I closed on a house yesterday -- one of my listings. This had turned into one of those "bitter-sweet transactions," with emotions running high.
My sellers had put years and lots of blood, sweat and tears into this house. As they described it, pretty much the entire interior had been gutted and redone over 10+ years. I'm pretty sure they intended it to be a "forever" home, but a job opportunity on the West Coast took them away from this pride and joy of theirs.
With challenging market conditions, the house sat for nearly a year before we got an offer, and probably needless to say, the sellers didn't get what they had hoped to get. Ouch.
The inspection found some relatively minor issues, which the buyer asked the seller to repair, and which the seller agreed to repair. But the cost ended up being quite a bit more than anticipated. Ouch.
As closing neared, the conversations with Mrs. Seller became more emotional. There seemed to be a pure sadness at the reality of having to say good-bye to this house that was hers and some resentment mixed in at the buyer's requests and the cost of repairs.
After we closed, I had separate phone conversations with each seller. I cringed at the sound of defeat in their voices -- how can someone put so much time, energy and money into something and walk away with virtually nothing? Is it worth it? Is owning a home a good investment? Would they ever buy again?
I've seen enough of short sales and foreclosures over the past few years to know the heartache many, many families have had to endure. But I've also seen more circumstances in which sellers have walked away with a great return.
Yes, we are in a tough market -- still. But real estate is still viewed as the best investment.
I would also have to agree with other articles and blogs that I've read that say owning a home is about more than just a financial investment. It's an emotional one, as well. Those walls are yours. That land is yours. Renovate as you wish. Design your landscaping as you wish. There is pride in seeing your blood, sweat and tears in this structure -- this place you call "home."
So to my seller and anyone else asking if it's worth it to own a house, I would have to say, yes. Yes, it is worth every bit of financial and emotional investment you make.