DEAR BOB: How much in total closing costs should I expect to pay to obtain a senior citizen homeowner reverse mortgage? I hear $8,000 to $9,000 is fair – William P.

DEAR WILLIAM: The exact answer depends on the type of reverse mortgage you obtain, such as FHA, Fannie Mae or Financial Freedom Plan, and the appraised market value of your home.

Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.

As a very general rule, closing costs should be around 6 percent of the reverse mortgage amount. The higher the maximum loan, the lower the cost percentage.

A great new book I just finished reading on this topic is “Pocket Idiot’s Guide to Reverse Mortgages” by Jennifer A. Pokorney. It is available in stock or by special order at local bookstores, public libraries and for only $9.95. Pokorney answers the many typical reverse questions like yours.


DEAR BOB: My dad married my stepmother about three years ago. Shortly after marriage, they bought a house together as joint tenants with right of survivorship. However, my dad died recently at the age of 56. His will left all his assets to me, his only child. However, my stepmother says she inherited the house as surviving joint tenant. Who is right? – Jason R.

DEAR JASON: Your stepmother is correct. A written will has no effect on joint tenancy property. For further details, please consult a real estate or probate attorney.


DEAR BOB: As a long-time Realtor (26 years) I couldn’t agree more with your recent comments about lease-options. During a slow market, when I have a home listing which doesn’t sell “the regular way” — about three weeks before the listing will expire — I suggest my seller consider a lease-option. I have never been unable to “sell” a house on a lease-option. You are so correct by saying there are always more lease-option buyers than lease-option sellers. Sure, I don’t enjoy waiting a year or two for my sales commission when the buyer-tenants exercises their purchase option, but that’s far better than receiving no sales commission at all. Why don’t you write about lease-option benefits more often? – Daryl H.

DEAR DARYL: Shame on me for not explaining lease-option benefits more frequently. Personally, I’ve been using them for at least 25 years to buy and sell houses, including my current residence. Like you, my experience has been there are always lots of lease-option home buyers if the price and terms are fair.

More details are in my special report, “How to Profitably Use a Lease-Option to Buy or Sell Your Home or Investment Property,” available for $5 from Robert Bruss, 251 Park Road, Burlingame, CA 94010 or by credit card at 1-800-736-1736 or instant Internet PDF delivery at Questions for this column are welcome at either address. Copyright 2005 Inman News

(For more information on Bob Bruss publications, visit his
Real Estate Center


What’s your opinion? Send your Letter to the Editor to

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription