RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Is a Reverse Mortgage Right for You?

January 6, 2016 2:36 am

Americans are living longer now than ever before. While a testament to advancements in healthcare, this increased longevity also brings with it the potential to outlive savings.

To reduce their chances of a savings shortfall, many older individuals are now exploring reverse mortgage loans, according to Take Charge America, a national non-profit housing and credit counseling agency. A reverse mortgage, also known as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), enables homeowners aged 62 and older to convert part of their home equity into tax-free cash.

“The economy has been tumultuous in recent years, and seniors have been particularly affected,” says Mike Sullivan, chief education officer for Take Charge America. “For some, a reverse mortgage may prove a good solution for generating extra cash and living more comfortably in their golden years."

Is a reverse mortgage right for you? Sullivan suggests considering the following:

Loan Fees – Borrowers are tasked with paying upfront mortgage insurance, origination fees and closing costs. It’s critical for seniors to read the fine print and understand the fees they’re paying.

Taxes and Insurance – With a reverse mortgage, seniors borrow money against the equity of their homes and are not required to make loan payments. However, they still must pay property taxes and homeowners insurance, or they risk foreclosure.

Home Maintenance – Seniors are responsible for home maintenance, but cannot take out a home equity loan or second mortgage to cover repairs.

Home Equity – The borrower’s home equity is reduced by the amount of the reverse mortgage. The estate will receive whatever equity hasn’t been borrowed.

Loan Repayment Terms – The loan is due when the borrower sells the home, lives away from the home for 12 consecutive months, fails to pay property taxes or insurance, or passes away. The principal, interest and closing costs are repaid from the proceeds of the sale of the house. If the heirs elect not to sell, the money is paid from the estate.
 
To obtain a reverse mortgage, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires seniors to undergo reverse mortgage counseling from an approved third-party organization, Sullivan says. Certified HECM counselors guide seniors through the process, the loan terms, financial and tax implications, and alternatives.

Source: Take Charge America

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Snowed In? Clear Snow from Your Property the Safe Way

January 5, 2016 12:36 am

(Family Features)—Snow in the forecast? No matter how much snow is expected to accumulate, homeowners can make certain they’re prepared with an arsenal of tools that can be called upon when clearing snow from driveways, sidewalks and pathways around the home.

To clear snow from large, flat areas, such as the driveway, a snow blower is the best tool. To eliminate the need to restock gas supplies during a storm, consider using hybrid snow blower. When using the hybrid model, clear the areas furthest from your home first using the battery, and then switch to corded electric power as you move closer to your home. Clear a path as it snows, if possible, to avoid a larger job later on. Once snow has been removed, cover icy patches with salt or sand.

When it comes to clearing sidewalks and pathways, put down ice melt a few hours ahead of lighter snowfall—this can melt snow up to 2 inches down and keep ice from forming. If a blizzard threatens your area, remove smaller amounts of snow from sidewalks and pathways several times, instead of waiting until the snow stops falling. This not only cuts strenuous activity, but also allows the sun to warm up the surface.

Remember that while removing snow, it’s important to dress warmly, paying attention to parts of the body that are vulnerable to frostbite, like fingers and toes. Dress in layers so that you can remove articles of clothing as your body heats up.

Bear in mind also that some municipalities require homeowners to keep sidewalks clear, so be sure to make contingency plans if you yourself will be unable to remove snow in a timely manner.

Source: Snow Joe

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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