Let’s be honest. Our parents are always looking out for us even when we don’t know it. They have cared for us and given us advice for many, many years. It is not surprising that you would like their advice when you buy your first home. It is likely that they have purchased a home before and they will be honest with you.
I know you are waiting for a “but” to come after that paragraph. You will not hear that from me. Parents can offer great insights. So, if you are going to include your parents in the process, here are a few tips I’ve learned.
Context is important.
If you take your parents to see the property that you have chosen without them seeing some of the bad ones, they will not be sure that you are making the right choice. Even the popular HGTV Show called House Hunters has figured out that the audience needs to see three houses so they know the buyers have selected the right one.
You can invite them to see some preliminary homes upfront, or invite them to see the three finalists and help you select. In my experience, if you wait until the final home is selected to get your parent’s advice, you may find yourself defending your choice.
Understanding the local market is important.
I work in the DC Metropolitan Area including Washington DC, Northern Virginia and Maryland. The markets in the various neighborhoods in this area vary. One thing that is constant – the high prices. This area is not the cheapest place to live. There is high demand for properties with high walkability and access to mass transit. Prices in the prime neighborhoods are high because of location and not necessarily the home itself.
If you bring your parents from a less expensive part of the country or world, they are not going to believe how much you will spend on a small property. I recommend you have them search online before they see properties with you, just as you have. That way sticker shock is out of the way to some extent.
Family dynamics are important.
Sometimes parents are helping to pay for your first property. Discuss how involved they would like to be upfront.
If you are a young married couple buying your first home, think about who is in charge of the decision – the two of you? Both sets of in-laws? One set of in-laws? Anticipate any drama that might occur before you narrow down your search.
Knowing how the real estate process works today is important.
If your parents haven’t bought a home in 40 years, the home buying process may be very different than they remember. Timing is often crucial. If your parents live far away, waiting for them to come to town may cause you to lose out on a great home.
Luckily, technology can help. Most people are carrying a phone that can take pictures and videos of a home that can be shared online if timing is a concern. That way your parents can get a visual of what you love about the property and can comment even if they can’t be there.
Maybe it’s not your parents, but friends, co-workers, etc. I encourage my clients to figure out the best way to work with any influential people in their lives in a way that allows me to help them find the best home, at the best price and terms.
If you are interested in finding the best homes, at the lowest prices, with the best terms for your personal wants and needs, give me a call to Get Started.