When we begin working with home buyers, we often do a ‘needs analysis’ to find out exactly what the buyers are looking for. Most often, this takes the shape of well phrased questions. General speaking, we need to ask ourselves what our life looks like today and what tomorrow may look like. Couple this with the framework of what we can afford and where we want to be and the decision just became a lot easier!
Since real estate should be a long term investment, asking ourselves what the next 3, 5, or 10 years will look like is important, but it can be difficult. Life happens, things change, but some things are more certain than others. If you have a 3 year old son, there is a good chance he’ll be living in your home for then next 15 years or so. Your 18 year old daughter could move out at anytime.
This is best described through a real life example.
Ms. Buyer wanted to buy a 4 bedroom condo. One bedroom for her, one for her 5 year old son, one for her 18 year old son, and one as a guest room/office. Ms. Buyer planned on being in this condo for a long time. We were finding it difficult to locate a condo with 4 bedrooms within her price range.
I asked one question: “How long will your 18 year old son live with you?” She talked to her son and found out he had been talking to friends about renting an apartment. This new information changed our search from a 4 bed to a 2 bed condo, and put dozens of options on the table.
This story highlights the need to have a firm grasp of your current housing needs, and your best guess as to your future needs as possible. No one knows what tomorrow will hold; our crystal ball is pretty fuzzy. But asking good questions up front can increase your odds of buying a home that will meet your needs for many years to come!
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