Are you a senior planning to buy a house on mortgage and you are apprehensive about the process? If you are, you aren't alone because there are potential challenges that can complicate the process for you. Here are three examples of the challenges to expect:
Financial fraud against seniors is rampant because the perpetrators believe that seniors are vulnerable to their tricks. Whether or not you are vulnerable, you are a target for these fraudsters simply because you are a senior member of the society. Anybody, young or old, can be conned, but your risk of being conned is higher because there will be more people targeting you.
Be careful when people approach you with "attractive" offers for home improvements, refinance rates, and reverse mortgages. These fraudsters won't necessarily be strangers to you—caregivers, friends, or even handymen can try to con you. The best thing to do is to run such offers by your lawyer or real estate agent.
The Death of A Loved One
Although death is a touchy subject for many people, it is also a fact of life that cannot be ignored; people simply don't live forever. At the same time, most married people rely on their combined incomes to qualify for and pay their mortgages. This can create problems if your partner dies and your household experiences a significant reduction in income.
For example, you may be able to qualify for and buy a house if you are both receiving generous pensions. However, this may change if one of you passes away and the remaining spouse is only entitled to a fraction of the deceased's pension. In such a case, you may find it difficult to continue servicing your home loan.
Difficulty in Loan Qualification
Being a senior doesn't automatically disqualify you from getting a mortgage. However, being old comes with some challenges that may complicate your mortgage acquisition process. For example, many seniors have fixed incomes, which make lenders wary about their abilities to service their home loans. Also, most lenders don't use retirement nest eggs in calculating the debt-to-income ratio, which is an important process of qualifying you for a mortgage.
These challenges don't mean that you can't buy a house on a mortgage in your old age. However, you need to open your eyes to the difficulties discussed above (among others) so that you can prepare to combat them. Engage professional real estate agents throughout the process, and you aren't likely to go wrong.