Guilty as Charged

Laurie MacNaughton [506562]  © 2014

I could hear it in her voice, I could see it in her eyes – the fear, the sublimated guilt, the tears lurking just beneath her every word.

Her sin? Old age.

Her crime? The loss of her husband of 58 years. And, with his death went fully 50% of her household income.

And now a new challenge: she has suffered a stroke, and though her recovery is steady, it is slow, and the long-time family home is simply no longer appropriate.

I met with “Mrs. Jones” last night. Her darling middle-aged daughter joined us, and mentioned it was a realtor who had given them my name. After speaking with both mother and daughter it became clear just how good a call it was on the part of the realtor: Mrs. Jones needs out of this big house, and to get into a home appropriate to aging in place.

HECM for Purchase

HECM for Purchase (also known as Reverse for Purchase) is an FHA-insured home-purchase loan available to seniors aged 62 or older. The purchaser provides a down payment – often derived from the sale of the exit home – and the HECM for Purchase loan provides the rest of the purchase funds.

Punto. That’s is. That is the last mortgage payment the home buyer will make on that home until s/he permanently leaves the home. At that point the loan will be repaid from the proceeds of the sale, and the remaining equity will belong to the homeowner, or to the heirs.

Property taxes (if applicable), homeowners insurance, and routine upkeep of the home are still required.

Are you in a home too big, or with too much upkeep, or with too many stairs? Have your longtime neighbors moved, leaving you in a neighborhood you no longer recognize? Has traffic become such an ordeal you are afraid to leave your house?

Give me a call and let’s talk. Include your adult children on the conversation. And together, let’s explore your options. You may have far more than you know.


Laurie MacNaughton [NMLS# 506562] · Reverse Mortgage Consultant, President’s Club · Middleburg Mortgage · 20937 Ashburn Road, Suite 115 ·Ashburn, Virginia 20147 · 703-477-1183 Direct ·

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Licensed in: Maryland (MD), Washington, DC, Virginia (VA), Pennsylvania (PA), Delaware (DE), North Carolina (NC), South Carolina (SC), Georgia (GA), Tennessee (TN).

You Thought it Couldn’t Happen – A New Home in Your Future

Laurie MacNaughton 11|2013

The numbers are compelling: according to the National Association of Realtors, last year over 26% of homes were sold to homebuyers over the age of 50. And as the peak bulge of the boomer generation approaches, this number is expected to rise dramatically until it makes up the largest homebuyer market in American history.

But here’s the thing: it’s this same cohort that has had the toughest time saving adequately for retirement. Many people automatically assume this group has been spendthrifty, careless about planning, poor at saving, in denial about aging, and overly optimistic about retirement costs. And to some extent this is true, especially if they are compared against their own parents, the highly thrifty members of the Greatest Generation.

However, there are many untold sides to this story. First, the boomer cohort was disproportionately hit by the Great Recession. Though fewer of those aged 50-62 lost their jobs than did 20-somethings, if laid off, older workers experienced a dramatically longer period of unemployment. As they are hired back, often it is for lower wages than they earned at their previous job. Further complicating their financials is that many in this group still have children at home – or in college.

But the really pricy bill comes due when boomers care for their aging parents. By the time most people are in their 60s, their parents are in their late 80s or early 90s. In many cases the parents long ago depleted their own savings and assets, and now look to their aging children for support. It is this multifaceted convergence of events that causes an almost unwinnable financial challenge.

So with this as a backdrop, a question I commonly get from aging boomers is, “Should we refinance the home we’re in, or should we buy something with less upkeep?”

Obviously I don’t know – but I do have quite a body of knowledge of what others have taken into consideration. Following is a starting point for things to consider:

  1. Is your existing home safe, including layout and accessibility to bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen and laundry?
  2. Is the home the right configuration? How about size?
  3. Are you able to keep up with the yard and the household maintenance?
  4. Is the location still right, meaning are you close enough to family so they can check in on you?
  5. Have traffic patterns gotten dangerous?
  6. Are you close to doctors, shopping, amenities, recreation, and your house of worship?
  7. Do you still know your neighbors?
  8. Will this still be the right house in 10 years? How about in 15?

If you answer a significant number of these “no,” moving might be a logical consideration. However, for anyone who recently has applied for a home loan knows, lending laws and regulations have become akin to invasive surgery. And for those looking to retire, or who have already retired, securing a loan can be very, very difficult.

However, FHA’s seniors’-only HECM for Purchase was specifically designed with the retired – or soon to be retired – buyer in mind. While there are qualifications that must be met, they are not as stringent as those governing “forward” lending.

Another very beneficial element of HECM for Purchase is that you can buy your new home before you have sold your exit home. Not only does this get you into your new home in a timely fashion, but you now have time to market your exit home and wait for the next peak sales season to roll around before selling.

But perhaps best of all, rather than tying up a significant amount of your financial resources in the new house by doing an all-cash purchase, you bring to the table only a percentage of the purchase price, which allows you to keep liquid more of your savings, or more cash from the sale of your exit home.

If you have been thinking about moving and didn’t think it was a realistic possibility, give me a call and let’s talk. You may very well be delighted to learn you have a new home in your future.


Laurie MacNaughton [NMLS# 506562] · Reverse Mortgage Consultant, President’s Club · Middleburg Mortgage, a Division of Middleburg Bank · 20937 Ashburn Road, Suite 115 ·Ashburn, Virginia 20147 · 703-477-1183 Direct ·

Quittin’ time at 65 – Says who?

by Laurie MacNaughton, as published in Loudoun Times Mirror © 9/21/2013

It goes by many names: “bridge job,” “encore career,” “recareering,” or simply “delayed retirement.” But no matter what it’s called, the fact remains – as life expectancy edges ever higher, many of us can expect to live another quarter century after the traditional age of retirement.

As a consequence of rising longevity, increasing numbers of Americans are making the decision – some willingly, some less so – to switch jobs but continue working. In fact, more than one in three Americans now works past the traditional retirement age of 65.

And that number is expected to rise dramatically. According to a Gallup poll out in May, 75% of Americans plan to work until they are 70, or “as long as possible.” The reasons cited, however, are far more varied, and in some cases far more nuanced, than just the need for more income. In fact, respondents were evenly divided between those planning to work for financial reasons and those planning to work for self-fulfillment, to stay active, or to continue to contribute to their community.

These facts suggest an interesting question: is the prevailing idea of “old” itself old? Or, put another way, as a society are we operating under guidelines with obsolete assumptions and outdated definitions – ones that say 65 is quittin’ time?

In After the Recovery: Help Needed – The Coming Labor Shortage and How People in Encore Careers Can Help Solve It, noted economist Barry Bluestone states that precisely the areas projected to be most in demand in the coming years represent the most common encore careers: teaching, health services, faith organizations, government, and non-profits.

There are other interesting trends as well: older Americans overwhelmingly represent business startups, with the Small Business Administration reporting that more than five million Americans over the age of 55 are either business owners or self-employed. Furthermore, twice as many high-tech startup companies are established by those aged 55 and older than by those in their 20s or 30s.

A visit to any local networking group will reveal the extent of this trend: startups include everything from micro-farmers who grow herbs and vegetables for local restaurants, to interior design services, private chefs, pet trainers, social media content providers, event planners, and high tech consultants.  Real estate in the greater D.C. region is once again booming, with a consequent wave of new realtors jumping into the field, following retirement from other sectors. Many of these older entrepreneurs find their new careers not simply fulfilling, but lucrative as well.

Not all second careers are seamless transitions between one profession and the next. Careers in the ministry, real estate, health care and many others require training, and some require degrees.

There are many organizations that offer training, including community colleges. Online sites can also be helpful. Workforce 50 (, (, Senior Job Bank (, along with many others, offer both online help and contact information for further assistance.

The so-called leading edge boomers, those Americans now hitting the traditional age of retirement, literally changed the world with their determination to redefine the rules and do things their own way. And there is no indication they’re going to start “listening to the man” just because they’re turning 65.

Laurie MacNaughton [NMLS 506562] is a freelance writer and Reverse Mortgage Consultant at Middleburg Mortgage, a Division of Middleburg Bank. She can be reached at: 703-477-1183 or


Trulia Report Finds It’s Still Cheaper to Buy a Home Than to Rent

Reposted from   Mon, 2013-09-23

Trulia has released its Summer 2013 Rent vs. Buy report, revealing whether buying a home is more affordable than renting in America’s 100 largest metropolitan areas. Looking at homes for sale and for rent on Trulia between June 1 and Aug.31, 2013, this study compares the average cost of renting and owning for all homes on the market in a metro area, factoring in all cost components including transaction costs, taxes, and opportunity costs.

In the last year, the mortgage rate for a 30-year fixed-rate loan rose from 3.75 percent to 4.80 percent, raising the cost of buying a home relative to renting. Home-ownership is now 35 percent cheaper than renting nationally, down from being 45 percent cheaper one year ago. Yet despite their current upward climb, mortgage rates will not tip the housing market nationally in favor of renting over buying until rates hit 10.5 percent nationally, given current home prices and rents.

While home-ownership is still more affordable than renting in all of the 100 largest metros, rising mortgage rates may soon turn the tide. Buying a home is now less than 10 percent cheaper than renting in San Jose and San Francisco—a dramatic shift from being 31 percent and 28 percent cheaper a year ago, respectively. Even in Detroit, where purchasing a home is a no brainer, buying has narrowed to being 65 percent cheaper than renting in 2013, versus being 70 percent cheaper in 2012. If rates keep rising and current rents and prices remain flat, San Jose will become the first housing market to tip in favor of renting once mortgage rates hit 5.2 percent.

“While it’s hard to believe after the recent spike in mortgage rates, it’s still more than one-third cheaper to buy a home than to rent,” said Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist. “Recent mortgage rate and home price increases have made buying significantly more expensive than last year, but not enough to tip the math in favor of renting. This is because rates remain well below historical norms, and prices are still slightly undervalued, too.”


Laurie MacNaughton [NMLS# 506562] · Reverse Mortgage Consultant, President’s Club · Middleburg Mortgage, a Division of Middleburg Bank · 20937 Ashburn Road, Suite 115 ·Ashburn, Virginia 20147 · 703-477-1183 Direct ·

Licensed in: Maryland (MD), Washington, DC, Virginia (VA), Pennsylvania (PA), Delaware (DE), North Carolina (NC), South Carolina (SC), Georgia (GA), Tennessee (TN).


Reversal of Fortune – One Advisor’s Use of Reverse Mortgage in Planning Boomers’ Retirement

Boomers not only went into the Great Recession with scanty savings, but they have had less time to recover before retirement. Consequently, reverse mortgage is likely to play a crucial role in their long-term financial planning.

This is a great piece on one wealth manager’s use of reverse mortgages as he works to create a secure retirement for his clients.

To learn more about reverse mortgage, give me a call – I always love hearing from you.


Laurie MacNaughton [NMLS# 506562] · Reverse Mortgage Consultant, President’s Club · Middleburg Mortgage, a Division of Middleburg Bank · 20937 Ashburn Road, Suite 115 ·Ashburn, Virginia 20147 · 703-477-1183 Direct ·

Licensed in: Maryland (MD), Washington, DC, Virginia (VA), Pennsylvania (PA), Delaware (DE), North Carolina (NC), South Carolina (SC), Georgia (GA), Tennessee (TN).

Seven ”Life Hacks” to Help Keep You Out of the Nursing Home


To read the original piece, see:

What strategies do you employ as you age in place, or as you help others do so?

Give me a call or shoot me a line to share your ideas – I always love hearing from you.


Laurie MacNaughton [NMLS# 506562] · Reverse Mortgage Consultant, President’s Club · Middleburg Mortgage, a Division of Middleburg Bank · 20937 Ashburn Road, Suite 115 ·Ashburn, Virginia 20147 · 703-477-1183 Direct

Licensed in: Maryland (MD), Washington, DC, Virginia (VA), Pennsylvania (PA), Delaware (DE), North Carolina (NC), South Carolina (SC), Georgia (GA), Tennessee (TN).