Quick Reverse Mortgage Planning Tips
Part of the Reverse Mortgages For Dummies Cheat Sheet
Before you make up your mind about pursuing a reverse mortgage, take a minute to make sure you're starting out on the right foot. Having a strong foundation will make your loan process much easier, both for you and for the professionals involved.
For the best planning, follow these tips:
Know all you can about reverse mortgages before you walk into your counselor's or originator's office. It pays to be well-informed, and you'll be more relaxed when you know what to expect.
Make sure you qualify for the loan (you're at least 62 and own your home). When in doubt, just go for it. It never hurts to go talk to the counselor, and if you don't qualify the counselor may know of another program that can solve your financial situation.
Get to know the loan options. Read about each one, and consider which works best for you based on your home value, county, and age. Get your family's input as well, but always do what feels right to you. After all, it's your loan.
Plan your repayment carefully. Don't leave this important step to the last minute or unresolved for your heirs. Lay out a plan and be sure to record it in your will. Talk to your family about their future responsibilities.
When you go to your counselor meeting, take along a friend or family member who can help you take notes, ask additional questions, and weigh in afterward. Sometimes it helps to have someone there to bounce options off of, or just hold your hand while your counselor explains your choices.
Get your money's worth out of your originator. Ask as many questions as you can think of, call if anything comes up before or after the loan closes, and feel free to ask for help along the way. You're paying for their services — make it count.
Before your appraiser arrives, spruce up your house (within reason). Give everything a good scrubbing and fix the little things that are broken. Try to look at your home from an appraiser's point of view and be realistic in your expectations of your home's value.
If you're an adult child of someone who's thinking of getting a reverse mortgage, find out all you can about the loan, and be a part of the process if your parent allows it.
If you're a baby boomer, start planning now! Pay off as much of your current mortgage as you can afford, and get your home ready to be a retirement paradise.
Most importantly, if you ever have questions or don't feel comfortable with some part of the loan, stop! Ask questions and get them resolved before you move on.