Plenty of opportunities exist for first-time home buyers. For second-time home buyers, the assumption is they don’t need assistance because they know every detail of the home buying process. Do second-time home buyers really know more than first-time home buyers? Is the road smoother or equally challenging the second time around?
This is the second time around for home buyers, and the buying process remains unchanged. Buyers understand research for a new home and how to obtain an agent. Buyers know the ropes to secure a mortgage, save for a down payment, go into bidding wars, and prepare for home buying fees (home inspections, closing costs, title searches, etc.).
Additionally, seasoned buyers learned from previous mistakes, replacing doubt with confidence during the process while normalizing their emotions. Families are more familiar with the moving process too.
An unexpected component for second-time home buyers is juggling two homes. Buyers must sell the current home while searching for a new home to live. Expect to dabble in both the selling and buying process simultaneously.
Expect to hire a selling agent and learn the home selling process in addition to hiring a buying agent. In the meantime, second-time home buyers must keep the selling home maintained while finding a moving company to move to the new home. That may mean juggling two mortgages and negotiating offers on two homes. The process is overwhelming.
Furthermore, expect one of two incidents (sell or buy) to occur before the other one. If second-time home buyers secure a home before selling the old one, maintenance must continue on the old home until the old home sells. Two mortgages are active, and buyers will own two homes.
If the selling home sells before buyers buy a new one, funds are available and obligations are complete. However, buyers must find temporary locations for their families, adding stress to an already stressful situation. For one home to sell and the other home to close (purchased and finalized) simultaneously is rare.
Alternatively, buyers can also rent the home to someone instead of selling it. This option provides great income toward a home purchase. Yet, choosing to rent the home to a tenant offers separate dilemmas like leasing contract rules, rowdy tenants, payment collection, and home damage.
Change in Attitude
A less noticeable change in second-time home buyers is sophisticated tastes. Buyers are so selective with home amenities, home size, neighborhood location, walkable amenities, and more the second time around and buyers won’t accept anything less. This attitude comes from knowing what works and what doesn’t in the old home.
Without compromise, the high demands produce finicky buyers who are searching for the perfect features in a home along with the perfect price tag. That leads to drawn-out home searches and buyer/agent tension. There is no perfect home, yet selective buyers may not want to hear it.
The Market Climate
While the home buying and selling process is the same, the playing field has evolved. Depending on the city, this means home prices are on the decline or on the rise. Homes in decline mean more people are leaving the area and less are moving in, leading sellers to lower prices to attract buyers.
Homes on the rise mean more people are buying with fewer inventories to satisfy demand. The terms “buyer’s market” and “seller’s market” has a lot to do with whether home prices will remain the same, rise, or decline. In summary, the neighborhood’s value has changed since buyers purchased their homes.
While second-time home buyers can handle the buying pressure, it is not easier the second time around. They must remember how the home buying process felt while learning about the unfamiliar home selling process. It’s double the pressure and twice the headache. Regardless, it’s a temporary transition toward the next chapter of life.