• Question
  • Mortgage with 2 home equity loans

    Asked by a 98 year old woman from Sour Lake, TX on 6/7/2012

    How can I continue to live in my home of almost 50 years and barely be able to pay the mortgage from two home equity loans? My home, at this moment, needs some finishing on the inside. There were things that were changed by grandchildren that I let live there while I was at a retirement home.All I need is to get enough money to put the finishing touches on the inside of the house and the value would be well into the $170,000.

  • Categories: Housing, Tapping home equity


  • Editorial 


    San Francisco, CA

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  • Home maintenance is a big consideration for choosing where to live for retirement. Maintenance can be expensive and many things that you could take of when you were younger are much harder to accomplish as you age. Furthermore, you probably use your house differently now than when you were raising a family -- some things are used more and others less.

    Downsizing might be a great option for you to consider. However, it sounds like your home needs some finishing in order to maximize it's value.

    Have you considered asking your children and grandchildren to contribute to fixing the house -- either through working on it themselves or contributing money to have it fixed? It is not uncommon for different generations to help each other out in this way. In my family, all of my Grandmother's children and their children get together for one weekend each year to work on my grandmother's house -- part party part work weekend. Everyone has fun and Grandma's house is taken care of.

    Getting the work done by family might help your house appraise at a high enough value so that you could qualify for a Reverse Mortgage which would enable you to eliminate all mortgage payments for as long as you live in the home. It sounds like a Reverse Mortgage could alleviate some of your financial stress.

    You can see if you qualify here: https://www.newretirement.com/reverse-mortgage-marketplace.aspx

    Or, if you cannot qualify for a Reverse Mortgage, perhaps you could find a renter for your home. House sharing is becoming a popular option for older people trying to make ends meet. In fact, perhaps you could find someone who would like to stay in the house in exchange for doing the work.

    If that is not an option for you, perhaps you should talk to a realtor. Ask a few agents to come by to give you an assessment of the value of your home with or without the repairs you think need to happen. Sometimes agents will fund repairs themselves in order to help the house sell.

    You can find more information about housing, home equity and retirement here:

  • Login to rate this answer:   Answered on 6/7/2012
**All above answers are provided as general information only. No warranty is made regarding the fitness or accuracy of the information provided in this answer. You should seek advice from a licensed CPA, attorney or CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ as to your unique financial situation.