I have had clients over the years who bought houses that were well within their financial means. There were others who bought way over their means. Their motivations are not my call.
Similarly, I have had clients buy houses that were in excellent condition. Others bought properties thoroughly trashed and probably expensive to repair. They will sometimes ask me if they should buy a fixer-upper. My answer – it depends! It depends on so many things – their skills, their energy, their time, their finances, their ability to see beyond the mess, their contacts, their, their… But there is a terrific market out there for handy-man specials. I salute those who take them on! Such buys they are not right for most people. And, they can be real hardships for even the most talented.
There are many clients who have stuck with me for many years through many inspections (total masochists apparently). One young lady who has called me many times is a great example of prudence. She started years ago with a small one-bedroom condo. The market made her money. She went from there to a larger two-bedroom condo. The market made her money but she also fixed it up. She moved from that to a townhouse, which, after market improvement and fix ups, she sold for another gain. At that point she married and bought a single-family home. Now they have two children. This young lady has always been well situated and well within her budget. They have steadily improved on this house. Is the current market downturn bothering her? No.
I get questions all the time – Is this house a good investment? I don’t know, but the house has great bones. Is this a nice neighborhood? I have been in here many times and it seems nice to me, but ask a few neighbors. Is the house in good enough shape that you would buy it? I would be comfortable with my mother living her, if that is what you are asking. Is this a good house? That is up to you – does it feel right? Will we like living here? I don’t know, but I hope you are never satisfied with the house and always try to make improvements. Call me when you do!
One thing a real estate agent or home inspector cannot tell you is if the house is a good fit. Those variables are too many to know. But I find that most clients just feel right about a house. They can somehow tell if it fits.
And if the house fits, wear it!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560