I am 71-years-old and retired. My wife is 66. We have a comfortable income. We want to buy a condo down south and have enough in savings to buy one outright with cash.
QUESTION: I am 71-years-old and retired. My wife is 66. We have a comfortable income. We want to buy a condo down south and have enough in savings to buy one outright with cash. But with mortgage rates as low as they are, I would like to take advantage of them and take out a mortgage. Can a retired person get a mortgage?
ANSWER: Age is not a factor in whether or not you will be approved for a mortgage. What will determine your eligibility is a steady income (and how much), your assets and debt load.
For a non-retired person, income usually comes from a job, and lenders will ask to see proof of this income. If you are retired, lenders still want to see proof of dependable sources of income. These sources could include investments, dividends from stocks, pension, social security benefits and other income for both you and your wife.
Lenders will also want to see proof of other assets you may own, for example, another home, stocks, cash in the bank, etc. They will also want to know of other debts you and your wife have, for example, car loans, credit card debt, etc.
With enough dependable income, you should be able to qualify for a mortgage even though you are retired. You may have to pay a slightly higher down payment than usual, but this sounds like it would not be a problem for you. As with anyone applying for a mortgage, I recommend that you shop around. As you mentioned, rates are low. Evaluate the different products and options and see which one might best fit your needs. Look for a loan with low upfront fees, and the lowest interest rate possible. At your age, I also recommend that you investigate the possibility of taking out a 10- or 15-year mortgage.
Linda Goodspeed is a longtime real estate writer and author of In and Out of Darkness. Email her at: email@example.com.