Deciding to embark on the journey of buying a house carries with it the onus of putting some serious thought into WHY?
WHY do you want to buy a house?
- More or less space to accommodate life’s transitions (Growing or shrinking number of people in the house)?
- Job change pulling you to a different area or city?
- Desire for a different lifestyle?
- To get a BARGAIN?
It’s that last reason “To Get a BARGAIN” that I’d like to unpack a bit.
What does “Get a BARGAIN” mean to you?
Does this mean that you’re willing to buy anything that’s priced “enough” below market?
Will you buy this “Bargain” even if doesn’t meet your other-than-financial criteria?
The real question then is:
Are you house-hunting for sport or to fulfill a real housing need?
If your goal is to fulfill a REAL housing need (The first 3 reasons above), let’s focus on your NEEDS FIRST!
After getting a decent grip on the NEEDS (GOTTA HAVES), then we can begin to explore your WANTS . . . Things you’d like to have but would survive without as long as the needs are met.
Only after the exercise of identifying properties (yes PLURAL: 2-3) that meet your NEEDS should we start the conversation of which of those possibilities feels like the best “bargain” for you now. If you have 3 choices that you like equally, you’ll be well positioned to play the “Bargain game.”
Now for the whopper question . . . Is the reason for wanting a bargain just to save money up-front . . . the “ego-stroke” of getting a great deal?
or . . .
Is there a component of a desire to “flip” this house for a profit on the short term (less than 5 years)?
If your goal is “Flip” . . . BEWARE!
There’s not an economist on the planet who can guarantee a “Flip Profit” in ANY given period of time. You’re playing the lottery.
Before you decide to embark on this journey of buying a house, I think your first step is make a decision:
Am I buying a house to make my HOME?
Is this a non-emotional-attachment “investment purchase” to “Play the market?”
Don’t mix the 2 . . . We’re not in that kind of market.
Of course, contact me to consult with you through your options so I can offer real, on the ground, advice and data to support your decisions . . . YOUR job in this purchase is to make decision . . . MY job is to advise you and manage the process 🙂
Afterthought – Debra prompted this blog post with an email she wrote to me a few days ago:
“I am observing that (today’s house) buyer is adamant about getting the lowest price even when the price is already good. I have two that the comps were $15,000 higher. Both buyers have some artificial price in their head….one seller caved in….I think the reverse of the last decade has happened. Homeowners saw their homes rise in price and thought they could use it as a banking account and we got the recession. But I am seeing the buyer is still thinking in terms of their purchase is like trading stocks and bonds. In the past sellers were thinking in those terms. I believe the we need to go back to understanding that a house is your home. Even thought it might rise in value, it isn’t like trading stocks. It is a different type of decision process.