What Could Go Wrong?

I just took a listing that when it sells (and I definitely will get it sold) will result in a severe “haircut” for the sellers. Let’s not sugarcoat the pain; ultimately, the sellers will lose thousands of dollars.

What could possibly go wrong? There was a time when housing prices for homes in Hattiesburg were appreciating at a steady clip of 5% per year, year after year. Even a sophisticated buyer could become lulled to sleep by the melodic sound of that type of appreciation. Unfortunately, around 2008 (the year this home was built) the “music” stopped. These owners were playing musical chairs, and when the music ended, they were left standing.

What could possibly go wrong? If you have plenty of money (and sometimes even when you don’t) it’s fairly easy to get a loan to build a home. Everyone wants to own their own home, and the fact is that the only limiting factors to home ownership on any scale is one’s imagination and money. If you have plenty of money, you can build whatever you want, wherever you want.

What could possibly go wrong? Let’s say you moved to Hattiesburg and needed a home in 2008, shortly after Katrina destroyed thousands of homes on the coast in 2006. Pickings were mighty slim for homes in Hattiesburg because demand was high, and inventory in the $400K+ price range was low. This couple couldn’t find what they wanted, so naturally they decided to build a dream home and hired a builder.

What could possibly go wrong? Location, location, location. If you’re going to build a $400K+ home, it should be built in a $400K+ neighborhood, not in a $250K+ marginal neighborhood, as this home was. The plan when buying a home in Hattiesburg, or in any neighborhood should be to buy the least expensive home in a more expensive neighborhood, not the other way around.

What could possibly go wrong? When the plans were drawn, did you really need to add the $35K detached shop? Shouldn’t you have sprung for hardwoods in the main living area instead of carpeting? Why add 2 rooms and 1000 sq ft upstairs without a bath or even a closet?

What could possibly go wrong? So in sum, an expensive home was built at the wrong time, in the wrong place, and with the wrong finish-out. The home is lovely, and has been well maintained during the tenure of the 3 years and 4 Realtors that have been responsible for it’s care and sale. The differential between the original list price and what this home will eventually sell for is staggering. I can’t calculate the financial pain that the sellers have and will endure based on the eventual sales price and 3 years of carrying costs.

Therefore, when you decide to build a house or buy a house; work with a knowledgeable and competent Realtor, someone you can feel comfortable with an individual who will answer the question, “what could possibly go wrong” long before you ever might have to.