Mission Viejo House Hunters Battle Finance Managers
Can Divide and Conquer Be a Winning Strategy for Mission Viejo House Hunters?
Divide and conquer is a popular strategy for many types of endeavors – like battles, school projects, political platforms, and even Mission Viejo real estate transactions. Quite often, spouses or partners will divvy up the necessary pieces of buying a new house – finding the house and paying for the house. This is done mainly for two reasons – leveling out the work load, since we are ALL so busy already, and taking advantage of each others’ strengths. So one becomes the Mission Viejo House Hunter and the other becomes the Finance Manager. Here’s what can ensue.
The Mission Viejo House Hunter is the one who is on the internet constantly searching for homes. The checking 18 web sites, 12 mobile apps, Google maps, Open House notices, and sift through Craigslist ads multiple times throughout their day. They see the “good” listings pop on the market and just as quickly turn to sold. They see the overpriced listings languish with no movement at all. They are notified immediately when there’s seller drops their price, and have the open houses sorted out by day, date, time, and neighborhood. The House Hunters have seen so many house photos they can conjure up a visual floor plan of each house in seconds. They are on it and have a firm grasp of the current market.
Meanwhile, the Finance Manager is busy collecting paperwork. They are sifting through shoe boxes, filing cabinets, jump drives, CDs, and emails for the past two years of tax returns, two months of bank statements – every bank statement for every account, and two months of pay stubs. They are reviewing credit reports, filling out home loan applications, watching the stock market and studying 401K borrowing strategies. The Finance Manager is checking mortgage interest rates just as often as the House Hunter is checking updated listings. They are negotiating with their lender on down payments, deposits, credit card balances, points, rates, fees, and programs. At last, the Finance Manager gets the Golden Ticket from their lender – the pre-approval letter with the maximum amount the team is qualified to borrow and the maximum purchase price they are qualified to spend. At this point, the two paths need to merge. And here’s what happens sometimes.
Ever so slowly and innocently, the House Hunter has increased the upper limit on the price parameter in the home search widgets. They are seduced by the lure of that extra bedroom, the larger lot, the swimming pool, and the ocean view. And ever so methodically and mathematically the Finance Manager has been calculating the most comfortable purchase price the team can afford. So by the time the Finance Manager announces the budget for the new house, the House Hunter is often tens of thousands of dollars over the target. Will this create a civil war or a peaceful surrender?
Obviously, the difference must be reconciled in order to continue. Meanwhile, the “good” listings continue to sell quickly, interest rates and home prices are both ticking up, and none of us are getting any younger. The pitfalls of not reconciling include going after homes that are way above the budget then praying that the seller is desperate enough, or loves you enough, to give their house away. Or not being able to squeeze a couple of thousand more out of the assets only to miss out on that next to perfect house. Often the toughest negotiations are between the partners on the same team.
I’m Leslie Eskildsen, Realtor. Just keeping it real in Mission Viejo real estate.
Call me. 949-678-3373
Text me. 949-678-3373
Email me. Leslie@LeslieEskildsen.com
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