Can You get a Reverse Mortgage on a Log Home?

A browser Myrddin J.  sent the following question(s) in the ask experts blog:

I have a log home with no mortgage. I applied to quicken reverse mortgage and was told that because there aren’t any other log homes sold in the area for the last six months (there are around 20 in the area but none sold) FHA would not insure as there have to be comps. They suggested that I try and find a company that does non FHA insured reverse mortgages. Can you help

Hi Myrddin,

It is true that HUD does require appraisers to be able to find similar properties that have sold recently to use for comparable sales, otherwise it is not possible to determine the value, marketability and acceptance of any particular property type in the market in which the property is located.

HUD’s philosophy is that it may be the best house or the nicest house in the area but if you can’t show any other similar homes that are the same type of construction (in your case, log homes), there is no way to know if the buyers in that market will readily accept this property type or what they are willing to pay for it and therefore, the value cannot be substantiated.

I am only aware of one non-FHA or proprietary reverse mortgage program in the market today since the collapse of the market in 2009/2010.  That program specifically excludes log homes and I am not aware of any that allow for them.  While I don’t blame you if you keep looking, you may be better off to watch your area for the sale of a log home that is not too far away from your property and is somewhat similar in size.

You need at least one, two or more would be better.  But FHA does allow them whereas the proprietary programs I have seen specifically exclude them so I would not consider that a viable alternative.