Sunday, March 9, 2014

Not a scam; requires good consideration, though.

It seems like it's been a very long time since our little neighborhood hit 47 degrees, but that was the high Saturday, both officially and on the gauge on our deck.  One could stand there and actually watch the snow melt.  The sun added to the glory of the day.  It's not going to be a long term trend, though, at least not yet.  We're in for some colder weather developing over the next few days with the chance of some snow showers off and on.  We're told one real snowstorm is a possibility.

But that doesn't change the beauty of Saturday.  Golly, even this inside bound old guy got a chance to get some fresh air into this lungs.  Momma Gator even had some windows open to get the air inside changed.  What a day!

The Gator basketball team should be congratulated today.  They beat Kentucky Saturday in the season finale.  Beating Kentucky itself is a milestone for Florida but that win also gave the Gators an undefeated SEC Season.  No SEC team in history has won all 18 season's games.  The #1 ranked team in the country should now get a top seed going into the NCAA championships in the run for the Final Four.  Of course, the SEC tourney will come first.  The Gators did not produce a complete undefeated season.  Only in the SEC portion of their schedule did they not lose.  The overall record held two losses outside of their conference.

I was watching TV last night when, for at least the many hundredth time, I saw at one of the actors inviting us seniors to take advantage of a Reverse Mortgage.  I'd be very surprised if anyone out there hadn't heard of the reverse mortgage, but simply stated, it is a mortgage on a home that is now either mortgage free or has built up a decent size equity and is used to get some cash into the hands of its owner.

I wish someone would tell me why a reverse mortgage isn't high on the list of scams.  Those ads sure do make it sound nice.  After all, they tout, take out a reverse mortgage, take a great trip, buy a new car, pay off all the bills, or spend the cash just any other way you want.  You will, they tell us, and this is what I consider to be the less than complete honesty part, continue to own your home and live in it until you pass into wherever you'll pass. 

The money is, you understand, a loan and the bank or lending institute will only take control of the home when the last person on the new mortgage passes.  In an attempt to be very fair to the lending institutions, they make that clear in their ads which is how I learned it.  That sounds nice and enticing.  But when that last person does die, the whole dollar amount of the mortgage along with all the interest...Oh, do they ever mention interest in those ads? due.

Most of us who own our homes have already built up a little equity to leave behind for our kids and the house is part of it.  Some of us may even secretly, or openly for that matter, hope one of our kids might even like the place enough to live in it.  My two kids are in their forties.  My daughter already owns her mortgage free home.  My son lives on the West Coast but he doesn't own a house.

They could let the lender sell the house and hope some is left for them, but I'd be lying in that grave twisting all over the place watching them get ripped off.  They could sell the house themselves, pay off the mortgage and split anything left over, if that's the way my will is written.  I don't know how long the lender would give them before taking it over.  In any case, they wouldn't get what we would have wanted them to have.

Perhaps we wanted some money to take the trip of a lifetime or some other expensive project.  In a couple or three years, conditions may change and we might need to move to an assisted living facility, or to move to Florida to get away from this cold winter weather, or some other change in living conditions.  That mortgage would sort of get between us and success.  After all, it would have to be satisfied before anything else.

The reverse mortgage advertisements make it all sound so nice and easy.  I don't think they tell lies; I do think they simply don't tell the whole story.  If a reverse mortgage is in your thoughts, I hope you'll consider the whole picture carefully and not just what that apparently easy money can give you.  In this modern age of instant gratification, I'm afraid too many people have the potential of finding that gratification altogether too short.

And finally today, have you ever noticed that the only time news reported on the TV is important is when there's no sporting events?


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