According to a survey conducted by HomeEquity Bank in tandem with Ipsos, 93% of seniors want to age in place.
“The older the people that we surveyed, the more they want to stay in their homes,” said Yvonne Ziomecki, HomeEquity’s executive vice president of marketing and sales. “They want to age in place. Ninety-three percent of homeowners 65+ felt it was important to stay in their homes in retirement.”
The findings indicate that perceived home comfort increases with age. By contrast, of survey participants aged 25 to 34, only half felt it was important to stay in their homes during retirement.
As surely every broker knows, HomeEquity offers the CHIP Reverse Mortgage, and one of the reasons for its popular is seniors’ desires to remain in the homes in which they retire.
“Our product is all about letting people age in place and retire in their home,” said Ziomecki. “When we asked them about independence, 69% of people 65 and over said staying in their home points to the importance of independence. They don’t want to live in a facility or with their kids. They want to stay close to their family, friends, and communities.”
With the recent home equity surge in cities like Vancouver and Toronto, realtors knocking on homeowners’ doors and imploring them to sell are a familiar sight. All too often, those homeowners are seniors.
“Now that the real estate market has exploded, are they willing to cash in or do they want to stay in their homes? To see 93% want to stay in their homes, it tells us nothing has changed except that their house is worth more and they can access more equity, which is our value proposition,” said Ziomecki.
Darlene Vilas, a mortgage broker with MOS MortgageOne Solutions who specializes in reverse mortgages, says it is important for seniors to realize that there are options available to them other than moving out of a home against their will.
“Somebody who’s elderly and realized a great increase in their home’s value should never feel pressure to sell when they can tap into the equity in their home through a product like a reverse mortgage,” said Vilas. “The seniors I deal with don’t want to sell—they don’t want to leave their neighbourhoods, their communities. They’re comfortable, and often they’re close to family, which they need as they get older, so if they’re feeling pressure from realtors or builders or investors to liquidate, that’s why this product needs the attention.”