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Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons

The idea of a pros and cons list was instilled in me from a young age. When I asked my parents for the newest thing, they would always tell me to make a list. Most of the time, I wouldn’t make a list, I would then forget about the newest thing, and move on. The importance of the item dictated whether or not I would spend time on the list. A house is often the most expensive item you will ever purchase. This criteria alone warrants spending a few moments putting together a pros and cons list.

In fact, you may actually have a few lists.

  1. Do we buy a house?
    Pros: good investment, something to own, not throwing away rent, mortgage tax deduction, stability, ect
    Cons: less fluid(can’t move as quickly), repairs, ect(sorry, I’m a real estate agent, thinking of this list is tough!)
  2. What home do we buy? (assuming you’ve narrowed it down to one or two homes)
    House 1, Pros: location, layout, price
    House 1, Cons: needs cosmetic updates, backyard is small
    House 2, Pros: location, completely updated, schools
    House 2 Cons: price

Put everything on the list, don’t think about whether or not it should be on the list, just write it down. You can refine the list later. If you are working with your spouse on this, don’t critize or argue about the other persons items. In fact, a pro to the husband may be a con to the wife. That’s OK, put them on the list!

This exercise helps us better understand what we like and don’t like about a house. It quantifies the home and enables you to compare Home 1 vs. Home 2.

How do you quantify the “feel of the home”?
I’ve taken a lot of people through homes and their response is often, “I like the way it feels”. When I try to probe deeper into this question, there is often an inability to go much beyond these 6 words. Husbands, this one is for you: Don’t dismiss your wife when she says this. She likes the home, she just can’t articulate the exact details she likes about it.

Not everyone makes decisions this way. It works for me, and it’s worked for many of my clients. But it doesn’t work for everyone. Decision making is about communication, and the pros and cons list is a way to communicate (even simply to yourself) why you should or should not buy the house

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