By Alain Valles, CRMP, CSA, MS, MBA, Nonprofit Managing Director
Leery of reverse mortgage infomercials and junk mail that just promote the benefits of reverse mortgage? Not sure where to get the facts about reverse mortgages?
We’re here to help. Helping Hands Community Partners is an approved 501(c)(3) self-funded nonprofit with the mission to educate people about senior housing options and, when appropriate, we can arrange reverse mortgages for qualified individuals.
Get accurate information
The first step regarding “reverse mortgages” is to get accurate information. Reverse mortgages are a government insured home loan program that allows qualified senior homeowners the ability to access cash whenever needed in the form of lump sum cash, a monthly amount, and/or a line of credit if you need cash in the future. For thousands of people, this has been an excellent approach to having extra cashflow for retirement, paying off an existing mortgage, home repairs, credit cards, medical expenses, divorce settlements, real estate taxes, or just peace of mind knowing money is available if needed.
How do I qualify for a reverse mortgage?
The following are the initial questions that we ask to determine if you qualify:
- Age (one homeowner must be at least 62 years old)
- Property type (single family, condo, or multifamily)
- Estimated home value (must be your primary residence)
- Current mortgage balance, if any (property does not have to be free and clear)
- Have the real estate taxes and insurance been paid on time for the past two years (if not, you may still qualify)
- Amount of monthly income
How much money can I get?
Based on the answers you share with us, we then calculate the maximum available reverse mortgage benefits. We never encourage you to borrow the maximum amount. The total amount is different for everyone so it’s important to obtain a specific comparison of different options for your situation. Just give us a call or email.
What is the first step in the process?
The first step is to call or email us. We’ll review your personal situation, goals, and discuss if you qualify. If you’re interested in more information, we will meet with you to review, in detail, the cost, benefits, guidelines, forms, counseling requirements, and different options to receiving the cash. Our goal is to share information with you so that you may make a fully educated decision if a reverse mortgage is right for you.
Is there anything you can mail me?
Yes. A great place to get information is the free “How to Use Your Home to Stay at Home” 36-page book. This is the official reverse mortgage consumer booklet approved by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development and published by the National Council on Aging. The free “25 Ways to Use a Reverse Mortgage” from the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association lists the many ways a reverse mortgage can help.
Please give me a call or email with your questions and to receive your free copy of “Use Your Home to Stay at Home” and “25 Ways to Use a Reverse Mortgage.” We’re here to help.
Alain Valles is a 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. He can be reached directly at 781-724-6221 or by email at [email protected].