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Trouble Deciding on a Home? Use the Home Selection Triangle!

Trouble Deciding on a Home? Use the Home Selection Triangle!

You are ready to buy a home. So you jump on Zillow or drive around and just start looking.  Next thing you know you fall in love with a home you find and are now emotionally attached to it.  Wait!  Can I afford this?  Is there something better out there?  Do I know everything I need to know?

Or maybe you keep looking but you just don’t have time to look through them all.  After days of searching you wonder if the home you want is even out there?  And if it is, how are you going to find it?

Excitement has now been replaced with doubt and dread.

Take a deep breath.

Did you just get ahead of yourself?  Well, yes, but you can easily correct this by slowing down and working through a very effective process. It’s easy to have trouble deciding on a home and not know where to start or know how to make sense of it all.

I use a tool to help my clients narrow down options and understand the factors at play when deciding on a home.

It’s called the Home Selection Triangle and it is built on 3 major areas to consider: Budget, Preference and Inventory.

The first thing you might notice about the Home Section Triangle is that the bottom rests on the first and foundational principle:

1. BUDGET.  This must be the first thing you consider.

What is the TOTAL price you can afford?  This can be hard to calculate.  So you need to start with your lender. (Need a good lender?  I have some great recommendations on my partners page HERE. Your lender can help you determine, based on your income and your credit what you can afford in total and in monthly payments.  They will also be able to help you understand mortgage rates and your mortgage options.  (Side-note, I NEVER work with a client who doesn’t have a good lender. It’s THAT important.)  There are quite a few costs associated with buying a home both on the financing (obtaining a loan) side as well as miscellaneous costs outside of that so it is crucial to understand this first.  I mean, would you walk into Target to go shopping without seeing what was in your wallet first?

Related:  Don’t forget about these costs when buying a home! <post coming soon>

What can you afford per month drives what the price of the home you purchase will be.  Once you determine what you can afford, you then can move into your:

2. PREFERENCE.  This includes, features, location, amenities, etc.  How many bedrooms do you want?  What style home?  Is a basement a must?  What area of town do you want to be in?  Do you want to be in a neighborhood with an association?  Are schools a driving factor? Make a list, then talk about searching with an agent vs Zillow.

Related: Searching for a home with Zillow VS a Realtor. <post coming soon>

After you have decided how you will search for your home and keep track of everything, move on to what is figuring out what is actually available in the local:

3. INVENTORY.  No matter what you want, if it isn’t available, it cannot be purchased.  So you then can decide if you want to wait or need to compromise on some preferences.  Or it is possible a current home can be modified to suit your preferences?  Just make sure that you have the budget and the contacts to be able to make that happen.  The key here is you must never compromise on your budget.  That is the driving force behind this huge purchase.

Now go find a home!

Which aspects of the Home Selection Triangle have helped or challenged you the most?

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Andrew Bacon

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