Fair Housing Act Turns 50

April is Fair Housing Month! After years of noting this important month as a civil rights- no, a human rights measure signed into law in 1968- some things are changing regarding enforcement. . As it reads today, the Fair Housing Act protects people from discrimination when they are renting, buying, or securing financing for any housing. The prohibitions specifically cover discrimination because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability and the presence of children. According to a New York Times article last week by Glenn Thrush, ” The Trump administration is attempting to scale back federal efforts to enforce fair housing laws, freezing enforcement actions against local governments and businesses, including Facebook, while sidelining officials who have aggressively pursued civil rights cases.” According to the article, every administration will make some changes, and Ben Carson, HUD Secretary decided to remove the words ”inclusive” and “free from discrimination” from HUD’s mission statement. Different agency officials have reported that several inquiries about fair housing violations have been put on hold by the agency. Secretary Carson denies that he is abandoning the agency’s mission, but “recalibrating” the process rather than making a philosophical shift. Either way, it is worth noting that any changes to the enforcement of the Fair Housing Act could be interpreted as a change in the law. Today- I write this article, including the above concerns because the Fair Housing Act is one part of the law of this land that must change and grow as our country changes and grows. HOWEVER- any changes, no matter how small or seeming inconsequential must be watched and monitored as it could lead to the unraveling of a very important part of our nation’s fabric. As we celebrate 50 years since the passing of the Fair Housing Act, I hope we can celebrate the progress made in those 50 years as far as opening doors for new housing opportunities for so many people who had often been denied access to quality housing and home financing.

The National Fair Housing Alliance, in their 2017 Fair Housing Trends report, stated:

 There were 28,181 reported complaints of housing discrimination in 2016. Of these, private fair housing organizations were responsible for addressing 70 percent, the lion’s share of all housing discrimination complaints nationwide.

 55 percent of these complaints involved discrimination on the basis of disability, followed by 19.6 percent based on racial discrimination and 8.5 percent based on discrimination against families with kids.
 91.5 percent of all acts of housing discrimination reported in 2016 occurred during rental transactions. Based on these statistics alone- we must watch, hold ourselves accountable and our society to standards which will always hold the right to good, safe, clean and affordable housing as a basic human right.

I have had many conversations with people in the communities in our area for years about the quality of housing; public housing, private housing, rental properties in and around Nelson County. We stand among the best, well maintained, in the state! It is in our awareness and pride that we can claim to be the Most Beautiful Small Town in America.
Peggy R. Smith is the Association Executive for the Old KY Home Board of REALTORS®. The Old Kentucky Home Board of REALTORS® owns and operates the MLS for the Nelson, Washington,
Marion, Larue and Hart Counties in Kentucky and has over 50 years serving our local area. Member of Kentucky Association of REALTORS® and National Association of REALTORS®.


A Tale of Three Conversations

Conversation 1
Mr. Seller: I keep reading that it’s a seller’s market- and I have to agree! I decided to sell my home myself without hiring an agent.
Friend: Are you sure that was the wisest thing to do?
Mr. Seller: Heck yes- I put the sign in the yard and it sold in 2 days! I saved that seller’s commission and got full price! Well- that deal fell through because the buyer wasn’t qualified for the loan, but we got another offer right away- we just had to pay buyers closing costs and do about $3000. in repairs, but we did that all by ourselves- without an agent!
Friend: Really? Congratulations??


Conversation 2
Agent 1- I’ve noticed that the housing inventory is pretty low now, making it pretty hard to get listings, but also making the transactions a little more complicated, don’t you think?
Agent 2- I represented a buyer in a sale from a FSBO (for sale by owner). It went pretty smooth on my end.- I had a good qualified buyer thanks to some preliminary work we did to get all credit issues cleaned up and financing prequalified. Unfortunately for the seller, when we got to the closing, the seller found out that his property appraised for several thousand more than he sold it for. I guess he might have benefitted from some expert advice.
Conversation 3
REALTOR®- Now Mr. and Mrs. Smith, I want you to understand that getting offers will be easy with your home. We have it staged to sell, all repairs and maintenance addressed and home warranty offered. But you need to be aware that I will be checking to make sure that all offers will be pre-qualified (We don’t want to tie your property up with offers that can’t close); and the marketing gets out to everyone right away so that we can get the best offers early on in the listing and that we’ll have a good strategy on handling offers/multiple offers.
Mrs. Smith- Multiple offers? You mean we don’t have to accept the first offer we get?
REALTOR®- Not necessarily. Each situation is different and your options in dealing with each will vary based on lots of details. When you get into this kind of fast moving market- details matter, so we’ll carefully examine each thing as it happens- to come up with the best final contract we can for you!
Mr. Smith- I must admit- I didn’t agree with Mrs. Smith about hiring a REALTOR® since I was pretty sure I could handle selling this house myself, but after hearing about pricing it right, marketing it immediately and in the right ways, double-checking the buyers, handling objections and requests and analyzing and managing multiple offer situations- I realize that hiring you could end up costing me a lot less than doing it myself! Mrs. Smith is usually right….
The point of these conversations is this- you may not know how much you don’t know about what could go wrong in a real estate transaction until you find yourself in a pickle and don’t know how to undo what has been done by an amateur-you! You don’t want to spend money that you shouldn’t, you don’t want to leave money on the table, and you don’t want to miss out on opportunities that a pro might see that you don’t! Hire a professional- hire a REALTOR® You don’t want to save a dime- just to lose a quarter!
Peggy R. Smith is the Association Executive for the Old KY Home Board of REALTORS®. The Old Kentucky Home Board of REALTORS® owns and operates the MLS for the Nelson, Washington, Marion, Larue and Hart Counties in Kentucky and has over 50 years serving our local area.
Member of Kentucky Association of REALTORS® and National Association of REALTORS®.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

You have made up your mind- you’re going to sell your house.  After all- all signals say it’s the perfect time, with the low inventory and high demand.  It should sell right away at a premium. But wait a minute… where will you go?  Are there any homes to move to?  You’ll have the money you need to get that dream home- but where will you find it?

Here’s the reality home sellers have to face right now with this brisk house market.  The challenges could either be a road block to getting into a home you really love and having to settle for something that misses the mark; or (if you handle it right) could set you up to be the victor in a multiple offer situation.

Here are some things you’ll want to be PREPARED for in order to come out on top when the battle is on for the limited properties available:

*Hire a good REALTOR® you don’t want to go into a championship game without a coach!  Having a game plan includes more than know how to dribble and shoot.  There are strategies that include marketing, sale, pricing, closing , possession, transition negotiating, … Even one of those elements can throw the whole game and once the game starts , it’s hard to get the game plan together.

*Know your home’s true value   Your REALTOR has access to tools that will give you real facts on what has sold, what is for sale, and what may be adjusted in terms of finishes and condition and location to get your property value at its maximum level.

*Make sure your agent is clear about what you are looking for.   Locations, school district, size, number of bedrooms/ baths, amenities you can’t live without, things you are flexible on.  The more your agent  know about your needs the better they can be at hunting up the right properties to zero in on and maybe catch the early drift on properties  suitable for you.

*Allow your REALTOR to do some “bird-dogging “ on your behalf if there are no properties that match your needs.  He/she can do some research and let homeowners of qualified homes that he is working with buyers who are ready to make an offer on a home like theirs.  This practice, if done in a professional manner could open some doors that might not be already open at the time.

*Negotiate timelines. One of the most important and frustrating parts of selling and buying at the same time is getting the timing right.  And since you may not know when you negotiate the selling of your home, what the terms will be on the buying of your home – you’ll need great skill and flexibility and the willingness adjust your expectations if necessary to accommodate other parties, while leaving room for adjusting for the purchase contract that you haven’t made yet.

*Avoid contingencies when making offers.  Because of the scarcity of properties- you may be in competition with your offer to buy.  Because of that- you should go into any offer situation with contingencies and demands at a minimum.  You may miss the chance to drop those demands if you are competing with another offer with no demands.

*Be fast out of the gate.  If you have talked over all your needs with your REALTOR and she knows what you need, when you find it- be ready to make an offer right away.  If you’ve had these discussions with your REALTOR, then you know how he will prepare your offer and how aggressive you want to be.  Always remember that sometimes while a buyer is sleeping on whether to offer, another buyer is buying!

Peggy R. Smith is the Association Executive for the Old KY Home Board of REALTORS®. The Old Kentucky Home Board of REALTORS® owns and operates the MLS for the Nelson, Washington,

Marion, Larue and Hart Counties in Kentucky and has over 50 years serving our local area. Member of Kentucky REALTORS® and National Association of REALTORS®.


Now IS the Time to List!

Well, here it is- January 2018. Christmas and New Years have come and gone; decorations have been taken down and safely stowed out of the way and not a minute too soon! Time to make your 2018 plans.
Have you given any thought over the past couple of years about selling your home and either going for that dream home that you have been working for all these years? Or would you like to let go of all the unused space in the “empty nest” and moving into something a little smaller and easier to take care of? Or do you just have a wandering heart – looking for something just a little different? If any of these thoughts are going through your mind- now is the time to get it together and put into action what your mind and heart have been telling you.
Don’t wait until spring; don’t wait until you get everything “perfect” in your house. Because, frankly, everything will never be perfect! But right now- the timing is perfect to achieve optimal results from the sale of your home!
Why now? The inventory of homes for sale in the local area is at an all-time low. New construction is clipping up- but not yet at the levels from years past when there were dozens of new homes waiting to be bought and hundreds of building lots waiting for builders to start the next one. The average days on market (DOM) is below 100 for the first time since I’ve been keeping watch- 25 years!
At the same time- I can say that in my conversations with REALTORS®, I am hearing that buyers are out there in abundance- looking for homes. It’s as simple as that- supply and demand! Buyers plus low inventory equals high returns on sale of homes. How long can this last? It’s hard to say- but smart money will probably try to fill the gap with a return to more development and new construction in the next year.
One last thing- interest rates are starting to move up at a slow pace, but there is no guarantee that the market will remain so favorable for both buyers and sellers at the same time. All we can count on in an unpredictable market is today… and today- if you have a home you’d like to sell- is THE DAY!!!
I trust and believe in the old proverb; “Strike while the iron is hot”! You should too! Call your REALTOR® today and get a market analysis to determine your price; create a marketing plan for you and begin to work for you in an organized and detailed way that only the real professionals can do!pexels-photo-280204.jpeg

When Politics and Real Estate Overlap

If you are alive in 2017- you know that politics invades everything today! Everything! Well- I have often stated that if you are in real estate, then you are in politics. It weaves its way through ordinances, planning and zoning, taxation, environmental regulations, land ownership rights, banking and lending rules, insurance and liability issues- and the list goes on and on…
Right now- one of the big issues that NAR and the REALTOR® community as a whole are paying attention to is the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) expires on September 30, 2017. The US House of Representatives has a package of seven bills that address various aspects of the NFIP. One of the main things that need to be addressed is access to private market insurance.
To give a little background- the NFIP was created to provide incentives for communities to rebuild to higher standards and steer developments away from flood zones. In exchange, communities gain access to flood maps, mitigation assistance and subsidized insurance to prepay for future damage and recover more quickly from flooding. However, the program was not designed to absorb the catastrophic losses of the last decade such as Katrina and Sandy and now Harvey and Irma. As a result of the flooding catastrophes (pre-Harvey) the NFIP has borrowed more than 25 Billion dollars from the Treasury and is making interest only payments of $400 million per year.
RPAC is working hard talking to and meeting with legislators and their staff to give feedback on the different bills and getting their ideas on the measures. Every time the NFIP lapses, this country lose 40,000 property sales PER MONTH!! The country cannot afford to allow this program to lapse.
Some of the things NFIP deals with are: updating and checking the accuracy of flood maps, reducing some of the burdens from property owners of amending these maps and distributing updated maps. Reducing the risk of flooding is also a vital part of any flood insurance program.
Private insurance has been found to be a big factor in reducing the cost of flood insurance, and in many cases, property owners have been able to lower the costs of insurance by being able to shop private insurance.
This month- with Hurricane Harvey and Irma and the vast, destructive and deadly flooding that ensued after the hurricanes came through- it is critical that careful examination of this program is a priority. This affects not only property that borders lakes, streams and oceans, but also low-lying areas prone to flooding after weather events. Currently, property owners can’t access mitigation grant money until after the property floods despite it being more cost-effective to elevate or relocate beforehand.
The bottom line is- we all have to call for Congress to address seriously the issues with NFIP and to pass the package of bills to continue this program. Realtors® understand the importance of this and other issues that come up from time to time that affect Americans’ home ownership rights. We vote, we act, we invest!Image result for flood boston kyImage result for flood boston kyImage result for flood boston ky
Peggy R. Smith is the Association Executive for the Old KY Home Board of REALTORS®, she holds a Broker’s License in the State of KY, GRI and E-Pro designations. The Old Kentucky Home Board of REALTORS® owns and operates the MLS for the Nelson, Washington, Marion, Larue and Hart Counties in Kentucky and is a member of Kentucky Association of REALTORS® and National Association of REALTORS® since 1965

Be Smart- and Stay out of the Zillow Ditch

I’m here to shout from the rooftops with as much enthusiasm and conviction as I can muster- “WHEN LOOKING FOR A HOME-DON’T TURN TO ZILLOW FOR INFORMATION!” Zillow is in fact a huge presence on the internet- listing millions of homes supposedly for sale and all the details you’ll want to know in order to make decisions about your purchase…or sale. Their purpose for existing is to accumulate enough addresses so that they can sell a prominent ad position to Real Estate agents looking for leads.
The problem with this scenario for buyers and sellers is that they don’t owe any loyalty, due diligence or accuracy to buyers or sellers. Their primary goal is the accumulation of lots of data in one spot, so that they can attract viewers. Many of the properties are no longer on the market, priced incorrectly, misrepresented as to what amenities go with the house, etc.… No one at Zillow ever visited any of the listings, and may have never even visited your town. Just because it is on the internet- doesn’t make it right, or truthful or real! Don’t be a sucker!
So- you are asking right now- how do I find a home if I want to do a little research on my own? That is a good question and a valid question. My first answer is to go to okhrealtors.com and do a search either for the property you want- or do a search for a local REALTOR®. All of the local REALTORS® are listed on the OKHREALTORS.com website with a little bio, email address and website – if they have one. Everyone who has a website has the ability for consumers to do searches for property there. But even better- the information has been verified by a listing agent to exact standards that will insure that you will be getting accurate and up to date information.
To join an MLS, a REALTOR promises to personally verify the accuracy of the info and the data they share. And- by agreeing to IDX (Internet Data Exchange) they can include all listings in the MLS so that your search can be a complete searches of the area- even other REALTOR’s listings! The MLS ‘s aren’t open to Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com as a rule- so it’s a shot in the dark as to which listings are accurate and which ones are just leftovers from last year or just fillers.
Realtor.com is another option. Why is it any different from Zillow? Because they have an agreement with NAR that allows REALTOR.com to load up new listings in real time directly from the MLSs and also required REALTOR.com to remove them immediately when they are no longer active. In other words- the source of and accuracy of the listings is legitimate. This is the biggest investment most of us will ever make, and it is so important to be precise. (You would never let an unlicensed and unregulated surgeon do surgery “in the vicinity” of your appendix- right??) Accuracy is important!
By the way- while you’re on the okhrealtors.com website- check out our amazing business friends and partners! (Also known as our affiliates). We have the best in the business!! http://okhrealtors.com/

OKHBR Logo edited.jpg
Peggy R. Smith is the Association Executive for the Old KY Home Board of REALTORS®. The Old Kentucky Home Board of REALTORS® owns and operates the MLS for the Nelson, Washington,
Marion, Larue and Hart Counties in Kentucky and has over 50 years serving our local area. Member of Kentucky Association of REALTORS® and National Association of REALTORS®.fairhousinMLSrealtor

Confidence, Inventory or Lifestyle

Jackson and frog
Is it time to JUMP??

According to the Wall Street Journal article this past summer, the U. S. homeownership rate is at the lowest level in more than 50 years. That’s quite a shocking number and honestly very puzzling when you look at a world where the home mortgage interest rate is and has been hovering in the 3-5% range for several years now. If someone had told me when I started my career in the real estate industry back in the mid 90’s I’d say that’s crazy. And back when I bought my first home (in the early 80s) the home mortgage rate was 18%! Yes- you heard me right- 18%!!
So what is holding everyone back from jumping into the market and buying right away? I’d say Confidence, Inventory, and Lifestyle.
A lot of what we are hearing from recent college graduates, first- time home occupiers and millennials is that the jobs are not as plentiful as they thought they would be after graduation and their focus is upon landing a quality job in an area that they would want to stay in for longer than a year or two. Therefore- some first time home buyers are delaying the purchase of their first home. Here’s the good news for these buyers; since Kentucky is lucky enough to be served by KHC (Kentucky Housing Corporation) they have lots of low interest and special loan programs for first time homebuyer. Also the Rural Housing Service offers 100% financing for buyers is the rural cities and towns in Kentucky. Unfortunately the RHS loans are not available in the larger cities and counties. Check with your lender often to keep track of which loans work for you. The terms and benefits of many of these special programs should boost the confidence of the buyers just entering the market since many of them are tailored to help “home-starters”.
One of the factors contributing to the low rate of homeownership is the inventory or availability of homes for sale in the area. The availability of homes for sale has fallen drastically since the foreclosure crises either shut down or slowed the builders in the area. The flow of money into development of builders’ lots and building of new homes on speculation has slowed as a result of new lending regulations and caution in the area of new construction. At this point- something’s gotta give.
The supply and demand philosophy tells us that the inflation rate should be rising exponentially, but thankfully the moderate salaries in the area have helped keep down the inflation rate simply based on affordability. If inventory is keeping you out of the game- that’s when you find a partner! A REALTOR® whose job every day is to find the houses- shake the bushes, know the builders and their plans and have real time and accurate access to new listings as soon as they hit the market.
Finally- there is a significant block of people whose lifestyle does not include home maintenance, lawn mowing, and a car drive to the market. Maybe urban apartment living is more your style. Maybe a
neighborhood of patio homes, townhouses and/or condos sound like it fits the bill for what you’re
looking for. Millennials on the move and empty nesters looking to slow down or travel more and
simplify their lives- listen to me! You can still use real estate to build wealth, generate income without
the lifestyle compromise! Be an investor! Think outside the box. Buy a couple of small homes as rental
property. Buy a commercial building for the income and an upstairs for potential living space.
Commercial to residential conversions or combinations are becoming more popular and not so unusual.
Find a good REALTOR® with experience with commercial dealings and connections. Check with an
accountant about getting a good return on investment (ROI) and how to calculate a good deal. Once
you have made some good real estate investment decisions- then you should be able to generate some
“lazy income” through rent or resale of a wisely purchased property.
Whatever the reason for not being a real estate property owner yet- I hope you’ll keep the word “yet” in
the conversation. Real estate remains one of the best and most reliable investments there is. Don’t
miss the chance to take advantage of a good buying climate.
Peggy R. Smith is the Association Executive for the Old KY Home Board of REALTORS®. The Old
Kentucky Home Board of REALTORS® owns and operates the MLS for the Nelson, Washington,
Marion, Larue and Hart Counties in Kentucky and has over 50 years serving our local area.
Member of Kentucky Association of REALTORS® and National Association of REALTORS®

Bonjour mes amis – de Paris – Las Vegas – qui est

Peg Smith's Real Life in Bardstown

When you live in the Most Beautiful Small Town in America– and you want to plan a little getaway for a few days with a group of friends- where do you go?   Well- Las Vegas, of course!  Need to get that heart beating?  Ruffle those feathers a little bit?  Lights, sounds, shows, cuisine, cocktails, gambling and pampering!  Count me in!

vegas The Vegas crew

Don’t get me wrong- I do love my sweet hometown and would never trade it for the city life, but I have to admit I was extremely excited to flip the switch on for a few loud and rowdy days in the City of Lights!   Our group of friends have been saving up Total Rewards Points to be able to get complimentary rooms for the trip and we settled on one of the Total Rewards Properties- The Paris Hotel in Las Vegas.  The 4 night stay…

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Let’s Address the Big Turkey in the Room!

Well, we just finished off the last of the leftover turkey and pumpkin pie at my house and I’m squarely focused on getting my home ready for Christmas. But before I move on- I want to share some thoughts I’ve had over the last few weeks. My thoughts might be viewed as stupid, naïve, controversial or idealistic, and completely off the topic that this column is intended for. But- hear me out, and read this through, maybe you’ll agree.
Before we sat to eat our feast Thursday, we all took a moment to speak about what we were thankful for this year. Of course there was the usual thankful for God, family, good health, jobs, love, Louisville football, etc… These are all valid and honorable and all on my list of things for which I thank God.
Well, another thing to be thankful for – is being able to live freely in this great country of ours. Do you know how many people risk their very life just for the chance of living here? This is the greatest country on the planet. “ That is, the typical person in the bottom 5 percent of the American income distribution is still richer than 68 percent of the world’s inhabitants.” ~ “The Haves and the Have-Nots,” a book by the World Bank economist Branko Milanovic
Are we perfect? No. Are there bad guys who live here? Yeah. Do we work hard every day to get better and sort out the good guys from the bad guys? Every day. The job is never done, and there will always be more work to do.
Now- having said that- I’lkeys to homel get back to real estate. There is really not anyone that can’t have
a home of their own in this country. There are ways for everyone with the desire to make that move. In this country, we have 100% financing, down payment assistance, grant money, credit repair assistance, single parent subsidies, rural housing grants, disability programs, even Fannie Mae backed loans that allow buyers to pool incomes of other occupants to reach the debt- to- income ratios. One thing, though, you have to at least try to be responsible for your decisions that either set you up or block you from taking advantage of these programs.
Can you curl up in a ball and cry when things in life don’t work out the way you want them? Not if you want to live your best life. Can you protest the day away when there are employers out there begging for employees who will show up for work and pass the drug tests? Can you come to the table with nothing to offer, but everything to complain about? Can you fix things for those you consider less fortunate? Not really. Soon- and very soon, there will be fewer people taking responsibility for their own futures and more people expecting the future to waiting for them on a silver platter.
Our country needs to help people out so that they can achieve a little bit of the American Dream- and we do, in all the ways I listed above. But if we really want to help- let’s form Citizen-Realtor partnerships that will create plans to buy a home, or set people on a path that will allow them to do so in the future. There is nothing you can do about those who choose to live irresponsibly and never even try to make
their life better. And there is no President who can fix apathy, complacency and laziness. A person who would steal, kill or destroy the property of others will not wake up on the other side of the law because of the outcome of an election. But it is PROVEN that the pride of homeownership increases the sense of optimism, belonging and the satisfaction that you are investing in your future and your community.
Partnering with a REALTOR® is the same as having a coach who is on your side and helping you develop the skills and/or a plan. For starters, working steadily in a job with the patience and work ethic to achieve advancement and income increases- thereby allowing improvement in credit footing. Then targeting your first realistic goal in homeownership; establishing yourself as responsible and moving up as your income and lifestyle will allow it.
Yeah but…. No but- just try it. Find yourself a REALTOR®, meet with them, talk about what you want, listen when they advise you, and be willing to ask for specific steps to your brighter future. “Homeownership Matters” is a slogan developed years and years ago by NAR to focus on working to make the dream of homeownership attainable for all Americans!
Peggy R. Smith is the Association Executive for the Old KY Home Board of REALTORS®; Established May 11, 1965. The Old Kentucky Home Board of REALTORS® owns and operates the MLS for the Nelson, Washington, Marion, Larue and Hart Counties in Kentucky and is a member of Kentucky Association of REALTORS® and National Association of REALTORS®

Your Home and Retirement

With the volatility of the markets (money market, stock market, mutual funds, retirement accounts, 401ks and IRAs) Americans are asking themselves some hard questions these days about their preparedness for retirement. One of the main sources of equity in many households- especially older and lower income people- is their home.  Can older homeowners use home equity to help finance their retirement?  It all shakes down to 3 things…

1) the value of the home;

2) the amount of debt on the home and

3) other sources of retirement income.

Dealing with this question, the Urban Institute recently did a study trying to understand how home equity varies today compared to before the recession and the housing bubble.  Using the study’s findings- the average elderly homeowner grew from $117,000 to $166,000 between 200- 2006.  As of 2012- however, that equity has fallen to $129,000.  The good news for today’s senior citizen- that value is once again on the rise. So in the next few years, a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or cash out refinance or second mortgage might be a good idea.  Along those lines- with housing supply being so low and the demand being on the rise- maybe selling your home and banking the profit might be one of your options.

Once a senior homeowner has established the value of the home- look at all outstanding debt on the home and decide if there is enough equity to offset the costs of selling AND relocating or refinancing.  Talk to your lender about the possibility of a reverse mortgage.

reverse mortgage or home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) is a type of home loan for older homeowners (62 years or older) that requires no monthly mortgage payments. Borrowers are still responsible for property taxes and homeowner’s insurance.

With a reverse mortgage- instead of making payments- the home makes payments to you (through your lender) – and you can’t outlive your equity.  Details are available on the HUD website http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/sfh/hecm/hecmabou

As any competent financial planner will tell you, retirement planning should be diverse, and started at an early age.  The sooner the better!  And don’t rely solely on Social Security- as it was never meant to be the primary source of retirement income. But one of the most overlooked sources of investment that can be converted to retirement income- real estate remains one of the best deals out there for managers and accumulators of wealth. I’m not just referring to income producing real estate- such as rental property; but what I’m specifically referring to today is your primary residence.

Retirees- and those closing in on those retirement years- keep your eyes on maintaining your home and retaining equity. It’s about being mindful and fully aware of your options for unlocking the potential for you residence to provide for you in your retirement years.

Working age Americans- real estate remains one of the most stable forms of wealth building that there is.  Buying land and watching it grow, buying rental property and watching other people pay it off for you and owning your own home and providing shelter while building net worth are all good reasons to pay close attention to the real estate market and to establish a good working relationship with a working REALTOR®.

“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”
– Jim Rohnhomestead