Inspired by House Hawker or Trusted Adviser? by Rob Hahn
The effects of the economy on the housing market – and vice versa – have not been consistently predicted. I think that very few people correctly predicted the length of time that housing values have been in decline, and I seriously doubt that anyone can look into their crystal ball and see when things will begin to turn around. House sales depend on many things – mortgage rates, unemployment, and consumer confidence.
If I thought for a minute that a cost analysis of renting v buying a property was something that our clients wanted, every Realtor at Towne & Country would be doing these for every residential purchase. The thing is, owning a home is considered by most to be the best way to build personal equity over time, and people still, in spite of the market, prefer buying over renting.
I have read Rich Dad, Poor Dad – loved it, in fact. It points out that there are many, much better ways to make money than to consider your home a financial asset. I have another acquaintance who suggests that first time home buyers purchase a 2 or 3 unit home and rent the other two units, instead of going the traditional single-family route. Maybe ANY time – market correction or not – a single family residence is not the most sensible investment.
However, many of us want to own homes because for most of us it is the best way of putting away a little sum of money each month when we pay down the principle on our mortgage. This is even though home ownership is just plain harder than renting, given the additional expense of insurance, taxes, upkeep and everything else included in the package.
I am annoyed about decisions being foisted upon a public that has more access to information than any previous generation. When I meet clients for the first time, my role is to determine how I can best serve them, and this often has nothing to do with information and everything to do with expertise. Why would anyone sit down with clients who know exactly what they want and who have probably been renting up until this point and force a comparison upon them that they have already been living? And if they are selling in a down market, should I tell them to hold off on their purchase until the market turns?
I guess this is what I would like to know. I am serving my clients, not the science of conjecture.
Would you like a cost analysis presenting the pros and cons of home purchase v renting? Will this help you decide what your plans will be?
Or would you like an honest assessment from me regarding market trends for your particular situation? My information does not come with any hidden price tags. I know that if I am honest with you and treat you with respect that you will come to me if and when you are ready to sell or buy your home. Frankly, since I live here too, your respect and how I am regarded in the community is more important to me than a quick sale.
In fact, I advised two separate potential clients that the time was not right for their particular situations within the last month. And I would do it again, because it is the right thing to do.
But here’s something else. There are plenty of intangible benefits that come with buying a home, things that go way beyond the dollars and cents of things, and are more important than having control over the color of the walls. You can have a dog or two. You can plan a huge garden. And if you own, you know that you are not going to come home at the end of the day and find your rent raised, or worse- be given a sixty day notice to vacate because the property has been sold, or foreclosed upon, or your landlord just doesn’t feel like renting any more. You have a little more control over your environment. These things are impossible to account for in a spreadsheet.
Do you have a real estate question, need some local information, or have an idea for a post for? Contact me - I would be happy to hear from you!
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