Jim Valentine: The long way home
In this market of limited inventory, there might be other ways to achieve your objective. If you can’t find the right house, you might think of building a new one. If you don’t want to wait for a new home to be constructed, maybe you can find a less-than-ideal home and add on to it or put the sizzle in it with a remodel.
If you’ve been looking for a home to buy for months now, it might be time to take a moment and talk things over with your agent. What are you looking to achieve? Are you looking for stability by buying, knowing that you won’t have to leave on the whim of a landlord? Are you looking for comfort for your family size, hobbies or recreational interest? Are you looking for some relief on your income tax liability or an investment opportunity? Be clear in what you want.
If the homes coming on the market are too small for your wants and needs then explore the possibility of buying a smaller home that can be added on to. If the homes are too big, can you afford the bigger homes that are available? With the right floor plan, you can seal off portions of the larger home so you don’t have to heat or clean them. In the end, you will have a larger home to resell.
New construction takes time, but you will end up with a new home with your chosen floor plan, colors, appliances, etc. You will have what you want. While waiting six to months might seem like a long time, if you’ve been looking for four months, you could be halfway into your new home. Buying a home isn’t like buying a car; you will most likely own your home for a long time. A little extra time upfront might give you years of ownership enjoyment.
If you are finding the homes you like are just out of your budget, you might consider saving more for a down or waiting until your next pay raise. That involves a bit of risk as prices might rise or interest rates increase. Either of those can offset your additional funds or borrowing power. If you want to buy now so you are a part of today’s market, you might consider buying a smaller house that can be added on to or one that you can make work and convert to a rental later. You can also sell it and move up later but at least you are in the market.
Have you been concentrating your search in one market while others might work for you? If you are looking at a short commute, what will it really cost you to commute half an hour instead of 15 minutes? Consider the commute time, gas, wear and tear on your vehicle and what you can buy now for a home. Look at all the components and you might just find another neighborhood that isn’t as convenient but will work well for you. Your agent can help you in this process by keeping an objective perspective.
Broaden your search to look at things that you can mitigate easily. These can include adding a garage or adding on to the existing garage. Change the landscaping to suit your needs or add a gate to secure your recreational towables behind the fence. Find nearby pasture for your horse.
Our advice: Make sure your wants and needs are sound. Needs are hard to change so make sure they are truly needs and not wants. Wants can be modified to work if there are enough offsets. Offsets can include the ability to buy and own now, the guest house providing added bedrooms, the lot size allows for expansion, the HOA is modest and well run, the new highway makes the commute tolerable, etc. Be clear in the lifestyle you want to achieve and the right plan and home will appear to you.
Keep your options open. Be clear in your wants and needs. Keep your agent informed of your thoughts, frustrations, emotions. You might trigger something in him with your candor that allows him to find your home for you.
When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs… Experience is Priceless! Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-3704. firstname.lastname@example.org