I work mostly with retirees who have been planning to move to the Great Pacific Northwest, and the question almost all retirees have been asking goes something like this, “Is now the time to buy a home in the Northwest?” Their question reflects concerns about the economy, the real estate market, their retirement funds, interest rates, and whether home prices have bottomed out.
I’ve noticed a change in the last couple of months as we head into the spring buying season. Most of the retirees moving here are in their 50’s and 60’s, and they’ve been sharing a common theme that goes something like this:
“Look, we don’t know what the future holds, and things could get worse, but we are in our sixties, and we are not going to put our lives on hold forever. We don’t know how much time we have, whether it is 30 years or 3 years, but we want to spend our retirement years together in our dream home in the most beautiful place we could live, the Pacific Northwest. We could be wrong on the timing, but we won’t find that out for years. It might turn out our timing to buy now is perfect. But we aren’t making our decisions based on the so-called experts’ opinions or the condition of our retirement fund. We are making our life decisions now based on what is best for us, and whether that turns out to be good or poor timing is just further down on the checklist for us. We’re not going to live our lives in fear. We are going to celebrate the time we have together, and we are moving forward to enjoy our retirement years. Period.”
These buyers are cherry picking the best homes at the best prices, and they are not waiting for the economy to improve or for certainty that their retirement funds are going to recover to pre-recession levels.
Are we at the bottom of home prices? Who knows. Whether we are at the bottom or near the bottom, and whether recovery is around the corner or months or even a couple of years away, these retirees are no longer putting their lives on hold. They are moving and buying their homes now. Many don’t have to sell their homes back in California or Arizona, and those who do are willingly selling for less than they hoped. While they sell their old home for less, they also buy a home here for less. Some call it a wash. Regardless of what the future holds, now just might be a great time buy a home in the Great Pacific Northwest.
See one of the Pacific Northwest’s best kept secrets: Sequim Real Estate.