Loan officer: John Holmgren
Property: Single-family home in Oakland
Property value: $950,000
Loan amount: $393,514
Financing terms: FHA HECM adjustable rate reverse mortgage at 3.276 percent.
Backstory: Holmgren’s clients had been in their Rockridge home for almost 40 years. While they had purchased the home for only $35,000 in 1977, they had borrowed against their equity for home repairs and to fund their business as foreign language book dealers.
One option was selling, but their existing home was perfect for them because of close proximity to BART, shopping, and other services. They also had the comfort of being in a home they had remodeled over the years to work for them.
Finding out about Holmgren from the Federal Housing Administration website and wanting to deal with a local lender, they contacted him about a reverse mortgage.
Holmgren met with them at their home to explain the ways that a reverse mortgage could eliminate their mortgage payment, provide an initial lump sum for home repairs and provide monthly income. He also inspected the home and recommended repairs that he knew would be required by the FHA-authorized home appraiser.
The clients completed the FHA-required credit counseling and arranged for the recommended repairs to be done. The FHA appraisal resulted in approval with no further repairs being required.
Reverse mortgages are not the appropriate financial vehicle for all homeowners, but situations like this one illustrate that they are often a godsend for homeowners.