Tag: connecticut

Banks vs Brokers vs Direct Lenders – Navigating HECM Reverse Mortgage Professionals

reverse mortgage advisor connecticutSo, who are these HECM Reverse Mortgage professionals, anyway?  And how do you know which is the right fit for you?  

I was recently asked by a borrower’s attorney to take over a loan application, because after two months nothing, and I do mean nothing, had been done by the original reverse mortgage 
broker!  It’s frustrating for me to see situations like this when I know full well that borrowers have alternatives – but the borrowers usually don’t know this.  Here’s some information I think anyone considering a HECM reverse mortgage needs to know about the various professionals who work in the industry:

Banks and Credit Unions – Most local banks and credit unions do not offer reverse mortgage loans, although sometimes the larger ones will.  Unfortunately seeking a loan through them can often mean little or no face-to-face time, and it’s not uncommon for these banks to leave the industry down the road.  At one time Wells Fargo and Bank of America were in the business, but they quit, leaving their borrowers with loans that few employees can understand. 

 Brokers – A reverse mortgage broker is a third party individual that is licensed by the state but doesn’t work directly with a lender, instead they essentially shop the marketplace.  When working with a broker, borrowers will pay higher fees because they will have to cover the costs of the broker!  In addition, because all transactions run through a third party, things can easily get slowed down – or even stalled – like in the situation I mentioned above.   

Direct Lender Advisors – This is the category I fall into.  Working directly with a lender that specializes in FHA insured HECM reverse mortgages, such as Retirement Funding Solutions, I’m able to offer local, personal, face-to-face time with clients, and eliminate the need for costly third-party fees.  (Be forewarned most lenders do not offer face-to-face meetings or allow you to work with the attorney of your choice.)  I’m able to do all this while ensuring the smoothest, most efficient transaction possible because I am handling the loan and not farming it out to another company.

HECM reverse mortgages are available to individuals and married couples age 62 and older.  These FHA insured loans allow homeowners to live mortgage and loan payment free until they pass away, permanently leave the home (meaning 12 consecutive months), or they default on financial responsibilities associated with the home, such as property taxes or homeowner’s insurance.  The funds are available via monthly installments, a line of credit, a lump sum, or even to purchase a home

Sara Cornwall is a local Reverse Mortgage Advisor serving the entire state of Connecticut. Contact Sara and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Today Show : Part 1 – How To Help Your Aging Parents Find The Best Place To Live

Recently, financial expert, Jean Chatzky, did a three part series on the Today Show called “Taking Care of Mom & Dad”.  Each of these segments specifically touched on real questions adult children have regarding what to expect as their parents age.

The video featured here is Part 1 – How To Help Your Aging Parents Find The Best Place To Live.

Take a few minutes to watch this well done, informative short video.  Find Part 2 here, and Part 3 here

 

Sara Cornwall is a local Reverse Mortgage Advisor serving the entire state of Connecticut. Contact Sara and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Today Show : Part 2 – Is A HECM Reverse Mortgage Right For Your Aging Parents?

Recently, financial expert, Jean Chatzky, did a three part series on the Today Show called “Taking Care of Mom & Dad”.  Each of these segments specifically touched on real questions adult children have regarding what to expect as their parents age.

The video featured here is Part 2 – How to Handle the Cost of Aging Parents: Is a Reverse Mortgage Right For You?

Take a few minutes to watch this well done, informative short video.  Find Part 1 here, and Part 3 here

Sara Cornwall is a local Reverse Mortgage Advisor serving the entire state of Connecticut. Contact Sara and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Today Show : Part 3 – Helping Parents Make Legal, Medical, and Financial Decisions

Recently, financial expert, Jean Chatzky, did a three part series on the Today Show called “Taking Care of Mom & Dad”.  Each of these segments specifically touched on real questions adult children have regarding what to expect as their parents age.

The video featured here is Part 3 – Helping Parents Make Legal, Medical, and Financial Decisions. 

Take a few minutes to watch this well done, informative short video.  Find Part 2 here, and Part 1 here.

 

Sara Cornwall is a local Reverse Mortgage Advisor serving the entire state of Connecticut. Contact Sara and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

The Reverse Mortgage Home Appraisal

reverse mortgage advisor connecticutGetting assessments on just about anything can seem laborious or tedious; who wants to have something close to them looked at with a magnifying glass? But appraisals for HECM reverse mortgage loans are not only very helpful for everyone involved, they’re required by the lender.  Part of what determines the amount of funding available from a reverse mortgage is the appraised value of the home.  Luckily the process is pretty simple.

First, after talking with a reputable reverse mortgage advisor, you will submit your application. The advisor or lender will be the one to contact an appraiser who will in turn contact you to set up a time for them to look at your home.

The procedure is standard and involves three steps, the inspection, the research, and the report.

Inspection:

The appraiser will walk through your home with you, he or she might take photographs. It will document features that add value to your home. If the appraiser takes a picture of something in need of repair it lets you know that it matters and gives you a chance to fix it.

Research:

Once the walk through is done, the appraiser’s work continues as they research factors that influence the value they place on your home. Home sales in your area are one area of research. Others include multiple listing services, tax assessor’s records and public records come into play. Anything that will help to give the present value will be taken into account.

The Official Report:

This is the synthesis of the appraiser’s home visit and all the research. The report is used with your loan request. If photographs were taken, they will be included as well.

The appraiser gives this report to the lender who will give you a copy and an updated reverse mortgage figures taking into account the new information.

Reverse mortgage is an individualized, specialized loan for those 62 and older that allow older individuals and married couples to tap into the equity of their home while living mortgage and loan payment free.  The funds can be accessed via a lump sum, line of credit, monthly installments, or even to purchase a home. If you are planning ahead let your reverse mortgage advisor guide you in the many scenarios that are possible, and the two of you can discuss your needs and desires.

Sara Cornwall is a local Reverse Mortgage Advisor serving the entire state of Connecticut. Contact Sara and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Do You Need A Connecticut Elder Law Attorney?

reverse mortgage advisor connecticutElder law is a relatively unknown segment of law and is often overlooked when seeking legal solutions.  But for some older individuals and their families an elder law attorney may be exactly what they need. 

Elder law is very broad and includes things like estate planning, probate, guardianship, real estate, nursing home neglect and a dozen other areas of law that are nearly exclusive to the senior citizens and the elderly. Typically one lawyer will not have expertise in every area, but will instead work with a network of attorneys who can supplement in specific areas when needed and vice versa.  Also, keep in mind just because an individual is older does not mean they need an elder law attorney.  Elder law is focused on legal problems specific to the older demographic.  Concerns with other areas of law may best be handled by attorneys dedicated to those areas.

An elder law attorney should be educated and informed on HECM reverse mortgages.  It is common for them to receive questions from clients, former clients, and their families about reverse mortgage when establishing estate plans or when they are considering a reverse mortgage for the first time.  Although reverse mortgages can be an excellent and safe tool for many homeowners, they are not for everyone and are most effective when used as part of a financial and/or estate plan.  They can also help with avoiding reverse mortgage scams.

Here are a few questions to ask when seeking out a an elder law attorney:

  • How long has the attorney been practicing?
  • What percentage of the attorney’s practice is devoted to elder law?
  • Does his or her practice emphasize a particular area of elder law? (for instance, guardianship or other specific work)
  • How much elder law training has the attorney had, and from what organizations?
  • Is the attorney a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys?
  • Will the attorney be able to work within your time limitations?
  • In addition to a legal network, an elder law attorney should be familiar with the “elder network”, a network of public and private community resources to assist seniors in various capacities.  This should include a reputable reverse mortgage advisor.

Sara Cornwall is a local Reverse Mortgage Advisor serving the entire state of Connecticut. Contact Sara and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

6 Reverse Mortgage Myths That Need Debunked

reverse mortgage advisor connecticutThe HECM Reverse Mortgage program was created to give our retiring generation a way to keep their homes and manage the ever increasing costs of life in America after working long and hard over the years. It is an option that could be just right for you. All applicants are required to participate in HUD approved counseling to ensure all their questions and concerns are addressed. Working with a reputable reverse mortgage advisor will also be critical in the process, as this person should be your advocate – even telling you when a reverse mortgage may be wrong for you.

Let’s unravel the myths floating around about what a reverse mortgage is and what it does.  Here are a few myth busting facts:

Myth #1: Reverse mortgages are only for poor people.

Fact: Many retirees use reverse mortgage as a way to fulfill their desires for retirement, or to help grandchildren with college, or even to move into their dream home.


Myth #2:
It’s free money.

Fact: It is a loan specialized for those 62 years old and older that does not need to be paid back until the last borrower passes away or leaves the home permanently, or if the borrower defaults on property taxes or homeowners insurance.  If anyone attempts to market a reverse mortgage as “free money”, beware as it is likely a scam.


Myth #3:
 The bank owns your home.

Fact: The title of your home stays in your hands, and you own it just like you would with a conventional mortgage.  


Myth #4:
It is not a safe program.

Fact: Reverse mortgages are FHA insured and fully guaranteed – regardless of how you receive the payout.


Myth #5:
My equity is safe if I don’t use a reverse mortgage right now.

Fact: Your equity is dependent upon the housing market, which is always changing.  And as markets improve, home values continue to rise, so even if you have a reverse mortgage, your equity can still increase – equity that will be available to heirs when the loan comes payable.


Myth #6:
 If I’m married, my spouse will lose the home if I pass away.

Fact:  Married couples can both be on the loan if both are 62 or older.  There are many ways to ensure both spouses are not at risk.

Sara Cornwall is a local Reverse Mortgage Advisor serving the entire state of Connecticut. Contact Sara and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Should Your Elderly Parent Age In Place?

reverse mortgage advisor connecticutAs you watch your parents or loved ones age, it can sometimes be a struggle to determine the best option for their long term housing. Should they age in place in their home? Should you make space in your home for them? Should they move to a long-term care facility? Or should they move to a home that more adequately suits their changing needs?

To better guide you in the right direction, here are some questions to ask yourself:

• Are they able to get around by him or herself? Are there stairs in the home?

• Is this person able to take medications without assistance? Is there a health concern that would require more regular supervision, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s?

 • Is your parent able to manage mortgage payments, home-owners insurance payments, and property taxes. Is the home outdated and in need of frequent repairs – such as a furnace, roofing, electricity?

• Where is this home located? Is it in close proximity to relatives, hospitals, etc? Or is it secluded and away from town?

• Is this person lonely? Has he or she suffered the loss of a spouse? Does he or she have a solid social group or close friends?

Based on your answers to these questions, aging in place may be an option and a HECM reverse mortgage can help to fund it. Reverse mortgages allow homeowners age 62 and older to access equity in their home. The homeowner retains the title and remains in the home. With a reverse mortgage homeowners can lessen the financial burden of mortgage repayment and, if needed, in home medical care.  All reverse mortgages are government guaranteed with an FHA backed loan and no repayment is due until the last borrower passes away or permanently leaves the home. At that time there are several options that include keeping the home in the family.

If selling the current residence and moving into a new home is a more reasonable route, a HECM Reverse Mortgage for Purchase has many perks including living mortgage payment free in the new home.

Often times adult children encourage their elderly loved one to move in with them, not taking into account that this person will be leaving everything that is familiar, including their home, neighborhood, friends and social circles. Before making this decision, consider whether the move will be a strain on the family of which this person will be joining or the person who will be making the move. Depression can be cause for concern with the elderly and interrupting a solid routine or social interaction and hobbies can often make this concern a reality.

If this person has medical concerns, considering live-in care or a long term care facility may be the best option. There are many outlets to help guide you in the best direction when making a decision on the proper route or facility.

Sara Cornwall is a local Reverse Mortgage Advisor serving the entire state of Connecticut. Contact Sara and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Harvard Study Predicts Surge In 65+ Households

A recent report by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, Projections and Implications for Housing a Growing Population: Older Adults 2015-2035, it is predicted that by 2035 one in five people will be aged 65 and older while one in three households will be headed by someone of that age and older.

The report included the use of a reverse mortgage as an important financial tool for older Americans in the future and cited it as a source of funds making it feasible to age in place.  The study also analyzed the amount of debt those in the 65+ age group will still have, including existing mortgages.

 “For those with mortgages they cannot afford but who still have substantial home equity, reverse mortgages may make it more financially feasible to age in place,” says the report.

Also discussed in the report was the strong desire older adults have to continue to live their home while they age.  This will require those in the retirement planning community to look at creative options to fulfill the needs of their clients.  Reverse mortgage can fit strategically into many different scenarios.

Reverse mortgage is an individualized, specialized loan for those 62 and older that allow individuals and married couples to tap into the equity of their home while living mortgage and loan payment free.  The funds can be accessed via a lump sum, line of credit, monthly installments, or even to purchase a home.

Sara Cornwall is a local Reverse Mortgage Advisor serving the entire state of Connecticut. Contact Sara and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

Does My Home Qualify for a Reverse Mortgage?

reverse mortgage advisor connecticutReverse Mortgages are a specialized loan available to homeowners 62 and over.  This creative resource is used by a wide demographic – from those looking to supplement a fixed income, to the more affluent in need of protection for retirement assets, and even those wanting to purchase a home in retirement.  But there are some requirements when it comes to the actual home…

Which types of homes are included? 

According the HUD’s Federal Housing Administration, in Connecticut the home must be a single family home, or a 2-4 unit home with one unit occupied by the borrower. Some condominiums and manufactured homes that are approved by HUD also meet FHA requirements.

In the case of a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase, borrowers can use a reverse mortgage to purchase a single family home, or 2-4 unit home with completed construction that has received a certificate of occupancy.

Are there reasons my home may not qualify?

A home with very little equity may not qualify, although homes with paid down existing mortgages often times do and the reverse mortgage can eliminate the mortgage payment.

In addition, homes must be maintained with general upkeep and be current on property taxes and other expenses relevant to the home.

A second home or vacation home may not qualify.  The borrower must be living (or plan to live) in the home.

Bottom line

The funds from a reverse mortgage can be accessed via a lump sum, line of credit, monthly installments, or to purchase a home. If you have questions let a reputable reverse mortgage advisor guide you in the many scenarios that are possible and the two of you can think creatively about your needs and desires.

Sara Cornwall is a local Reverse Mortgage Advisor serving the entire state of Connecticut. Contact Sara and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.