In the Market: Do you settle or keep searching?

Nneka Madus
Posted by Nneka Madus
Mortgage Market Analyst

This weekly feature is a real estate news and information roundup from a millennial’s point of view. When a young professional moves from Indianapolis (median home price $125K) to San Francisco (median price $1 million), you can expect an adventure. Nneka Madus, an analyst in Bank of the West’s Mortgage Division, did just that and has plenty to share in her quest to own a home in San Francisco.

Father and daughter in an empty room with several moving boxes nearby, looking out the window.To settle or keep looking? When you see a home that has almost all the features you want, do you settle on that home or do you pass on it and wait for your dream home to come along? That’s a tough question to answer, especially in this current housing market. The housing inventory is pretty low in many places, so that means there are fewer homes to choose from. When homes do come up for sale, they may get snapped up quickly. So, how do you know when you should compromise and “settle” or when you should continue searching for your dream home? If you’re unsure, check out some ideas listed in this Bankrate article by Marcie Geffen that may help you decide which path to take.

Before I moved to San Francisco, I had a lot of things that I wanted to sell — TVs, furniture, dishes, etc. I thought it was going to be a breeze selling my stuff: take a few pics, post them on Craigslist, then sit back and wait for people to come knocking. Boy, was I wrong! I mean, I did get a lot of offers, but the offers I received seemed to me to be downright insulting! I quickly realized that if I wanted to sell my items (at what I though was a reasonable price), I was going to have to put in a little more effort. Now imagine that you’re trying to sell something more important, like your home! To avoid paying a commission to a real estate agent, some home sellers go this route — and it may end up being a really good option, or really bad. Before going down that path, you may want to read Kristin Bianco’s article in FoxBusiness: She gives great pros and cons about hiring a real estate agent versus selling a home on your own.

Rent-to-own deals sound like a win-win. The landlord gets someone who may be more likely to take care of the property since the tenant may eventually own it, and the tenant gets to work towards owning a home without placing a hefty down payment. Sounds like a great deal; what could go wrong? While this could be a great deal, there are potential risks that tenants may want to consider. AJ Smith outlines some of the stakes involved, in this article. For example, it’s nice that you may not have to immediately make a full down payment, but if you decide not to purchase the home, you may lose the investment or any equity that you have in the property.

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