If the marked increase in Highlands-Cashiers real estate activity over the last month is an indicator of future sales, I believe we are edging out of the protracted downturn at long last. This is music to Sellers’ ears, I know, and it represents a unique opportunity for Buyers.
Now (while inventory is strong in every price point, prices are very competitive, and interest rates remain low) represents perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime window to invest in our market.
Many Buyers who have been monitoring the market are recognizing this and are contacting their agents to start their search. Those who are asking for my representation are, at times, overwhelmed by the plethora of investing choices available to them. While having a wide selection of options is certainly welcomed by Buyers, they are asking for me to light their way so that they may find their optimum investment match.
I find that asking series of open-ended questions (paired with empathic listening) renders the best results for helping Buyers achieve their goals. The following is a brief sample of the variety of questions I ask Buyers:
1. How do you envision spending your time in the area?
2. Are you more interested in proximity to town (shopping, dining, cultural offerings, etc.), or are you seeking solitude and privacy?
3. Is price the most important parameter to you?
4. What style of home suits you the best?
5. Are you hoping to rent this property?
6. Are you willing to do a renovation job (large or small), or do you prefer a turn-key property?
7. Is ongoing maintenance a concern for you? Would you rather turn over exterior upkeep (yard, siding, roof maintenance, for example) to a property association?
8. Will family members be coming to stay and/or visit? If so, how often? How many people will typically visit at the same time?
9. Are the amenities of a gated community of interest?
10. Do you have an interest in considering building? Describe the ideal site to me (view, water features, topography, size of parcel, etc.).
Once you have established your initial set of priorities, then it is time to start seeing properties. Much of your groundwork may be done online which will give you a “balcony perspective” and foundation of knowledge. However, there is no better way to learn neighborhoods, the advantages of certain properties over others, and the market overall, than getting out and looking firsthand.
Finding a new home or the perfect parcel of land can be very exciting. But deciding what you truly want and need (and can afford) can be challenging. Making these decisions begins with setting priorities among many different preferences.
If you are beginning your property search (or have already begun and would like some clarity) and need to jumpstart your thinking on which parameters are most salient for your best investment match, email me for a free guide.