Finding the Bridge between Those who Are Buying and Those who Are Not

People want to buy homes, they really do.

Interestingly, more people answered the “why are you considering purchasing” poll (65) than did the why are you not buying question (42) – can I draw the conclusion that more people are interested in buying than are not?

I’m trying to find the bridge between the results – clearly people want to buy homes, but is the possible self-fulfilling prophecy of “expecting the market to decline” more powerful? We absolutely have a crisis of confidence right now – in virtually every facet of our lives – and I’m certainly not advocating “buying a home” to strengthen the economy. But – don’t let fear be the sole motivator of the decision-making process.

Buying a home is logical, psychological and emotional – keeping those traits in check is vital.

Will the house you buy today be worth less tomorrow? In the short term, I would be lying if I said anything other than “probably.” But – in five to seven years, will that same house be worth more? Most likely. Again, we need to look at the benefits of homeownership that extend beyond equity. The ability to paint the walls whatever color you want, add on to the back, put as many nail holes in the wall that you want … how does one quantify intrinsic value?

Why are you considering purchasing?

Why buy a home in Charlottesville?

“Other” Votes:

– Moving to the area

– Just moved, currently renting

– Need more space and a yard

What is the biggest reason you are not looking to purchase a home right now?


Why aren't you buying a home in charlottesville right now?
“Other” answers –
– Rent is substantially cheaper than buying for comparable situation
– rent is cheaper
– renting is much cheaper
– selling current house
– have a home

I am contacted by buyers all the time who are interested in buying homes in the Charlottesville area – many are affiliated with UVA, others are professionals who are likely to remain in the area for several years, still more are in the position of downtownenvy

Personally, we want a 4 bedroom downtown with a yard because we have a large and possibly growing family. We want a house this size because we plan on living in it for at least the next 30 years, and don’t feel like doing a small starter home for 5-10 years, and then purchasing a “move up” home. Therefore, we have decided to bank our downpayment, eliminate all debt, and watch for the greatest deal we can get. We know which school district and neighborhoods that we insist on limiting our search to, and most importantly, we are willing to rent and wait. We love our rental home. If we had purchased it instead, we would be paying four times what we pay now. No thanks.

But who are willing to make that 7-10 year purchase decision and then move to the next house. The spectrum is wide. There are no judgements here, but observations; buying right now, or five years ago, or five years from now, is a personal decision – one size does not fit all.

As I said in the comments of Part 1, my intent with these two posts is not to cajole or convince anyone to buy or wait, but to encourage them to allow the thought of buying to enter the conversation – even if only over dinner.

People are selling, and people are buying – the apocalypse is not yet upon us.

*Disclaimer – I’m not a pollster, just someone trying to figure out the market. If it’s ok with you, I’m going to take some solace, if not comfort, in the fact that 23 more people responded that they are considering buying than not.

** You can still take the polls.

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3 Comments

  1. Andy K January 28, 2009 at 11:11

    Jim
    My knee jerk interpretation of more people taking the “buyer” vs the “non buyer” poll is that this represents the demographic who would visit your site (ie, someone interested in buying a house). You are a realtor and this is a site about the real estate market in our region.

    Your site is interesting and informative; however, I think the simple fact is that more people interested in buying or selling a home visit your site vs. people who just want to stay up with the current trends in real estate in our area.

    Either way, I don’t have much data to back my interpretation of those two numbers either.

    Reply
  2. TC January 28, 2009 at 15:36

    Is this info accurate for CVL?

    – Rent is substantially cheaper than buying for comparable situation
    – rent is cheaper
    – renting is much cheaper

    Reply
    1. Jim Duncan February 2, 2009 at 07:43

      TC –

      Renting can be cheaper, depending on the property, but this is not a fair blanket statement. I assume that in each of these respondents’ situations, they have done the math and determined this to be the case. I have in fact told several potential clients to continue or start renting because for the property type they were seeking, renting would turn out to be less expensive. Each situation is different.

      Reply

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