Qualifying for Mortgage Late in Life
Boston Globe (10/29/00) Vol. 104, No. 47 p.H1; Martin, Ellen James

Many seniors believe that age or retirement present obstacles for obtaining home loans. While they may have been true once, lenders' mentalities are changing. Smaller lenders may still be wary of granting loans to those recently retired or lacking steady income; but overall, they are seeking to grow the volume of loans they make to baby boomers. There are several considerations for seniors to keep in mind if they are making a late-life move. Lenders consider all forms of income in mortgage approval--including Social Security, pension benefits, and annuity payments. "All income is basically equal," explains Art Junior, a mortgage broker who places loans with more than 50 U.S. lenders. Seniors only need to prove that post-retirement income will continue two to three more years. They should also make sure that untaxed income is figured into their total stream of income. For those whose income stream is limited, a large down payment may be a good idea. Lenders will be less apprehensive if a homebuyer starts with a 20-percent down payment. Finally, seniors should be certain that they want to take on late-life mortgage. Most retirees are comfortable knowing they have no debt and want a home that is paid off.

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