An Appraiser's View

The rhetoric most commonly seen on social media regarding home buying today is that it is harder to buy a house today than ever. While that may be true when comparing those who are in the higher income brackets or when comparing the ease of homebuying today vs. 3 years ago, in most cases it's the expectation of the home that has changed, not the affordability. Before you cry foul and stop following my blog, let me explain. I was raised in a lower middle class family, what most refer to as "the working poor". Even then people thought home ownership was out of reach for those in my parents income bracket. But not my parents. They were dreamers willing to sacrifice to reach their goals. When I was 10 my parents bought land in an unpopular rural area, and we lived in tents while our house was built. We couldn't afford a contractor so my Dad built our house himself, with the help of his children, ages 3, 10, 12, and 13, and a couple family friends with whom he was able to trade labor. It took more than a year. In case you missed it, in order to reach the dream of homeownership, my parents had to move to an area with lower values, then have us all live in tents, no stove, no running water, no indoor toilets, etc. while my dad built our house with his own 2 hands on the weekends and after work. Because this is what he could afford to do. My path to homeownership was easier. I was fortunate enough to find a foreclosure during a market downturn and by working two jobs, one full time and one part time, I was able to make the payments. My point is, when thinking about how difficult it is to buy a home vs. how you think or the "data" indicates it used to be, understand it has always been difficult for the lower middle class, but your issue may be an unwillingness to sacrifice as much as your parents and grandparents had to. Maybe it's because you have kids and don't want to subject them to having to go new schools, make new friends, or do without things. FYI. That sacrifice has shaped my entire life. Not the struggles, heck, I was 10 years old and got to camp for more than a year, it was amazing! No, the lesson is what stuck. I learned the basic principle of this country, which is if you truly want something, with hard work and sacrifice you can attain it. Life is simple. "When your dreams and goals are bigger than the obstacles that come before you, you will overcome those obstacles and achieve your dream and goals. " If you want to buy a house, figure out what you are willing to give up to get it. Happy house hunting!

Posted by Jeff Pickerel on July 9th, 2022 5:15 AMLeave a Comment

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January 3rd, 2019 8:43 AM

I keep hearing people complain about how interest rates have gone up and the general consensus seems to be if you didn't buy, refinance, or get an equity line in 2017 then you missed the boat. However, while it may be true that if you didn't BUY in 2011 or 2012 you missed the low point of the housing market, and if you didn't REFINANCE in July of 2016 you missed the historically low interest rate, if you click on the chart link below you will see the facts are TODAY'S MORTGAGE RATES ARE A FULL PERCENTAGE POINT LOWER THAN THEY WERE IN 2003-2006 (The years of explosive real estate values leading up to the real estate bust). 

So yes, while rates may have creeped up, they are still historically low, and significantly better than the rate I received when I purchased my first home (8.6%)

Posted by Jeff Pickerel on January 3rd, 2019 8:43 AMLeave a Comment

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