Reverse mortgage confusion is fairly common. However, reverse mortgage concepts are easily clarified when you first understand that they are meant to help you when you retire. Retirement usually means a significant drop in monthly income. If you are 62 years of age a reverse mortgage can help you avoid that drop by providing you with much-needed funds during your retirement. Here are some facts to help clear up any additional concerns about your reverse mortgage.
How Reverse Mortgages Got Their Start
The first reverse mortgage was given out by a lender in 1961. The event occurred in Maine when a woman in danger of eviction begged a local lender for help. The lender came up with the concept we now know as a reverse mortgage. Although, the process of reverse loan application has changed many times over the years and is now regulated federally.
Today’s reverse mortgages are all regulated by the federal government and amounts are determined using reverse mortgage calculator tools. Under federal laws, you cannot borrow the full value of your home in the form of ready cash. You can only borrow a specified percentage based on the calculation created by the government. The reverse mortgage calculator also factors in characteristics of the property itself, such as condition and location. Those characteristics will influence the total market value of the property. Additionally, you can get reverse mortgages from private lenders still, but they are also offered by HUD and other federal agencies. Federal loans of that type are called home equity conversion mortgages. But HECMs are really no different from locally-offered reverse mortgages.
Getting Money for Retirement Through a Reverse Mortgage
There are three ways to gain retirement income through a reverse mortgage. The most popular option is to request monthly payments from your lender. Those payments can pad your income on a regular basis and help with predictable bills, such as utilities. The other options are to request one large payment for a specific purpose or to establish a line of credit and borrow varying amounts as you need them. All of those options can help relieve the financial pressures of your fixed retirement income.
Spending Money Gained Through a Reverse Mortgage Agreement
If you are wondering how you can spend your reverse mortgage money, there is no need to worry about such a thing. There are no restrictions about reasons to borrow the money or how it can be spent other than the restrictions associated with the initial setup of the loan agreement. Namely, certain processing fees will be taken out of what you can borrow right away. You must also pay any other existing mortgage in full right away using the funds you borrow. Beyond that, funds can be spent on anything you need or desire during retirement.
The Prolonged Aspect of Reverse Mortgages
Reverse mortgages are prolonged agreements. As such, when you apply for one you must consider the long-term impact of the process. For example, because they last for such a long time reverse mortgages accrue a lot of interest. Also, the lender can force the sale of the home if you leave it without repaying what you owe. Therefore, signing up for such an agreement can impact your ability to leave your home to heirs unless you or the heirs are prepared to pay the balance when you leave the property.