OK, so I’m a little off my regular topic of discussion about being a professional in our industry. I can’t seem to help it today with the things I’ve had to go through with new buyers (under 30).
I think all of us are dealing with it, so why not talk about it.
I thought when I started buying real estate I wanted everything. I would have liked an updated kitchen, a beautifully landscaped yard, big bedrooms, walk in closet, ensuite…I think you’re getting the hint. But my first house and the next 6 were total fixer-uppers. I had to put my back into it and make something of the house to ensure I was creating equity.
This past weekend I’ve had more first-time buyers with champagne taste and a pizza budget than ever before. They want everything!
Every time I go through this I take a deep breath and ask them a few questions.
Here they are:
The Unreal Expectations of First Time Home Buyers
Do you love the things that you parents have?
“Absolutely, I want everything my mom’s kitchen has plus a huge entertaining space.”
Hmm, sounds familiar. Do you know how much their home is valued at?
“Not sure, maybe a million?”
And how much of a down payment do you have? How much money do you currently make? Do you want to still have a social life? Travel, pick up with other friends or family and get away for the weekend?
“Absolutely, why would I give that up?”
Money grows on trees and I’m a fairy godmother!
For me to make this happen for you, I’m going to have to fast forward 25 years of hard work that your parent’s (and my) generation put in. Remember all those times Mom and Dad said they didn’t have money for something? Yeah, it was because they had bills to pay. They had to keep a roof over your head and try to improve their station in life, as well as plus pay for the life you became accustomed to.
So, if you really want to have what Mom and Dad have, then be prepared to make tough decisions. It doesn’t come instantly and the road along the way can be really rewarding, a little tiring, character building and well worth it.
Let me tell you how it's done:
Let’s sit down and work out what a monthly budget looks like for your dream place, versus the reality of what you can truly afford today and make a good first investment.
Then when you see a good investment opportunity we can talk about the next step.
That is, to make it your own through painting, updating and putting some sweat equity into the place, which you now want to call home. The good thing is that down the road, as your investment has been loved and improved upon, and as market increases, you’ll be on your way to Mom and Dad’s life.
As agents, it’s easy to be frustrated or (even worse) to just deal with the client and move on.
But these clients are our best future business.
Word of mouth to their young sphere of influence about how we educated them on the process is without a doubt the best and, yes, at times frustrating part of what you do.
So remember, as I have had to so many times recently, first-time clients are like elementary school kids: young and impressionable, but ready for direction.
Robyn Lau is a Burnaby-based REALTOR with Coldwell Banker, Westburn Realty. Check out her RESAAS profile ›
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by Robyn Lau