Reverse Mortgage Costs in Southern California

Mortgage and Lending with Orange County, Corona, Riverside, Los Angeles NMLS#203003
Like any loan you obtain on your home a reverse mortgage will have costs.  You can break the costs down into two general categories.  First are one-time upfront fees and second are ongoing costs. Also, it’s very important to recognize that fees are different from state to state and even county by county.One time, upfront fees are almost always financed into the loan and are not an “out of pocket expenses”. In the reverse mortgage world though there are two exceptions.

CheckFirst, is  “HECM Counseling”. All borrowers must complete HECM Counseling prior to applying for a reverse mortgage and there is a fee for this.  You can expect to pay between $90 and $125 for the counseling.  Many agencies will allow you to have the fee paid from the loan proceeds, and they all will waive the fee in the event of a true financial hardship.   

The second upfront fee is usually an “Appraisal Deposit”.  The company I work for asks for an upfront $325 at time of application.  So, the counseling and the appraisal deposit would be two “out of pocket” expenses.

Other closing costs are:
Initial Premium for FHA Mortgage Insurance.  Depending upon which reverse mortgage loan you choose, SAVER or STANDARD the fee will be .01% of the lesser of home value or lending limit for the SAVER or 2% of the lesser of the home value or lending limit.  That’s a huge difference.  If you can get by with the SAVER, I recommend it!

Lender Origination Charge - lenders maximum origination fee is regulated at 2% of the home value up to $200,000 and then 1% of additional value beyond that, capped at a maximum origination fee of $6,000.00  Remember the maximum fee is regulated, but lenders can (and do) charge less!

Some states have additional fees, like Mortgage Taxes - but in Southern California you can bet on the following:
  • Escrow (Settlement) Fees
  • Title Insurance
  • County Recording Fees
  • Appraisal Fee (less any credit for prepaid deposit)
  • Attorney Trust Review
  • Notary Fees.
  • 3rd Party Document Preparation
(these are the most common & what I always quote~but there could be others)

CashOn a presentation August 19, 2011,  I quoted to a client with a home valued at $250,000, fees equal to $3,624.56 for the HECM Saver and $9.599.56 for the HECM Standard.

According to my favorite notary, there are many, many lenders still charging the maximum allowable fees including monthly service fees on reverse mortgages, so be smart & shop around.

Ongoing costs relating to a reverse mortgage (and many other mortgages) are the interest,  servicing fees, and mortgage insurance.

Interest on a reverse mortgage may be fixed or adjustable and again, may vary slightly from lender to lender.

Monthly service fees are an allowable charge of up to $35 per month on HECM loans although in today’s market, most (but not all) lenders are waiving this again, compare! Having this charge on your reverse mortgage also lowers the amount of funds you can access.  (One of the reasons that I personally think now is a great time to get your reverse if it is something you are planning to do).

Finally there is the ongoing FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium on any HECM loan.  This ongoing cost runs at 1.25% annual rate, calculated & charged monthly based upon the current loan amount. Think:  loan balance multiplied by .0125 divided by 12.

Puppy and cash
This post got a little longer than I anticipated and if you made it this far, thank you.  Please let me know if it was helpful to you.
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By Deborah Nance

Your Local Southern California Reverse Mortgage Professional

How Much Do You Qualify For?

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Ronald DiLalla
Century 21 Discovery DRE 01813824 - Anaheim, CA
No. Orange Cty Real Estate

Hi Deborah, thanks for a complete and concise blog on the costs of a Reverse Mortgage.

Aug 26, 2011 11:59 PM #1
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Selling Daytona paradise for heavenly good prices


Not the right age yet, but it  is a tempting concept, and I might be very interested  in buying using it as financing

Aug 27, 2011 12:00 AM #2
Deborah Nance
Orange County, Corona, Riverside, Los Angeles - Corona, CA
Southern California , Reverse Mortgage Specialist

Thanks for the comments guys.  I used to cover the Florida territory Jon, a few years back.  Florida had an I "intangible tax" that used to drive me crazy. 


Aug 27, 2011 12:15 AM #3
Dan Edward Phillips
Dan Edward Phillips, Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, CA - Eureka, CA
Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, CA

Good Morning Deborah, it was helpful. Very helpful!  Thank you for sharing your insight into a very important subject.

Aug 27, 2011 06:09 AM #4
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Southern California , Reverse Mortgage Specialist
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