Is your situation similar to any of these three anecdotes?
A few weeks ago, I sat down for a listing consultation with a homeowner who lives in a ranch home with her oldest daughter. She told me that her husband had recently passed. The main reason she wanted to move is that her husband was the one who took care of all the landscaping; her lovely yard now seemed like an intimidating hassle.
After talking it out for a while, we decided that the best scenario for her would be to take advantage of these unbelievably low interest rates and refinance. Her current HOA fees are less than half of what she’d pay in a townhouse, so she can use the money she’s saved from the refinance to pay for a lawn service and stay where she’s been most comfortable for the last 15 years.
The second scenario occurred during another listing appointment where I sat down with the property owner’s son. He mentioned that he and his roommate are renting a two-bedroom apartment for $1,300 and asked if I knew of any cheaper rentals. I asked him if he’d even thought seriously about buying a house, and he said no—at 23 years old, there was no reason for him to buy one yet. I told the young man (whom we’ll call ‘JT’), “While you’re paying rent for that apartment, you’re putting money in someone else’s pocket. Wouldn’t it make more sense for us to find a house for you?” He hadn’t realized how financially empowering it is to own your own home.
When I told him I’d be able to find a house that’s cheaper than $1,300, he was all ears. Here’s the kicker that got him excited: JT’s roommate could live there too, and his roommate’s rent will now be paying for his future trips. I put JT in touch with our lender to get him on a path to homeownership, and he’ll be able to buy a home within 12 to 16 months.
The third scenario I come across quite commonly involves empty nesters, or folks who now live alone because their kids have moved away. Now especially during the COVID lockdown, we’ve been receiving calls from them. Many have realized that, most of the time, they really only use the first floor of their home. Not only are they not using all of their house, but they are also paying extra utility fees that they shouldn’t be. Again, because rates are so low, these potential buyers can afford to make a move right now. Oftentimes, empty nesters can move to a smaller house without paying anything out of pocket because the proceeds from their home sale will cover it.
Those are just a few of the situations that we’re encountering in today’s uncertain market. If you’re thinking about buying, selling, investing, or refinancing, I’d love to sit down with you for 30 to 45 minutes and run through some options that might work best for your situation. Maybe the best route is to stay put and finance a remodel, or maybe it’s time to move. Either way, know that you can always reach out to me by phone or email if you ever have any questions about real estate. I’m here to help!