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Getting a Reverse Mortgage in Pennsylvania: What You Need to Know

Pennsylvania Reverse Mortgage

Navigating the world of retirement can often feel like trying to solve a complex puzzle.

Among the many options available to homeowners, reverse mortgages stand out as a unique solution tailored for those aged 62 and older, offering a means to tap into their home equity without the need to sell their home or take on monthly mortgage payments.

A reverse mortgage loan is rooted in the idea of leveraging what you’ve painstakingly built over the years: the equity in your home.

But how exactly does a reverse mortgage work in Pennsylvania, and what makes it an attractive option for many senior homeowners?

These are the questions we will explore in this guide.

Get Your Free Reverse Mortgage Guide Here!

A reverse mortgage is a financial solution designed for homeowners who are 62 years of age or older. This innovative arrangement reverses the traditional mortgage dynamic, enabling homeowners to access the equity in their homes without the need for monthly repayments.

The predominant form of reverse mortgage is the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), which operates under the guidance of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

When a reverse mortgage is obtained, it will first settle any outstanding balances on an existing traditional mortgage, with the remaining equity being made available to the homeowner.

What makes reverse mortgages particularly attractive is their versatility. Homeowners can choose from various disbursement options, such as a one-time lump sum, regular monthly installments, a flexible line of credit, or a blend of these methods, tailored to their personal financial needs.

Repayment of a reverse mortgage is deferred until specific triggering events occur, such as the homeowners relocating, opting to sell the property, or upon the demise of the last surviving borrower.

A reverse mortgage offers a strategic financial planning tool for those looking to leverage their home equity while maintaining their lifestyle.

reverse mortgage application

Eligibility for a reverse mortgage in Pennsylvania hinges on meeting several specific criteria that ensure homeowners are well-suited for this type of financial arrangement.  

Below is a detailed breakdown of the essential qualifications: 

  • Age. One of the key eligibility requirements is that at least one homeowner must be 62 years of age or older. 
  • Residency. The home in question must serve as the primary residence for the homeowners. Properties used as second homes, investment properties, or vacation homes do not qualify for a reverse mortgage. 
  • Equity. A significant factor in determining the viability of a reverse mortgage is the amount of equity that has been built up in the home. This equity plays a crucial role in calculating the maximum loan amount that can be obtained. 
  • Condition. The home must be well-maintained and in good condition. Lenders might stipulate necessary repairs or improvements to meet their lending standards if the property falls short. 
  • Property types. A range of property types are eligible for reverse mortgages, including single-family homes, two-to-four-unit properties (provided the homeowner lives in one unit), FHA-approved condominiums, and manufactured homes that comply with specific FHA guidelines. 
  • Counseling. A prerequisite for applying for a reverse mortgage is participating in a counseling session with a HUD-approved counselor. This session is designed to ensure homeowners fully comprehend the reverse mortgage’s terms, advantages, and potential drawbacks, facilitating informed decision-making. 
Someone giving you a house

Reverse mortgages can bring numerous benefits, especially for those seeking to enhance their retirement income, manage unexpected expenses, or achieve specific financial goals. Here are some of the key benefits of opting for a reverse mortgage.

Financial Flexibility and Security

One of the most significant advantages of a reverse mortgage is the financial flexibility it provides. Homeowners can choose how they receive the funds, whether as a lump sum, monthly payments, a line of credit, or a combination of these options.

In addition, there are no limitations on how the reverse mortgage funds can or can’t be used.

This flexibility allows individuals to tailor their financial plans to meet their immediate needs and future goals.

Supplement Retirement Income

For many retirees, a reverse mortgage serves as a strategic tool to supplement retirement income. This additional income can be used to cover daily living expenses, healthcare costs, home repairs, or even leisure activities, ensuring a more fulfilling retirement lifestyle.

No Monthly Mortgage Payments

One of the most appealing aspects of a reverse mortgage is the elimination of monthly mortgage payments. While homeowners are still responsible for property taxes, insurance, and maintenance, they are not required to pay back the loan until the home is sold or the borrower no longer uses it as their primary residence.

Staying in Your Home

Reverse mortgages make it easier for homeowners to age in place. Homeowners can continue living in their homes and retain ownership. This is particularly valuable for those who wish to remain close to their community, friends, and family and enjoy the familiar surroundings they have come to know and love.

Protection Against Housing Market Fluctuations

Most reverse mortgages are non-recourse loans, meaning if the sale of the home does not cover the balance of the reverse mortgage upon the borrower’s passing or decision to sell, neither the borrower nor their heirs are held responsible for the difference, provided the home is sold at market value. This offers protection against housing market fluctuations.

There are three types of reverse mortgages that Mutual of Omaha Mortgage offers homeowners in Pennsylvania:

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM)

The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), more commonly known as a HECM reverse mortgage, is the predominant option provided by most lenders. Insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and governed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), HECM reverse mortgages cater exclusively to individuals who are 62 years of age or older. This guide focuses specifically on this category of reverse mortgages. Borrowers have the flexibility to use the funds from these mortgages as they see fit, without any mandated restrictions. The FHA sets a maximum lending limit, which for the year 2024, stands at $1,149,825.

Jumbo Reverse Mortgage

Jumbo reverse mortgages are proprietary reverse mortgages that offer homeowners the opportunity to borrow amounts exceeding the FHA’s lending cap. Each lender customizes these private reverse mortgages under their own brand, distinct from FHA-backed options. While jumbo reverse mortgages generally carry higher interest rates, they eliminate the need for mortgage insurance premiums.

HECM for Purchase

The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage for Purchase (HECM for Purchase) serves as an innovative financial instrument, enabling homeowners to partially finance their new residence using a reverse mortgage. This strategy involves making a significant down payment, often from the proceeds of selling a previous property, allowing senior homeowners to either upgrade or downsize their living arrangements during retirement without the burden of monthly mortgage payments.

Reverse Mortgage Refinancing

Reverse mortgage refinancing is also available for those who already have a reverse mortgage. If interest rates have dropped since you got your reverse mortgage, or if you want to switch from an adjustable rate to a fixed rate, refinancing could be beneficial. With home values rising and the FHA’s lending limit now over a million dollars, you might access more equity by refinancing your current reverse mortgage.

Illustration of a stack of papers

Here is what you can expect when pursuing a reverse mortgage with Mutual of Omaha Mortgage: 

Step 1: Consultation with a Reverse Mortgage Loan Advisor

The journey begins with a consultation with a dedicated reverse mortgage loan advisor from Mutual of Omaha Mortgage. During this initial meeting, the loan officer will assess your financial situation and provide you with an estimate of the potential benefits you might expect from a reverse mortgage. This is also the perfect opportunity to voice any questions or concerns you may have.

Step 2: Mandatory Counseling Session

The next step is attending a counseling session with a HUD-approved counselor. This meeting is designed to educate potential borrowers about reverse mortgages, explore their features, suitability, and alternative financial solutions. 

Step 3: File Your Application

Next, your reverse mortgage advisor will guide you through the application process. This phase involves the submission of essential documents such as a photo ID, your homeowner’s insurance policy, your property tax bill, and more. Your reverse mortgage loan advisor will help you gather and organize any documentation you need to submit.

Step 4: Home Appraisal and Financial Assessments 

With your application underway, Mutual of Omaha Mortgage will arrange for a professional appraisal of your home to ascertain its market value and condition. A title search and credit report may also be ordered now.   

Step 5: Processing and Underwriting

During this period, an underwriter reviews your application and documentation to verify compliance with all reverse mortgage requirements. In some cases, the underwriter may request further documentation or specific home repairs to proceed. Your reverse mortgage loan advisor will keep you informed of any such requirements. 

Step 6: Closing Your Reverse Mortgage

Once the application is approved, a closing date is arranged to finalize your reverse mortgage. You will have the option of signing your closing documents in the comfort of your home, facilitated by a mobile notary service, or you may choose to do so in person at a title company. 

Step 7: Disbursement of Funds

There is a mandatory three-business-day waiting period before the funds are released. You will then receive your funds in accordance with the distribution method(s) you selected during the application process.  

Illustration with a clipboard and three checkmarks

How much money do you actually get from a reverse mortgage?

The actual amount you can get from a reverse mortgage is influenced by several factors, including the age of the youngest borrower, current interest rates, the appraised value of your home, and any existing mortgage balances that need to be cleared. Generally, older borrowers can access more equity, and lower interest rates allow for larger loan amounts. The FHA caps the maximum home value considered for a reverse mortgage at $1,149,825.

Use our reverse mortgage calculator to get an estimate of what you might be able to receive.

Who owns the house with a reverse mortgage?

The homeowner retains ownership of the house with a reverse mortgage. The reverse mortgage is a loan against the home’s equity, and like any home loan, it comes with conditions, such as maintaining the property and staying current on property taxes and homeowners’ insurance. The homeowner continues to hold the title to the property and can live in the home without making monthly mortgage payments.

How long can you stay in your home with a reverse mortgage?

With a reverse mortgage, you can stay in your home for as long as you wish, provided you comply with the loan terms, such as living in the home as your primary residence, maintaining the property, and staying up to date on property taxes and insurance.

Can I still leave my home with a reverse mortgage to my heirs?

There’s a common concern about whether heirs will still receive an inheritance after a reverse mortgage is taken out on the property. Generally, after the reverse mortgage balance is paid off, any remaining equity will go to the heirs.

Do you have to pay back a reverse mortgage?

Yes, a reverse mortgage does have to be paid back. A reverse mortgage is not paid back in the form of monthly mortgage payments like a traditional mortgage, but it still needs to be paid back. This happens when the borrowers sell the home, no longer live in the home as their primary residence, or when the last remaining borrower passes away.


Mutual of Omaha Mortgage is a licensed Reverse Mortgage lender in the state of Pennsylvania. You can get started by calling 800-578-0283 or filling out this form here.

You can also find a Pennsylvania Reverse Mortgage loan officer in your area through our loan officer directory or by clicking on one of the links below to find a loan officer near you:

Reverse mortgage borrower must occupy home as primary residence and remain current on property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, the costs of home maintenance, and any HOA fees.  

This information is intended to be general and educational in nature and should not be construed as financial advice. Consult your financial advisor before implementing financial strategies for your retirement. 

Get Your Free Reverse Mortgage Guide Here!