Chicago Tribune: Reverse Mortgage Not a Short-Term Fix

Fielding a question from a bewildered homeowner who is considering selling their home and potentially getting a reverse mortgage in the process, a Chicago Tribune column advises the loans may not be the best solutions for near-term financial fixes.

The homeowner, who remained anonymous, stated he/she is looking to downsize into a smaller residence because affording to live in the current residences has become a problem, especially as a recent health issue has also impacted his/her finances.

Not knowing if a reverse mortgage is the right move for him/her, the homeowner reached out to Tribune contributors Ilyce Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin for some advice. 

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Glink, the author of the nationally-syndicated column Real Estate Matters, and Tamkin, a Chicago-based real estate attorney with more than 20 years of experience in the residential and commercial sectors, advised against using a reverse mortgage to foot the bill for near-term expenditures, especially if the homeowner has no intention of remaining in the residence. 

“Reverse mortgages are right for some situations, but we’d never recommend them for a short-term solution—they’re simply too expensive and cumbersome,” write Glink and Tamkin. 

Though the idea of using a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage for Purchase did not arise within the column, the columnists suggested to the homeowner that if he/she is choosing between either selling the home or taking out a reverse mortgage, the best bet—given the homeowner’s particular situation—would most likely be to sell the home. 

“We would never advise you to get a reverse mortgage if you don’t intend to stay in your home,” write Glink and Tamkin. “And with your medical issues and lack of income, it sounds as though you’d be far better off letting the house go.”

Read the Chicago Tribune column.

Written by Jason Oliva

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  • This column is where the rubber meets the road. What it shows is how far our H4P and standby reverse mortgage messages have reached and how much more we need to do to make HECMs a first tier choice when cash flow is needed by those over 62.

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