As of last month, Paula Hodges and her husband David had signed all the necessary paperwork, collected all the necessary documents, completed all the necessary steps, and did everything they needed to do in order to get a reverse mortgage. They did everything except one thing: turn age sixty-two.
“This is the first time in my life I’ve ever wanted to be older than I was,” laughs the now 62-year-old Paula Hodges as she celebrated her long-awaited birthday last week.
Sixty-two is the golden year for eligibility of a reverse mortgage. Until Paula’s birthday came, the Hodges just had to sit tight and wait even though they were ready to close on their loan. Paula and David Hodges live in a gorgeous brick home in the beautiful city of Cleburne, Texas. The property boasts of lush trees scattered throughout the large backyard and a sun porch that stretches across the back of the house. But they were financially struggling.
“We had to live on credit cards, which is not a good thing to do,” Paula shares. “So I knew that as soon as I turned sixty-two, I wanted to get a reverse mortgage to get a little extra money coming in. That was our incentive; that was our reason.”
The Hodges first heard about reverse mortgages a few years ago from a commercial on television. “Fred Thompson got my attention,” Paula jokes, and explains that she had continued hearing about reverse mortgages since then and knew that it would be a possibility as times got more financially difficult. But it was by no means a rushed decision.
“Actually we tried to sell the house first and get some extra money that way. But the house didn’t sell for what we wanted.” Paula inherited the home from her stepmother, and although she loves the home, she and David were willing to be more practical than sentimental if it came down to it.
“I knew I had my stepmom’s blessing if it came to that because she told me before she died that I could sell it if I wanted to,” Paula explains. “So we felt that if we could sell it we will. We had a figure in mind, but if we couldn’t get that amount we would rather take it off the market and get a reverse mortgage when I turned 62.” So a few months before her 62nd birthday, Paula got on the phone to call and research reverse mortgages.
“I knew nothing when I first contacted AAG. I called and said I was interested in finding out about a reverse mortgage.” It was then that Paula was introduced to her Reverse Mortgage Professional, Ron Galmarini.
“To tell you the truth, I contacted another reverse mortgage company and it seemed almost the same because the rules are the rules. But the difference with AAG was that I liked my reverse mortgage professional, Ron. I’m telling you, he was so wonderful!” Paula says. “I feel like he’s my son and he was helping me, his old gray-haired mother, to get her life in order. He was so sweet to me, and he explained everything with great patience. We laughed together, we cried together; when I was upset I’d call him and he’d calm me down and say, ‘Now Paula listen, here’s how this works…’ I told him from the very beginning ‘Ron I know nothing about this, so be kind.’ And he was! I understood everything, and if I didn’t and he had to tell me again, he was so sweet about it and would explain it a different way.
“He explained everything; all my choices were all laid out. We talked at length at the beginning about what my motivation was and my reason for looking at the reverse mortgage. We went over my expenses and we could see how much I was short each month according to my expenses versus my income. He just explained it all to me and he suggested what he thought would be my best option. Of course, it was always clear that it was totally up to me. He was so good to me; it was like I was his only customer. I can’t explain enough how much I was impressed with Ron and everything he did for us. I love my Ron!”
Paula and David are now expecting their first check to come in very soon, and they already have a plan for the funds. “First thing on the agenda is to pay down a few credit card bills, and possibly take a weekend trip. My husband and I haven’t done that in forever so we think we’re due.”
Although Paula and David were more practical than sentimental about the possibility of selling the house, they are glad that they no longer have to. “I don’t know what we would have done if it weren’t for this reverse mortgage. I’m sure we would have been forced to knock the price of the house way down and sell it, then relocate to a less expensive town and live in an apartment because we were not able to pay the bills. Or we do have five kids so I guess we would move in with them…” Paula laughs out loud at the thought, “…not that I’d want to or that they’d want me to either!”