You know about condos, prices have gone down more than houses, foreclosures are higher for condos, and people left there pick up the costs of their HOA which I consider too costly. I consider owning a condo like renting an apartment or house or buying a new mobile home placing it in a very nice up-scale park NOT on private property. There will always be a cost. You said yourself "VALUE FOR REVERSE MORTGAGE IS TOO LOW TO MAKE IT PROFITABLE" where you're at.
I thought in Pennsylvania we have to LIVE in our home 10 YEARS before it can be a reverse mortgage. Your condo paid off would fit that definition NOT the New Jersey one. Then what will you do with your condo in PA. if you go to N. J.? My family would love to do the same in North Wildwood! We're stuck in an apartment in the South. We don't miss the winters and cold up North. I'm not going to my PA. home. I'm near your age.
Sales of my home in PA. would be similar to losing it; my parents paid all those years to pay off in the 1970's. Finding decent renters for it has been a real challenge almost living there for free 6 months and 2 years for my nephew with the same problem! Renters know many homes are vacant, and it's a renters market for them not the owner. Renters trash a place causing up-keep more than the deposit if YOU get one from them. It will cost you a property manager to get vacation renters to pay, but it will cost you plenty to place it in their hands for summer rentals. The place would have to be furnished, utilities kept up, and taxes by you. You'd be facing many more people renting out their places for summer weekly rentals. I'm in a tourist area in the South seeing places NOT having enough renters under-cut by hotels with specials on the ocean and free nights offered. A rental also NEEDS GOOD insurance or you lose everything. I don't know how much flood, hurricane, and tornado insurance is. Think it all out. I've always used a legal pad placing a blue line down the middle of the page. One side I write the word "Advantages"; the other side "Disadvantages." Then I see which is best. I check to see if I can eliminate disadvantages. Also think about transportation costs. Will you NEED a car more at one place than the other? Will you have to be one of those who have to flee the shore from storms? Will your utilities cost more being more colder at the beach? Are there any family members who would join buying a place at the N.J. shore to move in and share costs with you? It could work or may not. Can you get someone from a real estate agency to be your property manager for the condo you are in at PA. as maybe cheaper than the shore area? I know you want to live in that condo in New Jersey....probably last year! LOL! Can you have your dream NOW?...to live in it and after 10 years get a reverse mortgage on your home in N.J.? Check on that time frame of "reverse mortgage" because if it's 10 years of occupation, you may never live long enough or have the health to get to enjoy it at age 74 or 75! Search on the internet. Ask a senior citizen agency about the 10 year rule if it's state to state or just PA..
Remember when you tap out ALL your REVERSE MORTGAGE (may be closing costs, too) IF you find out that would work in the place where you are at, you no longer have anything left and still back to costs and upkeep with even less money. I wish you didn't have to be at the mercy of condo HOA fees. If it were me, I'd buy an inexpensive single wide mobile home, place it on my own land, and live as close to the beach as possible. Land should be $5000-15,000 for a lot or 1-2 acres. I'd pay cash for the home ($20,000-40,000). Your costs would be much smaller than condos. Your money would go further. Maybe you wouldn't have to place any money down financing your lot with your home and monthly cost probably the same as your HOA fees. See what 2-3 property managers say about rent you'd get out of your current condo unfurnished to boost your income.
YOU'RE NOT ALONE AS A BABY BOOMER! It seems age 65 you lose SSI and health coverage. I hope you have your own health care. NONE OF US PLANNED THIS DEPRESSION WE'VE BEEN IN 2 YRS. WITH MORE TO COME.
Were you in the military to get 100% VA to finance what I suggested?
My gut reaction is "no." It wouldn't be a good idea. You're assuming, I suppose, that a condo would somehow be a good investment. Further, you're assuming that you could tap it in a few years for a reverse mortgage, yet you say that your Pennsylvania condo wouldn't work for a reverse mortgage. So how would the factors regarding a Jersey condo be much different?
Plus, you say your savings are dwindling. You do need a way to free up cash. But tieing up a lot of cash in buying a condo may not be the way to go.
So: Check with a financial planner.
Hope that helps.