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HomeEquity Bank | Blog,Mortgages

What Is A Reverse Mortgage?

November 14, 2018

Guest written by HomeEquity Bank

You may already have a good sense of what a traditional mortgage involves: you take a loan for a property you’d like to purchase from a bank or other lending institution and agree to repay that loan at a certain interest rate over a predetermined time period. Over time, you pay off the debt and accumulate equity in your property continuously until the loan is paid off entirely.

Now, what about a reverse mortgage? Less commonly-known, a reverse mortgage is a loan secured against the value of your home. It allows you to access some of your home equity (in tax-free cash) without having to sell your home. With a reverse mortgage, you do not need to make monthly mortgage payments. The loan only becomes due when you decide to sell or vacate the property.

In order to qualify for the CHIP Reverse Mortgage, issued by HomeEquity Bank across all Canadian provinces, you (and your spouse) must be at least 55 years old and the home must be your primary residence. There’s no minimum income requirement for a reverse mortgage.

The CHIP Reverse Mortgage can be approved for up to 55% of your property’s total value. Your exact loan amount is determined by several factors, which include:

  • Your age
  • Your property type, the condition of your home and its appraised value (minimum home value of $150,000 is required)
  • The location of your home
  • The equity in your home  

If approved, proceeds from the reverse mortgage can be distributed to you from the provider in several ways or in a combination:

  • Receive the money as a one-time lump sum
  • Receive the money over time in planned advances
  • Receive some of the money as an initial lump sum with additional advances as you wish (similar to a line of credit)

Instead of making monthly payments, you repay the balance of the loan plus interest when you sell, move out, or leave your property for any reason. You may also have the option to transfer the reverse mortgage to a different property if you move. If you wish to prepay the loan in advance, you may have to pay a penalty (similar to a conventional mortgage).

While the rising loan balance could eventually grow to exceed your property value, you (or your estate) will never be required to pay more than the value of your home.

How do I know if a reverse mortgage is right for me?

If you meet the criteria for a reverse mortgage (i.e. homeowner over the age of 55) and need to improve your cash flow, you may want to consider the CHIP Reverse Mortgage. Some of the most common uses for reverse mortgages and their proceeds include (but are not limited to):

  • Receiving additional income to help you pay for regular living costs
  • Consolidating and paying other debts that you may have
  • Paying for renovations, new cars, or vacations
  • Funding old-age care
  • Acquiring funds to help support other family (e.g. children, grandchildren, etc.)

If you have a need similar to those mentioned above, and you meet the qualifying criteria, a reverse mortgage may be right for you.

You may also want to consider some of the primary benefits of a reverse mortgage, which include:

  • No on-going monthly payment obligations
  • Proceeds are advanced to you tax-free and not counted as income for tax purposes
  • No forced-sales or foreclosures as long as maintenance, insurance, and tax fees are maintained
  • Appreciation on your home value can help offset the borrowing costs and the interest only accumulates on the amount borrowed
  • Reverse mortgages are easy to qualify for if eligibility criteria are met

If you think a reverse mortgage may be right for you, check out the CHIP Reverse Mortgage from HomeEquity Bank. You can also check your free credit score using Borrowell to see the financial products available to you.

Learn more about the CHIP Reverse Mortgage from HomeEquity Bank, Canada’s leading provider of reverse mortgages for over 30 years.

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