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Posted by Stacey West (NH/MA) on 10/29/2019

Many times, advertisements create a false impression about reverse mortgages. Marketing depicts them as a simple, cheap way by which older homeowners can finance their retirement. It is critical to understand how reverse mortgages work because failure to do so might harm your financial future.

Studies show that many homeowners do not have a proper understanding of reverse mortgages. For a better understanding of what reverse mortgages are all about, here are some facts that you need to know:

You should understand that reverse mortgages are a home loan

Reverse mortgages are equity-secured, interest-bearing loans. You should also know that a reverse mortgage is not a government benefit. What it does is that it gives you the opportunity to convert your home equity into funds that can to use to cover any needs. 

Also, you must not forget that it comes with compounding interest and fees that, like any other loan, require repayment. Reverse mortgages are different from other home loans because there is no principal payment or interest during the time of the loan. Instead, your principal balance grows by the addition of this interest.

It is possible to forfeit your property with a reverse mortgage 

Another important fact that you should bear in mind concerning a reverse mortgage is that you can lose your home. Contrary to popular reverse mortgage advertising that you can always retain the ownership of your home, and that you can stay there for as long as you like, you might forfeit your property if you do not meet all their loan requirements. 

Examples of some loan obligations are home maintenance costs, property taxes, and others. If you are unable to meet all the loan requirements, you might lose your property to the lender. Losing your home not a palatable situation because you no longer have a place to rest your head and there is no more home equity.

You can outlive your loan money

Advertisements on reverse mortgages may tell you that they guarantee your financial security for the rest of your life. Do not rely on this statement. It is essential that you make necessary financial backup plans for your future.

Talk to your qualified financial advisor and consider all your options before signing up for a reverse mortgage. If you have a home with a reverse mortgage that you wish to sell, speak to your real estate professional about your options.





Posted by Stacey West (NH/MA) on 2/24/2017

If youíre trying to decide whether itís best to move from your current home or to make the necessary improvements on the home, itís not an easy decision. One thing you may have to consider is how to get the capital in order to have those home improvements done. 

Thereís a variety of options available to you in order to secure a loan to renovate your home. Whether you need to renovate the kitchen, build out from your current property, or replace the heating system, thereís ways that you can get the money to complete these necessary updates. 


One thing to consider about any of the options discussed is that you donít want to be paying for home improvement loans until you need to update everything once again. If youíre preparing to sell your home, making improvements is a wise choice, as it can increase the return that youíll get on your home. 

Donít Run Out Of Cash


 If you cannot complete the improvements that you started, you may not be able to get another loan to complete them. You can typically borrow between 80 and 90% of your home equity. The downside to refinancing your home or taking out home equity lines of credit is that youíll need to pay closing costs once the loan is approved. In other words, youíll need to put out some cash in order to get some cash. 

Use Your Own Cash

If you have some cash saved up, itís wise to just do one project at a time. This can take some time, but can be more economical in the long run. If you donít need to complete your repairs in a hurry, then using your own savings is a good idea.

Refinance Your Home

If you would benefit from a lower interest rate, refinancing your home can be a great option. As long as the cost of repairs doesnít exceed the number of years that the updates will last, refinancing makes sense. 

Home Equity Credit Line


If your mortgage is locked in and working for you, home equity lines of credit are always a good option. You can draw money out as you need it and pay it back as you go. You wonít need to pay interest until you use the money and the loan is good for 10 years. The downside is that if you donít make the payments, you could lose your home.   

Home Equity Loans

This type of loan allows you to borrow a fixed amount and then pay back the loan with a fixed monthly installment. A 15 year term is typical of this type of loan.


Construction Loans


A construction loan can be used to build a house or to make large-scale renovations. These loans are short-term and not always easy to find access to. Not to mention that they are heavily managed and perhaps the least popular option presented here. 


FHA 203K Loans


This type of loan is generally used to purchase a home that is in need of much repair. The downside is that youíll need mortgage insurance for the entire life of the loan. Less complicated repairs often offer a more streamlined FHA loan of up to $35,000. 


FHA Title 1 Loans


These loans provide up to $25,000 for home improvements. The money is insured by the federal government and can be obtained from approved lenders. Homeowners donít need access to equity in order to get one of these loans and they are available in 20 year terms. 


These are just some of the options that are available to you as a homeowner seeking ways to get cash to make improvements to your home. You can tap into other types of personal loans including credit cards. Really, you need to do whatís best for your finances. Itís good to know that thereís options available to you to improve your home.




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