Do you feel “house rich but cash poor”? If you live on a fixed income, own your home, have little or no mortgage and would like to have more income or pay off some bills, a reverse mortgage may be right. 

A reverse mortgage is the opposite of a traditional mortgage.  Cash flows from a lender to you.  Most programs require you to be at least 62 years old. The home must be owner-occupied and your principal residence.  Single family detached homes usually qualify, 2–4-unit homes, condominiums and manufactured homes may not.  Only first mortgages are permitted.  You must continue to live in the home and be responsible for paying property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and repairs.

You repay the loan interest and loan costs when you sell the home, leave the home permanently or die.  Loans are usually non-recourse which means the lender can only look to the value of the home for repayment. No payments are required of you. The loan amount cannot exceed the value of your home.

You may receive a lump sum, line of credit, periodic payments, or some combination of these.  You can increase your income, pay off other debts, establish a source of cash for emergencies, it’s up to you.

Before you rush in, remember the costs of these programs vary.  The lender must provide you with a total annual loan cost (TALC) disclosure.  Read and understand it, before you sign.  The FHA, FNMA, AARP, NCHEC and HUD all have free information available. 


Mike & Angie Murphy have been helping clients in Colorado for more than 49 years.  They are based in Windsor, CO and may be reached at 970-310-8201, 970-310-8369, on their website at, on Facebook at Go-Seniors Insurance or email at

We will be happy to mail to you, free of charge, the 15-page booklet, Learning the Basics of Medicare.  Just let us know if you would like to receive a copy.