All reverse mortgages Рwhether the government-insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage or a conventional product Рshare a set of common characteristics, which include the following:

  • You must be at least 62 years old and own a home. (Note: There are some conventional reverse mortgages that have differing age requirements.)
  • You ALWAYS retain title (ownership) to the home. The lender never, at any point, owns the home, even after you (or last surviving spouse) permanently vacate the property.
  • You must still pay property taxes and insurance, and keep the home well maintained. If you are unable to pay your property taxes and insurance, then a special set-aside from your reverse mortgage can be created.
  • Repayment of the loan occurs when you (or last surviving spouse) permanently vacate the home. You or your heirs (estate) then must facilitate the pay back of the loan using either private funds or selling the home. After the loan is repaid, all leftover proceeds from the sale of the home go to you or the estate.
  • The amount of funds you are eligible to receive depends on your age (or age of the youngest borrower in the case of couples), the value of the home, the interest rate and the upfront costs. With the HECM product, the county lending limit is a factor. With all products, the older you are, the more proceeds you are eligible to receive.
  • Loan fees can be financed, or paid out of the available loan proceeds. This means you incur very little out-of-pocket expense to get a reverse mortgage. In most cases, you only have to pay for the appraisal, which costs roughly $350 depending on your market.
  • The loan balance (amount owed) grows each time you access funds from your line of credit or receive a monthly payment. In addition, the lender is charging you interest on the outstanding loan balance as well as a monthly servicing fee.
  • Repayment of the loan is not required until you (or the last surviving spouse) permanently leave the home as a primary residence. For the HECM program, you can live up to 12 consecutive months outside the home, but this may vary for other products.

All reverse mortgages have a “non-recourse” feature, which means that the total amount owed can never exceed the appraised value of the home, as long the home is sold by the borrower or heirs to pay back the loan. If the amount owed exceeds the home’s appraised value, then the lender or the federal government (in the case of the HECM product) will absorb that loss.

Reverse Mortgages PA