We keep hearing that now is the time to buy (of course, most real estate agents will say that no matter the economic climate). But fire sales and declining asking prices aren’t the only reasons to buy. The value of a property is affected by so many factors — the schools, the neighborhood amenities and green spaces, and even the neighbors. The folks over at Urban Digs keep reminding us that a property is valued only at what someone is willing to pay for it, but there are certain reasons that buying still trumps renting in some cases. As one real estate professional so eloquently put it, “Why would you want to pay off your landlord’s mortgage instead of paying off your own mortgage?”
We like UD’s recipe for deciding whether to buy or rent — rental price versus carrying costs, tax benefits, transaction and mortgage costs, and, finally, the emotional benefits of owning. What seems to be most important to buyers these days is that they feel they got a deal, made the most of this housing debacle and profited, both financially and emotionally. They don’t want to be one of those people who bought a condo now worth 25 percent less than they paid for it.
That’s one of the reasons we’re taking this tack, asking the buyers to tell us what they think the property values are before they even own the home, rather than price it too high so they can make a smaller offer and feel that they got a deal, or price it low and pray for a bidding war. That’s our goal: promote the equity part of home equity.