This is one of the top questions I get from people.

The answer is the day you qualify!

I am 100% serious.

Why is that?

Because the program, the real estate market and interest rates are changing and not always in favor of the borrower. Here are some examples:

  • since 2015, HUD, congress and the FHA have made changes to the program, in some cases making it harder for someone to qualify
  • in the last year, real estate prices have flattened out and even declined in some cases
  • interest rates more than doubled the first half of 2022, making it harder for borrowers to qualify as they now needed 10-15% more equity than prior to the first quarter of 2022

So, what does it take to qualify for a reverse mortgage?


A reverse mortgage is based on the age of the youngest borrower. At least one borrower    needs to be 62 years or greater.  If a co borrower is younger than 62, we still may be able to help them, as just one needs to be 62 years old.

Primary Residence

Reverse mortgages can only be taken out on primary residences. Second homes or investment properties are not eligible for a reverse mortgage.

Property Type

What property types qualify for a reverse mortgage?

  • Single family homes
  • Townhomes
  • Patio homes
  • 2-4 unit properties, as long as the borrower occupies one unit as their primary residence
  • FHA approved condos (if not approved, we may be able to obtain spot approval)


Today, a borrower needs to have 60 or 65% equity, which is 35-40% loan to value to be able to qualify for a reverse mortgage.


Reverse mortgages aren’t underwritten according to credit score, unlike a traditional mortgage. Rather these are based on credit history. We look 2 years back to ensure everything has been paid on time, including the homeowners insurance, property taxes, flood insurance and home owners association dues, if applicable. If these accounts have not been paid on time, there is a Lifetime Escrow Set Aside (LESA) can be put in place if there is enough equity to make the numbers work.


Since 2015, senior borrowers have had to prove they have enough income to cover the property charges, maintenance and any debt they have to qualify. Most people qualify with their Social Security, pension or investments.

Property Condition

Each reverse mortgage requires an appraisal to be completed to determine the value of the property. As 95% of these are FHA mortgages, the appraiser looks for any safety concerns such as exposed wires, broken glass, peeling paint, exposed wood, etc. The other thing the appraiser looks for is functionality, is everything working (i.e. appliances, plumbing, electrical, etc). If there are items to be repaired, these can be done before closing, or estimates can be obtained, and then 1.5 the cost can be set aside in an escrow account (i.e. $10,000 in costs, $15,000 put in an escrow account and paid out as repairs are completed).

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.