In the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, Connestee Falls is a wooded, established golf resort with everything from cozy cottages to architecturally stunning estates. Waterfalls, ponds and walking trails dot the surrounding landscape.
The lovely, gated Club at Ibis is adjacent to the Grassy Waters Nature Preserve, a 12,000-acre wildlife sanctuary outside of West Palm Beach in southeastern Florida. Lushly landscaped and carefully manicured, the Club has single family homes, town homes, three golf courses and a 70,000 square foot clubhouse.
How Old is Too Old to Get a 30 Year Mortgage?
Thirty years is the length of a traditional mortgage. When you are in your 20s or 30s, this looks pretty good. As long as you continue working and making monthly mortgage payments, your mortgage should be paid off by retirement time, giving you a free and clear home with lots of equity.
Not everyone, though, buys their first home when they are young. Some people wait until their 40s, 50s or even later. Or they buy a home when they are early in their career, sell it somewhere along the way and then buy a different home. So the question is, how old is too old to get a 30 year mortgage? And is it a good idea to get one later in life?
First, age never factors into getting a mortgage, whether is it 15 years or 30 years, thanks to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. But just like a 30 year old, you do have to prove that you can afford the mortgage. This means having enough income from Social Security, investments, pensions, rental properties, etc., to cover monthly mortgage payments and basic living expenses.
If you should obtain a 30 mortgage is another question. Here are a few things to consider.
1) If you are married and pass away, will your spouse have enough income to continue paying the mortgage? Or will he or she have to sell the house?
2) Will your income last long enough to cover the mortgage? If you have an annuity with a set payout period, will it expire before the mortgage payments do? If you are taking monthly withdrawls from a 401(k), will the pricipal last far enough into the future to pay off the mortgage?
3) Owning a home is expensive. Will you have enough cash flow to cover maintenance costs? What if the house needs a new roof or a new heating system? These kinds of events can quickly eat into savings. And as we age, it is not as easy to go pick up a part-time job to help pay for unexpected expenses.
4) What if your property taxes increase? The chances are pretty good that they will. Do you have a plan to pay for this increased expense down the road?
So while age is not a factor when being approved for a 30 year mortgage, other factors might be. It might be a better idea to get a 15 year mortgage. If you are 60 years old, the loan will be paid off by age 75. Not a spring chicken but maybe better than taking out a 30 year loan at age 60 and paying it off until age 90.
Or consider a reverse mortgage. This kind of non-recourse loan lets you keep your home and take out cash against your equity. You can also use a reverse mortgage to buy a new home.
If, though, you have the financial means to cover a 30 year mortgage, then it might be your best bet, letting you secure your housing for the next three decades and beyond.
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