Should I Consider A Reverse Mortgage For Our Retirement Home?

Q. My wife and I are looking to buy a condo that would be our retirement home. We would be selling the house we currently live in, which unfortunately still has a sizable mortgage balance – not so much equity. Is a reverse mortgage something we could use here? Advantages and disadvantages ?

– Considering

A. There are a lot of things to consider to make sure you understand how a reverse mortgage might work.

As you know, with a traditional mortgage, a bank lends you money to buy your house. You repay the loan by making monthly payments over 10, 20 or 30 years.

In a reverse mortgage loan, the bank lends you money against the equity in your home, said Bernie Kiely, chartered financial planner and certified public accountant at Kiely Capital Management in Morristown.

“Since the funds are the proceeds of a loan, they are not income subject to state or federal income tax,” he said. “As with a traditional mortgage loan, the loan is subject to interest. “

The big difference between a traditional mortgage and a reverse mortgage is there are no monthly payments with a reverse mortgage, Keily said.

“Because there is interest accruing and no monthly payments, your mortgage balance grows a little bit each month,” he said. “With a reverse mortgage, everyone on the deed must be at least 62 years old. If one of the co-owners is 62 years old and the other is not, the youngest must agree to have his name deleted from the deed.

There are four parties to a reverse mortgage, Kiely said. The equity you have or will have in your home 2. Your life expectancy 3. The market value of your home 4. Interest rate in effect

He recommends that you sit down and have a chat with a banker who takes care of reverse mortgages.

The equity you’ll have in your new home is the money you’ll be able to put toward buying your new home, he said.

“The banker will use a mortality table to calculate your life expectancy. By referring to the current interest rates, the banker will be able to calculate how much the bank would be willing to lend you under a reverse mortgage, ”he said. “The loan from the bank and the cash you have available will determine the value of the home that you can finance with a reverse mortgage to purchase. “

If you buy the new home before you sell the old home, you won’t have the money available to set aside your new home, Kiely said. You should discuss getting a short-term bridging loan from your reverse mortgage banker or other banker, he said.

“The advantages of a reverse mortgage there are no monthly payments. It can really help your cash flow in retirement, ”he said. “The downsides are that you probably won’t pass your condo to your kids. “

Email your questions to [email protected].

Karin Price Mueller writes on Bamboo column for NJ Advance Media and is the founder of Follow NJMoneyHelp on Twitter @NJMoneyHelp. Find NJMoneyHelp on Facebook. Sign up for‘s weekly electronic newsletter.

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