Buying a Home should be a Business Decision
Many people fall in love with a home. It’s perfect. It has a beautiful fenced-yard, well-situated neighborhood, you can picture your furnishings in the living room and there is even room for a nursery. And then, you suffer heart-break when the purchase doesn’t pan out because you just can’t afford it. This is an all-too-often home buying and selling experience. But the potential heart-break can be minimized by removing the emotion from buying your home.
Emotional decisions are driven by guilt, fear, desire or social approval. It’s that “keeping up with the Jones’s’” mentality and it can get you into deep trouble in a short period of time. Business decisions are more rational – the decision to buy is based on conscious, factual and logical reasons. How can you avoid riding that emotional roller coaster when looking to purchase a home?
An Impartial Realtor
You need an impartial expert to help you stay on track, so utilize a licensed Realtor to help you in your process. Many times people start their home-buying process by visiting open houses, where they find all sorts of beautiful homes and yet have no clue what they’re really looking at in terms of commitment and finances. Having an expert hold your hand and keep you from going off track, can help save you some unwanted heart-ache. In many cases, as the seller, your home is your biggest financial asset and they realize how emotional a home-buyer can be. Rely on your Realtor to help you stay centered – on both sides of the transaction!
Know what your price range is and do not go over your budget. The easiest way to get emotionally sucked in and then devastated is to look at homes that are out of your price-range. Of course, you’ll love those homes – because they have everything you want but can’t afford! Start at the low-point of your price range and go from there. Especially in a tight housing market, if the seller can create a “bidding” situation, the numbers can get out of hand fast. Be disciplined and you might find a house you love with a price you love, too.
Don’t rush into things, but don’t drag your feet either. Good grief – how do you know if your timing is right? If you look at a home, bust out the front door and make an offer right away, you’re probably following your heart a touch too much. And yet if you are paralyzed by making a decision, you might be frozen by fear of buying. Both of these are emotional reactions. Trust your Realtor’s advice by taking a more rational approach to the home, base your purchase decision on logical reasons, like affordability, location, quality – not your emotions!
If you buy a house because you’re exhausted, frustrated and just want to be done with the process, you will regret it. Desperation rarely makes for a good purchase decision. Instead you land in a home you don’t love and one you don’t really want to be in. You’ll live there for a while, only to put it back on the market. This all costs money, time, and causes stress. Another act of desperation is paying too much for a piece of property, just so you can have it. So don’t let your love for a home drive up the cost unnecessarily. Understand the market. Be patient. Be practical.
When we love something, we tend to overlook its flaws. Or we over-estimate our ability to fix those flaws. And then we buy a house that is horribly in need of repairs and no one to repair it! Instead, take an objective look at what repairs are needed and get bids on what it’ll cost to have the work done. You need to be realistic on what the costs for repair will add to your purchase price (can you still afford it?).
It is important that you fall in love with the home you purchase, but you don’t want your emotions to override the practical side of such a major purchase. Work hard to keep those emotions in check by having a Realtor and trusted friend with you who can help remind you of your budget, your abilities and your needs, and you’ll find that home that is just right for you – and one you love.
The Minnesota Association of REALTORS® is the largest trade association in the state with more than 17,000 members. MNAR is the voice for real estate in Minnesota.