As a mortgage professional who’s been in the mortgage lending industry over 25 years and helped hundreds of clients navigate through the overwhelming amount of mortgage options available, I’d say the question I’ve been asked most often by homeowners and prospective homebuyers over the age of 62 is: “Should I get a 30-year mortgage or consider a reverse mortgage?”
A mortgage should be seen as a financial tool. As anyone who’s been handed a flat head screwdriver after asking for a Phillips head knows, using the wrong tool for the job is certain to cause damage. And, unfortunately, if we don’t know the difference, we don’t realize that we chose the wrong tool until it’s too late.
Hence, the adage: “Measure twice. Cut once.”
Toolbox analogies aside, at The Reverse Mortgage Center, we understand everyone’s story and needs are different. That’s why we place so much focus on getting to know our clients and their unique situations before we offer solutions.
So, before we discuss questions that should be considered before making the right decision for you, we’ll first clarify the difference between a traditional mortgage and a reverse mortgage.
As you can see with the above comparison, the only real difference between a traditional mortgage and a reverse mortgage is the monthly payment requirement. Yes, in either scenario, the loan must be repaid; however, with a reverse mortgage, you get to decide when you want to make your payments.
Moreover, there are several questions that should be addressed before moving forward with any type of loan, such as:
- How long do I plan on living in the home?
- Will the current home I’m in or the one I’m considering purchasing meet my needs as I grow older?
- Will one or more of my current income sources disappear or be reduced in the future?
- If I’m not the only borrower and one of us of predeceases the other, would the survivor’s household income increase, decrease, or remain the same?
- How many months of lifestyle reserves do I have?
- What maintenance costs do I foresee?
- Is my goal to preserve equity so that it can be passed to my heirs?
- What sounds more appealing—a mortgage that requires a monthly payment or a mortgage that gives me the choice to make a payment, depending on that month’s circumstances?
These aren’t questions to be taken lightly. Great relief can be found when you get to elect when you’ll make a loan payment. Imagine the freedom of being able to skip a payment during the holidays. For others, relief comes from retaining more equity in their home, even if it involves mandatory monthly payments.
That’s why my team and I are here: to use our 70 years’ combined industry expertise to help you sort through any confusion, get straight-forward answers, and know what questions to ask. Because no one likes feeling coerced into anything that affects their entire future.
With that said, you can rest assured, The Reverse Mortgage Center is in your corner.