Bob Mikelskas grew up right outside of D.C. in the Northern Virginia city of Reston. He played football while attending John Hopkins University and sports remain a huge part of his life today.
He spends a lot of time with his four kids while coaching football, travel baseball and basketball. He golfs whenever he gets the opportunity and he enjoys Caribbean getaways when he can actually find some time to get away.
“With four kids and all the coaching responsibilities, that pretty much takes up most of my free time.” He’s quick to add, “I love every minute of it!”
Bob entered the mortgage business when a friend of his opened a mortgage company in 1996. “I was his first employee and I’ve never looked back.”
Today, he is the Vice President of Atlantic Home Equity and a Senior Reverse Mortgage Specialist.
Know What A Reverse Mortgage Can Do For You
A reverse mortgage isn’t available to every homeowner. And, it isn’t suitable for every homeowner.
It’s designed for older homeowners, 62 years of age and older, who want to remain in their home. Only the primary residence qualifies for a reverse mortgage.
If you meet the qualifications, you can enjoy some very attractive benefits, such as:
* Better cash flow management and ability to better manage health care costs.
* Tap into home equity to subsidize cash flow needs.
* Establish an immediate line of credit.
* Have additional money beyond retirement funds, social security, pensions and other financial assets.
* Enjoy a better lifestyle during the elder years while still remaining in the comfort of your home.
* Purchase a home with reverse mortgage. Put down a percentage of the value of the house and never have a mortgage payment. No, not even one!
What if one spouse meets the age requirement and the other is not yet 62?
There are HUD protections for spouses under 62 who can continue to live in the home if the older spouse passes away.
And, what if you still aren’t sure if it’s right for you?
HUD-approved counseling is mandatory to be sure the borrower completely understands the product. It’s there for the consumer’s protection.
The Biggest Challenge Of Offering Reverse Mortgages
What do you think when you hear the words ‘reverse mortgage?’ Exactly. It sounds ominous and possibly risky. There are so many ‘unknowns.’ And, there are horror stories floating around.
Bob knows all of this. “The biggest challenge is negative press and a general misunderstanding — and misconception — about the product.” He wants consumers to hear the truths instead of the myths.
“Reverse mortgages are a very safe product. They’re actually the most heavily regulated product in the market today. All B borrowers have to go through a mandatory HUD-approved counseling session.
“There are a few proprietary products out there but 99% of the reverse mortgages done today are the HECM (FHA insured and HUD regulated) product.”
Still, a general misunderstanding of the product remains challenging. “These loans are designed specifically for people sixty-two and older — for seniors; for aging homeowners.
“The whole purpose behind the product is so that people can age in place more comfortably and have a better quality of life while still remaining independent and owning their own home.”
Advice Bob Would Give Himself If He Could Start All Over Again
“To get into the reverse mortgage business sooner than I did. It’s a very, very rewarding career. I’ve helped so many people. It’s a very satisfying thing to be able to help seniors remain comfortably in their homes and independent.”
What’s the most common thing that Bob hears at the end of a settlement of a reverse mortgage? He hears about the great relief it is as the financial burden is lifted off the seniors’ shoulders and the stress is taken away.
“Its been a real pleasure to help so many people.”
Making A Huge Difference Right From The Start!
There probably aren’t a lot of careers where someone can offer a product that will make a dramatic difference in a person’s life right from the very first sale. But, this is Bob’s job.
He recalls the very first reverse mortgage he ever did. “I actually saved an 84-year-old widow from getting foreclosed on.” This was HUGE!
The woman had lost her husband a few years earlier. He had always taken care of their financial matters while she focused her attention on being a wife and a stay-at-home mom.
Unfortunately, she seemed like easy prey for an unscrupulous mortgage broker “who put her into one of those ARM loans that we’re all familiar with now. Once the ARM adjusted, she ended up not being able to afford the mortgage.”
The foreclosure process had already started. Bob was able to bring it to a halt, put a reverse mortgage in place and free up about $1800 per month cash flow for her. And, it didn’t stop there.
“We even set up a credit line for about $60,000 for her. It completely saved her house — saved this elderly woman from getting foreclosed on.
“I fell in love with the product right then after I saw what I was able to do for her.” And, he continues to put the same energy and passion to work for every borrower today.
Bob’s iPhone Calendar Keeps Him On Track
“I can never, ever, ever do without my iPhone calendar. With all the juggling I’m doing between coaching and the four kids — and meeting every single one of my borrowers in person between five states — definitely, I cannot live without my iPhone calendar.”
Not only does Bob serve borrowers in five states but he typically meets up with each borrower three times! Count them!
“An initial proposal; it’s basically a FREE consultation. I explain all their options and make sure they completely understand the product.”
This step is followed by the mandatory HUD-certified counseling.
After counseling has been completed, “I come back and take an application in person.”
Bob attends every settlement! “I like to make sure my borrowers get exactly what I promised them and that they feel comfortable with me being there to answer any questions that they may have.”
Bob Shares Two Inspiring Quotes
“Strive not to be a success but rather to be of value.” – Albert Einstein
“I think we can all measure our lives by the value we’re able to bring to other people.”
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – George Addair
“In life, you’ve got to challenge yourself. Things that a lot of times we’re nervous about — once we conquer those fears, there’s a lot of happiness and contentment on the other side of it.”
Are you 62 or over and looking for more financial security? Do you want to secure your home, be in a more sound place financially and have the resources to better enjoy your golden years?
Are you living in an empty nest that’s far too much house to keep up? Looking to downsize to a condo, town home or single-level living?
Like the idea of buying your ideal new home with nothing more than a down payment and never having to make a single mortgage payment? Oh, yes you can!
Contact Bob Mikelskas today for more information about reverse mortgages and to make an appointment for your FREE consultation.
Atlantic Home Equity
Contents Provided by Frederick Advice Givers Podcast Episode #104: Eric Verdi Interviews Bob Mikelskas