"You can observe a lot by just watching." ~Yogi Berra
Today's Community Review
December 1, 2022
In sunny Southern California, San Diego is the location of Oaks North, a large, settled 55+ community within the master-planned community of Rancho Bernardo. Attached homes and single family homes are for sale, and amenities include a golf course, a clubhouse, a swimming pool, a woodworking shop, social groups, classes and more.
St. Petersburg is on the Florida Gulf Coast and is the setting for Sea Towers, a gated, 55+ waterfront condominium community with a lagoon, a social director, a clubhouse, two swimming pools, a putting green and sweeping water views.
On Hawaii's beautiful island of Oahu, Mililani is the site of Olaloa, a mellow, gated 55+ condominium community with 21 acres of green spaces, a swimming pool, a neighborhood garden, planned activities and more.
In northern Mississippi, Southaven is the site of the Village of Brambles, a small 55+ community with stylish town homes. Amenities include a clubhouse and walking paths.
Plantation is in southeastern Florida and is the site of Lauderdale West, an established 55+ community with single family homes, attached homes, tropical landscaping, two clubhouses, a shuttle service and more.
Tucked in the shadow of the Cascade Mountains in north central California, Redding is the location of The Vineyard, a verdant, gated 55+ community with single family homes, two lakes, distant mountain views and more.
Clearwater is on Florida's mid-Gulf Coast and is the site of Clearwater Point, a partly 55+ condominium community nearly surrounded by the Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico. Amenities include swimming pools, tennis courts, a hot tub and a private beach.
Located in central North Carolina, not far from Duke University, lovely 55+ Creekside at Bethpage is part of a larger mixed use development. Colorful single family homes and town homes are for sale, and amenities include a swimming pool, tennis courts and a community garden.
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.
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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