Even though I sell properties that swell with lifestyle achievement, I always view the value of the deal as the paramount ingredient. Any lakefront home will boost your weekend enjoyment, but not every lakefront home will prove to be a wise financial purchase. The same can be said about any Lake Geneva vacation home, really, that it can and will help you enjoy life a little better at least from the time to purchase it until the time you decide to sell it. It’s in the ultimate selling that the true win is realized. If you enjoy the heck out of something for 20 years and then sell it, the question of the endeavor’s success isn’t measured just in memories- it’s measured in proceeds, too.
This approach to real estate guides my own personal real estate decisions as well, and so it is that I’m in the throws of some personal maneuvering. Again. I have been married for almost 11 years, and in that time I have moved my family into 9 different residences. Some have been short term- a condo while building another home. Others long term- the current house has been home for three years. But all have been temporary in the grand scheme of things. I’m getting tired of temporary.
Late last month, a fairly large piece of property hit the market on a Sunday. I wasn’t sure if I had to have it. For a while I thought I did. Then for a while I was over it. And then I hated it. I was hot and cold and then frozen before melting by the heat again and signing the deal. I have bought many bits of real estate, and buyer’s remorse accompanies each and every purchase. I wonder why I do the things I do. Why I can’t leave well enough alone? Why I must view real estate as an obstacle course that must be navigated by moving forward instead of beaten by sitting still? I continue the pace and each time I question my move. Is all this effort- of packing and painting and renovating and renting- really worth it?
I suppose that depends. I am motivated today on a personal level to purchase a property that I deem worthy of some semblance of permanence. I view the market as it fits my personal circumstances exactly as I project it here to hopefully meet yours- the market is improving. I see a shift coming, and I’m wanting to seize value while it exists instead of torturing myself over what might have been once the recovery is clear. A clear recovery means aware sellers. An uncertain recovery means sellers are still willing to gamble on lower sales prices as they hedge against future what ifs. Uncertain sellers are still commonplace, and these are the ones that we must discover.
I have a buyer to buy the home I’m in now, and the land I’m buying next week is just that- land. Construction will ensue. It might be a fun project, but chances are I will play the role of an unwitting Mr. Blandings, even if I am not constructing my dream house. The motivating factors for me in this process are many, and while they apply uniquely to my circumstance they are anything but unique. I see value, I buy value. I see low interest rates, I look to lock in low interest rates. This is not rocket science.
And what of those low rates? They matter little for someone in a cash position, but alas, I am a Realtor, and cash is only my friend on days immediately following closings and rarely other times. The low interest rates make this transition for me even more attractive, and they put a deadline on my movements. Contrary to current sentiment, these absurdly low interest rates are not going to last forever. So I’ll build a home, and it might be a touch more expensive than it would otherwise be if rates had eight handles instead of four. The low rates allow me the opportunity to fix my cost of housing over the long term, and I can’t think of anything more delicious than a valuable property bought for a great price financed by ridiculously low fixed term interest rates.
This is what I’m doing personally, and it only matters because I spew advice here and feel it important to practice what it is that I preach. Value still exists, rates are still low, and while both have been commonplace for years they will both end their benevolent ways soon enough. The building process for me, assuming my current home closes as scheduled, will be stressful and fun. I’ll provide a few updates of the progress here, that is, if I can find the time between talking about fish and coffee. It might be fun to watch this whole thing unfold, and if it turns out to be a huge embarrassing disaster, then you’ll have a front row seat to my personal implosion. It’s like watching Kurt Rappaport sell real estate to Katie Holmes, except that it’s actually nothing like that at all.