The baby arrived, and suddenly our first house didn’t seem as big any more.
For me, it was when our second arrived and my wife pointed out this obvious fact over dinner.
Asking, if I wasn’t busy on Sunday with clients could we go look at an “open-house” across town?
In case you don’t know, I look at houses almost every day for clients. So suggesting we go to an open-house shows that we weren’t communicating very well. Ugh!
Every client’s situation is unique
I always work with clients who have decided they need more space now that their families have grown. Today’s family growth doesn’t only happen when a baby or twins arrive, but can happen when Grammy and/or Pop-Pop need care too.
And there are always other important points that need to be factored in, such as:
- Distance from work
- The W&OD Bike Trail
- Near existing home and friends
There are financial constraints too. Most often selling the old house and using the proceeds to buy the next house tops the list.
And that next house, especially in Vienna, may be double the cost of the old house.
The real estate inventory is low
because home owners don’t have a place to move to…
Starting the process involves homework, strategic planning, and the sheer guts to go for it!
To give you a better idea of the process, meet some clients who are typical Vienna home buyers that moved from a small place to a bigger place just around the corner.
Russell and Kim realized that their town house was getting a little too tight. And, now that they were established in the accounting careers, it was the right time to find a new home.
Their town house was ideally located near the Vienna Community Center and W&OD Trail, and, since Russell is a distance runner, finding the next house near the W&OD Trail was essential. Kim liked the general vibe of living within walking distance of community activities like the Farmers’ Market, the Vienna Inn, and events on the Vienna Town Green.
Plus, Vienna Elementary School was nearby.
So, staying in the Town of Vienna was it. Location, location, location.
To buy the next home, the town house needed to be sold.
- Must be in the Town of Vienna
- Must sell town house
- Can afford new (er) home
Crafting a plan of action wasn’t easy especially when a young child and a dog get factored in. But it wasn’t impossible to put together that plan and start moving in the right direction.
- Begin to update existing town house to be ready
- Look at all potential homes for sale in the desired area
- Start application and credit review with mortgage officer
One option that Russell and Kim had open was moving in with relatives for the short term. Although not ideal, it did allow flexibility selling the town house.
After looking at the existing new home inventory, they had a good idea of market value but most of the new homes were either under contract or planned to be ready in 9 to 12 months.
As it turns out, a previously listed home came back on the market at a new lower price… exactly in the location that they wanted.
After checking the house out and then returning during an open-house where the football coach/listing agent gave a rather obvious hint about making an offer (any offer).
Russell and Kim sat down with me to put together an offer.
- Negotiate the sales price
- Include a Home Inspection Contingency
- Include a Financing Contingency
- Make the offer Contingent on Selling the Town House
What you are looking at is an offer that most real estate professionals know has little chance of success. Negotiate the price and make it contingent on selling the town house? Yikes!
I could probably write a book on negotiating real estate that would read like a collection of suspense filled short stories, rather than closing the deal. What makes my job interesting year over year is that people are unique and their situations can be slightly comical.
You think you got problems?
Presenting a well thought out offer is a learned skill
The lack of inventory appears to be a common real estate problem across the country. What is a primary cause of this log-jam is that move-up home buyers have to navigate an extremely complex transaction and there is an element of fear involved.
I get that. It’s a classic “Catch-22” where people are in limbo and the process is frozen.
Putting together a plan to achieve your goal of moving into a bigger house is essential because your action will get the ball rolling.
My first recommendation is to be firm with where you want to be. Location and price sometimes may not always deliver the home you want, and in that case you will have to compromise. Or, be really prepared and really patient.
- prepare your existing home to be market ready
- Look at the current inventory of homes for sale
- sell existing house and find a short-term rental
- Sell existing home and move in with family
If you are a move-up home buyer frustrated because you love where you live but your house is too small, then know that you are not alone.
Russell and Kim did find a 2011 built house and sold the old one. No, they didn’t need to move in with their family… because we worked out a plan and stuck to it.
Was luck involved? Maybe.
Let’s get you moving too. Contact me…