In the late ’60s my bother and I were spending the day at our aunt and uncle’s home — the late John and Vera Evans. We were both very young at the time. Now, our relatives were older and thought a great deal of us, but had very little tolerance for anything childlike. They lived on a large farm about a mile north of Hillsboro on SR 73.
There was one of those old grinding wheels with a smaller one attached to it. The smaller one had several smaller gears on it that you could really make zing if you turned it real fast. Never thinking he would, I suggested my little brother put his finger inside the gears as I turned it. Well, for once he did what I said! The trip to the hospital to sew his pinky finger back on was not a good ride for me. We were all four in the front seat and I got beat pretty much the whole way to town. And I guess that beating was earned. But, it was only one finger, I thought — he had nine more?
Real estate agents are entrusted with situations from time to time where folks have made a poor buying decision. They purchased a home for more than market price or maybe it was in a not so desirable location. At purchase, these two items are seldom an issue. It doesn’t become one until it’s time to sell. This can make moving on to the next stage in life difficult.
As cruel as it may sound, what you owe on your home does not have any bearing on what it’s worth. How much you need to clear to purchase you next home doesn’t either. Buyers will not want to pay more than market value for a home regardless of what you need.
So, what are the options when this happens? One thing that can happen we saw during the housing crunch in 2008. Banks saw record numbers of homeowners walking away from their homes. Values on all homes dropped between 25 to 30 percent. This was a very bad time for our economy, and I am sure no one will ever want it repeated. No one wins when that happens.
It doesn’t happen often, but even today some sellers will need to bring large sums of money to get out of a mortgage at closing. This should never happen, but it does. The home sells for less than the payoff. The idea is to collect money when you sell property, not pay.
While there is no perfect formula, it is wise to be well informed and to choose a real estate agent that will guide and advise you on your purchase. Good areas to live in now can become a bad one 20 years down the road. No one can guarantee you anything that the future will hold, but we can be pretty sure of the here and now. The bad decisions you may make can be forgiven at the closing table, but can come with a cost.
OK. I guess, some 50 years later, I will admit it — I did purposely cut off my brother’s finger on the grinding wheel. While sitting in the front seat of the Chrysler New Yorker I knew that if my aunt was speaking, I was OK. When she stopped, she started whaling on me again!
In time I was forgiven, but that forgiveness did come with a cost.
Randy Butler is a lifelong resident of Highland County and a licensed real estate agent for Classic Real Estate in Hillsboro.