During a recent conversation with a client who was considering purchasing a second home for a vacation spot for his family, the subject of recent market trends came up. In their professional life the client was involved in the financial industry, and dealt constantly with a world driven and controlled by data. “Numbers” was the language they spoke and understood. The client was enraptured with the ups and downs of real estate sales and market trends. “Is the market up or down? How many houses sold? Has the average price gone up or down? What does the future hold?” All good questions, which I answered citing the latest data. Then I asked a question.
“What number are you looking for?”
They seemed a bit taken aback. “What do you mean?” was their response.
I said “you seem to be studying this very intently. Is there a Magic Number you are looking for? It seems that you are looking for a particular set of numbers that will tell you that this is the time or the optimal market moment to buy your dream vacation home. Is that so?”
“Well yes”, they said. “I want to buy at the right time.”
“Great!” I said. “Are there any other reason for buying a vacation home other than timing the market to get the best “deal”?”
“Well, I’ve got kids and grandkids that I’d like to spend more time with and I thought that this vacation home might be a gathering point.” They responded.
“Ok, so the Magic Number involves other factors than numbers?” I asked.
“What do you mean?” was their question.
Here’s my response:
“I have been a child of numbers all my life. I studied Economics and tried to quantify EVERYTHING. I started and ran businesses. And one thing I have learned looking back through the lens of experience of many years is this. You can’t quantify everything!!! How much is a day spent with your family worth? (This depends of course on how well you get along!) How much is memories of your child’s first swim or back flip off the dock worth? Look, I know that purchasing a home is a big investment, but there are certain aspects of owning a home that can’t be quantified. THERE IS NO MAGIC NUMBER!! If you are waiting for the perfect set of numbers to converge to buy real estate, you will be disappointed. Buying real estate as a financial investment is a great idea, but owning property can and does have other benefits. Those other benefits should be part of the equation you use in making the decision to buy that dream home or vacation property. The market now sits at historic lows and interest rates are approaching zero. If you are considering a vacation home, don’t think you can wait forever. Already there is a drying up of lower priced waterfronts as the market cleans itself. Do your homework, but don’t be a slave to the numbers. Bring the unquantifiable into the equation. Time is the only true commodity. Don’t waste your time waiting for what never will occur. The only MAGIC is your happiness.”
Kim Cedarstrom is a licensed residential/commercial Realtor© and consultant. After having spent a lifetime founding, operating, and selling businesses in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, he now offers a lakefront/residential real estate practice as well as commercial property and business sales services. Kim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or directly at 603-520-6609. Initial client conferences are always free of charge.