No, No, I’m not writing about THAT kind of Swing……

I’m writing about a trend I see with my reverse mortgage clients and that was echoed in the recent WSJ article below:          The reverse mortgage credit line being utilized as a valuable tool in an overall retirement plan strategy: to have it on standby when the stock market takes wild swings like it has the last few weeks, to supplant monthly income from the credit line and halt  portfolio draws when it makes sense to halt portfolio draws for a period of time while the market has time to stabilize and recover. This use of the RM credit line as a safety net buffer keeps clients’ retirement life style uninterrupted with a sudden reduction in stream of income.

Once thought of as a “loan of last resort”, increasing numbers of savvy financial planners are encouraging seniors to establish a standby reverse mortgage line of credit as a hedge against the market swings such as we saw last week. Reverse Mortgage Daily expanded upon the WSJ article and I’ve included it here for your review:

(If you would like to skip the article and go directly to information on my Grass Valley, CA reverse mortgage office, and services I offer here locally to Nevada County please click on this link: http://www.SierraFoothillsReverse.com. As Nevada County’s ONLY office specializing exclusively in reverse mortgages, I bring to the table 7 years of RM experience and over 400 successfully navigated and closed reverse mortgage loans)

WSJ: Reverse Mortgages Can Help Buffer Against Market Swings

Reverse mortgages have a place in the conversation about retirement and market swings, prompted by the recent global selloff resulting from Chinese currency pressures. At least, that’s the message presented by Prof. Wade Pfau, of American College of Financial Services in Bryn Mawr, Pa., who was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal this week.

Buying into market dips may be prudent for young investors, WSJ’s Money Beat blog notes, but for those approaching—or already in—retirement, the same rules do not apply.

“That’s not merely because stocks can take years to recover from losses and you have fewer years left as you age,” columnist Jason Zweig writes. “The problem is what retirement researchers call ‘sequence risk.’ The order in which stocks earn good or bad returns can matter—a lot.”

If they rely solely on stock withdrawals, retirees can be forced to sell their investments during market downturns, which can take a toll on the value of their assets.

That’s where a reverse mortgage could come in for some, Pfau tells the WSJ.

“Another possibility, [he says], is to consider taking out a line of credit under the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program guaranteed by the federal government, using it only during periods when the value of your stock portfolio is declining,” the article writes.

The strategy is one that some financial planners have recommended as a “standby” strategy to weather market swings.

“This way, you reserve the right to borrow against your home at reasonably competitive rates,” WSJ writes. “But you would draw on the money only at times when you would otherwise have to lock in losses on your stock portfolio.”

Written by Elizabeth Ecker http://www.reversemortgagedaily.com

Comments by Shawna McDonald, Loan Officer, NMLS 271335 Sierra Foothills Reverse Mortgage of Beautiful downtown Grass Valley: 412 E. Main Street, Grass Valley, 530-497-3010

Reverse Mortgage Mid-Year Round Up ~ 2015

Seniors at the fair 1 It’s been a great week, the Nevada County Fair rocks !

seniors at the fair 2  Ok, back to business:

If you’d like more information about my local bricks and mortar reverse mortgage loan office serving Nevada County, Grass Valley, Nevada City and Penn Valley, click on this link: http://www.SierraFoothillsReverse.com.

      I’m always available with a same day return phone call: (530) 497-3010.

Here’s my newest blog post which will appear shortly in the local Union newspaper:

Reverse Mortgage Mid-Year Round Up ~ 2015

It’s true, today marks more than “mid-year”, but time flies so fast. I thought it a good time to discuss what the reverse mortgage landscape looks like after the new financial assessment requirement had been in place for a few months and discuss a recurring question I hear from clients:

The new Financial Assessment Requirement: Prior to April of this year a senior’s continuing ability to pay property taxes, insurance and (HOA dues if applicable) post completion of a reverse mortgage was not in question with the lender or HUD. (Housing and Urban Development sets the rules for reverse mortgages, FHA insures the loan). Starting in late April of this year all loan officers beginning a reverse mortgage loan application, be it for purposes of establishing a credit line, paying off an existing loan, or a purchase reverse, are required to document income and on-going household debt obligations to determine if the borrower(s) have sufficient monthly residual funds to budget for payment of property taxes and insurance. If not, we would, as part of the loan, need to set up a lifetime set aside for taxes and insurance, an “escrow” type of account.

I’m happy to report that none of my borrowers coming in to initiate a reverse mortgage and falling under the “new rule” have been required to set up such an account, I was able to document that they had were sufficient retirement income and history of on time payment for taxes and insurance. The new rule requires more work on my part, a bit of financial records digging for borrowers, but all in all, not a big deal.

Living Trusts, Revocable or Non-Revocable: Having just lugged a large trust binder into my office for me to scan, my borrowers were curious as to why a reverse mortgage lender needs to review a complete copy of their trust. The lender needs to determine if the trust is revocable, as in, can a change be made to the trust? If the trust is revocable the borrower(s) will sign a document at loan closing that states their trust recognizes the reverse mortgage obligation to be paid off upon the passing of the borrower(s). If the trust is non-revocable a reverse mortgage cannot be done, most trusts however are revocable.

Shawna McDonald Loan Officer, has successfully completed 100’s of reverse mortgages and is approved with 8 reverse mortgage lenders, ensuring clients receive low fees and great rates. Her full service 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. Copyright © 2015. NMLS #271335 BRE # 00585530 DBA Sierra Foothills Reverse Mortgage and Borba Investments Inc, DBA MLS Reverse Mortgage Auburn, CA NMLS #76801 BRE #01456165 ~ HUD approved lender.

Things to Consider About Aging In Place

Seniors in home remodeling

Retrofit my Existing Home or Move?

Reprint from Article Written for The Union Grass Valley Newspaper on April 28, 2015

A recent survey by Genworth Financial, a long term care insurer, noted that while overall long term care costs continue to rise, paying for care services in home is still the cheapest option*. Being close allies here in Grass Valley with local and may I say, beautiful assisted living communities, aging in place in one’s home is not for everyone, the thought of having meals prepared by gourmet chefs and lots of activities to choose from is enticing indeed. However, some of my clients complete a reverse mortgage credit line to tap into their home equity for funds to retrofit their homes for the next stage of life’s journey.

What is the typical cost of a retrofit? The MetLife Report on Aging in Place 2.0** recently reported the cost for design and structural modifications for a one story home will cost an average of $9,000 to $12,000.

What are smaller projects to consider? Replacement hardware, sturdy handrails, grab bars, single handled faucets, higher sitting toilets, rollout shelving in kitchens, and lighting in hard to see spots are all relatively easy and cost conservative.

If I funds are available, larger projects for electric scooter or wheelchair access; widening doorways, corridors, and ramps are bigger picture retrofits.

In home health costs are reportedly rising at a slower pace than facility-based care. According to the Genworth study, in-home health aide costs rose approximately 1.27% over a one year period compared to assisted living and semi-private nursing home care rising an average of 2.86% and 3.77% respectively.

Seniors in home with in home care provider

There’s no pre-determined correct path in this next stage in a senior’s life, it’s all about hopefully having the financial ability to exercise a conscious choice. In addition to a reverse mortgage credit line being used to retrofit a senior’s existing home, a reverse mortgage can fund assisted living/dementia care for one owner on title, as long the other owner on title to the home remains in the home as their principle residence. Also, an existing home can be sold to buy, via reverse mortgage for purchase, an already senior retrofit home.

One of my clients commented recently that they felt I conducted my business more like a consultant, not only a loan officer: someone who would listen to concerns and offer options, this after we spent time going over their future living and financial considerations; preparing for big picture changes for them as they entered their mid-70’s. Aging is not for the faint of heart, we all are moving forward in the journey of maturing and entering into new life stages. If you’d like to sort through some of your options with me, call for a personal appointment or attend one of my monthly Reverse Mortgage Workshops held in my local Grass Valley Office, lunch is catered and the last comment from several of the April workshop group: ” Shawna, that was fun!”

A closing thought: the recent HUD reverse mortgage program change requiring me to do a borrower financial assessment at the time of loan application is no reason to allow any lender to panic or pressure you, give me a call, I’ve got you covered for explaining this change!

Shawna McDonald has successfully completed hundreds of reverse mortgages and is approved with 8 reverse mortgage lenders. 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. Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved, duplication and distribution prohibited. Shawna McDonald NMLS #271335 CA-BRE # 00585530 DBA Sierra Foothills Reverse Mortgage and Borba Investments Inc, DBA MLS Reverse Mortgage Auburn, CA NMLS #76801 BRE #01456165 ~ HUD approved lender. * 2015 Genworth Financial annual Cost of Care Survey     ** MetLife Report on Aging in Place 2.0, 2013

2014 NEW Reverse Mortgage Lending Limits, Younger Spouse Protection

South Yuba River Bridge SAVED! Full Funding for a Rebuild

South Yuba River Bridge
SAVED! Full Funding for a Rebuild

 

The long awaited lending tables from HUD for spouses who are younger than 62 years of age go into effect on August 4, 2014 for all new reverse mortgages. Spouses aged 18-61 on new loans will be included in the loan when the other spouse is 62 years of age or older and seeking a reverse mortgage. The loan amounts are more conservative the younger the spouse under 62 years of age is, however there no longer will be allowed a “non-borrowing” spouse situation where the younger spouse has typically not been on title, not been a party to the loan, and therefore not able to remain in the home if the older spouse passes away first unless: they inherited the home and can pay off the existing reverse mortgage with a conventional loan or cash, or are over 62 and have enough equity to take out a reverse mortgage on their own.

There will be certain requirements of the remaining spouse under 62 years of age when they become the sole surviving homeowner, such as continuing to keep paid property taxes and property insurance, as well as verifying periodically that the surviving spouse is indeed living in the home as his/her principle residence. The exact requirements to remain in the home once the older spouse as passed will be clearly spelled out in any loan application that issues after August 4, 2014 and all information on this new policy will be fully incorporated in the required HUD certified counseling session discussion and material.

HUD did not announce any changes for “non-borrowing” spouses on existing reverse mortgage loans, but it is an issue the industry continues to wrestle with. Any changes on this front I will immediately write about.

A surprise announcement that also issued along with this news is that HUD will make the lending tables we use to calculate loan proceeds MORE generous for older borrowers in their 70’s, and a bit LESS generous for younger borrowers in their 60’s.

If you are curious how this could affect you please feel free to give me a call.

Shawna McDonald, Loan Officer has completed hundreds of reverse mortgages. She is approved with 8 of the largest reverse mortgage lenders in the nation allowing the consumer 1 stop fee shopping. Her local office, Sierra Foothills Reverse Mortgage, is located at 412 E. Main Street Suite N, Grass Valley, (530) 497-3010. The website is www.SierraFoothillsReverse.com.

NMLS #271335 CA-BRE 00585530 Borba Investments, Auburn, CA NMLS #76801 HUD approved