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Reverse Mortgages for Dummies
By Sarah Glendon Lyons and John E. Lucas

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Reverse Mortgages for Dummies

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Reverse Mortgages for Dummies
Get Tips on Requirements, Fees, Limits, and more...
By Sarah Glendon Lyons and John E. Lucas
Thorndike Press, Large Print Edition (2008)
ISBN 10: 1-4104-0564-8
ISBN 13: 978-1-4104-0564-7
Genre: Nonfiction, Self-Help, Finances

Reviewed by Herbert White - December 29, 2008

In these hard economic times, more and more seniors are looking into an attractive option to supplement their income - a reverse mortgage. Unlike traditional mortgages, instead of repaying your mortgage to your lender, with a reverse mortgage you receive a monthly payment based on a variety of factors including the terms of your reverse mortgage and the equity you have in your home. It is only after you move out of your house, or you pass away, that the reverse needs to be repaid - assuming you or your heirs want to keep the house.

In Reverse Mortgages for Dummies Sarah Glendon Lyons, an Assistant Editor with Mortgage Originator Magazine and John E. Lucas, a reverse mortgage specialist, explains in clear detail, what a reverse mortgage is, the requirements for getting one, the fees associated with such a mortgage, what happens if you move out of your home, and when you die, how a reverse mortgage will impact you heirs.

This is an oversized book, printed in a clear, dark, 16 point font. The material in the book is organized intuitively, and it includes numerous check lists, tips, warning, and all the 'technical stuff' is explained in clear and understandable English. Combined, the information in Reverse Mortgages for Dummies will provide you with a solid foundation about the ins and outs of reverse mortgages and will be an invaluable aid in helping you decide if a reverse mortgage is right for you. This should not, however, be your sole source of information on making such a momentous decision. Be sure to talk with your CPA or Lawyer, your lender, a reverse mortgage counsel, or perhaps even friends and family members who have a reverse mortgage. Most important, be diligent about doing your research and be sure to read your mortgages before signing on the dotted line, to ensure that you know exactly what you are singing up for!

A reverse mortgage is something that will be of interest not only to seniors, but also for those planning for their own retirement. This can be a wonderful source of extra income, as long as you are aware of its drawbacks and potential risks, and all the associated fees. I found that Reverse Mortgages for Dummies provided a clear and very understandable overview of what a reverse mortgage is, who owns your home during the life of the mortgage (you do, and you can will it to your heirs), how a reverse mortgage is acquired, the sometimes hefty costs associated with getting a reverse mortgage, under what circumstances you will need to repay the mortgage, and the various means by which you or your heirs can pay the mortgage back. This book also discusses what happens if your house has lost value by the time it comes around to repay the mortgage. I discovered that you can acquire a MIP (Mortgage Insurance Premiums), which acts as a sort of insurance that will cover the differences in your home value, and which will protect you "...no matter what happens to your originator or lender." (pg. 131). A MIP will also cover you if you outlive the life of your loan, ensuring that you'll never have to pay back more than you borrowed. Getting a MIP sure sounds like you are buying a solid dose of peace of mind - and it was something that I was not aware was available before reading this book!

If you are interested in getting a reverse mortgage now, or are planning for the future, be sure to read Reverse Mortgages for Dummies. Despite its 'dummy' name, this is a very smart book. It not only walks you through the entire process of obtaining and repaying a reverse mortgage, it will also help you to decide if getting one is right for your situation - and it will help guide you toward other options that you might not have considered, or even heard of, before. In short, it will provide you with all the information you need to start you investigation into this very attractive option for supplementing your retirement income.


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