Josh Mettle: That’s a great point. A couple of thoughts: I agree with you. It’s absolutely an individual decision, and I think that the comments on some of the websites that just talk about avoiding buying a house as a resident misses the mark just a little bit, although I do believe it’s well-intentioned. But where I think it misses the mark is, if you have two kids and two dogs, good luck trying to find a rental property. It is tough. I mean I know where we live. That is a really hard sell if you have a family that needs some space to find something. People call me all the time and say, “Hey, it’s just easier to find something that fits our family criteria to buy than it is to rent.
If we know that it is an individual decision and for some folks, you just have to buy for one reason or another, then I think the focus on some of these websites in general should be on education not risk-aversion. So it’s like, “Let’s just all rent.” Well that doesn’t work because some people have to buy because their family situation or they just have a strong desire to do so, we should be working more towards educating people on how to not make a mistake and how to be able to resell quickly. I completely agree with you there.
The other thing that you said that I thought was really important was and I’ll paraphrase but “location and neighborhood trumps the house.” So if I’m hearing you right, falling in love with the house on the busy street because you love the house is problematic as opposed to – this is a really good neighborhood, close drive times to the hospital, homes sell quickly. I’d rather take a lesser home, maybe even not as good a shape in that really healthy neighborhood. Would you agree with that?
John Ramey: Yeah, I totally agree with that. One of the things we try to tell our clients is that if you’re early in your career, you’re a medical student, a resident, you got your first job. If this is not going to be your final house, you don’t have to like everything about the house.
Josh Mettle: Right.
John Ramey: For me, it’s more important in looking at house as an investment and if you’re going to sell it, is this house going to resell or are there problems with the house. I’m going back to the house I was talking about earlier in the busy street. One of the things they messed up when they built the house and they didn’t put any bathtubs throughout the house. Well our clients, they want a bathtub in at least one bathroom and again you got to think it’s not what you like but what other people like in a house and make a good decision with that. It’s so important. We see it over and over that people make bad decisions about what they’d do in the house, how they remodel and stuff, so you get advice from realtors and professionals. Is this a good idea that I need to put this much money into the house?
Josh Mettle: Right. Like you said, if you’re going to be there for 15 or 20 years, time will cover up any of those mistakes. If you’re going to be there for 3 years or 4 years, you have to make wise decisions on your neighborhood and what improvements that you do in the house. I think that’s an excellent point.
John Ramey: Getting back to one other thing that you had said about the websites and advice to medical students and residents, I hate that when you give absolutes, and I think that’s the thing. I like your point about looking at rentals versus buying. We just bought an investment property that’s near the medical school. We’ve gotten a lot of phone calls. One common call is thing like you said is people have animals.
Josh Mettle: Right.
John Ramey: We’ve turned down every single one that called with animals. I like dogs, but I don’t like dogs when I’m the landlord because I have hardwood floors in those rentals and I’m probably going to have to re-sand them and refinish them in 3 to 5 years.
Josh Mettle: That’s right.
John Ramey: And so, as a landlord, a lot of times, you want tenants that are going to take good care of your rentals. Again, I agree with you. I think it’s hard when you know that somebody is going to bring pets into the house and maybe not take good care of it.
Josh Mettle: And kids — don’t think landlords don’t think through total wear and tear with the number of bodies in the house and that just makes it more challenging to find good rentals out there.
John Ramey: Yes, and I agree and again in our market at least, the rental prices have gone up more than what you can get the same price you can get a lot nicer house if you buy one, too.
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