- Published on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 14:36
- Written by Super User
I hope you’re well! Every year I check in with my clients to offer them a free annual review of their real estate situation. It’s interesting that a home purchase is a major financial and life decision, but few people manage that decision beyond the initial transaction. Financial portfolios, insurance policies, and even our kids’ education is managed on an annual or even quarterly basis. Why isn't home ownership? In most cases, a simple review reveals opportunity. If you can answer “yes” to one or more of the following, it might make sense for us to have a conversation soon:
• Are you considering a move?
• Are you renovating?
• Are you thinking about investment properties?
• Are you considering a vacation home?
• Do you want to consolidate debt?
• Would you be interested in options to decrease your mortgage payment?
• Is there a benefit now to increasing your payment to pay off your loan faster?
I would be more than happy to provide you with guidance on any of these topics, or provide you with a balanced view of any moves you might make now or in the near future to improve your position.
So now let’s talk about home buying…
It starts innocently enough... you pass a house in a neighborhood you like, you hear someone is selling their home, you happen to look up home prices online. Before you know it, you’re knee-deep in home shopping and open house visits. This can actually be exceedingly dangerous to your financial future.
Falling in love with a home before you actually know what you want in a home is risky. To avoid the “buy first, think later” syndrome that burdens family finances, marriages, and work life, ask yourself these important questions:
1. How much do we want to spend each month on home expenses? There’s a tendency for people who shop first to try and “make the math work” on purchasing a home. Often this leads to stretching the home budget and ignoring crucial expenses such as maintenance and property taxes in order to “make the mortgage.” Determine a comfortable, conservative range for home expenses first.
2. Which neighborhoods make sense from multiple angles? You may love a neighborhood for its leafy streets and family-friendly atmosphere, but what if it adds thirty minutes to your commute? Are the schools good? What are the crime stats like? What’s the walkability score? Don’t view a neighborhood with rose-colored glasses based on a single quality you like.
3. What’s a priority and what’s a nice extra? You may think you want extra bedrooms for guests and a home office, but which one is more important? Rank the must haves against the “nice to haves.”
4. What’s our long-term ownership picture look like? Are you settling in for ten years, or do you suspect you’ll need to move in four? While you can’t predict the future, you can make some estimates. Those estimates will help you understand how much home you should buy, what kind of down-payment you’ll want to have, and what the picture might look like in terms of renovations.
5. When can you move vs. when would you like to move? Rental leases, selling your current home, and job and schooling factors all impact the timeline for a purchase. Wrap your head around the pragmatic timeline as best you can.
I’m more than happy to help you think these through, and any of your real estate requirements.
Expect Results: Your Real Estate Market Report is provided by Justin Donaton of Coastwalk Real Estate. Any data provided, unless otherwise noted, is courtesy of the Wilmington Association of REALTORS MLS and/or the National Association of REALTORS. Justin does not just "list" properties, he sells them! To get your home SOLD for the highest possible price, call Justin at 910-352-0998. Justin has SOLD the most real estate on Pleasure Island every year since 2007. He has the highest dollar volume of sales, and has had the most number of closings. His business is built on hard work and high-impact marketing. Coastwalk Real Estate is the #1 Sales office on Pleasure Island. Please visit: www.CoastwalkRealEstate.com for more info.
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