"Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?" ~James Thurber
Today's Community Review
November 20, 2023
Lake Placid is in central Florida and is the setting for Covered Bridge, a friendly 55+ community with manufactured homes and new block construction homes. Amenities include a clubhouse, heated swimming pool, tennis courts and a boat dock with canal access to several nearby lakes.
Charlotte is in southwestern North Carolina and is the setting for The Vineyards on Lake Wylie, a waterfront community with town homes and single family homes. Amenities include a private dock and an attractive clubhouse.
Five miles down the road from Daytona Beach's 23 miles of white oceanfront sand, Port Orange is on Florida's northeastern coast and is the setting for Villages of Royal Palm, a tropical single family home and town home community that markets to empty nesters and baby boomers. Amenities include swimming pools, tennis courts, putting greens and more.
Outside of Spokane in eastern Washington, Nine Mile Falls is the site of Sundance Meadows, an attractive 55+ manufactured home community with a pretty setting, a clubhouse, a swimming pool, RV and boat storage, a nearby golf course, mountain views and more.
San Marcos is in the Texas Hill Country and is the site of Kissing Tree, a large 55+ single family home community with a golf course, a putting green, a clubhouse, a swimming pool, a restaurant, a bar and a variety of architectural styles.
On the central Gulf Coast of Florida, Clearwater is the setting for Villas of Lake Arbor, an established, quiet 55+ community with condos, attached villas, tropical grounds, walking paths, planned activities and a clubhouse overlooking a lake.
Aiken is in western South Carolina and is the location of Kalmia Landing, a small, homey, lushly landscaped 55+ community with single family homes, condominiums, a clubhouse, tennis courts, a swimming pool, neighborhood get-togethers and more.
Gold Canyon is east of Phoenix in southern Arizona and is the site of Mountainbrook Village, an established 55+ community with single family homes, "casitas," an activities director, swimming pools, tennis courts, a ceramics center, an 18 hole golf course and more.
On Florida's southeastern coast, stylish Boca Raton is the setting for lovely Boca Pointe, a large, lush community with villages, a retail center, a golf course, tennis courts, swimming pools, a lifelong learning program and a wide variety of home styles and prices.
Retiring with a Mortgage?
Most financial advisors will tell you to pay down your mortgage before you retire. The reason for this is that since your income is most likely to decline during retirement, it makes sense that your monthly expenses also decline.
Yet more retirees are carrying mortgages than ever before. This is because people are buying houses later in life and then refinacing to tap into their equity, which usually extends the lenghth of a loan.
Nearly 50% of people age 65 to 79 have a mortgage, with a median balance of $77,000. Twenty-five percent of people age 80 or better also carry mortgage.
There are two potential downsides to carrying mortgage debt during retirement. One, if you find that you can't make your payments and your home is foreclosed, then you have less time to recover from the loss.
Two, if you have to pull from your retirement accounts to make your mortgage payment, that can leave you short on cash if an emergency arises. And it is not as easy at age 70 to pick up a job to help with mortgage payments as it is at age 35. Retirement account withdrawls can also trigger more taxes.
If you are going to have mortgage payments during retirement and are worried about them stretching you too thin, then you might consider refinancing the debt with a 30 year loan before you retire. Doing so can get your monthly payments down to a manageable level.
You might also consider a reverse mortgage if you have a good amount of equity in your home. This type of loan lets you stay in your home without a monthly payment and lets you tap into your equity, providing you with a lump sum payment or monthly cash payments.
If you are retiring with a mortgage, you are not alone. But not having one or refinancing the debt to lower your payments can make retirement a little easier.
How to Qualify for a Reverse Mortgage
All borrowers must be at least 62 years old. The older you are, the more funds you can receive from a reverse mortgage.
You must live in your home as your primary residence for the length of the reverse mortgage. You must own your home outright or have at least 50% equity.
You must meet with a HUD-approved reverse mortgage counselor prior to applying for a reverse mortgage to learn exactly how a reverse mortgage works and how much it costs (fees, etc.). The counseling session is to ensure that the borrow completely understands how a reverse mortgage works.
Single family homes, manufactured homes built after 1976, condominiums that are FHA-approved and town homes are all eligible for a reverse mortgage.
You must show the financial ability to meet your loan obligations, including paying property taxes, insurance and HOA fees if applicable. You must also maintain the home.
Best Mortgage Lenders
Homeowners approaching retirement often have enough equity to sell their current home and buy a less expensive one outright. Some people, though, want to keep the cash from their home sale and finance a new home, while others might need a small or short-term mortgage to cover the gap between their available cash and a home's purchase price. If you do need a mortgage, it is important to choose the right one. Here are three of the best lenders.
Better Mortgage - According to Nerd Wallet, this mortgage company charges no commission fees and has no application, underwriting or origination fees. They also close most loans within 21 days, two times faster than the national average.
Quicken Loans - This mortgage company has a five star rating in the 2019 J.D. Power U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study and an A+ rating with the BBB. Quicken Loans has processed more than two million mortgages.
Vylla Loan - This mortgage lender has multiple loan programs for people with less than steller credit and considers alternative credit data, such as bank statements and rent payments.
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