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Figuring Out Reverse Mortgages

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If you are at least 62 years of age or quickly approaching that age, you may be looking forward to or just starting to enjoy your retirement. On the other hand, you may be struggling to figure out how to support yourself on a reduced retirement income. A reverse mortgage may help you, but you may not understand exactly how it works. Figuring out such reverse loans can be difficult due to all the unusual definitions and procedures associated with them. Here is what you need to know when wading through the unique reverse mortgage application process.

Reverse Mortgages Versus Home Equity Conversion Mortgages

One thing that may confuse you is the phrase “home equity conversion mortgage.” What makes it different from a reverse mortgage? The answer is not much. The big difference is an HECM, as it is more commonly called, is offered by a government organization, like the Federal Housing Authority (FHA). Such a loan is government ensured, while a loan offered by a public reverse mortgage lender is only government regulated.

Total Reverse Mortgage Home Equity Versus Available Home Equity

The next thing you need to understand is the difference between total reverse mortgage home equity and available home equity. The total home equity is what your home is currently worth. A reverse mortgage calculator is used to determine the available home equity you can borrow, which is only a certain portion of the total. The reason for the difference is government regulations designed to protect you and your reverse mortgage lender.

Reverse Mortgage Borrowing Terms to Pick From

There are many ways to borrow reverse mortgage money. They all begin with using the reverse mortgage calculator to see how much equity is accessible. Once you have that figure, you can set the terms by which you want to receive it. One common choice is long-term regular installment payments. Receiving those payments at scheduled times can help you pay predictable ongoing bills, such as utility costs.

Another reverse mortgage borrowing term you can select is one large payment. Often, such a choice is best when you have a sudden large expense to pay. For example, if a medical bill puts you in debt during retirement, a lump sum can relieve that financial pressure. Alternatively, you can choose a third borrowing option, which is a home equity line of credit. Similar to a credit card, it allows you to borrow money up to a certain amount only when retirement expenses pop up that your fixed income cannot cover.

What Makes a Reverse Mortgage Great for Retirees

A reverse mortgage is a retiree-only loan you cannot get until you reach the retirement age of 62. It is perfect when you retire because you do not have to pay any part of it back for an extended period. A standard home mortgage requires ongoing partial repayments starting almost from the moment you borrow the money. Without that stress, you can spend reverse mortgage funds as you see fit to make your retirement more comfortable, or even more fun.

Ways to Spend Reverse Mortgage Funds

You have to spend part of your reverse mortgage funds paying the fees associated with the loan, but those fees are typically taken off the top before your lender gives you the rest of the money. Similarly, the funds needed to pay any existing home loan you have are immediately designated for that purpose. After such fees are removed, the funds left over are yours to spend. You can use them for bills, essential purposes or non-essentials. You can even use such funds to pay for vacations or home repairs. There are no limitations on the purposes for which you may use the money.

Hey all! Big thanks to Katy Blevins for handing over the reins to me at the end of 2017 to fulfill my new years resolution to write...often! Based in Miami, you can find me blogging about family life as a mother of two young kids. But i'll also continue the Chaos and Kiddos theme of business, fashion, parenting, product reviews, and...well, I could go on and on.

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Six Anxiety-Busting Methods You Can Try From Home

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Anxiety can be a regular part of day-to-day life, preparing you for danger by calculating risks. However, if anxiety becomes more of a struggle every day, rather than in response to an incident, it could be time to combat this emotion. First and foremost, anxiety can be a symptom of a more serious mental health disorder, so always consult your doctor if you’re having issues. If you have experienced difficulties in care from your doctor, you may want to consider contacting a hospital malpractice lawyer.

Exercise

Exercise is one of the most natural ways of increasing endorphins in your brain, which reduce anxiety, while simultaneously lowering your stress hormones. Regular exercise can also improve your quality of sleep, with poor sleep being negatively associated with anxiety. By partaking in the exercise you enjoy, such as yoga or running, you may feel more confident in your body, too, further promoting positive wellbeing.

Essential oils

Burning some calming scents, either through essential oils or scented candles, can reduce your feelings of stress and anxiety. Some of the most calming scents are lavender, Ylang Ylang and orange blossom. By regularly using aromatherapy, you can reduce anxiety.

Reduce caffeine

Caffeine has been shown to cause anxiety symptoms in people who consume large quantities of it. The amount varies from person to person, but if you find drinking coffee leaves you feeling jittery, consider cutting back on caffeine-rich foods such as chocolate, coffee, and energy drinks, green tea, and replacing these with decaffeinated versions.

Journals

Journals not only give you the chance to write down and release your emotions from a day but also provide a wellness map of how your mood has been over time. You could find that your mood decreases at similar times of a month or due to the seasons, which can help your understanding of anxiety and how to deal with it.

Spend time with friends and family

By having frequent and secure social connections, visiting friends and family may help you get through anxious periods in your life. Studies have shown those with less social ties were more likely to suffer from anxiety. Being a part of a friend network can give you a sense of belonging and improve your self-worth, raising oxytocin in the brain, a natural stress reliever.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is best described as an anchoring you to the present moment by reconnecting your body with the sensations they experience, to reduce anxiety symptoms that come with negative thoughts. This practice can come in a variety of activities, through yoga, breathing exercises, cognitive behavioral therapy, or meditation. Regular use of mindfulness will lead to you becoming more aware of the present, helping you to enjoy the world around you, and understanding yourself better. You can find lots of mindfulness tutorials on YouTube.

By being aware of your anxiety and the symptoms it displays in your body and mind, you will be able to respond quicker by using these techniques to reduce tension. These small steps can help day-to-day in combating anxiety.

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Make a House a Home. Adapting your Home for a Child with Disabilities

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As a parent, you want what’s best for your children. And if your child has a disability then your drive to give them the highest quality of life possible is paramount. This means that changing your home and adapting it to meet the needs of your little one makes absolute sense.

The disability or condition that your child has will determine what kind of adjustments you may need to make to your home, to make it accessible and beneficial towards their development, progress and most importantly, their happiness. Your home should not only be a safe space but also somewhere they can do what they want, feel free and not feel restricted by their limitations or fear of getting injured. It can bring a lot of comfort for parents too!

The disability or condition that your child has will determine what kind of adjustments you may need to make to your home, to make it accessible and beneficial towards their development, progress and most importantly, their happiness. Your home should not only be a safe space but also somewhere they can do what they want, feel free and not feel restricted by their limitations or fear of getting injured. It can bring a lot of comfort for parents too!

Whether your child suffered an injury at birth – discover this cerebral palsy lawyer, Greensboro if you’re looking for a personal injury lawyer – or their life has been changed due to an accident or an illness, there are plenty of ways you can adapt your home for a child with a disability. Read on to find out more.

Make sure your home is wheel friendly!

If your little one requires a wheelchair to get around, then creating access for their chair, such as a disability lift and other mobility devices is essential. A regular home can quickly become a prison if it’s surrounded by steps that may prevent access from the property or even from other parts of the house. The following adaptations are a good place to start:

  • Install ramps where possible 
  • Replace the carpets in your home with hard floors to help with traction 
  • Consider having light switches and even door handles lowered for easy access
  • Consider widening doorways so the wheelchair can easily move through

Reimagine your bathroom

The bathroom can prove challenging for a child with disabilities. Thankfully there are plenty of solutions.

  • Have your sinks lowered and install push/pull taps rather than ones that twist or require great strength to operate
  • A walk-in shower
  • A seat for the child to sit on whilst in the shower
  • A lift to raise the child in/out of the bath
  • Install support rails 
  • Better lighting

Other little touches

Sometimes the smallest of modifications can make a huge difference to your child’s life. 

  • Automated lights
  • Handrails in various areas of the house
  • Automatic doors 
  • Lowering an area of the kitchen so they can use it

Keep your child’s needs in mind. Ask them what they might need to make life easier. And if possible, involve them in the process so they can have their own input. 

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How to Prepare Your Home for a Sale

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Buying and selling a home can be incredibly stressful, but with a little preparation, it is possible to reduce your stress levels and make the process a much smoother experience. There are a few ways to make the sale of your home faster and more profitable, with some preparation and awareness of the key issues that will affect both the viability of the sale and the price that you can expect to get for your property. If you’re in the process of starting the sales process, or your home has been on the market for a while, and you want to increase the likelihood of making that important deal, then here are the best ways to prepare your home and allow you to move forward into your new life.

Look at your front door

It seems like such a small thing, but your front door is a lot more important than you think. The majority of house-buying decisions are made before the potential buyer has even seen inside the property, which is why curb appeal is so important. If your frontage is unappealing, then that negativity will extend throughout the tour, so start things off right with a fresh splash of paint on your front door, or ever a full-on replacement if necessary. Never underestimate the need to make the best first impression.

Remove most of the evidence

When people are looking at a property with the intention of buying, they are trying to picture themselves living there. That’s why it’s important that you remove the majority of evidence that you live there. Of course, you’ve tidied up and done the washing-up, but you’re going to need to look at removing more in the way of evidence than that. Family photos are an unpleasant reminder then this is someone else’s living space, and they are a reminder to the potential buyers that they don’t yet live there. Remove excessive pictures, and create more of a blank canvas that the buyers will fill with their own personalities and hopes for the future.

For the garden

Like curb appeal, don’t underestimate the importance of well-tended garden. Whether you have price-boosting features in your garden or not, an untended and too wild garden is a distraction, and you’re going to want to show it off as best you can. If time is a concern, then make use of a professional lawn care service that can take over the hard work for you and make the most of your outdoor space. A garden has huge potential and is one of the key wish-list areas for new homeowners, so make the most of what you have and don’t neglect the acre that your garden deserves.

Minor repairs

They’re easy to dismiss when you see them every day, and eventually, those imperfections in your home can even become part of the charm. Home-buyers will not see them the same way. So if you’re hoping to speed up the sale of your home, then you’re going to need to make repairs to those minor issues and give your home a makeover. Repair or replace the cracked tiles on the walls of the bathroom, do touch-ups on the paint that has started to crack or the wallpaper that has begun to peel, and you may soon be presenting a different home than you would have been. Fix those leaking taps and replace the missing tiles on the roof, and you’ll find that even the smallest of fixes can make the difference between a sale and not.

Get rid of the pets

As much as we love our family pets, they are not something that you need to highlight when it comes to house viewings. You’re going to want to remove all evidence of them before you open your doors, so when you’re showing people around, make sure that your furry family members are not in attendance. Let friends and family look after them for the time that you need, and do a thorough clean. Remove cat hair and the smell of litter trays, repair the scratched floor in the kitchen from the dog’s claws, and give your home a good airing.

Even though the housing market fluctuates, following this basic advice will make it much more likely that you will make a sale and be able to begin your moving preparations. Never forget the importance of first impressions and always use the tools at our disposal to make the most out of your home. That way you could be packing and handing over the keys to the new owners much sooner than you expected.

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