Outside Events Seldom Motivate the Decision to Buy a House

When you decide that the time is approaching to put your home on the market, you probably take special interest in exploring the conditions that are likely to motivate families to buy your local house. Most of the research on the subject indicates that it has at least as much to do with how people live their lives as it does with external forces–like changes in the economy or jobs market. When you spend as much time as I do chatting with people who are in the hunt to buy a house, you’d probably agree.

When area empty nesters come to the conclusion that supporting more house than they need is wasting their resources, finding the right smaller place can become increasingly appealing. The idea that they could buy a house that’s right-sized for them—and come away with extra cash to support more travel and leisure activities—can soon become Priority 1. The current status of the real estate market doesn’t come close as a determining factor.

In the same way, there’s nothing like the arrival of a new baby to prompt the decision to buy a house with an extra bedroom or two. Likewise, when a youngster is approaching school age—but your district isn’t quite up to par—a move across town might suddenly beckon.

When the time comes to buy a house, people tend to take more seriously these kinds of long-term issues. Since there is a whole universe of possible changes in income or family situation that life can send our way, it does make sense to delay some decisions for a while.

If a move is to be from renting to owning, the dollars and cents wisdom is usually clear enough. Across the U.S., rents are rising quickly enough to practically guarantee the practicality of making such a move—even if only because of the ‘forced savings’ advantage that ownership brings. If a move is contemplated to a larger or a smaller home, or from one town neighborhood to another, developments in the economy or particulars like changes in the mortgage rate may influence the decision, but not lead it. Family matters motivate most moves.

Such outside factors may not be decisive, but the good news is that this fall is one of those times when many of them are in place to make buying or selling a local house more attractive than usual…and for sure, a good time to give me a call!

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