Sunday, 22 April 2012

When is the right time to buy?

Shortly after we moved in here a friend came to stay with us and one afternoon we had lots of ‘household’ shopping to do so we dropped him off in Perpignan where he spent a happy time exploring the Palais des rois de Majorque. When we picked him up later he was absolutely astounded to hear that in just 3 hours we had managed to arrange delivery of a washing machine & tumble dryer, buy a fairly large plasma tv and choose & order floor tiles for the guest wing. This is a fairly normal state of affairs for us and I couldn’t understand his confusion; the laundry equipment was a no-brainer in that all the machines seem to do much the same job so you always buy the second cheapest; the TV seemed to be the right size and roughly the right price and we are not ‘label’ snobs so don’t care whether it is manufactured by Bang & Olufson or But; and as for the tiles, for once we both agreed on colour, texture & size and the fact that they were on ‘promotion’ made our decision even easier. ‘Worried William’ said that he never bought anything without first checking it out in Which magazine, trawling the internet for reviews and basically making sure that whatever he was buying was the best of its’ kind. He even rented several different cars over a 6 month period before finally making his choice as to which model to buy as he was so anxious not to make a mistake.

Now this kind of attitude makes me sad as ‘William’ is so scared of making mistakes that he takes far too long to make up his mind and often goes without something completely. My husband has visited his home and tells me that it is very sparsely furnished - but what little he has is of excellent quality!

The reason for mentioning ‘William’ is that I was reminded of him today when I was taking a call from a potential client. He had been thinking about buying a holiday home in France for several years and explained that he was still very much in the ‘research’ stage as to which area to buy in and what kind of property would suit him best. He specifically asked whether it is now a ‘good time to buy’ and I had to think very carefully how to reply. Last week the euro was being traded at 1.2250/£1 which is the highest level in 20 months, property prices have only just started to climb slowly so technically this is a fantastic time to buy – but not for this particular client as I know he is not yet ready and even if he bought a bargain property he would worry that there might have been an even better bargain if only he had waited.

The ‘right time to buy’ is a very personal issue. I, and my Property Finding colleagues have been involved with many many property purchases over the past few years and, to the best of my knowledge, not one of our clients have complained to us that because of the exchange rate their property is slightly lower in value now or that they wish they had bought in another area. They came to us to find a property for them because the time was right for them. Interest rates, recessions and currency fluctuations are all relevant but if you spend all your time assessing these factors rather than trusting your judgement that now is a good time, you will end up like ‘worried William’, who, by the way, is not married........

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