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Can I get a reverse mortgage on a second home or vacation property?

Reverse mortgages have become a popular financial tool for homeowners aged 62 and older, allowing them to access the equity in their homes without having to sell or move out. This type of mortgage can provide a steady stream of income or a lump sum that can be used for various expenses, including healthcare, home improvements, or living costs. However, when it comes to second homes or vacation properties, the rules and possibilities surrounding reverse mortgages become more specific and constrained. In this discussion, we’ll explore whether you can get a reverse mortgage on a second home or vacation property, the nuances of such financial decisions, and alternatives that may be available.

Understanding Reverse Mortgages

First, it’s essential to understand what a reverse mortgage is. Unlike a traditional mortgage, where you make monthly payments to a lender, a reverse mortgage pays you, drawing from the equity you have built up in your home. The loan, along with interest and fees, does not have to be repaid until the last borrower moves out of the house or passes away. The most common type of reverse mortgage is the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), which is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

Can You Get a Reverse Mortgage on a Second Home or Vacation Property?

The short answer is no. The FHA’s rules for HECMs, which make up the vast majority of reverse mortgages in the United States, are quite clear: the borrower must occupy the home securing the reverse mortgage as their primary residence. This means that second homes, vacation properties, investment properties, or any dwelling not used as the primary residence of the borrower, are not eligible for a reverse mortgage. There are several reasons for this stipulation. The primary purpose of a reverse mortgage is to enable older adults to continue living in their homes while accessing the equity they’ve built up. Since second homes and vacation properties are not the borrower’s primary residence, they do not fulfill the program’s intended purpose. Moreover, the risk associated with lending against a property that is not the borrower’s primary residence is higher, which is another reason lenders and the FHA exclude such properties.

Alternatives for Second Homes or Vacation Properties

Although you cannot obtain a reverse mortgage on a second home or vacation property, there are alternatives to access the equity in these types of properties:
  1. Home Equity Loan or Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC): If you have sufficient equity in your second home or vacation property, you might consider a home equity loan or HELOC. These options allow you to borrow against the equity in your property, providing you with a lump sum or a credit line to draw from as needed. However, unlike a reverse mortgage, you will need to make monthly payments on the amount borrowed.
  2. Cash-Out Refinance: This involves refinancing your second home or vacation property for a higher amount than what you currently owe and taking the difference in cash. This can provide a significant sum, but it also means taking on a new mortgage with potentially different terms and monthly payments.
  3. Selling the Property: If accessing the equity is more important than retaining ownership, selling the second home or vacation property is the most straightforward way to access its value. This option provides immediate liquidity but also means you lose any future appreciation and use of the property.
  4. Rental Income: For those not looking to sell or borrow against their vacation home or second property, renting it out can be a way to generate income. This option can provide a steady stream of revenue, though it also comes with the responsibilities and challenges of being a landlord.


While a reverse mortgage can be a valuable financial tool for homeowners over the age of 62, it’s not a viable option for second homes or vacation properties due to FHA regulations. Homeowners looking to tap into the equity of their second homes or vacation properties must explore other avenues, such as home equity loans, HELOCs, cash-out refinances, selling the property, or renting it out. Each option comes with its own set of pros and cons, and what works best will depend on the individual’s financial situation, goals, and preferences. It’s advisable to consult with a financial advisor to explore the most suitable option for your circumstances.   “Also, read our article on How to Transfer Ownership of a House with a Mortgage. Learn about the intricacies of transferring property with an existing mortgage, legal considerations, and steps involved. Ensure a smooth transition of ownership while navigating mortgage obligations effectively. Explore valuable insights and expert advice.” click here to visit website

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