Our First Home
Last week this article
in the Wall Street Joural really caught my attention. “10 Reasons to Buy a Home” was a pretty good response to Time Magazines yellow journalism in last months article decrying home ownership. The Wall Street Journal article points out they had a very different tone when home prices were peaking back in 2005-6. What comes to mind is Warren Buffet’s statement “Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful.” When everyone was ridiculously excited about real estate, we now know that it wasn’t the best time to buy. Now that prices are low and interest rates are extremely low and other buyers are hestitant, its a GREAT TIME to BUY. History constantly shows that many people won’t be excited until prices start climbing again, and by that time, the deals won’t be nearly as good as now.
My thoughts go to my first home buying experience. Not that we did everything right, but our apartment lease was coming due in 6 months and I was itching to buy a house. My new bride and I were at odds about location, but we both liked Kirkwood and Webster Groves area. I wanted to buy in the City, she wasn’t familiar enough. We looked and looked. One day my mother called and told me that we should look in the subdivision just north of hers in the City of Manchester. There were was a place selling in our range, we called our Realtor to take a look.
The house was in dire shape, but it was winter, and there weren’t many other buyers in the market. It was an estate home (owned by heirs of the prior owner) and they were getting desperate. We got an analysis of the neighborhood sales from our agent and discussed strategies on how to make an offer. We end up getting the home for a great price and had many happy years there.
Ever since then, I’ve experienced some really great reasons to buy a home during the off peak months of fall and winter. A few are listed below:
1. Seller’s are at a psychological disadvantage. Many sellers are anxious about the lower amount of traffic from summer. Offers are taken more seriously as there is less certainty that another offer will come along.
2. Realtors have more time. When I work with buyers in the fall and winter, most realtors have more time to spend because they aren’t working with as many other clients.
3. Prices have dropped on many of the homes that were listed in the spring and summer, sellers are more motivated.
4. Homes don’t show as well in bad weather and less tidy landscaping, and it gives buyers more leverage.
5. Buyer’s are less likely to encounter “multiple offers” which tilts negotiations in the sellers favor.
6. The average days on market is usually longer (fewer seller’s try to sell in the fall / winter) so the homes that are on the market have been ‘sitting’.
7. Other services, like mortgage brokers, inspectors and title companies aren’t as busy and have more time to work with a buyer’ schedule.
Buyer’s can have great experiences in their efforts all year long. If getting the most for your money and being able to thoroughly explore areas with the full assistance of a Realtor is important to you, then fall / winter buying might be the best alternative for you. Happy Home buying!
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