Reverse Mortgages Now Harder to Get

If you’ve thought about taking out a reverse mortgage, be aware that new rules that recently kicked in might make it harder for you to qualify. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development tightened lending criteria late last month. The changes require that lenders determine whether would-be borrowers have enough income to keep up with property taxes and homeowners insurance so they don’t default on the loan and, possibly, lose their home. HUD’s Federal Housing Administration insures most reverse mortgages. …

A Home ‘Fit’ Remodeling Project: Finding the Experts

The following is entry No. 2 in an AARP Livable Communities blog diary about a home remodeling project to make a Florida house better suited for aging in place. Click here to see the first post. A “home for life” design involves finding the right experts who can work collaboratively to ensure that all of the personal and home needs fit in the remodel. The website of the National Association of Home Builders includes a resources page with information about Certified Aging-in-Place …

Making a House a ‘Home for Life’

Meet John and Jane Doe. An active couple in their mid- to late 50s with two married children and four grandchildren, this pair loves their home, community and neighbors. Although they’re still in good health, John is having knee problems and will likely need surgery, which has prompted the duo to starting thinking about the future. Any of this sound familiar? The imaginary Doe family represents the millions of boomers now age 50 and older. It was around their needs …

A Different Type of Long-Term Care, Resort-Style

I used to cringe when the staff at Pop Pop’s nursing home called him “Sweetie.” Bernie would have been fine. Mr. Covitch would have been better. Sweetie, to me, wasn’t a name you’d call a man who identified as a military officer, a business owner and a father of three. It was just too cute and too casual. So when I recently visited a long-term care resort in Thailand, I initially was struck by how the owner insisted on calling residents guests. Well, “care …

7 Solutions for Improving a Home’s Energy Efficiency

You don’t need to be a mechanic to know that a car is made up of interacting components and systems, and that the failure of just one component can affect the overall performance of the vehicle. Houses work the same way. The thermal envelope, insulation, HVAC systems, appliances, lighting and more all contribute to the comfort, health and safety of a home. Rather than focusing on a single problem, like drafty windows or not enough insulation, hire contractors who are …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. People can be trained to like healthy food instead of french fries. (Learn more at CTV News) 2. Watching Hollywood action flicks on TV may be bad for your waistline. (Learn more at JAMA Internal Medicine) 3. Asian camel crickets — which will eat anything, including each other — have spread into homes across the eastern United States. (Learn more at North Carolina State University) 4. Thought to be a legacy of Chernobyl, radioactive …