|The Most Inappropriate Question You’ll Hear This Holiday
During the holidays, you’ll socialize at office parties, family
gatherings, open houses and maybe even a formal gala or two. It’s
likely that conversation will turn to the real estate market during
at least one of these affairs, as home prices continue to fall and
interest rates hold steady.
It’s a buyer’s market, we keep
hearing. So someone is bound to ask what I believe is a silly,
inappropriate question : “Is it a good time to buy property?” -
Here’s why: this is usually not a great question:
if it’s a good time to buy is like asking if it’s a good time to get
married. It’s not a general question! Every person’s situation
is different, and while it may be a perfect time for one couple to
get married, it may be a terrible time for another. It’s the same
thing with real estate – each decision is individual, based on
specific circumstances and objectives.
- Some people will say yes, because they think the market has
bottomed out and you should take advantage.
- Some people will say no, because they think home prices will
fall even further.
- You’ll end up with conflicting, meaningless information that
serves no purpose in your real estate decision.
One couple I’m working
with recently celebrated their first wedding anniversary. (They
decided last year that it was a good time to get married!) They’re
happily renting a two-bedroom apartment in a duplex and saving for a
house. A few months ago, however, their landlord informed them that
he was selling the house and they’d have to move.
called me to get their finances in line and see about their mortgage
options. Under ideal circumstances, they wouldn’t have called me for
another year. But life took an unexpected turn, and now became the
right time to look for a house.
The Real Reason To Buy
In general, life events – not the market – is
the main driver of home buying or selling decisions. Here are
some life events that drive many real estate decisions.
During these times, people realize they
need more or less space, they can’t afford their current home, or
they need to move to a different city, state or country. When going
through a divorce, for example, many women want to stay in the
family home with the children but realize that they won’t be able to
afford it if they have to buy out their ex- husband’s share of the
home. Buying a less expensive property becomes an
- New Job
- Empty Nesters
- External factors – a fire, landlord selling, condo
If You Can Wait, Wait!
If your current
life situation is not triggering a move, stay put for now. It can be
tempting, especially for first time home buyers, to want to grab a
home that continues to fall in price. But your time may be better
spent getting your finances in order and creating a plan so
you’re fully prepared to make an informed offer.
time exploring these questions:
Prices aren’t going anywhere for a
while. In fact, I believe they will continue to fall.
- How much are you paying per month for your home? Are you
looking to spend less or more?
- Do you have good credit? Get a copy of your credit report(s)
and address any discrepancies.
- What kind of lifestyle do you live? Are you home bodies who
want to spend your weekends on do-it- yourself house projects or
do you like to get up and go and spend money on recreation like
travel and dining? If you like to have cash on hand, you may not
want a lot of money tied up in your house.
- Are you conservative or aggressive financially? This will help
you determine how much risk you’ll be comfortable with when taking
on a new mortgage.
those holiday parties. Just don’t make any real estate decisions at
|Debbie on Fox25 News|
If you missed it last month, take a peek at my recent interview
with Fox25 News' Bianca de la Garza.
As always, I enjoyed talking with Bianca about my favorite topic
– helping consumers find the best mortgage for their unique
this link to watch!
Happy Holidays and thank you for returning for a
second helping of "Raising the Roof!," my monthly guide to
maximizing the financial potential of your home.
One of the
most interesting – and sometimes frustrating! – parts of my work is
hearing people’s nightmare mortgage stories. I’m always
amazed to hear how people have been persuaded into buying homes they
can’t afford, pushed into programs that don’t fit their needs or
pulled out of perfectly good living situations just because it was a
If you’ve ever have suffered a hellish home
buying/selling/refinancing experience, please click “reply” to share
it with me. I may highlight it in a future issue so other readers
can learn from it.
I’m always here to answer your mortgage
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||December's Home Value Improver
Whether you heat your home with oil or gas, make an annual
heating system check a top priority.
Keeping your system functioning properly and clean will extend
its life and save money on your heating bills. It could also save
your life, since carbon monoxide can leak out of a faulty system.
Make the smart choice and invest in annual maintenance, typically
less than $100 a year. Much less than a new furnace will cost!