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High-Value Homeowners' Guide to Reverse Mortgages: Proprietary vs. Jumbo Options

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In the world of retirement planning and home equity management, reverse mortgages have become a popular tool for senior homeowners. Among the various types of reverse mortgages available, proprietary reverse mortgages and jumbo reverse mortgages are two options that often create confusion. This blog aims to demystify these financial products by exploring their similarities and differences, helping homeowners make informed decisions.

What is a Reverse Mortgage?

Before diving into the specifics of proprietary and jumbo reverse mortgages, it's essential to understand what a reverse mortgage is. A reverse mortgage is a loan available to homeowners aged 62 or older, allowing them to convert part of their home equity into cash. This financial arrangement enables the borrower to access the equity in their home without having to sell or move out.

Proprietary Reverse Mortgages

Proprietary reverse mortgages are private loans backed by the companies that develop them, rather than the federal government. These are also known as 'non-HECM' reverse mortgages, with HECM standing for Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, a federally insured reverse mortgage program.

Features of Proprietary Reverse Mortgages

  • Higher Loan Limits: Proprietary reverse mortgages often have higher lending limits compared to HECMs, making them suitable for high-value homes.
  • Flexibility: They offer more flexibility in terms of loan structuring and disbursement options.
  • Eligibility Requirements: The eligibility criteria can be different from HECMs, sometimes allowing for younger borrowers or different property types.

Jumbo Reverse Mortgages

Jumbo reverse mortgages, as the name suggests, are designed for high-value homes that exceed the federal lending limits set for HECMs. They are a type of proprietary reverse mortgage but are specifically tailored for expensive properties.

Features of Jumbo Reverse Mortgages

  • Designed for High-Value Homes: Jumbo reverse mortgages cater to properties that are worth more than the HECM lending limit.
  • Large Loan Amounts: They provide access to a significant portion of home equity, which can be crucial for homeowners in expensive real estate markets.
  • Varied Interest Rates: Interest rates for jumbo reverse mortgages can vary and are set by the private lender.

Similarities Between Proprietary and Jumbo Reverse Mortgages

  • Target Audience: Both are aimed at homeowners with high-value properties who wish to access more equity than allowed under the HECM program.
  • Non-Federally Insured: Neither type is federally insured, which means they are not subject to the same regulations and insurance premiums as HECMs.
  • Flexibility: Both offer more flexible terms and conditions compared to HECMs, including potentially lower upfront costs.

Differences Between Proprietary and Jumbo Reverse Mortgages

  • Loan Limits: While both offer higher loan limits than HECMs, jumbo reverse mortgages specifically target the upper end of the market.
  • Availability: Jumbo reverse mortgages may not be as widely available as other proprietary reverse mortgages, as they cater to a niche market.
  • Interest Rates and Fees: The interest rates and fees can vary significantly between proprietary and jumbo reverse mortgages, depending on the lender and the borrower's circumstances.

Considerations for Homeowners

When considering a proprietary or jumbo reverse mortgage, homeowners should:

  • Assess Financial Needs: Understand how much money is needed and for what purpose.
  • Consider Home Value: Evaluate if the home’s value exceeds the HECM lending limits.
  • Understand the Costs: Be aware of all associated costs, including interest rates, origination fees, and closing costs.
  • Consult Financial Advisors: Seek advice from financial advisors to understand the long-term implications of taking out a reverse mortgage.


Proprietary and jumbo reverse mortgages offer valuable options for homeowners with high-value properties to access their home equity. While they share similarities, their differences are crucial in determining the best choice for an individual’s needs. As with any financial decision, it's important to conduct thorough research and consult with financial experts to ensure that a reverse mortgage aligns with one's financial goals and circumstances.

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