Warm weather, relatively affordable housing and proximity to California’s Sierra Nevada make Bakersfield an attractive place to spend the later years of life. Older residents in Bakersfield looking for a way to supplement retirement income may consider a reverse mortgage, a loan allowing homeowners to trade equity in their homes for non-taxable cash. To help you explore this option further, our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best reverse mortgage companies in Bakersfield.
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How to choose a reverse mortgage lender in Bakersfield
About 3 in 4 seniors in Bakersfield are homeowners, and many have built substantial equity as they pay down their homes and as property values increase. The median home value in Bakersfield is $235,700, according to Zillow, and is expected to rise in 2019.
Considering these factors, an older homeowner who wants to increase cash flow may consider a reverse mortgage in Bakersfield. A reverse mortgage is a loan in which the lender takes a part of the homeowner’s equity and converts it into a payment or payments to the homeowner. As long as certain conditions are met, the homeowner does not have to pay back the loan while he or she lives in the home. Instead, the loan is repayable after the borrower’s death or if the borrower moves out of the home.
When shopping for a reverse mortgage in Bakersfield, you may come across several different types.
Type of reverse mortgage
Use of funds
Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM)
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Multiple options for receiving funds; larger loan advances at lower total cost; most popular
Proprietary reverse mortgage
Loans can exceed HECM limits; funds usually available only as lump sum at closing
Single-purpose reverse mortgage
State and local government agency or nonprofit
Least expensive; many homeowners with low or moderate income can qualify
Lender specifies a single purpose
To qualify for a reverse mortgage in Bakersfield, you generally must:
Be 62 or over
Own your home outright or have only a small balance remaining
Occupy the property as your primary residence
Be able to continue to pay property taxes, insurance and other financial obligations
Complete HUD-approved reverse mortgage counseling (for a HECM)
If you are thinking about a reverse mortgage in Bakersfield, shop around and compare different offers, being careful to look beyond interest rates to take into account origination fees, closing costs and servicing fees. The company you choose should be patient answering any questions. The California Department of Real Estate recommends ones you can ask.
American Advisors Group is one of the top lenders of Home Equity Conversion Mortgages in the U.S. The company can also help homeowners with jumbo loans for high-value homes or “reverse for purchase” loans. Customers can expect personal guidance throughout the process. Reviewers say AAG always responds to questions in a timely manner and recommend the company to others.
Finance of America Reverse was founded in 2003 and is one of the nation’s largest reverse mortgage loan originators. In addition to offering Home Equity Conversion Mortgages, FAR offers a proprietary jumbo reverse mortgage and a “reverse for purchase” option. Reviewers in California appreciate the friendly, patient customer service representatives and have been generally pleased with their loans.
Agape Mortgage is a local Bakersfield business part of Sierra Pacific Mortgage Company. Customers can feel free to call with questions about reverse mortgages and learn about the various programs available. Bakersfield clients appreciate the personal service and detail-oriented loan professionals. Several mention that they have chosen the company for repeat business.
Estrada Mortgage Group
Estrada Mortgage Group, a Bakersfield branch of New American Funding, gives customers expert advice and support for reverse mortgages. Clients can expect consistent communication and follow-up by staff from application through closing. Many reviewers give Estrada Mortgage Group five stars for its friendly and helpful staff, no-pressure approach and on-time closings.
Our partners independently research and analyze the companies mentioned in our guides and work with subject matter experts to add valuable information that helps consumers make smart purchase decisions. Our partners will not include companies on these guides that do not meet specific quality standards. The compensation we receive from our partners may impact how and where companies appear on our site, including the order in which they appear.
Our partners independently research companies, and use editorial discretion to award companies with special recognition (i.e. Best Value) based on their staff’s judgement or subject matter expert’s judgement. Our partners do this to help you identify companies that will meet your specific buying needs, and do not receive compensation for these designations.