Case Study: Looking to purchase your 2nd home, but feeling stuck?

Answer: A little WD-40 & help from a Realtor® can make all the difference! 

Executive Summary

It’s a scenario that I hear about all of the time – it always starts something like “We would love to move to a new home that better suits our current needs, but I/we just don’t know where to start! We feel stuck!” In these instances, there are generally two common concerns: 

  1. Fear of the unknown
  2. Risks vs. Rewards 

When broken down even further, the root of most of these concerns tends to be finances (e.g., not enough savings, too much debt, & challenges with current budget). In almost all cases we have been able to help individuals and families drastically decrease the amount of time it takes to get “unstuck”. In addition, we position our clients to feel confident and ready to move forward. 

Challenges

Many individuals and families find that they have outgrown their first home sooner than they had originally planned. Often, first time homebuyers plan to “move up” to a larger and/or different style of home within a 7 seven-year period. However, that moment may actually arrive in as little as five years, or even three years in some cases. At that point, many homeowners find themselves with fewer funds in their savings account, or more debt than they thought they would have. There’s a similar moment several of my clients have described – when they realized that they are “bursting at the seams” and that they may be “stuck”.

As a first time homebuyer,  you were likely taught to pay close attention to some of the basic concepts/goals one tries to obtain as it relates to a home purchase, including saving for a down payment, working to increase your reserves for unexpected expenses, reducing or eliminating your debts, and showing a qualifying credit score. However, when it comes time to move on to your next home,  you may feel like you already need to have achieved all of these goals. The reality is that instead of pushing cash into savings, reducing debts, etc., many clients likely invested funds into other areas such as new furniture, updates to their current home, long term retirement accounts and new vehicles. Many families may also deal with increased debt due to various child care expenses, all of which has been added to the monthly budget. The cycle continues until the day comes that you realize you need to make a move – and it needs to be soon!

For some, the emotional burden of feeling stuck can be very challenging, and I think it is that burden that holds many people back from looking for help. Pride runs deep in financial matters – but I’m here to help dispel the myths associated with these unrealistic goals move-up buyers set for themselves. The Agent Benedict Group is here to provide solutions and will always be your advocate throughout the process! 

Here’s an interesting fact from National Association of Realtors. In 2020, median tenure a homeowner spends in their home has risen from 5-7 years (the mantra for a long time) to about 9-10 years. Lack of inventory, rising prices and uncertainty after the Great Recession kept a lot of people in their current space, which drove remodeling activity to all-time highs. Aging baby boomers are also choosing to stay put in their homes much longer before (or without) going into senior living. This stretch of tenure in homes creates an even stronger anchor as people look at getting ready to make a move.

How Agent Benedict’s team provides a solution

As with many things, the first step to getting unstuck is simply admitting that you are! Unfortunately, time is not on your side and the sooner you can acknowledge your current situation, the faster we can step in to.  Here are some of the solutions we provide to our clients: 

  1. Determine your goals in moving up – write down your desired outcomes. The “whys” behind your goals are very helpful in creating a solution. We want to make sure that all of your goals (which may include debt reduction, increase in cash flow, etc.) are addressed – not just moving into a new home.
  2. Based on your goals, we look at your overall financial situation. This may feel a little uncomfortable, like you are reverting back to a “newbie” in the home ownership role, but I assure you, we really aren’t there to judge, but to help. 
  3. Next, we take steps to complete a Market Analysis on your home, ultimately providing you with an As-Is & Post Construction value for your property. These values would then be used to determine your proceeds from the sale and what could be accomplished through smaller projects/improvements prior to selling. This way, you’ll know exactly where your equity situation is and how to best leverage your home. 
  4. We partner you with financial experts to strategically create more cash flow, decrease your monthly payments and/or debts, and free up funds for a new down payment. This strategy can be accomplished using equity lines, bridge loans, or other long term retirement accounts, all of which are added to align your Debt to Income Ratios for your future home purchase.  
  5. Finally, we serve as a “sounding board” to help you understand what realistic goals should look like as it relates to purchase prices, cost of living, and timelines for the entire process. 

Results, Return on Investment and Future Plans

Over the years we have helped many of our first time homebuyers turn into second and third time homebuyers. A big part of helping our clients is getting them “unstuck” from the idea that they must have five figure savings accounts, no debts, and huge incomes. Clients who trust us throughout this process realize that they are not alone, which makes it a lot easier for move-up buyers to get organized, focus on the strategy we have discussed, and align their goals by taking action to set themselves up for purchasing their next home.  

Bottom line – don’t feel bad if you need to work with a Realtor® like The Agent Benedict Group to get “unstuck” – we are here to help! The sooner you contact us, the higher likelihood that you can achieve your goals sooner!   

Interested in working with us? Contact us via email: adam@agentbenedict.com or phone: 651-226-3928

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