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Reverse Mortgage Calculator

How to use a Reverse Mortgage.

There are basically three situations that reverse mortgages work in:

1. Most commonly, the reverse mortgage is used to refinance your home. You can replace your existing mortgage with a reverse mortgage and remove your principle and interest payments for the rest of your life. If you currently have a reverse mortgage, you can refinance to get access to additional equity.

2. You can finance your home in the event you owe nothing on it. This gives you access to the locked up equity in your home. I agree it is nice to have the home paid for, but there is a resource that can enhance your retirement with virtually no risk.

3. It is also possible to purchase your new home with a reverse mortgage. With enough money down, you can buy a home with a reverse mortgage and have no payments. Maybe you are downsizing and you don’t want to spend all the equity from your last home. You can put 25% – 50% down, depending on your age, and you will have no payments while preserving some of your cash on hand. If you would like more information on homes available for purchase, see our sister company Redwood Real Estate Sales.

Reverse Mortgage Refinance.

Refinancing is the most common use of a reverse mortgage, but there are always questions that need to be answered. Here are a few:

1. Can I refinance my reverse mortgage?

Yes you may. A reverse mortgage is like any other loan. you can refinance any time you choose. Because of the fees associated, you will need to make the determination of whether or not it is worth it to you. If you are refinancing out of a HECM reverse mortgage, you will not have any prepay penalty.

2. Why would I refinance my reverse mortgage?

One of the biggest reasons that refinances are happening today is because the lending limits were recently raised. Now, instead of a county by county lending limit, it is nationwide at $625,000. So the easy test to see if this works for you is if you were unable to use the full appraised value of your home, (you were capped by the lending limit) you may be eligible to get additional money.

3. Is it a refinance if I don’t owe anything or never had a loan?

Technically, no it is not. But it is easier to say refinance than to describe the situation. When dealing with brokers and lenders, just say “I want to refinance my home and I don’t owe anything.”

Another interesting fact is that when you refinance from a HECM reverse mortgage to a HECM reverse mortgage your fees are significantly less. This is because you do not have to repay the up front mortgage insurance that FHA charged the first time around.

Reverse Mortgage Purchase.

Purchasing a home with a reverse mortgage can be a great way to buy a home and not have a mortgage payment. The amount down required is determined by the age of the youngest borrower and the price of the home. Once you have found the home and you’re approved, you just take the down payment (plus fees) to the escrow company and sign the loan documents. Then you get a home, and you will never have a payment on the home as long as you live there.

You can buy a new manufactured home and have it placed on your existing lot also. By new, I mean a manufactured home that has never been set up on another property. It needs to be new from the dealer. A home that has been on the lot for a year or two is ok also. It just needs to never have been pre-owned.

Allowable Reverse Mortgage property types.

The types of properties that we can do reverse mortgages on are basically the same as any other mortgage. If you currently have a residential mortgage on your home, we can probably do a reverse for you. The following is a short list of eligible property types:

1. Double wide or larger manufactured homes, newer than 1976. There are some foundation requirements but if you don’t meet them, we can probably get it fixed for you with very little effort. More information on manufactured home reverse mortgages.

2. Town homes and condos. These need to be FHA approved. We will take care of this for you if it has not been done.

3. Any other single family residences. This includes up to four unit residences, as long as one of them is the one you live in.

If your property is used for income or zoned commercial, you should call us and see if we can get it done. This will add a degree of difficulty in completing your reverse mortgage, but we have completed them so it is worth calling.

If you want o see what you qualify for, take a look at our reverse mortgage calculator.

Reverse Mortgage Loans

A reverse mortgage loan is just another way of calling a reverse mortgage. You can use the equity in your home to supplement your retirement. You don’t even have to make payments until you no longer live in the home as your primary residence.

You can use your reverse mortgage loan for anything you want. Once you get the money from it, you can use it for any of the following:

1. Supplemental income. Sometimes your budget just doesn’t make it.

2. Gifts for family or charities.

Types of Reverse Mortgages

reverse mortgage

There are two types of reverse mortgages. The most common is the government insured, FHA reverse mortgage. It is known as the HECM (pronounced Heck-um). The other type of reverse mortgage available is a proprietary product offered at different times by a few different lenders. The purpose of non FHA reverse mortgages is to cover loans that exceed FHA limits or don’t meet FHA guidelines. Currently, there are no proprietary (non FHA) reverse mortgages available.

There are several types of HECM loans. The programs listed below are the most common, but there are occasionally some changes in the market that will add or remove programs.


Currently the programs available on the LIBOR products are:


The numbers after the word LIBOR are reflecting the margin associated with the loan. For example, to calculate the interest rate on a LIBOR 200, you could look at the 6 month LIBOR rate on a financial site like Bloomberg or MSN and add 2.00% to it. This will give you your interest rate. All LIBOR reverse mortgages are adjustable.

2. CMT
CMT products are not such a good option right now, but there are some lenders still offering them. Currently the programs available on the CMT reverse mortgage products are:
1. HECM CMT 375
2. HECM CMT 400
3. HECM CMT 425 As stated above the number part (of the program name) is the margin tied to the loan. This time though, we will look up the 1 YR Treasury and add the margin to it. All CMT reverse mortgages are adjustable.

The loan that seems to generate a lot of interest is the next HECM loan. It got a lot of people over their fear of a reverse mortgage.

The only way to see exactly what the rate is, is to ask a lender. but they are hovering around 4.5%-5.0%. You can see the fixed rate for a reverse mortgage on our website. This rate changes daily, and can not be advance locked. This rate floats until you get loan documents to sign. Then it is fixed for the life of the loan.

There is a small downfall to the HECM FIXED programs. It is that all money must be taken up front. Where the adjustable programs allow for a Line of Credit or a monthly income, the fixed must be taken as a lump sum. This is not a bad thing, but you should be aware of it.

4. VA Loans
VA loans in Florida have been around decades and dedicated for helping out Florida veterans. ColonialFirst is a leader in Florida for providing VA loans and processes many each month. It is extremely easy to get a VA loan and can only take a few weeks for it to become approved. Check out Colonial First to see our calculator that will provide some good information about VA loans in Florida.

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