Retirement mortgage, How long does it take to sell?


Dear David,

We’re in our sixties and want to downsize. Will the bank still give us a mortgage? – READY TO SIGN

DEAR READY: The quick answer is yes, since the big banks base their lending criteria on income.

Your question is timely as many people assume they won’t need a mortgage at this stage. Because downsizing generally means moving to a smaller home, homeowners tend to assume it’ll come with a smaller price tag. As baby boomers reach retirement, retirement-friendly accommodations are in high demand, so the move to a smaller home often ends up being lateral. If you’re moving from a 2,400 square foot, two-storey home to a 1,800 square foot bungalow, the bungalow may end up costing you as much (or even more) than the house you’re leaving behind.

PRO TIP: Everyone used to dream of paying off their mortgage, but that’s not necessarily the case today. Taking on a small mortgage is a reasonable step if it means you can live independently at home for the next 20 years. If your monthly income allows you to create an ideal retirement lifestyle in a space that suits your needs, it certainly beats going into assisted living before you’re ready.

Dear David,

All we hear about these day is how hot the market is for first time home buyers and homes under $600,000. How many days on the market can a seller expect when selling a house valued at $800,000 in Kitchener-Waterloo? – COUNTING THE DAYS

DEAR COUNTING: The real estate market is busy for first time buyers (and always has been). Generally speaking, homes sell quickly when they are priced correctly, regardless of their range. According to June 2019 statistics from the Kitchener Waterloo Association of Realtors (KWAR), the average home in our area spends 28 days on the market. A closer look shows that homes priced at $600,000 or less take an average of 27 days to sell, while those over $600,000 take an average of 29 days.

So to answer your question, I would expect a home priced at $600,000 and one priced at $800,000 to sell in virtually the same length of time. Often, sales strategy makes the difference: for every property I sell in six days, there’s another one sitting on the market for 50.

Here in Waterloo Region, we consistently see properties that are priced correctly (or aggressively) receive multiple offers and/or offers that come in over asking price. This proactive approach tends to perform better than when a seller lists a property above market value and incrementally drops the price until a buyer is found.

PRO TIP: In my experience, proper preparation and skilled execution are a recipe for success. When a new listing hits the market with great presentation at a competitive price, it stirs up plenty of interest among buyers, regardless of the price range. #AskDavid #Advice