Categorized | Finance

Your home may never be more valuable

By Alain Valles, CRMP, MBA, CSA, Managing Director

Helping Hands Community Partners, Inc.

The real estate market in Massachusetts is red hot. Housing prices have climbed sharply after bottoming out during the Great Recession. In just the past year, the median Massachusetts home value has risen 5.8 percent to $386,500. If you have owned your home for more than 20 years, it is likely that its value is greater now than ever before. Which means the value of your equity is also at an all-time high.

It makes sense to capitalize on the strength of your home’s value while the market is at its peak. The obvious way is to sell your home, getting the maximum selling price from buyers eager to scoop up a home in a market with limited inventory. But that leaves you with a predicament: finding another place to live could be even more expensive, and quickly erode the profit you make from the sale.

If you are 62 years of age or older, another approach is to convert the equity that you have built up into cash by using a reverse mortgage. Depending on how much you still owe on your home, a reverse mortgage can allow you to obtain a significant portion of your home’s equity in the form of tax-free cash, if or as needed. More importantly, you would have the added benefit of remaining in your home, with no mortgage payments, and no need to spend your money on another place to live.  You would, of course, be responsible for real estate taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and other loan guidelines.

Why is now a good time to look into a reverse mortgage? The feverish real estate market won’t last forever and is already showing early signs of slowing down. Accessing your hard-earned equity through a reverse mortgage will help you maximize the amount of cash you can access while your home’s value is near its peak. Wait too long and home values may fall, reducing the amount of equity you would receive.

What can you do with the money you receive from a reverse mortgage? Anything you’d like after paying off any existing mortgages! Many of our clients use their money (and it is THEIR money) to pay off bills, increase monthly cash flow, make home renovations, help a grandchild pay college tuition, travel, or simply to have peace of mind that funds are available for rainy days or unexpected expenses. The uses are limitless.

    Obtain your free “How to Use Your Home to Stay at Home” 36-page book

Want to know more about reverse mortgages? Give me a call at 781-724-6221 or email at av@hhcp.org and request a free copy of the official reverse mortgage consumer booklet approved by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) called “Use Your Home to Stay at Home” published by the National Council on Aging (NCOA).  This is a great place to start to receive basic information. Or I would be happy to review your specific situation to help you achieve your goals, reduce financial stress, and maintain your independence.

Alain Valles is managing director of Helping Hands Community Partners, Inc. and was the first designated certified reverse mortgage professional in New England.  He obtained a master of science from the M.I.T. Center for Real Estate, an MBA from the Wharton School, and graduated summa cum laude from UMass Amherst.  Valles can be reached directly at 781-724-6221 or by email at av@hhcp.org.

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