MetLife Shows 5% of Older Americans Prefer Using Reverse Mortgage to Purchase Home

image MetLife Mature Market Institute released a survey that reveals 55+ Americans prefer suburban living in single-story homes with amenities, particularly high-speed Internet access for their later years, and they don’t consider “universal” design a priority.

The survey was conducted along with the National Association of Home Builders and asked owners and renters about their current homes and the types of homes, communities and features they prefer as they age.

According tot he results, builders aren’t always providing amenities that consumers are looking for.  Specifically, they want amenities such as non-slip floors, larger medicine cabinets, lower kitchen cabinets and emergency call buttons, but those features are not as widely included in new homes.


“The data suggests that builders will have to be more tuned in to consumer needs, but potential buyers may be somewhat shortsighted as well,” said Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D., director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute.

“The homes consumers say they want may present difficulties for the long term as they age in place.  They prefer the suburbs and the country, but these areas generally lack public transportation. Universal design is not a strong preference, but they’ll need greater accessibility later on. Aside from recognizing that one-story homes will be best for their later years, customers may be somewhat unrealistic.”

The survey also asked consumers what type of loan they would use if they decided to buy a home and 5% said a reverse mortgage.  While not the dominant choice by any means, I was happy to see reverse mortgages made the list. 


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  • It is too bad that percentage is not reflected in current endorsement figures. Because of the three factor Maximum Claim Amount determination, we are finding that too many seniors are not happy with projected proceeds. Of course by next month with lower principal limits, the situation could be worse.

  • Critic (and all other RMD readers),

    While the legislation passed by both chambers of Congress calls for lower principal limit factors, please realize that the final appropriations bill must still go thru the conference process and other outcomes are still very possible.

    Maybe I am the eternal optimist – time will tell…..

  • Mr. DeMarkey,

    I am apprehensive. With no debate on HECMs on the Senate floor and with so many amendments turned down, it is hard to believe that there will be any movement to help our litle program. Forget about $288 million; there may be no appropriation as in the House version.

    BUT I like your answer much, much better than mine. So here’s hoping in conference The Critic is proved absolutely wrong and you are so right.

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