My son graduates from high school this year. It has snuck up on us because we are not ready.
My husband and I planned years ago that we would sell our large house and downsize when our son graduates. Our goals were 1) pay cash for my son’s college education, 2) buy a small house for its little maintenance (ie me to clean), and 3) find the house with the workshop or pole barn of my husband’s dreams.
So here we are and we have not replaced the upstairs carpeting, updated the master bath or painted the house exterior yet. This is the third spring that we swore we would do these things.
Just for grins, I have started house hunting for us. Not only to see the prices of what we want, but also to hold it over my husband’s head so that I can say “I told you so” when the right house comes along and we are not ready to sell. But I cannot find his dream workshop or pole barn.
I have two clients that are ready to list, but we cannot find homes for them either. One wants a small ranch condo with a garage in a specific area that is also within a senior’s living budget. The other is for a newer ranch with a three car garage under a specific price but with broader commuting options.
Why don’t more ranches have three car garages? We live in snow shrouded Michigan for gosh sakes! We need one garage just for the riding tractors with plow attachments or jet skis! Why haven’t builders erected more senior living condos for purchase instead of building so many senior rentals – and at such high rental rates?
We’ve been searching, and I have driven the neighborhoods requested because if I see what my clients want, I will find myself knocking on doors to see if the owners would like to sell.
Because our area has been in a sellers’ market for so long, sales prices have been nicely increasing, quite noticeably in the last five years. So of course, what my buyers’ want is often above their budgets. Mine too.
A broker in my office could not find houses for two of his clients last year, so he looked up old expireds that fit his clients’ requests and approached the homeowners to sell. When he told the owners that he had buyers for their homes, they practically closed the doors on this face because they had heard that line before from marketing real estate agents. However, his plan worked because he was able to give the sellers actual attractive offers from his clients.
It used to be that a seller could put his house on the market then pick out his next home when his property sold because there were a lot of available options out there. Now, prospective sellers don’t want to list unless they can find what they really want in their price range.
Or they have refinanced and have decided to stay.
Oh, and it’s an election year .
So, this is going to be an interesting year for home buyers.
Ruth Berklich is a Realtor with Keller Williams Rochester – Troy, Michigan. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (248) 609-8000.