New Agents, Old Homes, and First Time Homebuyers

Real Estate Agent with Lyon Real Estate CalBRE#01990839

Having only owned older homes has aged me. Grey hair, wrinkles, visible markers of stress I tell you! But would I do it again? Should I? And, as a new agent, how do I honestly but appropriately discuss the pro's and con's of older home ownership with first time buyers?

At this point I don't consider myself a home owner (though I am), I consider myself a steward of the land and the preservationist of this little box of 1947 history. I have had to do foundation work, replace the entire electrical system, most of the plumbing, and various other serious and costly structural issues. I have often wondered if it's even worth it!

Because first time homebuyers are often working with a modest budget and looking for a "starter home," I wonder how much coaching I should offer in the way of maintenance preparedness? I currently approach this topic with humor. Do you want to own power tools? Do you know a lot of people in the building/maintenance industry? I believe I have been able to help people realistically ascertain their physical abilities and financial goals. But do other agents take the time to do this? Gosh I hope so!

Most articles/posts and advertisements I see geared towards first-time homebuyers are all about aggressive financing options. It seems that many agents are simply taking a "get 'em in at any cost" approach. But, if we don't set our buyers up for success in their property undertakings, are we really doing what is right for the property, the history of our towns and communities, or our clients?

I think these are GREAT posts/articles for new homebuyers and new agents:  


Buying New or Older Home?

5 Common Mistakes First-Time Homebuyers Make




Comments (26)

Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Welcome to Active Rain!  As REALTORS who have been here (on and off) for more than 9 years, it's well worth it!

Nov 15, 2015 09:01 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Amy, great topic, and we definitely have to paint the approprirate picture when our buyers prefer older homes in need of work!   Congratulations on your first post, and welcome to ActiveRain!   Elizabeth is GREAT!

Nov 15, 2015 09:23 PM
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Amy McMullan Welcome to Active Rain. We look forward to your contributions here.  You have joined a real pro! Elizabeth is top-notch!

Nov 15, 2015 09:38 PM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, Amy McMullan welcome to ActiveRain.... your affiliation with Elizabeth already puts you in the upper echelon of the real estate industry.... you'll find your way around this platform with ease.... 

Nov 15, 2015 09:40 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Welcome to ActiveRain, and you're absolutely correct - home buyers should have some sense of what it will take to BE a home owner, not to just buy the home.

Nov 15, 2015 10:54 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Great post, Amy McMullan .  I firmly believe we are consultants and teachers for our clients.  Anything you can do to help them understand the process and add to realistic expectations is a good thing.  Sounds like you are well qualified on the pros and cons of the uniqueness of purchasing and owning an older home. 

Welcome to the world of ActiveRain blogging.  You'll find this platform a valuable resource where we freely share and learn from each others experiences. 

Nov 16, 2015 03:50 AM
Gilbert Real Estate Experts: Colby & Michele Myers
Darcam Real Estate & Investments, LLC. - Gilbert, AZ

Welcome to ActiveRain!  Thanks for sharing.  Best wishes on your blogging adventures! 

Nov 16, 2015 05:23 AM
Mery Fernandez Empire Network Realty Luxury Brokerage
Empire Network Realty INC. - Orlando, FL
The Rise of An Empire, Let's Build Yours!

Hi Amy! Welcome to the world of Activerain, may your blogging  create a whole new chapter in your Real Estate Career.

Nov 16, 2015 10:28 PM
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty

Good morning Amy. I'm like you and would handle the situation with humor. We're lucky here in my market there aren't too many homes older than the mid 70's.

Nov 16, 2015 11:28 PM
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

You bring up a great point about the ongoing maintenance.  I do talk to buyers about ongoing home maintenance.  Not only to older homes have maintenance issues but buyers really need to think about the "routine" maintenance that needs to happen on a regular basis.  Even a 10 yr old home need TLC!

Nov 16, 2015 11:53 PM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Amy and welcome to the rain where we all learn from each other.  Have a great day!

Nov 17, 2015 12:01 AM
Melissa Jackson
Century 21 Alliance Properties - Azle, TX
Helping You Make The Right Move

Great first post Amy McMullan 

I try to educate my clients. Enjoy this humor in your blog.  Looking forward to reading more.

Nov 18, 2015 02:09 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I am a big fan of the quality old craftmanship of older homes, something you cannot replicate with modern building materials.

Welcome to Active Rain, looking forward to reading many more of your posts, let me know if there is anything that I can do to help as you get started here.

Nov 19, 2015 05:40 AM
Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School
Rowlett Real Estate School - Panama City, FL
Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor

I do when I do a residential. I try to stay out of those and dance primarily in the commercial aspect of the job.

Nov 20, 2015 06:49 AM
Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School
Rowlett Real Estate School - Panama City, FL
Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor

Welcome to ActiveRain,  it's great to have you aboard.  I look forward to reading more of your posts.

Nov 20, 2015 06:49 AM
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Broker
Elizabeth Anne Weintraub, Broker - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Your heart might cry out to warn buyers about potential issues but the fact is your occupation is that of REALTOR, which means we are not home maintenance experts nor home improvement specialists, and that's why we refer our buyers to the pros for those matters. You can always say, "I suggest you ask an electrician to look at this," rather than, "Oh, that's an easy fix, just rip out the receptacle and replace it." Because then they will get electrocuted and their heirs will sue you, with the former worse than the latter, although it might not seem that way at the time. I'm so happy you are joining my team, Amy!!!!!!!

Nov 29, 2015 03:14 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Amy, I want to welcome you to ActiveRain. I am here from Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents post. No doubt you will make a great team.  You will also bring great value to first time home buyers, and all home-buyers looking to buy an older home.  I wish you much happiness and success. 

Nov 29, 2015 03:22 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Welcome to Active Rain!  And congratulations on being a member of Elizabeth's team.  She's picky so you must be amazing.

Nov 29, 2015 06:49 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Amy- I came over from Elizabeth's wonderful introduction for you!  Welcome to ActiveRAin!!!

Nov 29, 2015 09:23 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Hi Amy.  I came over from Elizabeth's introduction of you.  Welcome to 'the Rain' and I hope to read more of your posts.

Nov 29, 2015 07:46 PM