First-time home buyers demand move-in ready

Wooden toolbox filled with tools

A recent Coldwell Banker survey found 87% of recent first-time home buyers demanded a move-in ready house for their first purchase.

It made me think about what I wanted in my first home and how my particular sense of being a "visionary" didn’t quite match up with my husband's ideas.

I believe I can meet most any challenge to make a home beautiful barring significant damage like mold growth and collapsing foundations. There are plenty of do-it-yourself resources out there to accommodate my vision, and I am not afraid to research a bargain at the home improvement store.

But I know the same is not true of others.

Buyers today -- seeing many homes on the market, depressed prices and attractive mortgage rates not likely to increase soon -- seem content to look and look again for just the "right" house.

This trend isn’t necessarily a new one, but I have to imagine that it adds to how long it takes to sell a foreclosed home.

According to Coldwell Banker, first-time buyers look at more than 11 homes before making a buying decision, higher than in the past.

Of course, building and remodeling supplies cost money, and it's not as easy as it once was to get a home equity loan on top of the first mortgage to help pay for those upgrades. So, it makes sense for first-time buyers to stick it to fixer-uppers.

You might naturally shy away from foreclosure ads announcing essentially that the bank owning the property has no idea what the buyer should expect, regardless of how low the price of the home goes.

But for those who can draw on their own visions, a foreclosure for a first-time home buyer may be a golden financial opportunity, especially if said home buyer was handy with power tools.

If you're selling a home, take these statistics to heart. You'll want to spruce up the place to make it move-in ready.

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