When Help Isn't Help - Home Buying & Anecdotes

Posted by Jerad Cox on Saturday, February 28th, 2015 at 11:18am.

Prime Edmonton Real Estate - When you start telling your friends, family, and work colleagues that you are buying a home, it seems that they all have an opinion or a story to tell you about what to do, what not to do, or what areas to avoid. How do you take into account their experience when home shopping - or should you at all?

I have actually heard some interesting tips over the years. Most of them I have thrown away, or ran away from immediately, but others ended up sage pieces of advice. The best anecdotal story I have heard from a home buyer was that their grandma told them about a  time  that a friend bought a place they thought was 'cheap' in a good area. After they purchased, they realized that the whole block had home mechanics living there, and that you could never find a place to park on the street. As a result, the Grandma made sure that my client looked down the street to see the number and type of vehicles you see down a street - that it would tell you a lot about the neighborhood. Every now and again I use this advice, as I have found it useful.

It would be a good idea to consider the following when trying to believe an anecdotal story:

  • Consider the source of the information: Is this person the 'know it all' of your group? Can they be trusted? Is it someone that you have known a  long time or someone you just met?
  • Consider the home buying experience: If your story comes from someone who hasn't bought or sold a home in 25 years, chances are that the story may no longer be relevant. At the same time, if someone tells you about their condo purchase and you are buying a house, it may also make their tale inaccurate.
  • Use common sense - this is the most important one. Even if the 'story' is true, does it make sense to you, or make you laugh and shake it off? Going back to the Grandma anecdote above, my common sense sensor told me that her idea might be something to consider. Over the next months and years, I informally assessed the idea through the many showings I took my clients on, and within a few years agreed with her idea, although loosely.
  • Is the storyteller willing to risk his own money on his story - Not in the sense of a bet, but ask the person you are talking to "Are you willing to bet your home and your future on that story?". You'd be surprised how quickly infrequently the response is yes to this.

People love to give their two cents worth when it comes to advice - whether you have asked for it or not. This is especially true when a home buyer starts to tell them about their home buying process. The rule of thumb should be to consider acts before stories, experience before immediacy,  and expertise of a Realtor over your Uncle Bob who bought a home once 25 years ago. Anecdotes make for great party talk, but not sage home buying advice!

2 Responses to "When Help Isn't Help - Home Buying & Anecdotes"

The Ultimate Edmonton Home Buyers Guide wrote: [...][...]

Posted on Saturday, February 28th, 2015 at 11:30am.

What to Look For When Entering A Home For Sale wrote: [...]Edmonton Home Buyers Guide
The Most Overlooked Sense When Viewing a Home
Home Buying & Anecdotes - Who Do You Listen To?


Posted on Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 at 3:32pm.

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