Sold over asking price, Investing with line of credit, Commercial lease


Dear David,

How many houses do you sell over asking price? – Wondering

DEAR WONDERING: Over the last 60 days, the percentage of homes selling “at or above” their asking price has been sitting about one-third — or 33 percent of local sales. Typically at this time of year, about 20 percent of local homes can be expected to meet or exceed their asking price, though this number has definitely been trending up in the last few years.

In the heat of a spring market (let’s say between March and May), it’s common to see an increase in the number of homes selling at or above asking. Back in 2013-2014, about 21 percent of sales hit this mark. By 2015 it was 26 percent…and 41 percent in 2016…I’m sure you’re seeing the trend. Then came 2017, a remarkable year in which 84 percent of spring sales were at or above asking. Given the market adjustment that has already taken place, I expect that spring sales this year will return to more typical levels.


Dear David,

Our home is worth about $600,000 (with no mortgage). We have lots of equity and no debt, but not a lot of liquid cash. Can we still buy an investment property?  – Eager Investor

DEAR EAGER: If you have good, stable jobs and are financially fit, it’s likely you can swing it. Often times, homeowners who are trying to build their financial worth consider leveraging their primary residence in order to add an investment property. You’ll want to ask your mortgage advisor if this is feasible in your case.

Quite often, an investor will open a line of credit on their home in order to accommodate a down payment on the investment. To do so, they need to complete the entire mortgage approval process based on a 20 percent down payment (because the investment is a secondary property). Once you get the go-ahead from your mortgage advisor, this will probably be one of the safest and most stable ways to increase your net worth.


Dear David,

My company needs a larger space, but the locations we like don’t have offices built in yet. We don’t want to use our cash to build them ourselves. Could a landlord build the renovations into our commercial lease?  – Here’s Hoping

DEAR HOPING: For the right tenant, many commercial landlords will cover the cost of buildouts and amortize the expense over first term of the lease. This amortization would include the price of the build with interest, and possibly a small administrative fee.

From a tenant’s perspective, the arrangement is like borrowing money from someone else and paying it back over time. A landlord doesn’t typically take this on for just anyone, since the investment is likely to be substantial (and your modifications may not suit future tenants). To be considered, you’ll need to be a triple A tenant with good financials and a solid track record.