April 21, 2021 / By mikerbrady
The main purpose of a reverse mortgage is to provide relief to people who are 62 years or older from their monthly mortgage payments, or to seniors who need cash, but whose net worth is tied to the value of their home. It can be a great way to take advantage of the equity you have built up. However, sometimes there might be a need or opportunity to sell your property.
You might want to buy a different house, move into a nursing home, or live with relatives. You might also want to spend your retirement traveling or your house’s value has gone up and you want to make a profit. No matter your reason – you are looking to sell your house. If you are unsure how the reverse mortgage affects the process of selling real estate, this article will help you better understand the reverse mortgage and walk you through the process of selling your home.
Put simply, a reverse mortgage is a loan usually secured by residential property. It gives homeowners access to funds by converting their home equity into cash payments. This type of loan is typically examined by older homeowners whose net worth is mostly tied to the value of their home. A reverse mortgage can satisfy the need for a regular cash income, supplementing their pension, and the payment of the loan is withheld until they die, sell the house, or move permanently out of the home. This mortgage option usually requires no monthly payments, unlike a “forward mortgage” used to buy a home, so the interest is added to the loan balance each month.
If the home value decreases or the borrower continues to live in it for a long time, the rising loan balance might eventually become greater than the value of the home. However, generally, the borrower, or their family, is not held responsible for paying any additional loan balance above the market price of the home. The mortgage lender’s interest is protected by the insurance premiums, which provide a pool of funds lenders can take from if the loan balance becomes greater than the home’s value. The insurance premiums for reverse mortgages are adjusted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Out of the three types of reverse mortgages, the most common is the HECM – home equity conversion mortgage. The HECM is an FHA-insured reverse mortgage option, meaning that the lender is approved by the Federal Housing Administration. The amount that you may borrow is based on the evaluation of your property’s value. If your home’s value is below $765,600, the offer for a reverse mortgage you will most probably receive from lenders will be a HECM. There are alternatives to an FHA-insured loan, but you need to always consider the pros and cons of each option, before making a decision. For example, compared to proprietary loans, home equity conversion mortgages usually give you bigger advances of funds at a lower total cost.
The loan from a reverse mortgage can be paid out in six different ways and it is up to the borrower to decide what they prefer:
There is also a reverse mortgage option called a “HECM for purchase” which is specially designed for when you intend to buy a different home than the one you currently reside in
In a reverse mortgage, instead of the borrower making payments to the lender, the lender pays the borrower. As seen in the previous section, it is up to you to decide how you wish to receive these payments. The only interest you will need to pay is on the money you actually take. You won’t have to pay anything upfront, as the interest is rolled into the loan balance, to be cleared once the loan is closed. You as the homeowner will also keep the title to the home. While your debt increases over the period of the loan, your home’s equity will decrease, which means fewer assets for you and your heirs.
The loan amount is secured by your residential property and becomes the collateral for the reverse mortgage. When the homeowner is no longer living in the home, the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) servicer will move quickly toward a foreclosure to minimize any losses. The proceeds will go to the reverse mortgage lender to repay the loan’s principal, interest, mortgage insurance, and fees. Any money made from the sale that exceeds what was borrowed can be kept by the homeowner or the homeowner’s estate. In some cases, if the heirs wish to keep the home, they can actively pursue to pay off the mortgage.
From the point of view of the IRS, any payments you receive from a reverse mortgage are loan advances and are therefore not taxable and it generally won’t affect your Social Security or Medicare benefits.
Any homeowner who is 62 years of age or older can apply for a reverse mortgage on their primary residence (second homes and investment properties do not qualify). You will usually need at least 50% equity—based on your home’s current market value—to qualify for a reverse mortgage, though standards may vary by lender. Under the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) rules, you may be eligible for a reverse mortgage if your property is a house, condo, townhouse, or a manufactured home built on or after June 15, 1976. Cooperative housing owners are not eligible for reverse mortgages since they do not technically own the real estate they live in.
If you have any existing mortgage balances, they must be low enough to be covered by the reverse mortgage proceeds. You also have the option of paying down your existing balance to qualify for a HECM.
All applicants must take a HUD-approved mortgage counseling course, which typically costs around $125, and takes at least 90 minutes to complete. It is a course meant to protect the borrower. The basic points every course should cover are how mortgages work, what are the financial and tax implication of taking out a reverse mortgage, the costs associated with it, and the various payment options. It should also explain how your eligibility for Medicaid and Supplemental Security income will be affected.
As of March 2, 2015, the FHA introduced new guidelines that made it necessary for all reverse mortgage applicants to undergo a financial assessment. The assessment aims to determine whether the borrower can keep up all applicable property charges, including property taxes and homeowner’s insurance.
Financial assessment evaluates two main areas:
Here are the most typical fees paid in order to obtain a reverse mortgage:
Estimated closing costs are made public by mortgage lenders using several standardized documents, which can be used to compare different loan offers. These documents include – the Reverse Mortgage Comparison, Loan Amortization, Total Annual Loan Cost (TALC), Closing Cost Worksheet, and the Good Faith Estimate (GFE).
There are a few additional things you should consider about reverse mortgages:
If the market value of your home has increased and you are looking to make a profit, you might want to consider selling the property. An increased market value is, however, rarely the case with reverse mortgage real estate, because, unlike with a traditional mortgage, the loan balance on the reverse mortgage goes up every month, which actually takes away from the equity of your home over the life of the loan. The option to sell the house is only viable if the proceeds from the sale can pay off the reverse mortgage balance, as well as the cost of selling the property, which includes real estate transfer taxes, commissions paid to real estate agents, and any additional money you invest in making the house ready to sell.
If you decide to sell the property, the process is not too different from a general real estate transaction. Here is a breakdown of the typical steps you will need to take, outlining some of the differences specific to reverse mortgage property:
Even though it is possible to sell your home with a reverse mortgage, you need to carefully consider the pros and cons of such a decision. If your property’s value has gone up, it might be worth selling it. Estimate your sale proceeds, as they should be enough to pay off your loan, cover the selling costs, and still leave you some extra cash as profit. But if the equity of your home is lower than the amount you owe your reverse mortgage lender, selling the real estate might just not be worth the effort and expenses.
Are you interested in selling your Norfolk house quickly? We can help sell your home faster! Send us a message now, or give our office a call today! 866-833-5262
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