Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dear Home Buyer

As a realtor, I help aspiring home buyers with finding a property they want to call ‘home’. Buying your next home is an important step on your way to realizing your vision of life.

As such, rather than focusing on the house you want to buy, it may be better to first define what you want from life. It is much easier to determine what home you’re looking for if you know what you want to achieve with that home and how it fits on your way towards fulfilling your dreams.

If you haven’t done so, ask yourself and ask your partner what kind of a life you really want. Visualize yourself together say five (5) or ten years from now and what you would like to have achieved. Near term goals are often easy to define; those farther out may still be vague and can be adjusted later on. But I bet, you can already outline some things you want: a certain career, a cottage, time to travel, children or not, a house along the shoreline of a tropical island (Belize), or running a cozy neighbourhood pub. Visualize this goal and then try to trace back a path towards the present which (in reverse order) shows the road you need to travel in order to realize your life vision.

Without a life vision, you don’t know what direction you want to go. You will be like a traveler without a destination and you’re likely end up running in circles for many years to come. Having a life dream is not the same as getting there; obviously you need the motivation and drive to get there. With a partner in life, you both have to believe in that vision and you both have to be motivated and willing to work towards it. So, this is a very important step, something I cannot emphasize enough.

Once you have defined your ‘personal Belize’ and a path of how you plan to reach it, you will have an idea as to how your next home fits in. Now, you can set the financial targets needed for the purchase of your new home, a home that is a steppingstone towards fulfilling your dreams. This steppingstone will have to fit both in your current life style and with achieving your Belize. I cannot set your dreams, it is your life. But I can help you planning out your budget for your next home.

I have created an EXCEL spreadsheet that helps plan your home buying finances
– contact me for a copy. Maybe it is just sufficient for you to glance at it, in order to figure out how your new home fits in. Maybe you want to use it in detail and try out various scenarios to see what works best for you. The spreadsheet is only a rough planning tool and I can’t guarantee it is error free (it is new). It may help you to figure out what questions you need to answer; what data is still required.

This spreadsheet is only the start. To really know what you can do (including the required financing of your next home), you will have to sit down with a mortgage broker. I can help you find a mortgage broker. With the right financial information, the broker can help you determine what mortgage fits best your situation and what the maximum price is that you can afford.

There is a difference between the maximum you can pay and what you need to achieve your dreams. Buying the most expensive house you can afford may put undue stress on you and your partner. You will have to determine how much you really want to spend on your next home. I hope this letter and the spreadsheet is of help. I have also written a pamphlet on five steps to successfully buy a home; I can forward this to you when desired. If you wish to discuss these matters further, please, let me know. Buying a home is an important part of your life and I have made it my job to help people such as you to find the right place.


Godfried Wasser

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