Throwback Thursday: To Buy Or Not To Buy.

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Education & Training with Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals.

Q: When are you going to stop sitting on that fence?

A: I don't know yet. 

A post last week about the cost of renting by Brad Andersohn gave me a flashback to a post I wrote in my very early blogging days. When I went back and read it, I couldn't help but think it is as true today as ever.

This post was originally published on October 31, 2006.  Since I retired from active listing and selling and property management in 2011, I decided I needed to remove old contact links and remove links to old websites and blogs.

Also, please keep in mind that I am no longer licensed and cannot be your real estate advocate.  However, if you are looking to buy or sell a home or investment property in Wenatchee and don't know who to call, let me know.  I can make some recommendations of highly qualified agents for you to interview and hire based on your specific needs.  I get no financial compensation for these recommendations. I just want you to have a great buying or selling experience.  

* * * * *


I have some buyers on the fence here.  These are buyers with good income, but can't make themselves bite the bullet and buy a house.  They want to wait until something in their "desired" price range comes up.  Yeah, like that's going to happen!  There's nothing on the market that suits them for the price.  They can pay more, they just don't want to.  So, they wait and they've got a pile of rent receipts to proudly show for their stubborness.

In Wenatchee, Washington we are in one of the lucky markets that rarely experiences a real estate downturn.  This continued strength is for a multitude of reasons, including our strong and diverse economy, 300 days of sunshine, and desireable lifestyle.

The sad truth is... for about the same $$$ you can either rent a house or buy a house. The landlords, of course, hope you keep renting because their property values just keep going up and YOU are paying their mortgage.  It's costing them nothing.   At current appreciation rates, two years from now their property is worth more and you have a bigger pile of rent receipts.   Whereas, if you bite the bullet and buy a house now... YOUR house would be worth more in two years and you have equity that is worth real, tangible, dollars to you.   


Here's my personal real estate buying story for illustration:  As a single woman, in 1973 (at the age of 21) I bought my first house...a little rambler for $20,000.  I had a $2,000 downpayment and that got me in.   6 years later I sold it for $46,000 and bought a house for $79,000.  5 years later I sold that house for $99,000 (it was a flat period in real estate) and bought a house for $205,000.  That was a big leap. It was the most expensive house in the county that year and my payments tripled.    BUT, 6 years later I sold that house for $395,000 and bought a house for cash with the built up
equity from all of these transactions.    
 
After that first house, I never put in more money, I just kept rolling my equity up.  The reality is, if I consider the tax benefits and appreciation I have actually earned money by owning a home.  Although I made house payments, paid taxes and insurance... those payments were, essentially rebated back to me through tax returns AND equity whenever I sold a home.  I now own a home free and clear (and had money left over) and it feels great.  Tax accountants may argue it's not good to own a home free-and-clear, but it feels good to me!  

Everyone must decide for themselves when the time is right to buy a home. It's a big decision and can be downright scary.   All I know is if I'd waited until it was "affordable", I'd still be renting....45 years later.  As it is, I am 66 years old and will never make house payments again, unless I want to! 

My advice is: Buy as soon as you can.  Buy as much as you can.  Trade up whenever you can.   Do not do so with reckless abandon, however.  Be financially responsible and enlist the guidance of an experienced real estate agent who can advise you based on current market conditions.


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"The best way to predict the future is to create it!"
- Peter Drucker

"Information is FREE. Knowledge, Experience & Integrity Are Priceless."

-Carol Williams

Retired: Real Estate Broker/Owner, Property Manager 
Coaching, goal setting and marketing consultant by appt.

Active: Golf & Travel Blogger
"Golf isn't a sport. It's a lifestyle."
SeniorWomenGolfers.com
TopTeamCarol@gmail.com


 

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Rainmaker
2,825,325
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Carol.

Home prices around my area are rising, we haven't seen a real slow down in a long time.  I agree, buy now don't rent.

Apr 04, 2019 01:14 AM #1
Rainmaker
3,185,235
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Mmm....Yes...rolling in equity is great exercise and a good feeling !

Apr 04, 2019 02:59 AM #2
Rainmaker
3,164,953
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Carol. While rolling up equity is not what it once was, home ownership is still the best savings account for the vast majority. Enjoy your day!

Apr 04, 2019 04:36 AM #3
Rainmaker
3,519,480
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Carol. Your words are wise and accurate. You started earlier than I did but with one exception I always made monet too.

Apr 04, 2019 04:51 AM #4
Rainmaker
1,402,295
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

This is a perfect example of how to make home ownership work !

Apr 04, 2019 05:23 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,276,892
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

Hi James Dray 
I did rent for about 1 year and decided that wasn't the life for me! 

Apr 04, 2019 05:38 AM #6
Rainmaker
1,276,892
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

Hi Sally K. & David L. Hanson 
That first down payment is the trickiest part, isn't it?  After that, the built up equity covers any future down payments. 

Apr 04, 2019 05:39 AM #7
Rainmaker
1,276,892
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

Hi Wayne Martin 
Yes, those house payments turn into a savings account over time.  Rent payment do NOT. 

Apr 04, 2019 05:40 AM #8
Rainmaker
1,276,892
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

Hi Sheila Anderson 
When we get to our age, making money isn't the goal any more.  I just love knowing I own my home and never have to make payments again. 

Apr 04, 2019 05:44 AM #9
Rainmaker
2,474,127
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Wenatchee sounds like it exists in a sweet spot that is fairly immune to wild cyclic markets often experienced in other parts of the country, Carol.

Apr 04, 2019 05:44 AM #10
Rainmaker
1,276,892
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

Hi Kat Palmiotti 
It's a worthy goal when you get to the point in life where you don't have to worry about making payments any more. 

Apr 04, 2019 05:46 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,276,892
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

HI Myrl Jeffcoat 
For the most part, it is.  We are very fortunate to have a very diverse and growing economy. 

Apr 04, 2019 05:55 AM #12
Ambassador
3,041,741
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
RE/MAX Northwest. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

 I’m glad you shared this earlier blog post with us because it really gave me some perspective Carol Williams 

 

 I hope you have an awesome Thursday..

Apr 04, 2019 06:12 AM #13
Rainmaker
1,276,892
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

Good morning Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS 
Happy Thursday!

Apr 04, 2019 06:16 AM #14
Ambassador
1,805,649
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Stellar advice, I too began home ownership at a young age. It does indeed pay off. Wish my daughter would have followed my advice and purchased a home, I shudder to think how much she has paid in rent. D

Apr 04, 2019 09:52 AM #15
Rainmaker
1,845,286
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Carol - I totally agree.  Like you, I won't make house payments again.  I bought and upgraded when it mattered and I did not take money out of equity when refinancing.

Apr 04, 2019 10:09 AM #16
Rainmaker
3,238,750
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Good morning, Carol - I like your real-life example and if this isn't featured why not a Second Choice Saturday candidate?  Why not indeed.  

Apr 04, 2019 10:24 AM #17
Rainmaker
2,189,289
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

We are the same age, Carol, and I've done the same things as you with buying and selling. My first house was $400K but my first real house the one I bought as a single woman was $45,000. Then $80K. Then I rolled it into $110K and sold that for almost $300K. It's been uphill ever since and I now own our home in Hawaii free and clear as well.

Apr 04, 2019 05:17 PM #18
Rainmaker
1,515,002
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Good morning Carol, your first-hand experience is something buyers should really let sink in. It sends a powerful message. I bought my first house when I was 22 with the help of my parents on the downpayment and it served me really well. Without it, we wouldn't have been able to buy 2 other homes. I wish more people who rent for years and years would buy, the numbers don't lie. 

Apr 05, 2019 05:15 AM #19
Rainmaker
5,262,239
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Home ownership continues to be the easiest way to build family wealth.

Apr 05, 2019 06:14 AM #20
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Rainmaker
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Carol Williams

Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager
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