Tips for Aging in Place Comfortably in a Home You Love
Nov 04, 2019
At Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc., we believe you should be able to age in place comfortably in the home you love. The following tips can help you make sure your home is safe and comfortable for older residents. Some of these changes can be made for little or no cost, while other upgrades may require more funds. A Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) could help you pay for the more expensive upgrades.
Check your entrances
Make sure there are secure handrails on stairs
Keep pathways clear and well lit
Install a ramp if needed
Install grab bars in the shower and tub
Add no-slip coating to the tub
Replace a standard shower head with an adjustable shower head
Consider getting a shower seat if needed
Install slip-resistant flooring
Get rid of throw rugs that can easily cause trips and falls
Install extra lighting
Install nightlights in hallways and bedrooms
Add motion sensor lights outside
Make sure switches are easy to reach
Consider adding smart lights that can be scheduled
Swap knobs for easier-to-use levers
Adjust the kitchen setup
Move the microwave so it is counter height
Install D-shaped pull handles to make them easier to grab
Buy a refrigerator/freezer with a side-by-side layout for easier access
Install pull-out shelves and lazy Susans to make it easier to get things out of cabinets
Bedrooms and living areas
Leave extra space for maneuvering around furniture
Move bedroom to ground floor if possible
While the tips above can make a huge difference, many of these changes require funds. We chatted with George Morales, HECM Business Development Manager for Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc. (PRMI), about the ways a HECM can help people looking to age in place and limit financial stress.
A HECM (often called a reverse mortgage) lets you retain ownership of your home while eliminating your monthly mortgage payment. In many cases you can use a HECM loan to convert some equity into a cash payout.
How can a HECM help someone who wants to age in place comfortably?
“According to the 2019 Cost of Care Survey conducted by Genworth Financial, basic in-home care costs are rising and it’s now more expensive to age in place than ever before. This means it costs more to hire a home health aide or get assistance with everyday tasks like cooking, cleaning and running errands. Borrowing from home equity using a HECM loan can be a great solution to help older homeowners finance these types of aging in place costs.”
Can a HECM help pay for home renovations to make a home safer?
“Making a house into a senior-friendly home by installing things like wheelchair ramps, grab bars, non-slip flooring and accessible bathrooms isn’t cheap. These types of home modifications can be financially out of reach for many older homeowners. HECM loans allow seniors to borrow from their home’s equity without the requirement of making mortgage payments. This not only addresses the needs of making the home safe but also eliminates the stress associated with making mortgage payments.”
Can a HECM help me if my current home isn’t suitable for my needs and lifestyle?
“Many older homeowners have been in their homes for 30, 40 or 50 years and often find themselves in a house that is too big or too expensive to maintain. There’s often the need to “right-size” the home, which means moving to a similar-size home with a single-level floor plan, finding a home where family members are nearby or simply buying a smaller home that makes more sense. A Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) for Purchase is a reverse mortgage that allows seniors age 62 or older to purchase a new principal residence using loan proceeds from the reverse mortgage. This option helps older homeowners incur only a single set of closing costs because it consolidates two financial transactions—purchasing a home and financing it with a reverse mortgage loan—into one all while accomplishing the goal of right-sizing the house.”
HECMs can help people in many different situations, whether they’re looking for more financial flexibility, funds for home upgrades or a way to limit monthly expenses.
If you think a HECM could help you or a loved one age in place comfortably, please reach out to your local PRMI Loan Officer for more information.
If you're ready to take the next step, work with a team that can provide the personal attention you deserve. Our mortgage company has helped over 200,000 borrowers fulfill their dream of home ownership. We'd love to help you too!