Home Buying 102 — Setting Goals

Answering these 6 questions will set you up for home-buying success.

Is it time for you to take that giant leap into homeownership? Before you spend hours cyber-stalking your dream home, take a few minutes to identify your priorities.

  • What do you want the house to do for you? Is this a way to build some equity and stop paying rent? Do you need more space for your growing family or growing business? Is it time to simplify and right-size? Knowing how long you expect to live in the home can help you be more strategic about your purchase. For example: if you expect to acquire a bigger, better house within a few years, buying in an area with a strong rental market can give you more options when you’re ready. If the market prices are low when you want to move, you’ll have the option to rent your current place. To find out the strength of the rental market, you can ask your real estate agent or search a website, like Realtor.com, to see the average days that apartments are on the market before being rented. In general, less than 30 days is a strong market. There are lots of variables, though, so try to compare units that are similar in size and location to the ones you’re considering.

Use a spreadsheet or even graph paper to track your goals. and remember to check in with these aspirations each time you think you’ve found The House. This may seem obvious, but believe me, buying a house is such an emotional experience that you can lose all reason. I sometimes have to point out to clients that there was virtually no closet space in a home or that the house needed a lot of maintenance. It helps to have a real estate agent or even a family member by your side to help keep you on track. Let me know how I can help, and tune in next week for a new installment: Getting Pre-approved.

As always, thank you to Carl Zukroff for getting rid of those nasty to be’s and gerunds!

Real estate agent & investor, author & speaker, podcaster and arts patron. Check out GetYourFILLPodcast.com.

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