If you let slip that you are looking to buy, looking to sell or looking to rent, your countenance is instinctively replaced by a visual of red meat. Red meat to a hungry dog is a POWERFUL stimulant, a drug, a matter of survival.
Assisted by the computer and scripts, these wolves get up before the sun to find a listing expiring today. They are calling while you are brushing your teeth to tell you to list with and find the success you are missing. They sound confident, professional, friendly. All highly practiced and reading from a script. “What, you’re going to rethink selling”. “Don’t you want to cash in on this market”. “My magic techniques will sell your home where others could not”. They know 30 calls will get them 2 meetings. They don’t know you or like you for that matter. You are just dinner.
A realtor came to my door. He introduced himself and said he was here to deliver the appraisal I had requested. I had not requested any such thing so for fun I played along. I said, “maybe my wife did something on the internet.” The fellow had a spiffy presentation with pictures of my home and lists of other homes that are for sale or have sold recently in my neighborhood. He had my floor plan, the number and type of rooms, when my house was built, previous owners and previous sales amounts, the size of the lot, tax bills, my mortgage, area amenities. So at that point in time I had a market value for my home. Good to know, but I wasn’t going anywhere. So the guy tries to convince my to take the money and run. Insure my retirement and go for the gold. He could find me a great place for less and I could bank the difference. Maybe I wanted to go to the hills of North Carolina. Cool that he was so concerned for my happiness. He had a funny habit – he kept licking his chops while presenting.
A secret. Realtors are like insurance people. No base salary. All commission. So if you aren’t closing deals your family is hungry. The pressure is enormous. I was at a seminar where a realtor of 35 years who was a top realtor in Florida was talking. His advice to younger realtors is be hungry all the time. He said he wakes up every day and worries that yesterday’s closing was the last house we would ever sell. This guy has a staff of 5 but he was terrified that if he did not keep a frenetic pace he would fail. He seemed to be a nice fellow, good family man but wigged out by this all-commission lifestyle.
Knowing you are red meat can be distasteful. There are realtors who are sane. Usually there’s a second income in their house so the agent can weather the ebbs and flows and luck of closing deals.
Ideally you want that someone to help you find the home of your dreams to know as much about you as your hairdresser or barber. But to respect your privacy and be a helper. Some realtor are this way and their secret is they get plenty of closings by just being helpful and respectful. Facilitating your needs, understanding your trepidations, and confusion. Being patient until you are ready.
I too hate the house I bought, house okay, but the neighborhood really gets on my nerves. We have an HOA, I received the Restrictions at closing. But there is no board of directors, no dues are being collected and so it seems that everyone does what they want to. I would like to reactivate the Restrictions but can’t find the bylaws and no one in the neighborhood wants them reactivated. I gave up a house that was virtually paid for thinking that I was moving up because the neighbor I sold in was being crime ridden. Boy was I wrong – I hate my house so much and I’m driving my husband nuts with my complaining. I dislike my neighbors and their chickens, which according to the covenants they are not allowed. I too am crying – I want so bad to sell the house but I would loose $20k and I cannot justify that much of a loss so I’m stuck and it is the most frustrating and a sickening feeling.
I really, really hate my house – and I’m a smart woman, bought and sold real estate many times and this is the first house I have ever owned that I have such a passionate dislike for.
Many people who would like to own homes have fears that prevent them from buying. And rightfully so, as buying a home is usually the largest purchase a person ever makes. If you’re one of these people who is hesitant, take heart – there are simple steps you can take to overcome your fears and become confident that you will make a sound purchase. Here are the top five reasons you may be holding off on purchasing a home and how to overcome these hurdles.
Fear #1: Loss In Property Value
Homes can decline in value, even without a disaster. Neighborhoods can gradually decline, newly-built homes can make older neighborhoods less attractive, or an unpleasant development (prison, landfill, highway, etc.) could be built nearby. A poor or mediocre economy can also keep home values down. Even savvy home buyers can’t always predict what will happen to home prices. But you can take precautions, like buying in a low-crime area where the homes are well-kept, primarily owner-occupied and with high-quality schools nearby. Also, you can contact the city government to ask about future development plans in the area you want to buy.
Fear #2: Overwhelming Maintenance Costs
All homes have upkeep costs, and many homes have very large maintenance bills. If you become a homeowner, you won’t be able to avoid these costs. However, there are numerous things you can do to mitigate and prepare for them:
- Buy a home that has been well-maintained.
- Buy a home that has recently had major components upgraded or replaced (e.g., new roof, new water heater, new plumbing, new electrical)
- Buy a new home (though new homes sometimes have undiscovered defects).
- Regularly maintain your home to prevent small problems from becoming major repairs.
Go into the purchase with a generous emergency fund set aside for home maintenance and add to that fund every month. Also, to avoid buying a money pit, you should also have a home inspection before you buy.
Fear #3: Buyer’s Remorse
Are you concerned about buying the wrong house? Maybe it’s because you don’t know what you want. Fortunately, you can solve that problem. Make a wish list that includes features your home must have, as well as features that you’d like it to have but aren’t necessary. Look at many houses to see what’s available in your price range. If you find a home you think you want to buy, sleep on your decision before making an offer. And don’t exceed your budget, as you will quickly regret buying any house that strains your finances. Also, don’t be afraid to walk away from a house – new homes are always coming on the market.
Fear #4: Being Unable To Afford Your Mortgage Payment
Many people wonder how they will afford their mortgage if they lose their job. They also might see that the mortgage payment required to afford a home in their area exceeds what they currently pay in rent. To deal with potential job loss, make sure to have a large emergency fund set aside. You can use this money to continue paying the mortgage if you lose your job. Also, though you may experience unpleasant collection activities, your home isn’t likely to be taken away from you the first time you miss a mortgage payment. Before you take on a mortgage, set up a budget so you know what your existing expenses are and how much money you take home every month. Also, think about new expenses that will come with home ownership, like water and trash bills. You can also try making fake mortgage payments for a few months and see how it affects your finances. Also, make sure you have health insurance before you buy. Unexpected medical bills are a common source of financial instability.
Fear #5: Tricky Mortgages
If you feel that you are not financially sophisticated enough to manage a mortgage, there are two simple remedies to this problem:
- First, start educating yourself about how mortgages work, and don’t buy a home until you understand what you’re getting into. There are numerous books, articles and classes available on the subject. (For more information, take a look at Mortgages: Fixed-Rate Versus Adjustable-Rate.)
- Second, if you’re still uncertain, get a 15- or 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. These mortgages have withstood the test of time and are the most basic and most foolproof mortgages available.