Home is Where the Heart Is

Christmas morning, cozy days by the fireplace, and open doors to a summer BBQ with friends;  there is a point where the sale of a house goes from being a big commitment to being the place that memories will be made.  Conversely, when selling, it is often difficult to unglue the memories that one has made within their home, to physically move on.  All in all, buying and selling real estate can be an emotional rollercoaster as people are forced to compartmentalize their feelings toward their home, as they attempt to keep emotions and memories apart from making a good business decision.

Songs such as Miranda Lambert’s “The House That Built Me,” have lyrics that resonate deeply with many people, regardless of the type of music they like.  She reminisces about her memories that were made in her childhood home, which I think is a very human experience.   If our lives are made up of the experiences that we have had, it is easy to see that a home is something very sacred to most people.

When you are buying a home, remember that the overwhelming fees, costs, choices, and details will eventually dissipate.  Try to even your emotions out.  If you are feeling overly emotional, then you will need to let your practical brain catch up with issues of affordability, long-term outlook, and knowing precisely how much the home will cost you.  If you are dwelling on the costs and the details of taxes, mortgages, etc… then you may need to invite a few moments of visualizing yourself experiencing life in your new home.

Often couples can get polarized with one dwelling on the emotional while the other obsesses on the practical, leaving them both powerless to move forward.  Take a breath, some time, and write down the positive and negative results of buying the property you are interested in.  Hear the other person’s concerns and their excitement.  More times than not, you will find that you are both saying the same thing, just in a different way.  You will need to get on the same page before you can move forward as a team.

If you start to feel that the home you are bidding on is the only home left in the world, go to the best city lookout that you can find and try to count all of the houses, condos, and townhouses out there.  If you get outbid, or find that after crunching the numbers while factoring in your future ambitions, you simply cannot afford the property, ease the heartbreak by understanding just how many options there are out there in that vista before you.

When you work with a Realtor, make sure they are someone who you can rely on to help you through the rough stages of buying and selling when emotions start to run high.   Calculate things properly and accurately to ensure you can afford your new purchase long-term, and listen to your instincts.  Don’t buy something you can’t afford… ever.  Twenty or more years is a very long time to commit to a payment that you can’t afford.  Money stress is one of the leading causes of relationship breakdowns, so change your plan to something that allows you to be at ease with your situation while still creating a savings for a rainy day.  If you lose your job, you will appreciate a lower payment.  If you want to have children or pay for things such as vacations and education, you should factor this into the affordability question.

When you find yourself flustered, go back to the drawing board and review your research, numbers, and emotion to make a well-rounded decision.  This is an exciting time, so enjoy the process… and your new home!


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