The requirements to become an eligible HECM (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage) borrower include age (at least 62), equity in your home (any existing mortgage can be paid off with loan proceeds), financial resources to cover tax, insurance, and maintenance expenses, no other federal debt, competency, and the receipt of a counseling certificate from an FHA-approved counselor for attending a personal counseling session on home equity options.
HUD provides a list of approved counselors on their website. The property must serve as your primary residence and also must meet FHA property standards and flood requirements and pass an FHA appraisal to be eligible. You must maintain the home to meet FHA health and safety standards and there may be a requirement for some home improvements as a condition for initiating a reverse mortgage. Up to $625,500 of a home’s value can be applied to a reverse mortgage.