How often can banks inspect your property to check the condition and could this be a problem for seniors? Especially considering the maintenance of the grounds?
Generally this is not a problem. The contract does state that you have to maintain your house. They will usually send somebody on an annual or bi-annual basis to do a drive-by or come by and take a look at your house. This frequency is established when you take the loan and depending on how the old house is. When the loan is taken, they will do an initial inspection where someone will come and inspect the house rather thoroughly. Many times I will see loans subject to conditions that the person who is making the loan made these improvements. At that point they may schedule someone to do follow up and a walk-in. The downside is that they are in the drivers seat as to how frequently to schedule inspections or what repairs must be made. But it has not been a problem. I have yet to come across a case of absurd requirements.
In terms of the grounds, it usually does need to be kept in good order, and many times this involves mowing the lawns and people frequently hire others to mow the lawn and do repairs of the grounds.
I do think reverse mortgages are generally a good idea. However, the caution I tend to give people is that they make sure they want and have the means to age in place. It is not something you should be doing if you are considering moving within the next 3-5 years.