A lot of new homebuyers are seniors who have owned a home for many years and are looking to trade up or downsize. For many “Baby Boomers,” the most valuable thing they own is their home. As long as their home has equity and the seniors owe minimal debt, they can apply for a mortgage or loan product to help them pay for a new home. The senior homebuying market is growing in the U.S. By the year 2025, almost 45 percent of the population will have a household head aged 55 or older. Specialized realtors for seniors and home-selling agents are taking greater notice of the senior homebuyer. It takes a lot of money or collateral to purchase a new home. Unlike younger people, seniors don’t have long lifespans to pay off their mortgages. Many seniors live off pensions, insurance payments, government payments, or some kind of regular, fixed income. Besides a valuable home, they don’t have any other assets or anything of enough value to use to buy a home. Seniors buying a home must do so wisely or risk losing everything if they can’t manage to pay their mortgage. Luckily, there are a few options available to help. Taking Advantage of Reverse Mortgages There are several loan and grant programs that seniors can apply for, but they come with specific conditions. You must be a certain age, make specific kinds of income, and have a valuable house or assets to apply. A reverse mortgage is also known as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, or HECM, by private and federal loan regulators. While a regular mortgage is a loan that is granted based on the value of a home and is paid off in decreasing payments over decades (usually 30 years), a reverse mortgage is a home loan that is determined by the value of the home as well, but the applicant doesn’t have to make any loan payments. Interest payments add up over time, but payments only begin when one or both homeowners die, with the value of the estate liquidated to pay off the loan. To apply, you must be at least 62 years of age. Senior Real Estate Specialists Seniors buy a new home in the twilight of their lives for many reasons. Often, they’re downsizing or dealing with empty nest syndrome where their children are grown up and their house is too large for their current lifestyle. Sometimes, everyone they know has passed away or moved, and too many younger people are moving into their neighborhood. Another reason for moving is that they want to transition into a different phase of life after decades of living in one place. Whatever the reason, seniors need to know the value of their home and where to buy a new home. Senior real estate specialists can help with every step of the move. They can do everything from assessing the value of the home, helping with applying for loans and financing, selling the current home, and buying the new one. These specialists can even help seniors find a neighborhood that is mainly filled with other seniors or more multi-generational, with homeowners of many ages. Moving Companies That Specialize in Helping Seniors Some of these companies can be expensive, but they’re trained to delicately assist seniors when they move. These companies will patiently pack and move things according to a senior’s wishes. They don’t rush and are trained to take as much time as needed to complete a move. Representatives of these companies are also trained to lend an ear and listen to seniors talk about their memories of items and their homes. Regardless of which type you choose, it might be worth it to call a moving company, especially to save seniors the strain of packing and moving. Seniors can shop around and see if they are eligible for any loan and grant programs. They can talk to finance, real estate, and moving specialists who deal with seniors, and make the homebuying experience work for them, no matter their age.
Article Courtesy of Jim Vogel – http://elderaction.org/