We all have it…the should’ve the story of real estate. The older you get, the long list of homes not taken collecting dust in your head and reminding you of lost opportunities in the real estate market. The market relentlessly marches upward, making our grandparents’ big home purchases a mere fraction of the down payment required to purchase a home today.
I have them. I like to punish myself with tales of the should’ve, could’ve, didn’t and my favorite self-torture story involves a Cardiff lot west of I-5 in 2002, for $125,000. Zillow is essentially Facebook for houses, where we can creep our exes and crushes wondering what they are up to today, and wondering what might have been.
How do these lost opportunities factor into your decision-making today? They say that when it comes to regret, people more often regret the things they didn’t do than what they did. It’s easier to rationalize ourselves into inaction than taking risks and going all-in on a decision. As we get older, we take less risks, in part due to the feeling that we made mistakes in the past and we are running out of time. Our experiences and those of others close to us become a guide for how to avoid pain and loss.
Here Are the Five Steps to Decision Making:
- Identify your goal. Why do you want to move or purchase a home?
- Weigh your options. Work with an agent to get a handle on the current market.
- Consider the Consequences. Can you afford it? Is it where you want to live or invest?
- Make your decision. In or out on a purchase?
- Evaluate your decision. For now.
There is no greater influence on real estate decision-making today than the housing and financial crisis of 2008. Whether you were a homeowner then, or the child of a homeowner, there were profound effects on your thinking about real estate investment and I see the effects of market crash fear in many of the conversations I have with buyers and sellers. I have been told many times by clients that we are at the “top” of the market (for about 6 years now) and who wants to touch the hot handle of the pot when they have already burnt their hand?
It is difficult to predict what the market is going to do on the whole, and there are no crystal balls. My advice in this real estate market is to not “settle” on a home that doesn’t suit your needs. It’s not a good time for speculation, meaning that you should plan on living in your home for 5-7 years which is the average in our area, and try not to bank on a big gain in 2 years. The low rates and high rents are making it conducive to purchasing over renting and when you feel like there’s a good opportunity, take the plunge and don’t look back!