Seniors currently hold $4.3 trillion in home equity. Sadly, many of them are unable to access this resource without selling their homes or obtaining an expensive reverse mortgage. Today there's a new model for helping seniors tap into their equity that may become a widespread alternative in the not-too-distant future. Until now, if you were over the age of 65, there were few alternatives for using the equity from your home. You could refinance, but you had to qualify, pay points and fees, and make monthly payments. The other choice was to obtain a reverse mortgage. You could choose to receive your payout as a lump sum, a lifetime monthly payment, a monthly payment for a limited term, a line of credit, or a combination. You would never owe more than the value of the home, regardless of the amount paid out. Reverse mortgages require points and fees, which usually run about 5 percent of the property value. On a $400,000 property, that's $20,000. The homeowner must occupy ...
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