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H4P Financing Overview – Talk with me about H4P®

H4P Financing for Seniors

The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) for Purchase (H4P) may be a good solution for seniors and retirees looking to purchase, afford and right-size to a more comfortable home. Watch the video and read more below to discover how the H4P loan works, and explore its benefits. 

Whether you’re ready to finally own your retirement dream home, or you want to downsize to something more efficient for your needs, an H4P loan can help you achieve your homeownership goals while helping you preserve more liquid funds in the short term at closing, and maximize estate planning and legacy funds for heirs in the long run.

What is H4P and How Does it Work?

H4P is a type of Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) – aka reverse mortgage – that is used to finance home purchases. With an H4P, home buyers receive funds from the lender to finance approximately 50-60% of the purchase price and they are freed from having to make regular monthly payments after the purchase is complete. H4P customers are responsible for continuing to pay their property taxes and homeowners insurance premiums as well as ongoing maintenance and home repair costs.

The H4P loan does not need to be repaid until the last surviving homeowner is no longer using the home as their primary residence – either from selling or vacating the property, or passing away. All remaining equity always belongs to the homeowner or their heirs. Losses, if any, are absorbed by a special FHA federal insurance fund that has been created just for this purpose.

H4P allows borrowers who are 62 and older to buy a new primary residence and take out a reverse mortgage or home equity line of credit in a single transaction. This can help the borrower save on closing costs. Once the borrower makes the purchase, they are not required to make monthly mortgage payments. Instead, the reverse loan pays out proceeds to the borrower. This makes the loan amortize backwards or in reverse (hence the name ‘reverse’ mortgage). This reverse amortization makes it so the borrower’s loan balance increases over time. With a traditional mortgage, the borrower makes monthly payments and their loan balance decreases.

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When Does the H4P Have to Be Repaid?

A reverse mortgage or line of credit does not have to be repaid until the last surviving homeowner no longer uses the home as their primary residence. When this occurs, the homeowner, their estate or their heirs may wish to sell the home and use the proceeds to pay off the reverse mortgage. If the home does not sell for enough money to pay off the loan, the FHA absorbs the loss leaving the homeowner’s heirs free from any responsibility for the debt.

What are the benefits of H4P?
  • The one-time close feature helps borrowers preserve liquidity and reduce closing costs.
  • Provides seniors with the purchasing power to afford the home they really want.
  • Provides financial flexibility (monthly mortgage payments are not required). *
  • Protects heirs from financial liability.
  • FHA insured.

*Homeowner is still responsible for paying home insurance premiums, property taxes and home maintenance costs.

Who is Eligible for H4P?

An H4P reverse mortgage is designed for people age 62 or older who desire to make a sizeable down payment and finance the rest. Non-borrowing spouses who are younger than 62 are permissible with protections available to remain in the home if the older spouse can no longer live in the home. Here are some of the requirements to qualify for this safe, federally insured program:

  • Reside in the home more than 6 months of each year.
  • Participate in a homeownership counseling session.
  • A financial assessment to determine suitability.
  • No minimum credit score is required.
  • Federal debt including back taxes must be paid.
  • H4P is a first mortgage on title at time of closing.

Explore our Learning Center for more information or connect with us today by calling (800) 596-3788.

Learn more about how people are using home equity conversion mortgages for purchasing homes:

Please keep in mind that the reverse mortgage industry in constantly changing and some of the information contained on this site may not be current. Please ask a licensed reverse mortgage professional for up-to-date guidelines.