Active adult communities resource 55places.com has announced a joint venture with Retirement Funding Solutions (RFS) aimed to educate more seniors on methods they can use to become homeowners, including information on how to use a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) for Purchase (H4P) transaction.
These two organizations are partnering to offer an H4P product they’re calling “The 62+ Loan,” which requires a down payment of as much as 55-65 percent of the home value, along with property taxes, insurance, homeowners association (HOA) dues and maintenance.
Announced Wednesday, the joint venture is called 55places Mortgage, and aims to help provide its customers guidance through the process of home financing by methods that are more specifically tailored for seniors, which can include traditional avenues of funding or the implementation of a reverse mortgage.
“Purchasing a home is one of the most substantial investments and emotional decisions of a lifetime, which is especially true for adults who are moving to an active living community, many of whom intend to stay for the rest of their life,” said Bill Ness, founder and CEO of 55places.com in an email to RMD. “55places.com was founded in 2007 out of that situation and now provides homebuyers with comprehensive community and housing information so they can compare their options and make a knowledgeable choice that best suits their needs.”
RFS will also use the new partnership to educate seniors on H4P, a reverse mortgage variation that is not as highly used. The flagship product being offered by 55places Mortgage is called “The 62+ Loan,” which requires one initial down payment with no additional monthly payments required thereafter.
The partnership began development in 2017, when discussions between the two companies led to a realization that they each serve a very similar customer base.
“55places began working with RFS in 2017 to explore creative ways in which active adults — many of whom are 62 and older — could finance their ideal home in their dream community,” said Ness. “Upon working with RFS, it became evident that there was an opportunity to provide a more seamless experience for this type of homebuyer. 55places deeply understands what active adults are looking for in a community during retirement, and with RFS’ reputable expertise, an innate opportunity to explore this endeavor together occurred naturally.”
As an online database allowing seniors to find more information about active adult communities across the country, the services provided by 55places align with those of seniors looking to move into an active adult community without having to add an additional monthly mortgage payment, said Ness.
“The product of the enterprise, The 62+ Loan, allows buyers to finance a new home while still having money in the bank,” Ness told RMD. “And because of this unique financial option, it also allows residents to purchase a home that might’ve been slightly above their budget initially. Altogether, it provides 62+ homebuyers with more financial freedom and the ability to do the things they’ve always wanted during retirement.”
Not only is this a case where general interests are aligned, but it also serves as an opportunity to educate more seniors about the financial options open to them which include reverse mortgages, according to RFS President Alex Pistone.
“We are thrilled to partner with 55places and provide our HECM for Purchase expertise to this audience,” added Pistone in a press release announcing the partnership. “This is an exciting opportunity to educate more active adult homebuyers and guide them to a mortgage that’s best for them.”
55places.com features information on active adult living communities in all 50 states, covering over 2,000 communities nationwide. RFS operates as a DBA of Synergy One Lending, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mutual of Omaha Bank, which most recently sat at number five on Reverse Market Insight’s list of top 10 HECM lenders according to data from April. The company has originated more than 2,300 loans over the course of the past 12 months.