Protect Your Home’s Equity: Tips for Finding Qualified Financial Guidance

As the reverse mortgage business blossoms the need for qualified and experienced mortgage lenders grows, as well. What sources should Vermont senior homeowners turn to when exploring their options for a reverse mortgage?

Here are some tips to consider when looking for a lender.

  • HUD Home Equity Conversion Mortgages are most popular.
  • Look for reliable lender sources locally.
  • Consult a mortgage counselor for unbiased guidance and advice before you lock-in a reverse mortgage.

FHA Lender Limits: How the Affect Vermont Reverse Mortgage Loans

When you first bought your home you may have been affected by the county FHA mortgage limits. These limits reflect local home prices, types of residence and other factors and are in place to help ensure that the average homebuyer gets a decent deal, basically.

When you are looking at financing a reverse mortgage, FHA limits are key factors that determine your eligibility for the federally insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, the HECM. In general most average homes fit neatly into the FHA parameters. Those that often do not are very high dollar homes. In other words your home value/equity may be through the roof, but your HECM will only be based on your county’s FHA limit, which could be much less.

Vermont county FHA limits range from the national average to slightly higher in the Burlington area.

HUD Lenders

Did you know that close to 95% of all senior reverse mortgages are the FHA or HUD HECM?

HUD and the companion agency, the FHA, are not HECM lenders, per se. These highly visible government agencies are responsible for administering a wide variety of homebuyer and homeowner programs as well as generally overseeing the national housing industry. Their main mission: to see that homeownership remains possible for all Americans.

HUD and the FHA offer, free of charge, a list of lenders experienced with the HECM. This list is searchable by state and available either via HUD’s website or from an independent mortgage counselor.

Types of Reverse Home Mortgage Providers in Vermont

Remember, as you shop for reverse mortgages you’ll find that many different types of financial institutions may be licensed to originate reverse mortgages and they may offer a range of products. Here is a small sample of the types of companies you’ll find in Vermont.

  • Financial Freedom represents one of the largest reverse mortgage providers in the country and is HUD and FHA approved. FF offers customers three very diverse reverse mortgage options: first their own proprietary Cash Account Advantage, which is a jumbo reverse and designed specifically for high-dollar or high-end homes; the Fannie Mae Home Keeper, a slightly more expansive version of the HUD product; and the HECM.
  • Universal Mortgage Corporation, a HUD-approved lender, is a full-service mortgage lender. Customers are homebuyers as well as homeowners. They offer the HUD HECM.
  • Wells Fargo is one of the leading national banking institutions. Outside the personal and business solutions, the home mortgage division offers a wide variety of forward and reverse mortgages.