March 16, 2022

Meet you halfway: Buying and selling homes after 50

If you have surpassed the half-century mark, you’ve probably accumulated a whole lot of belongings, a savings and retirement plan, and (hopefully) a lot of hard-earned real estate wisdom.

But buying and selling at this middle stage of life often comes with its own distinct set of challenges. The process and contracts change over time, and odds are the market is completely different from the last time. It’s always a good idea to talk to a financial expert first.

For starters, there’s selecting the right order of business. In today’s ultra-competitive market, it can be nerve wracking to sell your home without first finding an appropriate replacement.

Bay Equity Home Loans has the local, knowledgeable professionals who can help sharpen your vision for your financial future. Most people in this age bracket are not first-time homeowners. Most no longer worry about insufficient credit history - and the majority have enough equity in their current home to cover their next down payment.

Those with the financial wherewithal may choose to purchase a new home before listing the existing property. It provides more flexibility but means two mortgage payments until the old home sells.

Others keep the original home as a rental. This is often a workable solution when two homeowners marry, and separate residences are no longer needed. Often mortgage payments on the rented home are completely covered, and a profit may even be realized!

For those who want a little more flexibility, a “home of choice clause.” can help. Sellers can market, show, and even sign a sales contract on their current abode, but unless they make their own workable deal on a new home, they can legally back out of their sale.

Home size is another consideration. In the not-so-distant past, most 50-somethings looked to downsize. A smaller, less expensive home can free up cash for things like college tuition, retirement or health care costs.

But today, many live in multi-generational homes, either with older relatives or adult children. Fueled by economic and cultural factors, the impact is felt in all corners of the real estate market - and American life itself.

Maybe just staying in place is the right choice for you. If you’ve lived in your home for several years, you may be able to tap into some of that built-up equity. A cash-out refinance enables you to borrow more than you owe on the mortgage and keep the difference. You can use this extra cash to pay for remodels or other needs and projects.

If you are 62 or older, you likely qualify for a reverse mortgage. With this specialized home equity loan, older Americans can take funds as a lump sum, in monthly payments or as a line of credit. Unlike a forward mortgage—the type used to buy a home—a reverse mortgage doesn’t require the homeowner to make any loan payments. Borrowers may remain in the home as long as they wish, provided they pay tax and insurance. The entire loan balance becomes due and payable when the borrower dies, moves away permanently, or sells the home.

Ask your Bay Equity loan professional about all available reverse mortgage products.