If They Only Knew ...

  Thirty years ago, when I entered the world of Real Estate as a Realtor, the interest rates were so much higher than today!   Rates had been at 16% and 18%, and buyers were thrilled to see them lowering. Points were paid, by buyers or sellers, to 'buy down' the interest rates and there was a lot of 'creative financing', wraps, ARMS with adjustable rates, etc..  The first house I ever sold was to my younger sister, when the interest rate was 10.5%.  With the closing costs being added to the mortgage, after a few years, she still owed what was paid for the modest starter home.  I had suggested she pay an extra $15-20 with each payment, but that had not happened. In the coming months, she was diligent about paying extra and the house was sold a few years later. 

   In my real estate 'archives', the old newsletters (in Century 21 gold), proclaimed 'Buy Now, Rates will never be lower' when the going rate was 9%.   (So much for my crystal ball!)  Buyers now are So Fortunate to have these 3% and 4% home loans. I still encourage first time buyers to add extra to their monthly payment so they could potentially have their home paid off in half the time.  This is dependent of course on the type of improvements they make over the years!  Kitchen and bath remodels make the most impact, and they are not cheap. Adding more square footage makes the most difference on an appraisal, so the unfinished basement can be a real benefit for a buyer with carpentry skills. 

   An interesting phenomenon to those of us 'old-timers' is the current 'first home', costing around $100,000, (in our corner of Kansas) or more! The 'starter' home is bypassed in favor of something closer to 'the style in which the young buyers are accustomed'. The starter homes of yesteryear are snapped up by 'flippers.'  It's an interesting world in real estate today.  Just remember to look around and realize how fortunate you are!  Happy House hunting!  If I can be of service, I am glad to help, whether you are buying or selling!  

Carol Page