Buying a home? Stick to your budget.
We'll get to the homes in a minute, please read on.......................
Recently my wife Jeanne and I were involved in an auto accident. A young driver failed to yield at a stop sign resulting in a violent crash. Thank God, thank seat belts and thank air bags. Although we were pretty banged up, our injuries were minor. Unfortunately the car was a total loss. So the search for a new car was underway. The insurance company (after some negotiating) gave us $7750. for my 2005 Ford Taurus with 66,000 miles on the odometer. After starting the search it was apparent we weren't going to get much of a car for $7700. We checked on the internet and located a 2006 Ford Five Hundred with 51,000 miles on it for $11,900. at the local Ford dealer. My goal was to replace what I had by using the $7700 and adding a few thousand to get something just a bit better. NOW LET'S COMPARE THIS TO PURCHASING A HOME. Let's use the price of the car $11,900 and add $100,000 to it, as an example of a home purchase. So let's say I can purchase this home for $111,900. That is within my budget. After road testing the vehicle, I really was not impressed with the way it drove, although it looked nice. Also finding out it had no warranty and was "AS IS" really squashed the deal. So, as the salesman suggested, we went into the show room to see what was on the show room floor. The first vehicle in view was a Ford Fusion, Motor Trends car of the year. A nice looking car, but looks a little small. As I sat in the driver's seat I couldn't help thinking Jeanne was not going to like this. "Too small" was her remark as she climbed into the passenger seat. The price $21000 or as a home $121000. The next vehicle on the floor was a Ford Edge. Price $26000. If it were a home the price let's say would be $126000. What a beautiful car! A cross between a car, a truck, and a wagon. I guess you would call it an SUV. The Interior was gorgeous, lots of room even for groceries. Is this what I need to drive clients around to look at homes? I forgot to mention my daughter Vicki was with us. She said "Dad I would buy this. If you're going to spend $21000 for a Fusion why not spend a little more and buy the EDGE?" Good advice I thought (if she were paying for it). Then it came into view- the FORD Taurus SHO. The black beauty. Climbing into the driver's seat was like climbing into the cockpit of a jumbo jet 747 airliner. The steering wheel slowly moved down into position in front of me. Jeanne jumped into the passenger seat and immediately stated "what are all these controls"? There were two fins sticking up on top of the steering wheel center that looked like if you pulled them back the vehicle would begin to rise. It would take a flight instructor to teach me what all these knobs, bottoms, switches, and controls are. I can hardly figure out my cell phone. I was waiting for the car to say: "Please fasten your seat belts and prepare for take off."The price of this beauty $32000. Or let's say if it were a house $132000. Did I like the car..... hell yea. Did I want the car..... hell yea. Would I buy the car..... hell no. You see we went from looking at something in our budget at $111000 to looking at something for $132000.
Moral of the story. Do your homework. Go to a lender to see what you can afford. Ask a realtor to help you and look at homes within your budget. Ask your realtor to find you the very best home for $111000. Tell them you want to stay within your budget, and don't look at homes that are $132000. Of course there will be room for negotiating just as with a car. And also there will be add on fees such as closing costs, insurance, taxes, etc. Just like with a car. But after all who will be paying your mortgage? Certainly not your realtor.
Oh yea...... I am still searching the internet for that perfect auto within my budget and I am sure I will find it soon.