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The Big Reverse Mortgage Question: Should I Stay Or Should I Sell?

Apr 15, 2008
With a reverse mortgage, seniors are able to stay in their homes for as long as they wish without having to sell their home or take on new monthly mortgage payment. Seniors will never under any circumstances resulting from reverse mortgages, be forced to leave their homes providing they make their real estate property tax and insurance payments and keep the home in reasonable condition.

Also, unlike other retirement tools or conventional loans, there is no income qualification with a reverse mortgage. Borrowers are not required to make monthly mortgage payments on a reverse mortgage throughout the life of the loan. The loan becomes repayable when the last borrower on title sells the home or permanently moves out. In addition, the repayments amount will not exceed the fair market value of the home.

Many homeowners become interested in reverse mortgages so they can pay off their existing mortgages, equity loans and high interest credit cards. Selling and moving elsewhere are generally not very appealing to most seniors. In fact, most senior adults prefer to enjoy their retirement in the comfort of their home.

Unfortunately, seniors often find that unexpected emergencies, rising debt and medical conditions make staying in the home difficult. For seniors living on a fixed income, unexpected and rising costs can be financially crippling. Often seniors are forced to lower their standard of living or sell their home. Fortunately, with a reverse mortgage seniors are able to supplement their retirement income and remain in their home for life.

The single best way to evaluate a reverse mortgage is to compare it to what may be your only real option: selling your home and using the proceeds to buy or rent a new home. Do you know:

How much cash you could get by selling your home?

* What it would cost you to buy (and maintain) or rent a new home?
* How much money you could safely earn on any money left over after you buy a new home?
* Have you recently looked into buying a less costly home, renting an apartment, or moving into assisted living or other alternative housing?

Until you have seen and considered other housing options, how do you know that another housing choice wouldn't be better for you than a reverse mortgage? For you own peace of mind, look into what else might be available. It doesn't hurt to explore all your options before making a decision.

Most likely you will come to one of two conclusions:

* You may find another housing option that is a lot more attractive than you thought; or
* You may confirm what you were fairly certain of all along: that where you live now is the best place for you to be.

No matter what you conclude, you will have a much better idea of the overall costs - and benefits - of staying versus moving. That will give you a better sense of what is most important to you. And then it should be easier for you to evaluate the costs and benefits of a reverse mortgage.
About the Author
Kaye Reverse takes care of Reverse Mortgages for its many senior clients in Michigan. To see if a reverse mortgage is right for you and you are a Michigan homeowner log onto: http://www.kayereverse.com/dvd.html and get the FREE DVD.
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