How Long Can You Stay in Your Home with a Reverse Mortgage?

A reverse mortgage is a loan that allows you to stay in your home for life, even after you have exhausted your home equity. Before you or a loved one applies for this type of loan, it's important to understand the circumstances in which a reverse mortgage may not provide lifetime financial security. It's equally important to understand that, with a thorough understanding of how different payment plans work and how you can use money wisely, a reverse mortgage can help prevent older people from running out of money in retirement. The rules state that you must live in a property for most of the year to qualify as your primary residence. This means that you cannot be absent for more than six consecutive months for reasons other than medical reasons.

Reverse mortgages generally need to be repaid when you move out of the house or when you die. However, you may not need to return it right away if you are out of your home for more than 12 consecutive months in a health care facility, or if you have a co-borrower or an eligible spouse who doesn't apply for a loan while living in the home. A reverse mortgage doesn't have to be repaid within a quantified term, like a traditional mortgage does. Rather, a reverse mortgage is repaid when the borrower dies, sells their home, or moves out of the house for 12 months. A homeowner who is 62 years of age or older can apply for a reverse mortgage.

Therefore, the normal term of a reverse mortgage is the length of time a borrower stays living in their home after taking out the loan. According to Forbes magazine, the average term ends up being about seven years. If you fail to make these monthly payments, the lender may declare the borrower in default and, therefore, void the foreclosure. Taking out a lump sum also puts reverse mortgage borrowers at greater risk of being scammed out of their profits. Even if one spouse moves to a long-term care facility, there's no need to repay the reverse mortgage until the second spouse moves out or dies. If the reverse mortgage balance is higher than the value of the home, the best option is for the surviving spouse to continue to live in the house; selling or letting the lender execute the mortgage will leave the survivor with no place to live or money from the house.

If you need to borrow more, you can opt for an enhanced reverse mortgage, also called your own reverse mortgage. In addition, if the value of the home appreciates and becomes worth more than the balance of the reverse mortgage loan, you or your heirs could receive the difference, Boies explains. You're not in danger of losing access to a reverse mortgage line of credit like you do with a HELOC. As mortality rates decline, as they have tended to do in recent decades, the average term of a reverse mortgage is expected to increase, in the absence of other factors. However, the only way to prove if interest is deductible is to keep a record that shows exactly how you used the funds from a reverse mortgage.

With a reverse mortgage, a homeowner who fully owns their home or who at least has significant capital to draw on can withdraw part of their capital without having to return it until they leave the house. How a reverse mortgage affects spouses and domestic partners depends on whether they are listed as co-borrowers or not. Yes, you can make reverse mortgage payments to reduce your loan balance over your lifetime and there is no prepayment penalty for doing so. This rule makes it easier for surviving spouses who don't apply for loans to effectively survive the reverse mortgage proceeds. Having nothing else to fall back on will increase your chances of defaulting on a reverse mortgage, especially when unexpected expenses arise such as medical problems that may develop as you age. However, assuming that you consistently meet current reverse mortgage requirements; don't sell your home; don't stop using it as your primary residence; and other conditions that don't trigger a reverse mortgage default; we can get an approximate estimate of how long you can enjoy your reverse mortgage Examining American average lifespan and minimum age requirement for inverted mortgage borrowers.

Harry Lammel
Harry Lammel

Unapologetic lover of life. Award-winning family man. Typical husband and father. Music junkie. Food buff.