First Time Buyers: Cash in on the Boom!

by : Eric Badgely

First time buyers are in an ideal position to buy a house, renovate, decorate and turn it around for a fat profit! What is more, the time is NOW - the market is right- read on...

In another few years, the bulk of the baby boomers will be moving to a prime real estate area (like this one) and many of them will be down-sizing and looking to buy a modestly-sized house.

They will be ready to have fun and may not have the energy or the wish to renovate and decorate. They do not have youth on their side - but you will.

As many of you will not have started a family yet, you will have time to fit this in around your day job. It may even pay better than your day job. Let's take a look at the figures for Bellingham Real Estate in the last ten years.

Now if you had taken this advice in July 2002, and bought a $100,000 home, it would have been worth more than double by now! Aha, you are thinking - I have missed the boat - but here's why this may not be the case:

The largest population burst we have experienced will be hitting the retirement scene in 2011 - when the youngest of the so-called baby boomers will turn 65. Some of them have been lucky enough to retire early and have already bought their homes.

But, this massive retirement is in its early days yet. Sought-after real estate areas are already reflecting a 20% rise in sales between this October and October of last year.

Well, if I have you convinced, let's look at some of the practicalities.

The least expensive house is a one bedroom home, and this is an ideal size to re-sell to a couple that is down-sizing. Many senior citizens are on a fixed income and do not want a large house because of the house taxes, heating bills and gardening that comes with a larger house.

If you are trying to attract a retired person, pay special attention to the noise factor. Do not buy near an airport, close to a nightclub, racing track, gun practice range etc.

Remember this home is an investment so resist the urge to indulge your creative flair and paint the bathroom lime green with purple trim.

All rooms and walls should have a neutral color scheme. This means white with a cream tint or white with silver gray contrast, or white with a beige contrast. Keep your bathroom units white and your kitchen appliances white as well.

Do not be put off by a tiny back yard space, many seniors do not wish to do vegetable gardening or lawn mowing! But you can build a nice wooden patio, or lay stone slabs or crazy paving for their barbeque area.

If you are keeping costs down, add a few pots with large shrubs in. They will help to beautify the eating area and they can go with you when you move

A workshop or a garden shed is a big plus on a smaller property, if you are good at carpentry then you will get your investment money back when you re-sell the house.

Finally add paths of crazy paving or blocks. This is labor intensive for a senior but easy for you. To help your prospective buyer satisfy any social conscience, you can erect a clothes line near one of the paths.

A final word of caution, as the market climbs up, resist the urge to hang on for the peak.