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How to Pay for Home Improvement

Embarking on a home improvement project can be an exciting prospect, but it often comes with a hefty price tag.  However, with the availability of funds from a reverse loan, homeowners now have a convenient financing option to turn their renovation dreams into reality.

A FHA HECM reverse loan allows homeowners aged 62 and older to tap into their home equity without having to sell their property. This unique financial tool offers flexibility and can be used for various purposes, including home improvement projects.

And there is also an optional Jumbo Reverse loan where the minimum borrower age, is 55.  The loan makes larger amounts of equity available to the homeowner whose property is considered to be “high-value”.

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With the funds from a reverse loan, you can give your kitchen a much-needed makeover, upgrade your outdated bathroom, or even add that long-awaited extra bedroom. Transforming your living space has never been easier!

With the housing shortage, older homeowners are using funds from their reverse mortgage to convert garages to additional living spaces for caregivers, family members or renters.  And building an ADU for home improvement and rental income.

Not only does a reverse loan provide the necessary funds for home improvement, but it also offers several advantages for homeowners. There are  no monthly mortgage payments,  the ability to remain in your home throughout the loan term and the Title remains in their name.

Don’t let budget constraints hold you back from creating the home of your dreams. Unlock the potential of your home’s equity with a reverse loan and turn your renovation ideas into reality.

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Social Security and Retirement

Social security plays a vital role in retirement planning for seniors. It provides a steady income stream that helps cover day-to-day expenses and ensures a basic level of financial security. However, for many seniors, social security benefits alone may not be sufficient to support their desired lifestyle or cover unexpected expenses.

However Social Security income is simply not enough money to live on, pay on going expenses, unplanned costs, home repairs or medical expenses.   And if an older homeowner is still making mortgage payments, it definitely isn’t enough money.

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A reverse mortgage can complement social security benefits by providing seniors with additional funds to meet their financial needs. By accessing their home equity through a reverse mortgage, seniors can enhance their financial situation and have the freedom to enjoy their retirement years to the fullest.

It is important to note that a reverse mortgage does not affect social security or Medicare or MediCal benefits. The funds received from a reverse mortgage are not considered to be income but an advance of the home’s equity, and not taxable income. Therefore, seniors can continue to receive their Social Security benefits without any reduction or penalty.

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Limited Income for Older Homeowners

As we age, financial stability becomes crucial, especially for seniors who are living on fixed incomes. With rising costs of living and increasing medical expenses, many seniors find it challenging to make ends meet. This financial burden can lead to stress and anxiety, impacting their overall well-being. However, there is a solution that is empowering seniors in Los Angeles and southern California.   Reverse mortgages.

A reverse mortgage is a unique financial tool that allows homeowners aged 62 and above to convert a portion of their home equity into tax-free cash, without the need to sell their property or make monthly mortgage payments. This financial option has become increasingly popular among seniors in California, providing them with a lifeline to financial freedom.

But if they choose to use a Jumbo reverse loan, the minimum age is 55 not 62.   Jumbo reverse loans are for “high value” properties up to 4 MM loan amounts.

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One of the primary challenges seniors face is the limited income they receive after retirement. Most seniors rely on their pension, savings, and social security benefits as their primary source of income. However, these sources may not be sufficient to cover all their living expenses, including healthcare costs. With a reverse mortgage, seniors can tap into the equity they have built in their homes over the years, providing them with an additional source of income to supplement their fixed income.

Moreover, reverse mortgages offer flexibility in how seniors can receive their funds. They can choose to receive a lump sum payment, a line of credit, or monthly installments, depending on their financial needs and goals. This flexibility allows seniors to tailor their reverse mortgage to their specific circumstances, ensuring they have the funds they need when they need them.

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Higher Reverse Loan Amounts

Effective this month and year, the HUD Lending Limits for FHA Reverse loans were increased from $765,600 to $822,375.00

This is quite a large increase over previous years and could possibly make a difference for senior borrowers who will now have more access to their home’s equity, than they would have had last year in 2020.

The Lending Limit caps a home’s value at this figure, even if a property is worth more, the reverse loan amount will always be calculated on the Lending Limit or the appraised value of the home, whichever is less and the age(s) of the youngest borrower.

For some seniors, this increase can make it now possible to do the loan, because the higher value will possibly provide them a larger loan amount that can pay off an existing mortgage with a high balance, whereas previously, the loan may have been not been adequate enough for refinancing an existing mortgage.

Mortgage interest rates are at the lowest they have ever previously been, and that includes the interest rates on reverse loans, too.  And in addition to very low rates, home values have increased substantially, creating more equity for many homeowners.

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Whether it is Fixed loan or a Line of Credit, FHA HECM, or one of the Jumbo reverse loans, now is the best time to apply for one,take advantage of  low interest rates, and also the increased value of your home.

Use a reverse loan to  increase your cash flow and create a safety net for the future, and have funds for unplanned expenses, and gain peace of mind.

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Reverse Loan; Fixed or Adjustable?

Reverse loans offer many choices to senior borrowers, but it can be confusing to decide which one to use because they are different from traditional mortgages, no mortgage payments are required and they are easier to qualify for on a fixed income.

And they also do not have a loan term.  Reverse loans are still a mortgage, but unlike what we are all accustomed to.   They are different, but similar in that both are liens against the subject property.

In the past when applying for a mortgage to buy a home or refinance, the most popular one was the Fixed rate, because you always knew what your mortgage payment would be, unlike an Adjustable Rate Loan where it can change and possibly increase over time.

And everyone always shops for the lowest interest rate, but that meant you had to pay more Points to get a low interest rate, but if you chose a higher rate the Points would decrease, or possibly be a “Zero” Point loan.

However, with a reverse loan, it is entirely different.   There are no Points, but an Origination fee and sometimes, there isn’t any fee at all.

The other difference is how the selected interest rate determines how much money you will receive from a reverse loan.  Sometimes the lower interest rates provide less money, and cost more, but if the loan is being used to pay off an existing mortgage and freeing up more cash flow, then that would be a consideration.

And then there is the question whether or not to chose a Fixed interest rate or the HECM Line-of-Credit.  is the borrower paying off a large mortgage?   Then the Fixed rate might be the best choice.

But if there is a small mortgage or none at all, then the HECM Line-of-Credit would be the preferable choice, as it will give the borrower more flexibility with their funds, plus it has a “growth” feature that will provide additional funds in the future.

Anyone reading this is most likely thinking, it’s confusing.   And it is.   And that is exactly why it is important to meet with a Reverse Loan Consultant who can provide you with a personalized proposal and eliminate some of the confusion.

In the midst of Covid-19 and the uncertainty of the future, more seniors are now actively investigating the benefits of a reverse mortgage and many have applied for their own loan to preserve their savings and have a financial “safety net”.

And maybe you should, too.

 

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