I’ve been doing a lot of research on reverse mortgages and sharing the information on this blog.  I recently came across the term “jumbo reverse mortgage” and was intrigued.  I had never heard this term before.  Let’s review what I learned.

A jumbo reverse mortgage is a reverse mortgage that operates slightly differently than the FHA-backed Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM).  Before we get into what’s different, let’s review what’s the same.  

Whether you have an HECM or jumbo reverse mortgage:

  • House must be your primary residence
  • Homeowner must maintain the property
  • Homeowner is responsible for paying property taxes and homeowners insurance
  • Non-recourse loan 

There are a few key differences between the HECM and jumbo reverse mortgage.  First is the loan limits: the HECM loan limit is $822,375 (in 2021) and a jumbo reverse mortgage allows loans up to $5,000,000.  This option commonly applies to those in areas of the country where the home values are very expensive, such as California.  Appraisals for a jumbo reverse mortgage will cover homes valued up to $20,000,000.

The next difference is the age of the youngest borrower.  For the HECM, we’ve talked about how 62 years old is the minimum.  With a jumbo reverse mortgage, that age minimum is 55 years old.

Finally, jumbo reverse mortgages can apply to a condominium.  While it is technically possible to get a HECM on a condo, there are a lot of strings attached to this.  The entire condominium building must be FHA approved, which requires a lot of documentation and qualifications in order to happen.  It can be very difficult to have a condo that meets these requirements.  

It’s important to know that interest rates for a jumbo reverse mortgage tend to be higher than a standard reverse mortgage.  However, if you have a home that is worth several million dollars, the jumbo reverse mortgage may allow you to leverage your equity for higher payment amounts from the bank.  Just keep in mind that a jumbo reverse mortgage is still a loan.  The same rules apply for when the loan is due and payable. 

Whether you are adding to an underfunded retirement account, need to make home improvements, or pay for healthcare costs that come up as you age, a reverse mortgage may be an option for you.  I hope this blog post has helped with your decision.

Senior businessman working on laptop computer

Continuing our exploration of jumbo reverse mortgages, it's essential to delve deeper into their characteristics, benefits, and potential drawbacks. This comprehensive understanding will help you make an informed decision if you're considering this financial tool.

Further Insights into Jumbo Reverse Mortgages

1. Loan Structure and Payout Options

  • Flexible Payouts: Jumbo reverse mortgages offer various payout options, including lump sum, line of credit, or monthly payments. This flexibility allows homeowners to tailor the loan to their specific financial needs.
  • Growth of Line of Credit: Some jumbo reverse mortgage products may offer a growth feature on the line of credit, similar to HECM products, which can be a significant advantage for long-term planning.

2. Interest Rates and Loan Costs

  • Rate Variations: Jumbo reverse mortgages typically have higher interest rates compared to HECM loans. These rates can be fixed or variable, impacting the loan's growth over time.
  • Higher Closing Costs: Due to the larger loan amounts, closing costs and fees can be higher. It's vital to compare different lenders to find the most cost-effective option.

3. Impact on Estate and Heirs

  • Estate Planning Considerations: For those with significant home equity, a jumbo reverse mortgage can be a strategic estate planning tool, allowing homeowners to preserve other assets for their heirs.
  • Responsibilities of Heirs: Heirs will need to pay off the reverse mortgage to retain the property. This can be more challenging with a jumbo reverse mortgage due to the larger loan balances.

4. Insurance and Maintenance

  • Higher Costs: The insurance and maintenance costs for high-value homes eligible for jumbo reverse mortgages can be substantial and should be factored into the decision-making process.

Benefits and Drawbacks


  • Access to Larger Funds: Homeowners can access a significant portion of their home equity, which can be crucial for high-cost areas.
  • Flexibility: The various payout options provide flexibility for different financial needs and goals.


  • Higher Costs: Increased interest rates and closing costs can make jumbo reverse mortgages more expensive over time.
  • Complex Estate Implications: The larger loan balance can complicate estate planning and the financial responsibilities of heirs.

Preparing for a Jumbo Reverse Mortgage

  1. Financial Counseling: It's advisable to undergo financial counseling to understand the implications fully.
  2. Comparing Lenders: Research and compare different lenders to find the best rates and terms.
  3. Long-Term Planning: Consider how a jumbo reverse mortgage fits into your long-term financial and estate plans.

FAQs on Jumbo Reverse Mortgages

Q1: Who is eligible for a jumbo reverse mortgage? A1: Homeowners aged 55 or older with high-value properties, typically above the HECM limit, are eligible. The home must be the primary residence.

Q2: Can I get a jumbo reverse mortgage on a second home or investment property? A2: No, jumbo reverse mortgages are only available for primary residences.

Q3: Are there any restrictions on how I can use the funds from a jumbo reverse mortgage? A3: There are no restrictions on how you can use the funds. They can be used for anything from supplementing retirement income to home renovations or medical expenses.

Q4: How does a jumbo reverse mortgage affect my heirs? A4: Your heirs will be responsible for paying off the loan if they wish to keep the property. This can be done by refinancing the home or selling it to pay off the balance.

Q5: What happens if the loan balance exceeds the home's value? A5: Jumbo reverse mortgages are non-recourse loans. If the loan balance exceeds the home's value, the lender cannot seek additional funds from the borrower or their heirs beyond the value of the home.

Q6: Can I prepay my jumbo reverse mortgage? A6: Yes, you can prepay your jumbo reverse mortgage without penalty in most cases. It's important to check the specific terms with your lender.

In conclusion, jumbo reverse mortgages offer a unique opportunity for homeowners with high-value properties to access their equity. However, they come with specific considerations, including higher costs and complex implications for estate planning. It's crucial to weigh these factors carefully and seek professional advice to ensure that a jumbo reverse mortgage aligns with your financial goals and needs.



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