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Today's Community Review
September 23, 2023
On the South Carolina coast, Bluffton is the site of Eagle's Pointe, a pretty community surrounded by golf course fairways and woods. Single family homes are for sale, and residents enjoy a clubhouse, tennis courts, a small lake 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.
Jacksonville is on the northeastern Florida coast and is the location of Cecil Pines, a quiet, gated 55+ community on the site of an old air base. Single family homes and duplexes are for lease, and tall, moss-draped trees pepper the grounds.
At the base of the Rocky Mountains in north central Colorado, thriving Fort Collins is the setting for Sunflower, an attractive 55+ modular home community with a clubhouse, a putting green, pickleball courts, RV storage, event gatherings and more.
Yuma is in southern Arizona and is the setting for Westwind RV and Golf Resort, an award-winning 55+ community with a nine hole golf course, a large swimming pool, a long list of events/activities, park models and more.
In northwestern Florida, Homosassa is the site of Sugarmill Woods, a lush community surrounded by wildlife. Popular with empty nesters and baby boomers, it has attached and single family homes. Amentities include three golf courses, clubhouses, restaurants, tennis courts and more.
Conway is near Myrtle Beach on the northern South Carolina coast and is the setting for Wild Wing, an all ages community that markets to baby boomers. Single family homes are for sale, and amenities include golf courses, an owners' club and more.
On the Southern California coast, Huntington Beach is a classic beach town and the site of Huntington Landmark, a large, gated 55+ community with town homes, condominiums, two resort-style swimming pools, tennis courts, a putting green and a park-like setting. It is also just a mile from the beach.
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.
On the southeastern Florida coast, Port St. Lucie is the site of Cascades, a settled 55+ neighborhood within the larger, all ages community of St. Lucie West. Mediterranean-style single family homes are for sale, and amenities include a nine hole golf course, a large clubhouse, an outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts and more.
In the little coastal town of Ocean Isle Beach, Ocean Ridge Plantation is a wooded, gated community with a variety of home styles, five golf courses, a lovely clubhouse, a private beach club 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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