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The 5 Ds of Real Estate Purchases


Economists have described the current generation of first-time home buyers as “nepo babies.”  This means that house purchases are so expensive that no one below the age of 40 can afford to buy a house or condo unless their parents contribute to the down payment.  In other words, the young generation cannot reasonably aspire to put together enough money to qualify for a home mortgage loan based purely on their own earnings.  The older generation, the parents who are the source of the down payments for young people’s real estate purchases, grew up playing a board game called Life.  In this game, you moved a tiny plastic car across the game board in a quest to attain middle class status symbols, not least among them a single-family home.  If the dice and the playing cards dictated it, your tiny car would fill with even tinier blue and pink pegs, representing you, your spouse, and your children.  Even though economic conditions have changed, the motivations behind real estate purchases have not.  If you have experienced a life event that tends to precipitate a real estate transaction, contact a Washington, D.C. real estate lawyer.

What Are the 5 Ds of Real Estate?

The 5 Ds of real estate are five life milestones that, according to real estate agents, motivate people to buy and sell real estate properties.  These are the 5 Ds of real estate:

  • Diamonds – In this context, diamonds can represent wealth in general or wedding rings in particular. People buy their first home when they can afford to do so; this often coincides with marriage, since both spouses are contributing to the purchase of the home.  Diamonds are also a factor in real estate purchases in that people upgrade to a more expensive house or buy an investment property or vacation home when they get enough money to do so.
  • Diapers – Even people who have no desire to keep up with the Joneses will move from a small apartment to a bigger residence after the birth of a child. Parenthood also makes people desire stability, so they may get serious about buying a house or condo, even if they rented for years before the child’s birth.
  • Divorce – When a wealthy couple divorces, one spouse keeps the marital home while the other one moves out and buys a new house. When less wealthy couples divorce, neither spouse can afford to keep the house, so the couple sells it and divides the proceeds.
  • Downsizing – After the children have grown up and moved out of the house, parents who are approaching retirement age often decide to move out of their empty nest and buy a smaller and more affordable house.
  • Death – When a homeowner dies, his or her surviving relatives sometimes decide to sell the house because they would rather have cash than a house that they have to share in a state where none of them live. In some cases, they are forced to sell the house in order to settle the decedent’s outstanding debts.

Contact Tobin O’Connor Ewing About Real Estate Transactions

A Washington, D.C. real estate attorney can help you buy or sell a real estate property for any reason.  Contact Tobin, O’Connor, and Ewing in Washington, D.C. or call 202-362-5900.



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