Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Making a Decision

It always comes down to making a choice...

Tonight I made the decision to move forward on the house I saw last week. Since I've been thinking about homeownership for so long, I'm very confident that this is the house within my budget parameters that I want. I'm so excited that I don't know if I can sleep. I still have tons of questions going through my mind...

Did I offer the right price?

One of the hardest things to do is to decide in your mind, "What is this house worth to me?" I looked at comps, I pretended to be an appraiser and thought of all the "adjustments" I would be making. I thought about the fact that it was on the corner of a moderately busy street. Then I wrote it all down -- I cannot emphasize how much clearer things become when they're written down on paper. And at the end I had that elusive number, the maximum I was willing to pay.

Of course, then I had to decide what amount I was willing to offer. Here's where an experienced real estate agent can really help out. Being "in the biz" and the biggest control-freak in three counties, I decided to handle the negotiating strategy myself. It turns out, both my agent and I came up with the same recommended strategy: when the house is vacant, offer low and let the sellers respond.

Am I making an emotional decision?

Do not let anyone tell you otherwise: homebuying is an emotional process. Choosing to become a homeowner is a major lifestyle change. Naturally, it's not just about the numbers. Even for someone as analytical as myself, I realize the importance and necessity of making an emotionally congruent decision -- it not only needs to look right analytically, it needs to feel right. The flip side: I'm a little apprehensive that I may have opened Pandora's Box. How much emotion is enough? How many is too much? I think this is balance that every prospective homebuyer needs to come to terms with.

Did I mention how excited I am? At least my agent and I decided to put a one day expiration on the offer. That means I'm guaranteed under 24 hours of torture while waiting. I'll let you know how it goes. Oh yeah, for those of you interested, here's a photo. As you can see, I have a very good eye for potential :)