Your parents want the best for you. And buying a home is one of the major investments you will make in your lifetime. So, of course, your folks want to be by your side and offer you the benefit of their wisdom and counsel. Unfortunately, a lot of their best advice can be misguided, and can cause your good home choice to slip away.
Most parents will want to see you get your home for the least amount of money and may even advise you to make a low offer. That may be what they did when they last bought a house. It will not work in a seller’s market, and may not even work in a buyer’s market. Make your offer based on the comparable neighborhood sales, the condition, and your Realtor’s advice. If you are getting a loan, remember that the price you pay is amortized over 30 years as well.
Mom and Dad may advise different “deal points” than are standard in your locality. Recall that each state and area have different customs, disclosures and laws. What may be common in M&D’s area may not be common in your area and can kill your transaction (example: lengthening time periods for buyer performance). Again, let your Realtor be your guide – he or she has written many, many offers and knows the issues and expectations of all involved.
Parents may attempt to talk you out of an area or particular house. They may have good reasons and insights for doing so. But keep in mind that the average length of home ownership is five to seven years. If this specific home is workable for you, your family and your budget now, trust your gut instincts.
Your parents may have very specific ideas about the condition of the house and may be somewhat alarmist about certain items. Fathers, especially, are notorious for inspection freak-outs. Dad and Mom may have really good advice here (especially if they are builders or contractors). Or they may not. Keep in mind, once again, that different areas have different building types, different weather patterns, and different housing components than others. Not only can almost everything be repaired, but repair and upgrade costs may be significantly different from one area to another as well. It will be wise for you to research this on your own, and to take the advice of your physical inspector and your Realtor first.
Notice a common denominator here? Yup, it is “ask your Realtor first.” If you and your Realtor are proactive about the issues outlined here, your parents’ feelings will not be hurt, there will be peace in your family, and you will have a much more successful transaction.
Photo “Couple sitting at table” licensed under Creative Commons