Los Angeles Reverse Mortgage
Why would someone do an online search for “Los Angeles Reverse Mortgage?” Most likely they are in the southern California area and they want to find someone in that area to help them make a decision about a reverse mortgage. That’s what we are here for. We are in southern California and created this site to help people understand the ins and outs of reverse mortgages.
You will find that this site has more information packed into one location than any other reverse mortgage site on the web. We have taken a lot of time and care to make the information clear, concise, thorough and unbiased. By unbiased we mean that we truly want you to make the best decision for your situation, whether that means choosing a reverse mortgage or not. We do not “leave out” pieces of the puzzle or sugar coat any less attractive parts of the reverse mortgage program. We believe reverse mortgages are great for many, but not for everyone. It’s really the same with every other financial tool out there. There is no “one size fits all.” You need to see the whole picture and decide if any particular financial tool will work for you.
Actually, California as a state has more residents with reverse mortgages than any other state. There are a couple of big reasons for this. One is that California has more senior citizens that any other state, with about 4.2 million. Florida is a distant second with about 3.3 million. Since reverse mortgages are available only to those persons age 62 and over, having a sizable senior population is key. According to the last census, California will only become more of a reverse mortgage center, judging by the growth of the senior portion of the population. Over the last decade, the senior population grew about 15.1% nationwide, but 23.5% in the West.
The other big reason why reverses are so popular in California is the relatively high property values. The HECM program (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, the program’s technical name) becomes more attractive as the value of the home increases and the size of the possible loan proceeds grows. The median value of homes in the United States as a whole is about $125,000, and the median value of homes in the Los Angeles area is about $300,000. California as a whole and Los Angeles in particular are “hotbeds” of reverse mortgages, having both a large senior community and high enough home values so reverses can be all that much more attractive.
was built to answer many questions. The reverse mortgage program was created by Congress and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 with one goal in mind, to help seniors face retirement years with more confidence and peace of mind. To help look at your particular situation, please contact us through one of the portals offered throughout the site, or email us at
Reverse Mortgage Los Angeles
These words, “reverse mortgage Los Angeles,” are typed into the Google or Yahoo or other web search field hundreds of times each month. Los Angeles is one of the main centers in California for originations of reverse mortgages, and California as a state has originated more reverse mortgages than any other state.
Demographics would indicate that the popularity of reverse mortgages in California will only increase over time. The elderly population in California is expected to grow more than twice as fast as the total population. Over half the counties in California will have increases of at least 100% in this age group, and eleven counties will have increases of at least 150% in the 1990 to 2020 time period. The county of Los Angeles is expected to have a senior population growth of 50-100%, but because the population of Los Angeles is so large, those effects will far outweigh those less densely populated counties with a higher percentage of growth.
A large population of seniors is important for reverse mortgage popularity of course because this loan program is only available to those age 62 and over. It was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 because so many seniors and senior groups like the AARP were requesting it. The basic idea of the reverse mortgage is to allow seniors to tap into the equity of their home without having to make payments. Instead of monthly payments, the interest accrues onto the principal balance and is ultimately paid upon the sale or refinance of the home.
It seems logical that seniors be able to use the equity they have worked so hard to build, in order to make their retirement years more comfortable and worry-free. The crunch of rising health care costs and other necessities, combined with a fixed or declining income, can make it difficult for many seniors to get by.
Still, it was difficult to get lenders to put together a program to meet this need, and it finally took the power and backing of the federal government to make it happen. The reverse mortgage (or HECM, Home Equity Conversion Mortgage) is insured by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA). This gives the lenders the assurance that they can lend large sums of money to a senior, receive no payment on this lending maybe for decades, and still get the money plus interest back in the end.
Los Angeles area seniors have been waking up to the fact that they not only have access to this program, but that the housing values in Los Angeles (and so many places across California) are almost double what they are in the nation as a whole. Because what a borrower is eligible to receive depends not only upon age (the older you are the more you receive) but also upon value, reverse mortgages get more attractive as the value increases.
We have created this site to help everyone learn more about reverse mortgages, but especially Californians, as we ourselves are based in southern California. Please study this site and use one of the contact forms to get professional help for your particular situation, or email us at
Orange County Reverse Mortgage
An Orange County reverse mortgage is becoming more and more of a popular loan. Why is this? For a reverse mortgage to be popular in a given region, at least two things are required. One is a sizable senior population and the other is healthy home values.
The most recent census showed an Orange County senior population of about 310,000, over 11% of the total population, and this segment is growing rapidly, expected to double in the next 20 years. This increase of those age 62 and over is happening across the nation and has been termed a demographic shift of historic proportions. The western portion of the United States, however, is leading this shift. California has the largest senior population of any state in the union, with about 4.2 million.
Orange County also has relatively high property values. Nationwide the median home value is about $125,000, but Orange County’s median home value, even after several years of downward trend, is still about $300,000. The higher the home value the more money the borrower may receive, and thus the more attractive the reverse mortgage becomes. But just as important as having a high value, the loan program’s loan limits need to be able to accommodate those values.
In 2006 the maximum loan limit for Orange County was 362,790, and the median home value at that time was $709,000. So let’s say in 2006 someone in Orange County had a home worth $500,000, far less than the median value, and a mortgage balance of $362,790, with about 27% equity. However, for purposes of a reverse mortgage they had zero equity, because HUD would not recognize a value higher than $362,790. This person would not qualify for a reverse mortgage. No wonder HECMs (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, the technical name for reverse mortgages) were not very popular in Orange County or other high value areas at that time. It just did not meet the needs of a lot of people.
Then the financial crisis hit, not just in the United States, but internationally, and the government tried to figure out means to stabilize the housing market and improve the economic position of people. One strategy was to increase the loan limits for FHA programs. By February 2009 the HECM loan limit had increased to $625,500, which meant many more people could qualify. The results can be seen in the numbers. In 2006 the number of reverse mortgages done nationwide was 76,351. By 2009 this jumped to 114,692!
The combination of all these factors and more has created a surge in reverse mortgages in Orange County and in similar places, helping the financial situation of many thousands of senior citizens.
Reverse Mortgage Orange County
When someone types “reverse mortgage Orange County” into an internet search engine, they are likely looking to do a reverse mortgage on a property in Orange County, or maybe they are looking on behalf of someone who might do this. They want to know if there are any peculiarities about this loan for Orange County, and they want to learn generally more about reverses. Additionally, they may be looking for someone in the area who can help them.
This is exactly why we created this website. There is a lot of misinformation out there about reverse mortgages, and there are plenty of sites with more sales push than actual information. Our intent was to develop a site that focuses on thorough discussions of all the major areas of reverse mortgages. We have done that and more. We have regular articles on current developments in the industry, and we believe we have more easily understood, accessible, and comprehensive information in one place than any other site out there.
Our desire is not so much to “sell” someone on a reverse mortgage, but rather to give all the pluses and minuses and put the borrower in the best possible position to see if a reverse mortgage is right for them. A reverse mortgage won’t be for everyone, and shouldn’t be for everyone. Even the best financial tools do not fit everyone at every time in their lives.
We (and our clients) have found that navigating around getting a reverse mortgage is often best done with a mortgage company rather than with a big bank, both in terms of pricing and in terms of personalized attention. Plus, we are locally based in southern California and can help in person for those who want to meet face to face, though we do loans up and down the entire state and a physical meeting is not necessary.
With the economic struggles over the last handful of years, many people have found that the old saying “Cash is King” is more true than ever. The value of having a free and clear home is less easy to see when it’s difficult to make the monthly bills. This situation can be particularly difficult for seniors, who may not have the income options they once had. The reverse mortgage helps level the playing field, you might say, by offering seniors an income option the younger folks don’t have. A reverse mortgage enables a person age 62 and over to access the equity in their home for whatever reasons, and payment on that loan is delayed until the loan is either refinanced or the home is sold. For many people they can remain in their home when they otherwise might be forced to leave.
For those seniors who are more well-to-do, the HECM Saver line of credit option is becoming popular as a tool for access to emergency cash. If there is an unexpected need, they can dip into this account instead of disturbing well-established investments, and unlike a regular line of credit, no payments will be required on any money that is withdrawn. Whatever their financial situation, whether in Orange County or elsewhere, more and more seniors are looking at whether a reverse mortgage may have something of benefit for them.