As a Realtor, I earn my living helping people buy and sell homes. That said, once in a while it’s important to help both buyer and seller clients consider other options.
I met with a wonderful older woman in Lake Placid last year who told me that she wanted to sell her home and move into a condo. After my second visit and a conversation over coffee it became apparent that what she really wanted was to not sell her home, but she would need her sons to help her maintain the property.
Later that week we all got together and discussed the pros and cons of Mom selling the house and her need for help if she were to stay. Once her sons had a clear understanding of her needs, they were happy to help.
Today she is still in the home she loves, and I hope she enjoys being there for a long, long time.
While there can be alternatives to selling, there are sometimes reasons why a buyer is better off renting rather than buying.
It is not uncommon for someone to reach out about buying a home, when that may not be the best option at the time. Owning a home can be expensive, and buyers should consider all the possible costs associated with a home purchase very carefully.
It is important to consider not only the price of a home, but also the carry costs of home ownership. Some first time home buyers compare what they’re paying for rent and what their mortgage will be, and if those numbers are similar, they’ll assume it makes sense to buy a home. They may be right, but they also could be wrong.
When calculating the cost of home ownership buyers should consider the cost of taxes, utilities and insurance. These are numbers your Realtor can and should supply.
Buyers may want to have a nest egg to help cover unexpected expenses. Appliances will break down, carpets will wear, the exterior will need painting, etc.
Be prepared to maintain your home, and purchase the tools to do so.
This Old House provides a very good guesttimate of the life cycle of all sorts of parts of your house:
As always, if you have any questions about purchasing a home, or its carry costs, let me know. I’m happy to help.
Bob Miller is an Associate Broker with 10 years of real estate experience as well as 15 years of service as a former Lake Placid School Board member, and is currently a 3-time elected Town Councilman in Lake Placid.