Common questions

We know that you’ll likely have a few more questions about Reverse Mortgages before you get started, so we’ve put together answers to these commonly asked questions.

A reverse mortgage is a loan that has been designed for the needs of seniors. It allows people aged 60 and over to release cash from the value of their home to help fund their retirement. No regular repayments are required – the debt is repaid from the future sale of the property.

Importantly, you continue to own and live in your home for as long as you wish, continuing to enjoy the benefits of your community, social network, and family memories.
Your home must be your principal residence, built using conventional construction and in good repair. It must also meet our minimum property value criteria. Some locations and property types will have restrictions and, in some cases, may not qualify for a Heartland Reverse Mortgage.

The property should be mortgage free. If there is a small mortgage outstanding it must be repaid when the Heartland Reverse Mortgage begins - this can be done by using part of your loan.

As security for your loan, Heartland Bank must be the first and only mortgage on your property. This means you will be unable to take out another mortgage or charge on your home from a different company.
Heartland encourages you to only borrow what you need. We provide three flexible options to help you access the equity in your home when required, which can be used in combination.

When you set up your Heartland Reverse Mortgage, simply tell us how much you would like to access initially, and then how much you may need to borrow in the future. We will then make funds available to you now, and can establish an Express Top Up facility or monthly payment to manage your future requirements.

Our Express Top Up facility is designed to make it quick and easy to draw further funds, as and when you require them.

You can also complement your retirement income with a monthly advance. This can be taken for up to 10 years, is paid monthly, and helps many of our customers live a more comfortable retirement.

The following table shows the maximum percentage of your home’s value you can borrow at various ages. The percentage is based on the age of the youngest borrower minus 45, and the ages below are shown as examples.

Age of youngest borrower Maximum % of home's value available*
60 15%
65 20%
70 25%
75 30%
80 35%
85 40%
* Subject to lending criteria and property location.
Yes, you continue to own and live in your home for as long as you wish, benefiting from any potential increase in property values*. The total loan amount, including accumulated interest and any fees charged, is repayable when you move permanently from your home; this could occur when you sell your property, move into long-term care or pass away.

* There is no assurance that property values will increase over time, and property values may also decline.
Once you have a Heartland Reverse Mortgage you are not able to rent out your home full time, or provide a tenant with a long term lease. Your home should remain your place of residence.
To allow us to establish the value of your home, and therefore calculate how much you could be eligible to borrow, we will need to assess the value and condition of your home. We will arrange for a registered valuer to visit your home to assess its value. A copy of this assessment will be provided to you (note the value used is minus chattels). You will need to pay for the cost of this valuation, which will depend on the location and value of your property. In some instances a valuation may not be required, for example if you are borrowing under $50,000. Contact us for further details of this valuation cost.
With a Heartland Reverse Mortgage you do not need to make regular repayments. The total loan amount, plus accumulating interest and fees charged, is repayable when you move permanently from your home - usually when you sell your property, move into long-term care, or pass away. The loan is usually repaid from the sale proceeds of your home, and the balance is then retained by you or your estate.

Although the Heartland Reverse Mortgage is designed to last for as long as you are able to remain in your home, you may repay all or part of your Heartland Reverse Mortgage at any time without penalty, providing you with the flexibility to manage your finances in the way that suits you best.
When your Express Top Up facility (if any) is fully drawn you can apply to increase your total loan amount. Increases are based on the age of the youngest person, the current property value and the total loan balance, at the time of application. Fees will apply and a new valuation of your home may be required. This will be confirmed at the time of application.
A reverse mortgage may affect your financial arrangements with the New Zealand Government (such as your benefit or pension). We recommend that prior to applying for a reverse mortgage you contact Work and Income to discuss any potential impacts the reverse mortgage may have on your financial arrangements. Visit www.workandincome.govt.nz for more information. This is also something that your solicitor can advise you on.
Some applicants (called Nominated Residents) may not be the sole owners of the home they live in. For example, the home might be in a family trust, or in the case of a couple, owned by only one person.

As long as the Nominated Residents of the home meet the age criteria, and all residents are recorded on the loan, you can still apply for a Heartland Reverse Mortgage providing all the owners agree to sign the application form and legal documents. Terms and conditions apply.
If you move into another house, you can apply to transfer your Heartland Reverse Mortgage to your new home. If we agree to this transfer, fees will apply and be added to your loan balance. Your new home must meet our current lending and property criteria, including valuation, size and location. Please contact us for assistance.
At Heartland, we are proud to offer our customers a high level of customer service, and your satisfaction is very important to us. If you would like to make a complaint or offer a compliment, we encourage you to contact us here.

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