Putting the House to Work
Mark spent years working to pay for his house. Now, the house is paying him back.
Nature and animal lover Mark bought his “in the city but not in the city” home in 2002. Located next to a reservoir, he gets occasional visits from wildlife, like the snake that came and sunned itself beside his cat one afternoon.
“I really enjoy my backyard. I sit out there quite a bit,” he says. All in all, “it’s just a really pleasant place to live,” he says.
When Mark retired in 2013, he realized that the money he’d need to fund his retirement was tied up in the home he didn’t want to sell. A HomeSafe reverse mortgage from Finance of America Reverse has allowed him to hang on to the house and pay for some of his big-ticket retirement goals.
Keeping the House He Loves and Buying Another
While Mark doesn’t plan on relocating, he regularly visits North Carolina, where most of his family lives. He also hopes to spend more time there in the future.
“There are a lot of beautiful lakes over there,” he says. “I thought, ‘well, I’ve got to figure out a way to afford this.’” He considered getting a second job to increase his income, but that seemed unnecessary when he had so much equity in his home.
“It was just sitting there, and that kind of frustrated me because I put blood, sweat, and tears into this house,” he says. “It’s worth all this money … How will I get some of that value out and still hold on to the house?” he wondered.
A Reverse Mortgage Opens New Possibilities
The answer came to him in a television commercial. “When I first heard the term [reverse mortgage], I didn’t even know what it was,” he remembers. “I was thinking, ‘This is just some kind of a scam or whatever.’” But he was curious and looked into it.
“I realized that this was all legitimate,” he said. “It was really the best and most efficient way for me to enjoy that retirement that I’ve looked forward to for 28 years.”
He found three elements of a reverse mortgage particularly compelling:
- You get to keep your house.
- You can get some cash out of it and use it for almost whatever you want.
- The process for getting a reverse mortgage is similar to refinancing.
The more he thought about it, the more sense it made. “You work for your house for so many years, and now you can have your house work for you,” he says. Specifically, “it gave me the means to afford that lake house. I haven’t found it yet, but at least I know that I can get it when I want it.”
You work for your house for so many years, and now you can have your house work for you.
Enjoying Today and Looking to the Future
While keeping his eye out for the perfect lake house, Mark is putting the money from the reverse mortgage to good use. He’s doing things he could never afford before, like taking flying lessons, buying a new car, and planning vacations.
“It has just opened up a lot of opportunities for me,” he says. With the reverse mortgage, Mark feels a sense of possibility. “I don’t have to worry about taking care of a project that I’ve always wanted to do but never been able to afford.”
And then there’s the peace of mind: “It’s not just about the money—it’s about the security that you feel.”