As a Realtor®, I’ve come to learn much about the mindset of people when buying a house. The purchase of a home is a huge undertaking and one that requires a lot of thought and careful consideration. That being said, sometimes you also need to know when to act. One of the more common scenarios I see is what I like to call “The Tale of the Black Dress”.
Typically, when I meet a buyer and begin working with them, we have many conversations about their personal situation and their motivation for buying a home. Together, we establish a strategy to help them reach their goals. We look at their financial ability, their personal style preferences, their lifestyle, and their time frame. Once we have formulated a game plan and established the parameters, we start looking at houses.
This is when “Black Dress Syndrome” takes over. A house is a basic need much like a dress is a wardrobe staple, and the right house, priced well, is the perfect black dress. It’s exactly like shopping for a dress! You think about your specific needs and budget, and then you head off to the Mall. You go in to a store, try on a few choices, and find one that is absolutely perfect. It fits great, the style is appropriate for your needs, it’s comfortable and, best of all, IT’S ON SALE!
But of course, you don’t buy it. You hang it back on the rack and proceed to traipse through the Mall looking at and trying on EVERY black dress you can find. You try on the ones that are too small, and the ones that are too big. You try on the ones that are too expensive, and (gasp) the ones that are too cheap. You spend all of your time and effort searching for something that you have already found. Now exhausted, you limp back to the first store and seek out the dress you originally fell in love with.
In Real Estate, this is where it can get dicey. With mortgage rates at historic lows, and increased home affordability, there are many other people who are exactly like you…. looking for that same black dress. People aren’t all that different when it comes to taste and style, but they are very different when it comes to action and opportunity. That means when you are ready to purchase the home of your dreams, there is a chance that someone else might have already done so. What will you do if your perfect “black dress” is gone?
My advice when looking for a home would be to evaluate your specific needs thoroughly, become educated about your target area’s current market, and be prepared to act when the time is right for you personally. Consult with a real estate professional who understands your needs and is qualified to guide you through the process. And when you find the perfect home, BUY IT! Sometimes she who hesitates ends up without a “dress”!
Flickr Creative Commons Photo Credit: Brendan Lally