For the past year and a half I have had a number of clients who have been unable to move forward in their home purchasing. Many of these clients are in very comfortable rental situations. In the past couple of years, the rental market has been a way of getting more house for less money--much like car leasing! I have done my duty by educating them about the advantages or purchasing, but I think, in many cases, they have been overwhelmed by the luxury of choice and comfortable in their relatively inexpensive, yet fancy, rentals. Others are clients who feel like the have "lost" money on their home, without considering that they will gain value in the price they will pay for the new home.
"Back in the day" when houses moved in 1-5 days, purchasers were forced to think, and act, quickly. With a return to "normalcy" buyers are able to follow a very prolonged process of reviewing each property. I think this lack of urgency, combined with many media reports designed to scare buyers away from purchasing (unintentionally, perhaps, but that is the result) buyers have a very tough time making a decision. I am NOT advocating for the craziness of the past, but for a more balanced media coverage. I would love to see more media coverage about the importance of building equity to provide future financial stability. Instead, we see stories about prices dropping and the loss of value in homes. I have owned property for over 20 years and even when I did not make a cent, I knew that it was important to look at the big picture and my financial future.
I think back to my childhood in the Washington area. With lots of military & government families, many people did not stay in the area for long periods of time. Those who bought property and rented it out, while serving their country in other parts of the world, were in a better financial situation later than those who rented and moved on with each transfer. The first group was also in a position to return to their community each time they were sent back here--they could still afford their house! I think the lessons of the past can be applied to this current market. You've got to get in the game to play...
I know I am "preaching to the choir," at least for the other REALTORs reading this post, but I think it is important to make buyers understand that this really is a GREAT TIME to buy.
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