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Things Come to Those Who Wait? Maybe Not a Home

10/06/2021
Hourglass and wooden home and person contemplating spending the money

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Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle. You snooze, you lose. The woman that deliberates is lost. (You may know that one as “He who hesitates is lost,” but its origins are from that prior line, in Joseph Addison’s play Cato—that’s one for your next cocktail party.) Just do it.

Pick your adage, because when it comes to buying a home, especially in this climate, particularly on Long Island, they all speak to the same truth. The time to buy a property, when the due diligence and analysis and inspections and the like are done, is now.

Waiting may mean not only losing the home you want, but also having to start the search all over again. At that point, there is no guarantee that you will find a similar property meeting the same needs and desires, and not for a lower price. It is that latter point that often gets in the way of going all-in, but in many cases, the idea of “saving that money” may be based on faulty logic on the part of would-be buyers.

“If they find the right property that meets their criteria and goals, don’t lose it over 5, 10 or 15 thousand dollars,” says noted real estate expert Kevin Leatherman, owner/broker of Leatherman Homes. “If you’re going to stay in the property, say, eight years, for example, and you look at the difference in your mortgage payment for that $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000, it’s really not that significant, with the duration of how long you intend to own that property. Because if you look what will happen if interest rates go higher, it doesn’t make sense.”

With mortgage rates at historic lows but signs pointing to their going up in the not-so-distant future, that is surely a key consideration. Another factor to keep in mind, Letterman offers, is how quickly you think you’ll be able to get work done on your home so it is move-in ready. And don’t think it’s going go as quickly as you’d like, in most cases, he notes.

“What I’m trying to politely say,” he offers with a knowing smile, “is the contractors are moving slower. They’re all busy. Any sort of decent contractor, plumber, electrician, they’re all moving much slower.”

Take solace, home owners. That fact holds true whether you are a first-time owner or have multiple properties, whether you are new to the world of real estate or have been there for decades.

“I’ve doing some projects myself,” Leatherman says, “and I’ve got the money in the bank, I’m ready to pay them. I make decisions immediately, I’m not sitting here going ooh-aah, I’m here to execute and do business, and I have to quarterback and make sure I speak to my general contractor, to the plumber, to make sure, Okay guys, we’re really going today? I need to make sure they’re all doing what they’re supposed to, because they’re all so busy. Even landscapers. I’m still waiting for a spring cleanup. I am next on the list.”

Learn more about Kevin Leatherman and Leatherman Homes at leathermanhomes.com.

Related: What Type of Home Buyer Are You? Find out here.