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Waynesboro Reverse Mortgage Company says pandemic plays little role in decision to get a reverse mortgage or not

John O’Connor, the owner of Monticello Reverse Mortgage, working in his office.
John O’Connor, the owner of Monticello Reverse Mortgage, working in his office.(NBC29)
Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 11:50 AM EDT
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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WVIR) — The coronavirus pandemic is upending all aspects of life, but a reverse mortgage lender in Waynesboro says the virus plays a small role in the decision to get a reverse mortgage or not.

Monticello Reverse Mortgage owner John O’Connor says the decision to get a reverse mortgage is no different than before the pandemic, but there is one thing people to think about now that they didn’t before: “Whether or not they feel it’s a good time for them to take advantage of the equity they have in their house at this point in their lives. Maybe they want to retire, or they’ve already retired and their monthly income has gone down,” he said.

On normal days, O’Connor says he is meeting people in their homes to discuss their reverse mortgage options. However, the pandemic has changed that a bit.

“Sometimes, it is still in the homes, but opposite sides of the room with masks on. So we’re aware of the coronavirus and everything we need to do for the virus,” he said.

If you are not comfortable with having someone in your home, you have another option: “We are allowed temporarily, right now, to do drive by appraisals. So the appraiser will not enter the home, if that’s what the homeowner would prefer at this time,” O’Connor said.

Other than that, the 15-year reverse mortgage lender says it’s mostly business as usual.

“We’re still pretty busy, and we see the FHA still is very supportive of the industry, and the lender is very supportive of wanting to service the loans,” O’Connor said.

In order to qualify for one of those loans, you will need to meet some requirements: “If somebody is 62 years or older and has equity in their home, they can look into applying for a reverse mortgage,” he said.

Copyright 2020 WVIR. All rights reserved.

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