By Alain Valles, CRMP, MBA, CSA, Managing Director
Helping Hands Community Partners, Inc.
“The winner is…” – YOU!
I enjoyed watching the Academy Awards last month to see the surprised and happy faces of the film artists in the lesser known categories like best production design, costume design, or sound mixing – all the people behind the scenes who work so hard but are often not acknowledged.
As the Managing Director of the nonprofit housing organization Helping Hands Community Partners, Inc., my observation is that our senior homeowners are the “behind the scenes” backbone of America – often overlooked, forgotten, and taken for granted. Or worse, taken advantage of and not given the resources necessary to make sound housing decisions.
You don’t you feel like you’re winning?
FACT: Of the $26 trillion dollars of real estate owned in the U.S., older Americans (55+) control over two-thirds of the housing wealth. You may have owned a home for decades and built up equity, but might not feel like a winner. Why? My research and experience of helping thousands of homeowners helped me to develop the following list:
- Living costs have increased, so you need a little bit more monthly cash flow every year
- You are still making a mortgage or home equity line payment
- Credit card balances have increased with higher interest rates
- You need to make home repairs or desire home improvements
- Real estate taxes are increasing
- A stressful life event occurs: retirement, divorce, caring for children and grandchildren, health crisis, loss of a spouse
- You are house wealthy but “cash poor” and cannot afford to enjoy traveling, being with family, or helping loved ones financially
- You don’t have a financial plan to remain independent
How to WIN
If you are an older homeowner, now is the time to gather information and facts to analyze your future housing options. You may be able to stay the course. Or you may need to refinance, obtain an equity line, sell your home, or obtain a reverse mortgage. The hard part is making a decision. But doing nothing will surely lead to regret. And the sadness and disappointment over “what could have been” is brutal, especially if it could have been avoided. The first step is to contact our organization to learn about different housing options.
In particular, if you’re 62 or older and own a home with some equity, a reverse mortgage may be a viable option to achieve your homeownership goals. The challenge is reverse mortgages have a negative stigma for most people. The great news is we have more licensed loan officers with the Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional (CRMP) designation than any other non-profit in the country. We are here to help take the mystery and misinformation out of reverse mortgages.
Obtain your free “How to Use Your Home to Stay at Home” 36-page book
Please give me a call at 781-724-6221 or email at [email protected] to receive your free copy of the official reverse mortgage consumer booklet approved by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development called “Use Your Home to Stay at Home” published by the National Council on Aging . This is a great place to start to receive basic information.
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. Alain can be reached directly at 781-724-6221 or by email at [email protected]