Welcome to Edmonds Real Estate News. Each week we will cover a topic of importance to either buyers or sellers of real estate. Please make comments and suggest topics for discussion.
Our first article focuses on the different expectations of buyers and sellers based on age. Real estate for those under 30 has been considered an investment, which is all this group has known: Buy a house, keep it a couple of years and you then made lots of money. For those over 30, owning a house means having a home — a place you lived in and called your own. It meant privacy, a place to get away from work and enjoy your family. You could paint the walls any color without asking permission and become a top-notch gardener in your own yard.
It used to be that people stayed in their homes for years, only moving if they had to. There was a front porch to meet the neighbors as they walked by. Homeowners had job security — they were rooted and settled in.
With our present economy in shambles, young people need to be quickly transferable. They work hard and long, with little job security. For them, I advise, rent a place until you know for certain the city you are in will be your home for years to come.
Today it is prudent to buy a house because you want to turn it into your home. As for appreciation, it is not going to happen for the next five years. It will take 10 years in other areas of the country before home values begin to rise. Two-income families who want peace of mind may consider selling their home and purchasing something smaller. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to live off one person’s salary, and have the other for extra? We would have funds for travel, home improvements and — heaven forbid — for savings.
It was my father’s generation that saved money for a substantial down payment. His generation borrowed some, for a mortgage only, and then paid it off in a matter of a few years. My grandparents came to this country with money in their pocket and purchased a home outright. For many today, our futures changed overnight. A strong case can be made that greed — in banking, Wall Street, politics and in major corporations — has put us into the hemorrhaging condition we are in today. It is now time to look back again, and buy a house to make it our home.
Next week: Why a couple of well-chosen rental properties can be a good addition to your retirement plan.
Edmonds resident Carl Brecht has been licensed to sell real estate since 1977 and currently works at Coldwell Banker Bain in Edmonds. With a background in both residential and commercial sales, Carl has worked throughout the U.S. and in Germany, has owned his own brokerage and has spent two years in law school, studying property and contract law. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 425-368-8246.