However you prefer to view it the Real Estate market more closely reflects a late cycle or peak value condition characterized by low inventory with more buyers than sellers. This doesn’t necessarily mean anything and can exist for long durations of time. It can easily be followed by a period of stability where the balance of demand moves more towards equilibrium followed by yet another tightening period. Despite the trends and without regard to soothsaying the future certain principles should always be heeded when shopping for Residential Real Estate.
Hopefully this has never happened to you however if you are not careful you will join the multitude that have made these common mistakes. You are searching the web for that perfect home disappointed that the offerings are limited. The market is good, buyers are plentiful and there are not enough houses to go around. Your emotions and frustrations are running high and reaching the limits of your ability to think rationally and therefore act pragmatically. You drop your guard, trim your list of “must-haves” and replace them with “it’ll dos”. Ultimately you compromise, abandoning your plan and settling for something you never dreamed of.
Let’s explore for a moment and examine some of the few specific conditions the typical buyer might compromise on.
1. Locations adjacent to a busy Through-fare or highway. In some parts of the country given the density of populations, lack of developable land and/or in close proximity to a highly desirable amenity this may be unavoidable. Under most circumstances however these properties are all that may be available due to low inventories and it almost always negatively impacts future marketability and value. A property with a poor location may sell promptly in a good market but be shunned in a market only slightly less favorable.
2. This can also hold true for external influences (external obsolescence) such as properties adjacent to commercial, mixed use zoning or any other use inconsistent with the best use of the subject property. The existence of cell towers, High voltage power lines, water tanks, other homes featuring unconventional architectural styles, junk yards, firehouses etc.
3. Poor layout or functionality (functional obsolescence). Access to the garage through a bedroom, lack of adequate egress/ingress, Narrow/steep staircases, limited height in finished attic spaces being passed off as square footage and poor circulation to name a few.
4. Do it yourself improvements performed without permits subject to a lack of professional expertise and supervision.Very common to give sellers a pass if it appears well done however most assuredly will return to haunt you in the future.
5. Deferred maintenance. Obvious lack of attention to typical chores necessary for the proper upkeep and functioning of a home. The cost of cumulative neglect can really add up.
There are innumerable additional conditions that are best avoided by keeping your cool and remaining patient and vigilant in the home buying process. One of my favorite mottos is “Just because it is cheap doesn’t make it a good deal”. You could get stuck with a “wooden tent” for many more years then you intended and lose a lot of money in the process.