It’s winter and you may have no idea you’re already treading on thin ice! You might be standing on it right now. Don’t move! Read on and hopefully you’ll begin to see the bigger picture.
We value our family and friends, especially their input… most especially when they’re giving us feedback on a large or potentially life-altering purchase. There are few purchases in our lives which are bigger than that of a home or investment property. The question becomes: Does our family have the right to be involved? Or should they even be involved in the first place?
For many markets in our area, the situation is this – inventory is low. As of January, year-over-year numbers have seen inventory levels drop 21.6% from the previous January in the Greater Scranton area and levels drop 19.2% throughout Luzerne County.* We have other areas where inventory is much lower than we could have imagined only six months ago: the Abingtons (down 40.9%), Dunmore (down 33.9%), Lakeland (down 38.2%) and Riverside (down 38.8%).**
The numbers are what they are and spring is on the horizon, but as a homebuyer in today’s market (particularly the ones listed above) it’s important to acknowledge these inventory levels. Furthermore, with the present competition among buyers and a portion of homes being listed near their fair market value, many of them don’t last. If buyers know what they want, but are waiting on confirmation from their parents or family, there’s a good chance they’ll miss out. Parents can definitely muddy these waters.
Of course, take this with a grain of salt. Many of us love our families and friends and we value their opinions. We listen to their advice and proceed accordingly (ahhh... okay maybe not always). Be cautious though, as a buyer, you might be standing on thin ice. Parents can be a roadblock to purchasing a home or at least the home you might always regret losing because you didn’t act fast enough. You loved the property, but you needed their approval, and by the time it came, the property was gone. This was the home for you, but after seeing the property there was one aspect your father just couldn’t get past. It wasn’t a material defect, but by the time a consensus in the family was reached you quickly discovered another buyer had already snatched it up. Some buyers won’t accept this, which is fine, but they should still understand the risks.
Our advice is simply this: Have a heart-to-heart discussion with your parents/family. Perhaps it’s a little more complicated – your parents are providing you with a gift toward the purchase of your first home. But in the vast majority of cases, losing your home because of your parents can easily be prevented. There’s no reason for your emotions to fall through the ice. If you’d like purchasing a home to be a family affair, your parents need to be as involved as you are right from the start. Visit our website for more information
*statistics from Greater Scranton Board of REALTORS® / Greater Wilkes-Barre Association of REALTORS® (January 2017) **statistics from the Greater Scranton Board of REALTORS® (Q4 2016)