We’ve sold a lot of houses over the years. During that time, we’ve seen families that came together to support someone during their home purchase. We’ve, unfortunately, also seen people walk away from what they thought was the perfect home just because of something mom or dad or Uncle Charlie said. When family gets involved in your home purchase, it can makes things a little more challenging (or a little more exciting!), depending on your family’s agenda.
Before you decide to bring a family member along to view homes and share their opinion, ask yourself a few questions
Are they supportive of your decision to buy a home? Sometimes, friends and family will throw up objections to convince you of all of the reasons to NOT buy a house. What if prices drop? What if rates go down more? What if you find a better deal next week? You need to know if they are going to be a fun and constructive part of home buying or if you just need to send them an invitation to the house warming after you move in.
Are they in agreement about where you want to live? This can cause a lot of conflict if the family doesn’t like where you have decided to call home. They may think the neighborhood is not nice enough. Or that it’s too much of a commute to your job. Or (horrors) that it’s too far away from their own home and not convenient for them to pop in without calling. In these cases, we often find family members making objections to homes. We know that the real objection is that they don’t want you to be so far away from them. Knowing this in advance might determine who is invited on the house hunting trip.
Are they providing some of the money for your purchase? Whenever a family member is giving you money towards a home purchase, they generally feel entitled to put their two cents in about what home you choose. It’s probably best to set the ground rules ahead of time for how much input they will have on what house you decide to buy. An alternative is to forgo buying until you are able to save enough to do it without their help.
When was the last time they bought or sold a house? The longer it’s been since someone has purchased or sold real estate, the more things have changed. I remember when we bought our first house, no one was doing home inspections. It was basically buyer beware and what you see is what you get. Today, we will beg until we are blue in the face to encourage our buyers to have a home inspection done on any house they want to buy (even new construction). Building codes have changed, what’s acceptable to a lender has changed and things that can derail a home purchase today weren’t even a consideration years ago. This is where you should rely on the expertise of your agent to guide you through the process, despite the best of intentions from your family and friends.