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  • Writer's pictureJason Nichols

Unlocking Your Home's Potential: Understanding Proprietary vs. Jumbo Reverse Mortgages


For senior homeowners exploring ways to leverage their home equity in retirement, understanding the landscape of reverse mortgages is crucial. Among the various options, proprietary reverse mortgages and jumbo reverse mortgages stand out, especially for those with high-value homes. This blog aims to shed light on these two financial products, comparing and contrasting them to aid in informed decision-making.

Understanding Reverse Mortgages

A reverse mortgage is a loan mechanism for homeowners aged 62 or older, allowing them to convert a portion of their home equity into cash without selling or vacating their homes. It's a strategic tool for income supplementation in retirement.

Proprietary Reverse Mortgages: An Overview

Proprietary reverse mortgages are private loans not insured by the federal government, unlike Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs). They are tailored by private companies and offer unique benefits.

Characteristics of Proprietary Reverse Mortgages

  • Higher Borrowing Limits: These mortgages are ideal for homes whose values surpass the HECM limits, offering access to greater equity.

  • Customized Loan Structures: They provide varied disbursement options and loan terms.

  • Diverse Eligibility Criteria: Proprietary options sometimes have more inclusive eligibility requirements, potentially accommodating a broader range of homeowners.

Jumbo Reverse Mortgages: Tailored for Luxury Homes

Jumbo reverse mortgages are a subset of proprietary reverse mortgages designed specifically for high-value properties that exceed federal HECM limits.

Key Features of Jumbo Reverse Mortgages

  • Targeted at Expensive Properties: They are an optimal choice for homeowners in high-end real estate markets.

  • Substantial Equity Access: These mortgages allow homeowners to tap into a significant portion of their home's equity.

  • Variable Interest Rates: The rates are determined by private lenders and can vary more than those for HECMs.

Comparing Proprietary and Jumbo Reverse Mortgages

While both cater to homeowners with more expensive properties, there are nuanced differences:

  • Loan Caps: Jumbo reverse mortgages specifically address the needs of the most expensive homes, while proprietary mortgages have a broader range.

  • Market Availability: Jumbo options are less prevalent as they serve a niche market.

  • Cost Variations: The interest rates and fees can differ significantly between the two, influenced by lender policies and individual borrower profiles.

Similarities Between the Two

Despite their differences, proprietary and jumbo reverse mortgages share several traits:

  • Non-Federal Insurance: Both are private loans and not subject to federal insurance or its associated costs.

  • Flexibility: They offer more adaptable terms compared to federally insured reverse mortgages.

  • High-Value Focus: Both are designed for homeowners whose property values exceed federal HECM limits.

Making the Right Choice

Homeowners considering these mortgage types should:

  • Evaluate Financial Goals: Clearly define the purpose and need for the loan.

  • Assess Home Value: Ensure the property value justifies choosing a proprietary or jumbo reverse mortgage.

  • Understand the Costs: Be fully aware of all fees, including interest rates and closing costs.

  • Seek Professional Advice: Consult financial advisors for a comprehensive understanding of the implications.


Proprietary and jumbo reverse mortgages offer unique opportunities for homeowners with high-value properties to access their equity in a tailored manner. While they share some similarities, their differences are key in determining the most suitable option for individual needs. Thorough research and professional guidance are essential in navigating this complex financial decision.

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