The Pros and Cons of Reverse Mortgages: What You Need to Know

Reverse mortgages can be a great way to finance your retirement years, but it's important to understand the potential drawbacks before making a decision. A reverse mortgage is a loan that allows homeowners to access the equity in their home without having to make monthly payments. However, there are several drawbacks to consider, such as initial and ongoing costs, a variable interest rate, an ever-increasing loan balance, and a reduction in the net value of the home. Unless their heirs repay the loan, they won't be able to keep the house.

In almost every situation where a reverse mortgage is used, the result is that the net value of the home decreases. If you have enough income to pay your bills or if you're willing to sell your home to take advantage of equity, a reverse mortgage may not be the best option. It may make more sense to simply sell it and reduce the size of your home. If you intend to leave your heirs a house that is paid in full, a reverse mortgage may not be the best option either.

A reverse mortgage could be a key component of your retirement planning, as it provides funding now and for the future, but it's not the right choice for everyone. Before creating this loan product, older people would buy a home, which would entail closing costs, and then, once they owned the home, they would take out a reverse mortgage, generating a new set of closing costs. This is why it's important to talk to an attorney who specializes in elder law or a legal clinic before looking for an inverted mortgage program. Most reverse mortgages are insured by the Federal Housing Administration under a program known as the Real Estate Value Conversion Mortgage (HECM).

Borrowers can pay reverse mortgages sooner, but they usually end when the borrower moves, sells the house, or dies. Many borrowers who apply for a reverse mortgage intend to stay in their homes for the rest of their lives. It's also important to be aware of potential scams when looking for a reverse mortgage company. More than 10,000 consumers received applications for inverted mortgages from a company called New View that supposedly resembled official government notices from the Federal Housing Administration.

If you want to avoid this pitfall, you'll need to look for a reverse mortgage product that doesn't have an adjustable rate, which can be difficult to do. In conclusion, while reverse mortgages can be beneficial for some people in certain situations, it's important to understand all of the potential drawbacks before making any decisions. Finding the right reverse mortgage company to work with is vital because there are a lot of scammers in the industry. Carefully consider all of your options and talk to an attorney or legal clinic before making any decisions.

Harry Lammel
Harry Lammel

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