Are You 62 or Older and Still Kicking It?

Here is a real plan if this is you; you are 62 or Older and Still Kicking It? Also, it’s a plan if your current home isn’t your dream home and you want to have that dream home. Are You 62 or Older and Still Kicking It?

I live amongst a lot of retirees. Some have packed it in and some are still kicking it. Which are you?

There is a way to move up in style without breaking your bank. Here are a few qualifying questions:

  • Is your home free and clear, or almost free and clear?
  • Would you like to move up to a dream home if you didn’t have to make a mortgage payment?
  • Are you willing to let the government (FHA) participate in a plan such as this?

The big question is will you let me explain this with an open mind on your part? If you are a regular follower of mine, like one person called me, her friend in the computer, you will know that I have a strong background in both real estate and mortgages. You may have also discovered that I owned one of the largest mortgage companies in Washington State at one time. I also owned a residential real estate office. Also important to this message is that last October Kathleen and I took advantage of this program.

I will illustrate the concept below with my own non artistic efforts.

These four homes are all either homes sold or currently on the market by our company, Windermere Real Estate. The home labeled as “current home” above could be traded for a dream home, similar to the others in the photo. Yes, you could trade up from the current home to one like these. If you are intrigued, don’t let self talk or talk from others prevent you from investigating.

These other three homes are or were priced between $549,900 and $599,000. The illustration above could be captioned trade your current home for a dream home.  The current home being free and clear is probably comfortable. Were it yours would you have liked it to be bigger, newer, or nicer? This FHA program which I am so familiar with would provide something similar with no new mortgage payment. It is for seniors over 62 or  older. The benefits are different for those of different ages.

Dream home? How is this for some write ups?

The home on top: Come and see this well kept fully finished rambler in a quiet neighborhood in South Jordan. This home features an open floor plan with large bedrooms. The front room can be either formal living or formal dining. The basement has a full kitchen, living room and separate entrance. In the spring enjoy barbequing on the patio in the backyard. Newer carpet with upgraded pad throughout. Needs a little updating. Pool Table in the basement is included.

The home on the right:

Beautiful rambler with many upgrades! Granite countertops with large kitchen island, knotty alder cabinets with soft close drawers, large open great room with gas fireplace, crown molding in formal living room, main floor laundry. Master bedroom with master bathroom which has a large corner soaking tub and separate shower. Finished basement with large game room, two more bedrooms and a full bathroom with lots of storage space including a cold storage room. The yard is amazing and has secondary pressurized irrigation water, a large covered patio, a workshop, a large RV parking area on the side, vegetable garden, fully fenced with plenty of space. The roof is architectural 30 year shingles, high efficiency furnace, central air. Close to shopping, schools, parks, and easy access to highways. A must see!

The home on the bottom:

Wow, Million Dollar View, with 1 Acre of Horse Property. Nestled above “The Cove” in Herriman. Next to hiking trail that will not have any homes built on it. Enjoy country living while living close to city amenities. Wonderful 2 story home with plenty of space. 2 Master Bedrooms, Beautiful gourmet kitchen with Viking stove and custom cabinets. Huge master bedroom with separate sitting room. Landry room up and down. Mother-in-Law apartment in basement with separate entrance. Over sized 2 car garage with tons of cabinets for storage. Several fruit trees in orchard by the giant garden. Another acre is available. Home is on a well with 1 water right available and city water stubbed.

I titled the post as “Are You 62 or Older and Still Kicking It? If the answer is yes, lets kick in gear  your dream home. It only take a little time and a lot of open mind to get this done.

Our residence is in a high rise condo in downtown. Only a couple of these buildings qualify. The trade could be made for a qualified condo. However if this applies: “Are You 62 or Older and Still Kicking It, you may want to make the switch to a home you would just love.

I am thinking of a couple who are friends of ours. Their home is like the proposed examples. They love having the space. Every Sunday their home is a meeting place for dinner with all of the family. It’s a Sunday tradition for them. The master is on the main but downstairs there is plenty of room for guests. Will you current home fit  your dreams? If not, give me a call, I am your guy to make a transition like this. These are just examples, we could get to the specifics based on your exact situation and desires.

I work in an wonderful business, and have done so for over 30 years, give me a call 801-244-1666 or if you are of the texting generation you can text me at 206-618-3724.

Posted on March 20, 2019 at 7:41 pm
Larry Cragun | Category: Larry K Cragun, Reverse Mortgages | Tagged , ,

All Reverse Mortgage Lenders Aren’t The Same

All Reverse Mortgage Lenders Aren’t The Same. The product is the same but there can be important differences. I write this to help you make a good decision when you decide to go the reverse mortgage route as my wife and I just did.

Kathleen and I went through an interesting process. First we decided to get serious about an over 55 community in Daybreak. The builder owned their own mortgage company and had incentives to use them. We went through the pre qualification process with their reverse mortgage loan officer. My preferred FHA and conventional lender has a reverse mortgage specialist and we considered them. I was approached by another lender who heard we were in the market and we considered him. Finally we considered Reverse Freedom and Chad Peck. We had been to an informational lunch presentation with Chad and were impressed.

If you follow the articles I post here you will likely remember that Kathleen and I owned a large mortgage company in Washington State. With that background I knew the reverse mortgage pluses and potential minuses and wasn’t prone to be turned off by the nay sayers with their “don’t do a reverse mortgage they are bad” comments. (Even from some of our children”). In situations like ours it is a perfect product.

The main reasons people choose a reverse mortgage are as follows: 1- To use their equity to create a monthly cash flow to supplement their monthly income. 2- To pay off a small mortgage, again having no monthly payment, thus eliminating the mortgage payment. 3- To purchase without having to pay for the entire purchase, again having no monthly payment. (The older you are the less you put down).

Our situation was #3. We didn’t want a monthly payment and we didn’t want to pay cash for the full purchase price. Here is where each lender we spoke with was different. How much we had to put down varied by as much as $40,000 from the least desirable option to the most desirable option, which turned out to be Reverse Freedom and Chad Peck.

In wanting to know why the difference I learned that interest rates charged determine the down payment. A reverse mortgage is an FHA guaranteed product. FHA/HUD set the rules as they do not want have to reimburse the lender for a foreclosure. I learned that the higher the interest rate the lender is charging (even though it is deferred indefinitely) the more cash equity you must have. So what created the $40,000 lower down payment for us was because Reverse Freedom was charging us a lower interest rate.

In important areas: All Reverse Mortgage Lenders Aren’t The Same

Because we selected Reverse Freedom we couldn’t compare the service, follow through, and competency one to another. I will say that I having closed over 5000 loans I am totally aware of what is quality in these areas. Top of the line service, follow through, and competency would be my description.

To reach Reverse Freedom you phone them at 801-921-4663 or Chad’s cell: 801-809-3872. Here is the link to their website:

For other articles on this topic that I have written click here



Posted on November 14, 2018 at 6:11 pm
Larry Cragun | Category: Reverse Mortgages | Tagged

Seniors – Is Your Current House The Right House?

Seniors – Is Your Current House The Right House?

For some this may open up an exciting new dream. The ideal person is over 62, home free and clear, healthy, and willing to dream about the yes, “dream home”.

In Salt Lake City it is pretty impossible to find a decent home for $300,000.00. There are first time home buyers out there scouring the new listings for such a home. Sadly, when one comes on the market so many are after this home multiple offers are the norm. So instead of finding the $300,000 home  you are in a bidding war against what can be 30 competitors. Good bye to the $300,000 hope. Tooele County is the 7th fastest growing County in the US. Why is that? Prices. You get more for the money over there. However, my experience is that many won’t live there. So buyers remain renters in many cases. In others, they luck out and win the bidding war.

OK, lets say that you own such a home. Is this home really the right home for you? Does it take more yard care than you want? Is it a multiple level home and you are tired of stairs? Have you been online or to the Parade of Homes and dreamed of a new home, even a home you can’t afford?

Well, dream on senior citizen. Your current house, free and clear, can launch you into a new dream house with no new house payments. What? Yep!

First, take a look at what you can purchase for between $550,000 and $650,000, click here. These are all single level living homes.

So how do I pull this off for you with no payments. It’s with a government program for senior citizens. The program allows those 62 or older to put about 1/2 down and forego any mortgage payments. The older you are, the less you put down. For example: age 70 puts less down, 44.9%.

Because the program is not the norm, the common immediate reaction is NO, this isn’t for me. I suggest that if you do have a dream of a different home, open your minds to this program. I can help you decide if this is actually right for you. I can help you over your questions. I believe in this program. To me, it’s a wonderful solution for many, very many.

Seniors – Is Your Current House The Right House? It might not be. I can help you figure this out. 

Larry Cragun – Windermere Real Estate

Residential and Condominium Professional.

Posted on April 11, 2018 at 7:10 pm
Larry Cragun | Category: Mortgages, Reverse Mortgages | Tagged

A Time And Place For A Reverse Mortgage

I am posting this article because there is a place for reverse mortgages that can be a situation saver. Time Place Reverse Mortgage

There was a period of time that reverse mortgages were sold in a way that they harmed people. This resulted in a lot of negative press and word of mouth. They aren’t the cheapest loan to obtain when it comes to the cost to obtain one.

However, there are definite situations where a reverse mortgage is a life saver. Here are a few examples.

1- Problem: Three siblings, all over 62, have inherited their parents home. Two of them are living in the home and don’t want to sell or move. The third sibling wants them to sell or in some way come up with her share of the homes value. As things are with the two occupying the home there is no way to do that. There seems to be no acceptable solution.

Reverse Mortgage to the rescue: The home is free and clear. The siblings living in the home can secure a reverse mortgage to pull the cash out for their sister. It is even possible that the two living in the home still have the ability to receive a monthly payment from the reverse mortgage.

2- Problem: A retired couple has a rental home with a small mortgage on it. (About 25% of its value) They also have a line of credit on a home they purchased to be there principle place of residence. They are thinking that they need to sell the rental property but doing that only pays off a portion of their total debt. There isn’t enough equity to bring them free and clear, void of all monthly mortgage payments. They wish to relieve themselves of any monthly payments.

Reverse Mortgage to the rescue: When they sell the rental property it leaves them short of being debt free. However, they aren’t that short. Their cash receives will pay off the rental and significantly pay down their primary residence. This amount of equity allows a reverse mortgage to pay off the loan on their primary residence and would even provide monthly income for the rest of their lives.

3- Problem: A senior coupe is renting. Their cash reserves are such that they do not want to part with the amount that it would take to buy the home they want and have no mortgage. Having no monthly payments would be a relief.

Reverse Mortgage to the rescue: Depending on their ages it might be less, but a reverse mortgage only requires the couple to put half down.(this is an approximate) The older the youngest of the couple is the less they put down.  Yes, I said that, no monthly payments.

Many times I have mentioned reverse mortgage to a senior friend. Most of the time they quickly reject the thought. There is much misinformation in peoples minds.. The feds stepped in a few years ago to curb the abuse that hit many. Truly, there are times when the best solution and maybe the only solution for folks was a reverse mortgage.

There are a lot of questions to ask that I don’t cover here. Contact me and I will help you figure them all out to see if it is the answer for you, a friend, or a family member. I can refer you to a dependable reverse mortgage specialist.

Posted on March 30, 2018 at 7:42 pm
Larry Cragun | Category: Mortgages, Reverse Mortgages | Tagged

Why FHA Condo Approval Is important

Not all condo projects are approved by FHA. This article addresses why FHA condo approval is important and I list condominium properties that are approved in Salt Lake City./

An FHA approval is valid for two years and must be renewed to remain valid. Some properties just let an approval lapse and don’t bother with the process to update that approval. Some submit an incomplete package to FHA.

FHA approval involves analyzing minutes of meetings, study of financials, determining the percentage of owner occupied vs rentals, understanding legal issues such as law suits, and a  basic determination as to the safety in warranting a loan made on the property. Condominiums carry  greater risk to a lender due to the community control rather than a single owner.

To me FHA approval is extremely important as the FHA review offers a more thorough review than done by a normal due diligence. I don’t claim non approved properties are to be rejected, I do suggest they require a deeper look into those important factors that FHA studies. I even suggest using an agent that is experienced in condominium sales and that is familiar with the risks each building offers.

Kathleen and I have lived in five condominiums during our marriage. We see the benefits. The older we  became the more we loved the benefit of condo life. There are benefits beyond what I call “lock and leave” which is a benefit for sure.

One benefit some of our clients have taken advantage of is the FHA reverse mortgage. The FHA reverse mortgage allows someone age 62 to purchase with about 50% down and have no payments, ever. Another application is to own a condominium, having equity and use it to acquire a monthly income.

Another benefit is that an FHA guaranteed loan makes it easier to purchase with a lower (3.5%  down payment and a more forgiving credit approval process)

As of this writing the following are Salt Lake City FHA approved condos. (remember it is a two year approval)

Angelina’s Corner – Application was rejected. Missing documents or incomplete package submission

American Towers, not approved. Application was rejected. Missing documents or incomplete package submission

Arlington Place – Approved -1/31/2018

Aztec – Approved 05/31/2017

Belvedere, not approved, Rejected: Missing documents or incomplete package submission

Belmont Downtown – Approved 6/12/2017

Belmont Plaza – Expired 2/5/2017

Bonneville Towers – Rejected 11/18/2016

Broadway Park Lofts – Approved 12/27/2017

Broadway Tower – Approved 9/2//2016

Canyon Road Towers – Approved/8/23/2018

City Crest – Expired 2011

Garden Grove West Jordan: rejected insufficient reserve funds.

Garden Park South Jordan – approved 3/8/2017

Garden Towers – Expired 1992

Governors Square: Rejected 2013

Library Square – Nearing expiration 4/7/2018

Market Street – Rejected

Northridge Heights – Expired

One and Nine – Expired

Panorama – request withdrawn 4/4/2017

Parc Gateway – Approved 6/28/2016

Pierpont Lofts – Expired 6/12/2105


Rockwell – Application rejected

Terrace Falls – Expired 2012

Trevi Towers – approved 12/1/2017 – Rejected Missing documents or incomplete package submission

Trolley Place –  approved 2//8/2018

Trolley Regent – Expired 2011

To get to the FHA site with access to the complete up to date search CLICK HERE


Posted on March 13, 2018 at 7:05 pm
Larry Cragun | Category: FHA Condos, Purchasing A Home or Condo, Reverse Mortgages

Is Your House A Nice House But Not The Right House?

Is Your House A Nice House But Not The Right House?

First a few examples to make my point:
  1. The owners are happy with their home. They have lived in it for decades. They raised their children in it. However the master is upstairs. I’ve had clients that struggled with is this the right house for this and finally after the husband had a stroke they decided that they needed the right house.  We don’t know if climbing to the upstairs bedroom was a factor in the stroke happening. We do know it would have been easier to sell and move prior to the stroke.
  2. The home is modest and paid for. The owners are over 62. They were exposed to the special FHA program for those over 62 and discovered they could buy the home of their dreams and have no mortgage payment. At first it seem too good to be true. Their equity was all that was needed. They could even pull some cash out in the transaction. I used to own a large mortgage company and do understand this program.
  3. I have had about 55 transactions in the last 2+  years for this scenario: downsizing to a lock and leave or as my broker says, low to no maintenance living. These are people whose nice home is now actually not the right home as their is just too much maintenance with the size of home or the difficulty in maintaining it and/or the yard.

Is it time to consider the right home? Is it time to become informed on the options? One of the common things I am told about working with me is that there is no pressure. To me it’s important you do the right thing, find the right home or situation for your wants or needs. OK, give me a call, let’s explore the possibilities. I am good at this. Larry Cragun: 801-923-4735 or 206-618-3724 which also takes text. Email:

Posted on January 12, 2018 at 7:08 pm
Larry Cragun | Category: Reverse Mortgages